Whether you have your sights set on a winter getaway packed with ice fishing and snowmobiling, or a summer vacation with abundant opportunities to swim, tube, and canoe, North Dakota offers something unforgettable for everyone. When you stay at one of many North Dakota vacation rentals, you can be in proximity to lakefront views, nature trails, and convenient fishing excursions. When planning your next getaway, consider visiting these 10 lakes in the state.

1. Lake Sakakawea

a north dakota lake
Source: Flickr / Bo Gordy-Stith

As the state’s largest lake, Lake Sakakawea draws tourists nationwide. With more miles of shoreline than California, this lake in both western and central North Dakota features recreational areas, parks and playgrounds, as well as sandy beaches for you to enjoy. Home to Lake Sakakawea State Park, this area gives you the opportunity to hike the North County National Scenic Trail, bird watch for elusive species, and explore the lake on watercrafts and boats with rentals from the De Trobriand Bay Marina.

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2. Rice Lake

a tree on a lake
Source: Flickr / Andrew Filer

Spend your days swimming, tubing, or boating on Rice Lake, and then set out to enjoy the entertainment options in Ward County. Get in a game of golf at the Turtleback Golf Course, or enjoy a leisurely walk on the Cedar Side Walking Trail. The Northern Star Theatre Company offers plays and musical performances throughout the year for locals and tourists to enjoy.

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3. Des Lacs Lake

boats on a lake in autumn
Source: Flickr / Alain Rouiller

If you’re craving scenic views and serenity on your next getaway, book a vacation rental that overlooks Des Lacs Lake. The Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge is adjacent to the lake and gives you and the family a chance to see wildlife wandering and flowers in bloom during the spring and summer seasons. After boating or kayaking on the lake, step out to see the area’s attractions, such as the Killarney House Gardens and the Stone Circle historic site. Take a customized boat tour during your getaway with Seafari Cruises to see even more sights.

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4. Diamond Lake

diamond lake
Source: Flickr / Aaron Carlson

Make Kulm your vacation destination for your next getaway and enjoy the serenity of Diamond Lake. Known as a fisherman’s delight, this 419-acre lake is stocked full of northern pike, yellow perch, and walleye perfect for that morning fishing trip. Get to know the area after a day swimming, floating, or kayaking in the lake with a horseback riding excursion hosted by Diamond Lake Corrals, or a stop in at Grotto Falls to see the spectacular waterfall.

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5. Chase Lake

chase lake
Source: Flickr / USGS Unmanned Aircraft Systems

As one of the largest lakes in the state, Chase Lake is a haven for bird watchers. This lake, located near Medina, features a huge nesting area for pelicans. Get to know this quaint area when enjoying a cup of Joe with the locals at the Coffee Cup Café in the mornings before heading out to the lake for some wet and wild adventures.

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6. Des Moines Lake

des moines lake
Source: Flickr / Andrew Filer

Located just a few miles from Robinson, Des Moines Lake is the perfect spot for some fun in the sun. Build sandcastles with the kids on the sandy shore, or head over to the fishing access point to catch something fresh for dinner. Take the family out for some comfort food at Carol’s Kitchen, or stop in for a cold brew at Hanson’s Bar before retreating back to your cozy vacation rental.

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7. Sibley Lake

sibley lake
Source: Flickr / Andrew Filer

Sibley Lake is popular among the avid fishing enthusiasts and features multiple boat ramps for you to jet set into the water for a day of fun in the sun. Drop in your fishing pole to catch and release some fish for the day and then enjoy the local amenities that include tours of the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site and the Midland Continental Depot Transport Museum. Travel just a few miles to reach the city of Steele and take in the World’s Largest Sandhill Crane.

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8. Powers Lake

powers lake
Source: Flickr / web@kstp.com

Find yourself immersed in fishing country when visiting Powers Lake during both the summer and winter. The lake is popular for ice fishing when the temperatures drop, and the lake is abundant in northern pike, crappie, trout, walleye, and perch for the summer season. After nabbing the catch of the day, take the family to the Lostwood National Refuge to see roaming wildlife, or challenge the kids to a game of tennis or basketball at one of the city’s two parks.

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9. East Arroda Lake

tall grass field near a lake
Source: Flickr / North Dakota

Head to Oliver County for your summer vacation or weekend getaway and spend your days admiring the scenic view that surrounds East Arroda Lake. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’re in luck because this lake offers an abundance of white crappies and northern pike. When you want to soak up the history of this quaint North Dakota area, take a tour of the Fort Totten historic site, or capture a family photo on the lookout tower at Sully’s Hill.

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10. Lake Metigoshe

kayaks at lake metogoshe state park
Source: Flickr / Roderick Eime

Admire views of the Turtle Mountains from your vacation rental when making Lake Metigoshe your vacation destination. Rent canoes or kayaks from the visitor’s center at the adjacent Lake Metigoshe State Park, or set out to see the beauty of the area with a walk along the shoreline trails. When hunger strikes, treat the family to some comfort food at The Dockside Bar.

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