Most tourists flock come Florida because that its soft, sandy beaches, championship golf courses, and world-famous amusement parks. Those who likewise visit the state’s resplendent lakes space in for a special treat. Varying in dimension from small to whopping, Florida master 30,000 lakes that span much more than 3 million acres. Now that’s a many water!
Naturally stocked v all types of fish — from base to black color crappie to speckled perch — Florida’s lakes seldom leave anglers disappointed. No wonder so countless fishing fanatics head directly for this freshwater shores.
You don’t need to like touching live bait to gain all these lakes have to offer. Other well-known things to do incorporate swimming (without the risk of meeting a shark — yay!), windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, and also other water sports.
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Before jumping in, decide where to go through our list of the finest lakes in Florida.
Note: some businesses may be in the interim closed because of recent worldwide health and also safety issues.
1. Crescent Lake
Formerly well-known as Dunn’s Lake, this sparkling point out covers an ext than 15,900 acres in North main Florida. A tributary that St. Johns River, Crescent Lake is located in Flagler and also Putnam counties. It’s chock complete of fish (you’re welcome, anglers) and acts as a magnet for few of the area’s finest wildlife. You’re likely to spot a fully eagle while you’re there, especially at the south end, in the Crescent Lake conservation Area.
While fishing and canoeing are allowed on the lake, motorboats are banned.
Not a fan of gift in the water? No worries. There’s lot of to store visitors lived in on shore. Indigenous hiking come biking to horseback riding, you’re sure to discover a fun activity to help while far the day. The bonus: Crescent Lake’s exceptional vistas are enjoyable no issue where you pick to happen the time.
Insider’s tip for anglers: A drop-off runs just out indigenous the coast along the bulk of the lake, making this a an excellent spot for capturing bass.
2. Blue Cypress Lake
The biggest lake in Indian flow County, Blue Cypress Lake is a real looker. Drooping cypress tree splay your branches over the clear, azure water, extending their complicated roots along the pristine shoreline.
No matter how you take trip along this watery wonderland (by canoe, kayak, or motorboat), you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported right into the pages that a fairy tale. Alligators peek out from behind lengthy grasses, ospreys soar overhead, and turtles mosey along lily pads.
This large, wet utopia is bordered by captivating marshes, swamps, and cypress forests. Talk around a photographer’s dream place!
Blue Cypress Lake feeds St. John’s River and is house to an numerous collection of Florida’s many beautiful species. Amongst them room a multitude the fish. In fact, there room so numerous largemouth base in this lake the anglers flock right here to take benefit of what is known to be one of the state’s most “premiere” fishing locations.
Insider’s tip: Blue Cypress Park offers watercraft launches if Middleton’s Fish Camp is the ar to load up on gear (including fish and tackle) or collection up camp because that the night.
3. Lake Tohopekaliga
Known in your ar as Lake Toho, this large beauty is component of the Kissimmee Chain that Lakes. Covering over 22,000 acres, it’s likewise the largest lake in Osceola County and connects to East Lake Tohopekaliga. Gift so close come Kissimmee and Orlando, this large watery expanse is a large tourist draw.
While most come here to reap boating or fishing in the clear blue water, Lake Toho’s shores current visitors with multiple bird-watching and other wildlife-spotting opportunities. Alligators and also turtles are simple to spy, as room the osprey and eagles that contact this lake home.
Anglers brag around the lake’s great bass fishing, while children enjoy the lighthouse, playground, and also hiking trails in Lakefront Park.
Insider’s tip: load a picnic and enjoy the on among the park’s benches. Swimming and boating room the most popular activities.
4. Lake Okeechobee
Dubbed the large O by locals, Lake Okeechobee equates from Hitachi to “water big,” and also it come by this name honestly. The biggest lake in Florida, Okeechobee steps close to 450,000 acres and also spans 5 counties. It web links with the Okeechobee Waterway to ultimately join the Gulf the Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. In spite of its enormous girth, Lake Okeechobee only averages nine feet deep.
This is one of the state’s many superior fishing locales. Head right here if you’re hope to reel in an superior catch. The lake is packed through largemouth bass, speckled perch, blue gills, catfish, and also crappie. Neighborhood guides are more than ready to take you because that a tourism of the lake, often as component of a fishing expedition.
Camping and also local head rentals are obtainable to attract visitors come stay even longer.
Insider’s tip: sign up for a three-hour watercraft tour or hike the 110-mile Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail for a much more in-depth look in ~ the area.
5. Lake Dora
Lake Dora is a haven for snowbirds, specifically those who love come fish. A component of Lake County’s Harris Chain of Lakes, this stunning spot covers almost 4,500 acres. Located just over 40 minute northwest the Orlando, the lake’s the next towns include Tavares and also Mount Dora (on its north and east shores). This is where you’ll uncover the nearest equipment rentals, shops, restaurants, and also boat launches.
Once understood too polluted for fishing (due come runoff from adjacent agricultural farms), Lake Dora is healthy enough to resume the sport. Those who aren’t fans of angling can choose to waterski, Jet Ski, windsurf, canoe, or kayak.
Insider’s tip: The beloved Dora Canal, which web links Lake Dora through Lake Eustis, is a well-known spot for bird-watching. Book a boat trip because that an comprehensive tour that the region, including information about (and most likely a sighting of) outstanding wildlife and also waterfowl.
6. Lake Harris
More than 1,000 lakes and rivers lie in the aptly called Lake County, the eco-friendly star of central Florida. Among these is Lake Harris, the biggest in the Harris Chain that Lakes.
Spanning nearly 13,800 acres, this sparkling waterway is a popular spot because that those looking for a much more natural break from adjacent Orlando (Lake Harris lies end 30 mile northwest that the city, just north that Lake Apopka).
Surrounded by a luxuriant see peppered through cypress trees and also sand hills, Lake Harris is much more than picturesque. You’ll want to have your camera well charged before visiting this beautiful spot. Pack a swimsuit and also lifejacket, too, as water sports (including waterskiing) are a well-loved pastime.
As with most of Florida’s lakes, fishing attracts numerous anglers to Lake Harris. Boat ramps ~ above both the western and southern political parties of the lake do it easy to fall anchor.
Due to its thin size, the lake deserve to at times get rough. If you’re traveling v kids and hoping because that a calmer swim experience, try small Harris Lake to the southeast.
7. Lake Kissimmee
Lake Kissimmee offer up a wonderland of organic marvels. Miles of hiking trails (13 to it is in exact) weave their way through forests lush with pine and also oak trees, and marshes and also a lovely coastline in Lake Kissimmee State Park. Multiple creatures call this beautiful area house — from white-tailed deer come bobcats to bird to alligators come a bevy that fish.
Speaking the fish, this virtually 35,000-acre lake (the 3rd largest in the state), is a prime spot for angling. Teeming through largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and pickerel, among other catch-worthy fish, there are lots of avenues for anglers come reel in a huge one. Motorboats are allowed here, and there’s a watercraft ramp to make launching a cinch.
This huge waterscape lies about 70 miles south of Orlando and also is associated to both Lake Tohopekaliga and Lake Okeechobee by a device of rivers and canals. Various other popular activities include, camping, horseback riding, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and, that course, swimming.
8. Lake George
The brackish water the Lake George, the 2nd biggest freshwater lake in Florida, sets that apart from other waterways in the region. It likewise makes Lake George one optimal location to fish for types like bass and crappie. Insider’s tip: the center of the lake is house to a swarm of circular pilings once provided as targets for a bombing range. A ship sunk in this spot, making it a perfect place to reel in crappie.
Measuring around 46,000 acres, Lake George is about a tenth the dimension of Lake Okeechobee. This 12-mile-long lake is the biggest on the St. Johns River however boasts an typical depth of only eight feet. The western shores space technically component of the Ocala national Forest.
Multiple springs circulation into St. George, pass just enough salt right into its watery mix. The result? A distinctive environment perfect because that supporting various species, such together blue crabs, Atlantic stingrays, and striped bass. In fact, there room so countless blue crabs the Lake George ended up being home to among the only fresh water blue crab fisheries worldwide.
9. Lake Istokpoga
Lake Istokpoga averages about four feet in depth, which means you won’t require a huge boat to travel its almost 28,000-acre expanse. The sixth-largest Floridian lake, Istokpoga translates from Seminole come “our people died there.” no a very uplifting concept, yet the see is impeccable. Top top a shining day, you’ll be able to see the fluffy white clouds copy in the lake’s resplendent surface, i beg your pardon is regularly dotted v grasses and lily pads.
A freshwater lake, Istokpoga is rectangular in shape and also has end up being a haven for anglers. Favored catches include bluegill, crappie, sunfish, and largemouth bass. With 5 on-site watercraft ramps, it’s simple to transport your watercraft right into the lake’s cool waters.
Like most lakes top top this list, camping is available in the vicinity, as space cottage rentals.
Insider’s tip: Airboats are a safe, fabulous, and uber-fun method to get roughly this shallow lake. Various other good, shallow watercraft encompass canoes, kayaks, and pontoon boats.
10. Lake Seminole
The third biggest lake in Florida, Seminole is technically a reservoir. Together such, it’s also known as the Jim Woodruff Reservoir. This it s as beautiful as picture spot lies in Pinellas County, near the border of 3 states: Florida, Georgia, and also Alabama.
Measuring practically 37,500 acres, Lake Seminole was developed in the so late 1940s and early 1950s through damming the Flint and Cattahoochee Rivers. The goal: to develop hydroelectric power.
Today, Lake Seminole is still offered for hydroelectric power, and also for to chat purposes. It"s a famous vacation location for tourists from all three surrounding states — guests flock below for the prized fishing (multiple species of bass speak to this lake home, as do catfish, crappie, and bluegill). It’s also an amazing ar to waterski, Jet Ski, canoe, kayak, or swim.
Insider’s tip: take to the land for a hike (or bike) roughly Lake Seminole Park. In enhancement to lover water views, you’ll be cure to a close-up look at some of the state"s many beloved creatures — indigenous gopher tortoises come birds.
11. Lake Talquin
A quick, 19-mile jaunt west the Tallahassee, Lake Talquin is a beautiful place to invest a work frolicking v your family. The setting is surreal — rojo hills and lush, wooded bluffs tower over a lake filled v water for this reason clean, you’ll desire to dive appropriate in.
Hoping come fish? You’re no alone. Lake Talquin attractive anglers the all experience levels v its bounty of base (largemouth and striped), speckled perch, catfish, and also bream.
On the southern shore, you’ll discover resplendent Lake Talquin State Park. It functions a deep ravine and boardwalk frequented by walkers and fishing enthusiasts, and also a watercraft launch (for canoes and kayaks), picnic area, and also trails boasting incredible vistas that the lake and beyond.
12. Lake Griffin
Lake Griffin"s comprehensive marshes host its most precious treasures. It"s in ~ these calm waterways the you’ll capture sight that the area’s significant wildlife, including alligators, turtles, waterfowl, and plenty of fish. At almost 9,500 acres, Lake Griffin feeds the Ocklawaha River, which is part of the Harris Chain the Lakes.
The best method to uncover this peaceful lake is by boat: motor-driven, or canoe or kayak. Lake Griffin State Park, which lines the shores, additionally boasts go trails to take it guests farther into the organic landscape. That’s wherein you’ll view land-based creatures favor bears, coyotes, and bobcats.
The park is also home to huge oak trees, among which has been aged at end 400 years! book a guided tour with a ranger or set up camp for the night — you’ll it is in so happy you did.
13. Lake Eustis
A spring-fed lake, this over 7,000-acre watering hole deserve to be found in main Florida’s Lake County. Lake Eustis is also part of the Harris Chain the Lakes and connects to Lake Harris via the Dead River.
Lake Eustis additionally joins the St. Johns River, amongst others. The communities of Eustis (on the lake’s northeastern edge) and Tavares (to the south) space the the next cities providing vacation rentals, an excellent restaurants, shops, and equipment rentals.
While fishing enthusiasm flock here for its bass, the famous Lake Eustis pupfish are a safeguarded species. Other renowned things come do encompass boating, swimming, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and also windsurfing.
Insider’s tip: Sunset is the many beautiful time to hike The Walk, a quarter-mile-long follow that follows the shore.
14. Lake Apopka
Roughly 24 miles northwest the Orlando, Lake Apopka is just one of the largest in the state and acts as the headwaters the the Ocklawaha River. That spans 30,000 acres and is fed by the St. Johns River.
Photographers and also nature lovers flock to this large expanse for a glimpse of its spectacular wildlife. Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive enables them to execute so indigenous the comfort of their very own cars. A tourism takes around two hours, depending how plenty of times you avoid to take photos follow me the way.
Insider’s tip: Sadly, Lake Apopka has a reputation for being polluted (due come pesticide usage on neighborhood farms and also the building and construction of a levee). The great news? The St. Johns River management District has been cleaning up the lake, which has actually resulted in a recovery of fish and plant life.
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