The World's Best Lake Resorts

Soak up these water-lapped retreats for birders, anglers, and absinthe-sippers.

Oceans crash and rivers run wild, but lakes somehow, even when they bluster, evoke a sense of serenity. In northern climes synonymous with summer, lakes combine wonder (cold or warm? deep or shallow?) with the certainty that those shores make a full circle.

Lake resorts let us drift away—both literally on a boat and figuratively from life’s everyday stressors and demands. These top 21 combine lodging and lakes in a dialectic of indoor and out that betters them both.