New York is home to plenty of beautiful lakes, which offer the perfect setting for a fun waterside weekend getaway. Great for fishing, water sports, sunbathing, swimming and much more, lakes make fantastic vacation destinations. Though there are many lake towns in New York, here are six that stand out above the rest:

Best Lake Vacation Spots in New York

1. Saratoga Springs

You might know Saratoga Springs as the host of a famous horse racing racetrack, but that doesn’t quite do the town justice. For the past 200 years people from the state of New York have been flocking to this picturesque little town in order to enjoy some of the beautiful mineral lakes around it. There are many things to do in this town aside from visiting the springs and Saratoga Lake. Museums, skate parks, natural parks, horse racing, a historic battlefield and much more. It’s also a really nice place to live in, if you’re looking to move to a quieter place. The town’s beauty really shines during the spring.

Stay in Saratoga Springs!

2. Lake George Town

Lake George (the lake) might be the most famous and popular vacation destination for New Yorkers looking for rest and relaxation. Lake George (the town) is exactly what is should be. A small, clean and beautiful place where the people are nice and the residents seem to multiply in the summer. It is during that season that most tourists flock to the town to enjoy all of the things that it has to offer. Those things include fishing, boating, visiting the farmer’s market, tours on horseback and helicopters and many more things. This town is older than the United States itself and people have never stopped visiting. That should say everything you need to know about Lake George.

Stay in Lake George!

3. Skaneateles

On the coast of Lake Skaneateles, the only bad thing about this town is that you might have to take lessons for a month on how to pronounce the name of it. This town is the quintessential quiet lake town. It is perfect for people looking for a truly relaxed vibe without having to worry about swarms of tourists or noise. The main attraction of Skaneateles is the lake, so for those of you that are interested in boating, swimming and fishing look no further. The lake is one of the Finger Lakes and in reality the entire area is beautiful, but Skaneateles stands out as particularly so. If you don’t plan to get into the water I recommend visiting during the autumn, if you are planning on taking advantage of the lake I recommend the summer. Just don’t forget to bring some bait, or you might just end up catching nothing but a cold.

Stay in Skaneateles!

4. Ithaca

At the southern end of Cayuga Lake is the town of Ithaca. This town is known for its awe-inspiring waterfalls and old school upstate beauty. There are three universities in Ithaca so the town has a young and open-minded population that knows how to have fun. There are fun bars, concerts, museums and much street art throughout the town. The Commons (basically downtown) is a beautiful outdoor space that has been recently renovated. This lively town is well suited for tourists of any age, though younger tourists might be attracted by the atmosphere and the nightlife.

Stay in Ithaca!

5. Watkins Glen

Located on the southern tip of Seneca Lake (another Finger Lake) and adjacent to the state park that bears the same name, this town is perfect for the outdoor vacationer. Before I get into all of that though, I should mention that the town is most known for the auto racing track in the town and the Woodstock-style concert the town hosted back in 73’. There are miles of hiking and biking trails that run through the various ecosystems of the Watkins Glen state park. The place is also a hub for fishermen and hunters who enjoy using the gifts that nature has endowed on upstate New York. However, the most famous and beautiful sites in Watkins Glen are the waterfalls. Seneca Lake also offers many of the same activities as the other lakes.

Stay in Watkins Glen!

6. Aurora

Another town on the shores of Cayuga Lake, Aurora is worth visiting. It is the smallest town on this list, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of things to do. There are many wineries around the area that make delicious wine. Just promise us you won’t drink and drive! Part of visiting Aurora is staying in one of the historic bed and breakfast lodgings that will always make you feel like you’re part of the family. The most striking aspect of Aurora is the unbelievable natural beauty of the region which is equal parts natural and picturesque fruit orchards. Being on Cayuga Lake there is no shortage of things to do in the lake. I recommend visiting in the Spring or Fall when crops ripen, as it will add to the beauty of Aurora. While Aurora can make for a stand-alone weekend getaway, you might also want to consider pairing a visit there with one to Ithaca.

Stay in Aurora!

This article was written by Amid Bennaim.