BAM! The Qualities of the Best Boating Lakes near Me

By Andy Whitcomb

Jun 16, 2023

With so many lakes across the country, how does one decide where to go boating? Here are the three characteristics shared by the best boating lakes.

In the United States, there are thousands of lakes from which to choose. Each lake differs by characteristics such as size, depth, clarity, etc. and is enjoyed recreationally in many ways. Although personal preference plays a role, the best boating lakes in the U.S. generally share several features, which can be assembled to create the acronym: BAM.


It can be argued that the best boating lakes in the U.S. are scenic. The classical picturesque blue, clear, refreshing lake often comes to mind. But someone once said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A muddy reservoir can be a thing of beauty anywhere in 115 degrees. And a shallow, massive expanse of stumps and submerged tree hazards can be a thing of beauty even to boaters if its occupants seek big bass or catfish.


The best boating lakes near me, or near anyone for that matter, need to have good boat ramps. If boat traffic is heavy, multiple ramps, wide enough for two simultaneous boat loadings/launchings are advantageous to avoid long wait times and anxious trailer backing. Kayaks and canoes do not require ramps but still need designated entry and parking areas. When searching for boating lakes in your area, make sure there are public access options.


Consider what type of boating you want do. Do you want to go fishing? Quietly sail? Or do you prefer to roar down the lake pulling someone on a rope? The larger the lake, the greater the surface area to allow for boaters of all types to spread out, keep a respectful distance, and do their thing. For example, a quick search of best boating lakes in CA, suggested big, beautiful lakes like Tahoe, Folsom, or Big Bear Lake but there are hundreds of options in California alone.


Visit the same website that you use to renew your boat registration. There, you’ll probably also find additional information about the best boating lakes near me. Remember BAM to help you decide where you want to launch your boat next.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.