Lakes To Visit In Florida

Best 15 Lakes To Visit In Florida (updated)

Florida is a great state for fishing, boating, and all sorts of water activities. In this article, we’ll look at the best lakes in Florida, from Orlando to Jacksonville.

All these lakes offer something different for every type of person, whether hiking or biking trails on the shoreline, an aquarium filled with sea life, or just a peaceful trip out on the water kayaking.

Did you know that Florida also has some gorgeous lakes? Well, there are over 15 of them!

1. Lake Apopka – Orlando

Lake Apopka – Orlando

Lake Apopka is a freshwater lake located just 20 miles from the heart of Orlando. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, and various other outdoor activities on this beautiful body of water that also serves as essential habitat for many different species. 

The lake and surrounding area are home to hundreds of species, including protected plants and animals like the American Bald Eagle. Visitors can also enjoy various fun activities at Lake Apopka, such as parasailing, jet-skiing, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, biking trails right on the shoreline (with playgrounds along the way), and much more!

Visitors can also take a trip to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, filled with an abundance of nature.

2. Lake Jackson – Tallahassee

 Lake Jackson – Tallahassee

In Tallahassee, Lake Jackson is one of Florida’s most popular lakes for hunting and fishing, with over 30 miles of shoreline. Its location in North Florida makes it an ideal spot for many different types of outdoor activities throughout the year, in addition to just hanging out by the lake or doing some recreational fishing.

Visitors to Lake Jackson should also check out the nearby Wakulla Springs State Park, home to a beautiful spring-fed river and one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs!

3. Lake Istokpoga – Sebring

Lake Istokpoga is a top-rated fishing lake located just south of Lake Okeechobee. Visitors can enjoy boating, kayaking, hiking trails on the shoreline, or take a ride down a zip line right over the water! It’s the perfect place for families, fishers, hikers, bird watchers, photographers, etc.…

Along Lake Istokpoga, there are also dozens of small lakes with miles upon miles of shoreline perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. Lake Istokpoga is also home to the annual Lake Istokpoga Blue Marlin Tournament every spring.

4. Lake June-in-Winter – Sebring

Lake June-in-Winter is another of Florida’s favorite fishing lakes located in Sebring, FL, known for its abundant nature and beautiful surroundings. This little lake has about 14 miles of shoreline with over eight different boat ramps that can get visitors out on the water quickly!

The nearby nature trails are great for hiking or biking right alongside the lake while enjoying all of this peaceful setting surrounded by forests and wildlife at every turn. Sometimes you may even see an alligator sunning itself on the bank!

5. Lake Eustis – Tavares

Lake Eustis is a beautiful clear-water lake located in Tavares, FL, perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, and other water activities. It’s also home to the annual Walleye Tournament every year.

This lake has it all with plenty of ramps for easy access, swimming areas, picnic spots, and even a playground for the kids! The surrounding area is also filled with parks and forests for those who want to explore more of Florida’s natural beauty.

6. Lake George – Winter Garden

Lake George is a small but famous lake located in Winter Garden, just west of Orlando. The lake is evident and great for swimming, fishing, or just cruising around on a boat. Visitors can also enjoy hiking the surrounding trails that are filled with wildlife, including alligators!

Lake George is a popular spot for bass fishing, with eight different boat ramps located conveniently along the shore so anyone can drive their boat right into the water. It’s also home to several large family-style campgrounds to stay close by during your visit.

7. Lake Nellie – Winter Park

Lake Nellie is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets as it offers visitors an abundance of fun activities without having to travel far from Orlando. Located in Winter Park, it’s only about 20 minutes away from downtown Orlando but has plenty to offer during your stay.

Lake Nellie is a large lake with about 100 acres of shoreline and over 12 miles of nature trails that can be enjoyed during the day or night under the moon and stars. Visitors can also enjoy visiting the nearby Rollins College Arboretum, that’s filled with all sorts of rare plants and flowers!

8. Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge – DeLeon Springs

The Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is located right between New Smyrna Beach and DeLand off SR 44 on the west coast of Florida, so it’s an ideal spot for those who want to take a quick trip down to Florida’s beautiful Atlantic Coast from Orlando or Daytona without having to travel too far from home.

Lake Woodruff is one of Florida’s best spots for birdwatching, hiking, biking, fishing, and enjoying the natural beauty around you! The wildlife refuge has over 2 miles of trails open to visitors year-round, so it’s easy to take in all this beautiful scenery no matter when you visit. This is also a popular destination for paddling to enjoy being on the water with an abundance of bird species watching your every move!

9. Lake Dora – Tavares

Lake Dora is another top-rated lake located in Tavares, which is already known as one of Central Florida’s most popular vacation destinations, sports hotspots, and outdoor adventure mechas!

This little lake has about 35 miles of shoreline and is also a popular spot for fishing, boating, and water sports like wakeboarding and kneeboarding! It’s known as one of the best lakes in Florida for fishing because it has everything from largemouth bass to speckled perch. The surrounding area is excellent for hiking, too, with several trails near the lake, so you can even take your fishing pole along!

10. Lake Minnehaha – Clermont

Lake Minnehaha is located in Clermont, about 30 minutes west of Orlando off US Hwy 27 on County Road 561, so it’s easily accessible to anyone visiting this part of Central Florida. This little lake has just over 2,300 acres of water and 94 miles of shoreline, making it a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and all sorts of water activities.

The surrounding area is also filled with parks and forests for those who want to explore more of Florida’s natural beauty. There are also plenty of places to stay nearby if you plan on making a day trip or even a weekend out of your visit to Lake Minnehaha!

11. Lake Yale – Montverde

Lake Yale is one of central Florida’s hidden gems that many people don’t even know exists until they visit this beautiful part of the state! This lake has about 3,290 acres of water and 56 miles of shoreline, making it a must-see for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Florida looking to have an adventure.

The surrounding area is also popular with fans of off-roading, so many come to peddle around on their all-terrain vehicles or take in the scenery by bicycle. There are plenty of campgrounds nearby, too, so you can easily set up your tent or park your RV right near the water!

12. Lake Louisa – Clermont

Lake Louisa is located just outside Clermont, which is already one of central Florida’s best places to visit, engage in outdoor activities, and take advantage of the local scenery. This famous lake has about 1,584 acres of water and 39 miles of shoreline, which is why it’s often referred to as Florida’s “oasis.”

Lake Louisa is an excellent spot for fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, or any other type of water activity you can think of! There are also plenty of trails through this area. Still, you have to be careful if you go exploring because there are all sorts of large wildlife that can be found here, like bald eagles, white-tail deer, and wild turkey, along with many others, including mosquitos, so bring your bug spray too!

13. Lake Griffin – Fruitland Park

Lake Griffin is a beautiful, clear-water lake located in Fruitland Park, which is about 30 minutes north of Orlando. This lake has about 1,002 acres of water and 33 miles of shoreline, making it the perfect place to relax and take in all the natural beauty that Florida offers.

Lake Griffin is an excellent spot for fishing, swimming, and just taking in the peaceful sounds of nature. The surrounding area is also famous for birdwatching, with over 240 different species known to call this area home at one point or another, including Bald Eagles!

14. Lake Weohyakapka – Frostproof

Lake Weohyakapka (also known as Lake Weohyakapka Regal) is a large, beautiful lake located in Frostproof, which is about an hour and a half south of Orlando. This popular tourist destination has over 9,000 acres of water and 192 miles of shoreline, making it the perfect place to spend a day or even a weekend fishing, boating, or just taking in the natural beauty of central Florida.

The surrounding area is also great for hiking and camping, with plenty of places to set up your tent or park your RV right near the water. There are also several state parks located close by, so you can easily take advantage of all that they have to offer!

15. Lake Hatchineha – Winter Haven

Lake Hatchineha is a beautiful, clear-water lake located in Winter Haven, which is about an hour and a half south of Orlando. This popular tourist destination has over 5,000 acres of water and 129 miles of shoreline, making it the perfect place to spend a day or even a weekend fishing, boating, or just taking in the natural beauty of central Florida.

The surrounding area is also great for hiking and camping, with plenty of places to set up your tent or park your RV right near the water. There are also several state parks located close by, so you can easily take advantage of all that they have to offer!

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