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Two New England lakes named top destinations by U.S. News & World Report

Sunset sail on Lake Champlain.Stan Grossfeld/ Globe Staff

Two New England lakes clinched spots in a new U.S. News & World Report list of the 27 top lake destinations, released Friday.

The list highlights Maine’s Moosehead Lake and the Lake Champlain Islands in Vermont as well as other aquatic beauties around the country, such as Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Both Moosehead Lake and Lake Champlain are a five- to six-hour drive from Boston, but if you’re in the market for a weekend getaway, you can be sure to enjoy their gorgeous views, tranquil surroundings, and variety of activities.

Lake Champlain Islands, Vermont


Take a half-hour drive from Burlington to reach the majestic waters and sites of the Lake Champlain Islands in Vermont. A vertical archipelago, the islands of the 120-mile long Lake Champlain boast state parks, beaches, farms, and vineyards, giving you plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Head to the northern islet of Isle La Motte to feast your eyes on the world’s oldest coral reef, explore the wildlife refuges, or take the scenic route with the lake on either side of the 14-mile-long Island Line Trail meant for bikers or pedestrians. If you prefer to stay on four wheels, all the islands are connected via US Route 2, which also stretches to the mainland.

Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake.Steve Greenlee

Moosehead Lake, Maine

About three hours from Portland in the Maine Highlands region, the sublime Moosehead Lake is aptly named. Not only do moose in the region outnumber humans three to one (according to Destination Moosehead Lake), but the lake is actually shaped like a moose’s head, antlers and all. Embark on a moose safari, go fishing, jet-ski the 40-mile-long lake, and then unwind at one of the area’s storied inns or wilderness lodges. Maine’s largest lake has something for everyone.


Dana Gerber can be reached at Follow her @danagerber6.