Are you searching for serenity or want to make a splash? Whether your preference is wild or mild, visit the Keystone State for the perfect lakeside vacation. Stay in a cabin, cottage, resort, or rental home just steps away from the water and enjoy substantial privacy — the perfect combination for a thrilling (or relaxing) escape. We’ve pulled together some accommodation suggestions to help you jumpstart your lake vacation planning today!
1. Lake Erie
Nearest City: Erie
The warm, sparkling waters of Lake Erie provide the perfect lakeside vacation. Thanks to shallow depths and high temperatures during the summer months, Lake Erie is ideal for on-the-water sports such as boating, swimming, and sport fishing, and offers a variety of rental accommodations from casual waterfront resorts to charming cottages. Be sure to explore Presque Isle State Park, a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula with a shoreline perfect for lounging in the sun and capturing Instagram-worthy shots of stunning sunsets. Or see if you can spy the lake’s iconic resident and Nessie’s cousin, Bessie, an alleged 30- to 40-foot-long "monster.”
Stay here: Book a cottage, hotel room, or suite at the family-friendly Lakeview On the Lake resort that provides spectacular views of Lake Erie. Or enjoy the charming accommodations of the Clements Lake Erie Cottages, complete with beautiful sunset views over the lake.
2. Lake Wallenpaupack
Nearest City: Hawley
In the heart of the Pocono Mountains, the man-made, 5,700-acre Lake Wallenpaupack offers 52 miles of uninterrupted shoreline, giving you plenty of places to explore. The area also offers an array of kid-friendly attractions and activities, ensuring you and the kiddos never run out of things to do. Spring spurs great fishing, boating, and action on lakeside trails, while summer sun fuels swimming, jet skiing, and paddle boarding excursions. Away from the water, museums, riding stables, and family parks provide additional entertainment options. After a full day of exploration, rest and recharge at one of the area’s boutique hotels or cozy cabins.
Stay here: Reserve a luxury suite at the Silver Birches, a lakeside resort that offers kayak, pontoon boat, and other rentals. Other nearby accommodations include East Shore Lodging or family-friendly Tanglwood Resorts and Loch Highlands.
3. Canadohta Lake
Nearest City: Union City and Titusville
Explore the great outdoors at Canadohta Lake, one of Pennsylvania's largest natural lakes. The spring-fed beauty sets the scene for hiking, biking, walking, boating, and year-round fishing. Spend your nights relaxing and unplugging with a bonfire or take a boat ride under the evening stars. Travel back in time with a visit to the Drake Well in Titusville, the centerpiece that sparked the first boom of the American oil industry. Bringing your own equipment? You’re in luck! Many rentals in this area come with a rowboat and fishing dock.
Stay here: Rent a cottage for the entire family at Higby's Campground & Cottages.
4. Conneaut Lake
Nearest City: Conneaut Lake
Enjoy peaceful, waterfront serenity as you experience the charm and friendliness of Conneaut Lake, the state’s largest natural lake, spanning 929 acres. The lake’s numerous water sports include fishing, swimming, and water skiing. Groups of all sizes will love calling their cottage rental here their “home away from home.”
Stay here: Find privately-owned cottages and rental homes through Conneaut Lake Resort Rentals.
5. Edinboro Lake
Nearest City: Edinboro and Erie
The tranquil and picturesque Edinboro Lake is perfect for the Happy Traveler seeking a break from the usual hustle and bustle. A college town for most of the year, Edinboro transforms into a resort community every summer. While on the smaller side encompassing just 245 acres, the lake is still perfect for water-based activities such as boating, swimming, and fishing. While staying in Edinboro, you are just a short drive from Presque Isle State Park, Erie Zoo, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, and Waldameer Park & Water World. Wrap up your busy day with a lakeside stay at a rustic log cabin.
Stay here: Rent a cabin that can accommodate up to six adults or a family of seven at Edinboro Lake Resort.
6. Fairview Lake
Nearest City: Tafton and Hawley
Here’s your chance to sharpen your bass fishing skills at Fairview Lake while on vacation. Legend has it Mike Iaconelli — the only angler to have won the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year, and B.A.S.S. Nation Championship — caught his very first bass as a boy at this 169-acre natural lake in Pike County. Surrounded by vacation homes and near Costa's Family Fun Park, Fairview Lake is ideal for family-oriented getaways.
Stay here: Relax just steps away from the shoreline with Martins Lakefront Cottages.
7. Lake Genero
Nearest City: Scranton
Get away to a peaceful lakefront cabin at Lake Genero surrounded by the scenic vistas of the Pocono Mountains. Here you’ll enjoy plenty of fun, on-the-water activities, including fishing, swimming, and boating. Looking for more action? Drive into nearby Scranton to visit the Electric City Aquarium & Reptile Den, Steamtown National Historic Site, or take a ride on a vintage trolley at The Electric City Trolley Museum, or just down the street from Lake Genero visit Claws ‘N’ Paws, the local wild animal park, to pet an alligator or feed the giraffes.
Stay here: Overlook the lake as you camp or glamp at Lake Genero.
8. Lake Harmony
Nearest City: Long Pond and White Haven
Lake Harmony is a hot spot for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring clear mountain water perfect for thrilling watersports. At two and a half miles long, the natural glacier lake allows powerboats for boating, water skiing, and jet skiing aficionados. Additionally, fishing in Lake Harmony is top-notch, with healthy populations of bass, rock bass, sunfish, bluegill, trout, and perch. Local attractions include the H2O Indoor Water Park, Pocono Raceway, and miles of hiking trails at Hickory Run State Park — all activities ideal for family escapes. Relaxed accommodations include lakeside lodges, down-to-earth villas, and duplex cottages.
9. Lake Nockamixon
Nearest City: Quakertown and Springfield
After a day of hiking, biking, or horseback riding on more than 50 miles of trails at Nockamixon State Park, plan to spend the night at one of the 10 modern cabins available to rent throughout the year on the south side of Lake Nockamixon. The 1,450-acre lake is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and a destination for boaters, anglers, and windsurfers alike. Complement your getaway with some action on land, exploring Buck County’s quaint charm with a drive to nearby Quakertown for some antique shopping and pass through the Knecht’s Covered Bridge that’s been standing since 1873.
Stay here: After spending a day in the rugged outdoors, relax and unwind at one of Nockamixon State Park’s modern, heated cabins, complete with a furnished living area, kitchen/dining area, and toilet/shower room.
10. Raystown Lake
Nearest City: Hesston
Raystown Lake is the only lake within the state where you can stay in a houseboat during your vacation. At an impressive 8,300 acres and 32 -miles long, the largest lake in PA is a favorite destination for fisherman, boaters, beachgoers, kayakers, and all water enthusiasts. It offers plenty of opportunities to breathe in the fresh air, walk through the forest, and enjoy the surrounding unspoiled shoreline scenery.