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Best Snap-On Boat Covers for Pontoon Boats

A pontoon boat is a worthwhile investment that will bring enjoyment to you and your family for years to come. Maintaining the condition of your boat is important to ensure its long-term durability and appearance. The furniture, boat accessories and gear can last significantly longer with the proper maintenance and care

What is the simplest and most cost-effective way to protect your boat? That’s easy – a cover.

The best covers will act as a solid, protective barrier between your boat and the outside elements. From lightweight to heavy-duty, there are many options available.
 
While this topic was previously discussed in the article: The Best Boat Covers of 2019, this article specifically covers pontoon boats. We will go over several options to help narrow down the playing field to the best cover protection for your boat.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

      WHAT A PONTOON BOAT COVER CAN DO

A pontoon boat cover works by wrapping around the exterior of the boat. Many of these polyester canvases work like a tent, with inserted poles that the cover wraps around. The base is often tightened with ropes, buckle straps, or some sort of stretch cord.

 

What is the point of this type of cover for a pontoon boat?

 

Consider that, if left uncovered, the inside of the boat would be susceptible to the outdoor elements. Rain, snow, and UV damage can cause irreversible damage to your boat. Keeping moisture out of the boat will also help prevent mildew and mold buildup.

 

Debris can easily fall into and coat the inside of the boat. Sticks, pollen, dirt, and even nest building insects can wreak havoc on the lining and fabrics inside the boat. Bird droppings are a nuisance that can be avoided by using a cover. Animal droppings can carry harmful bacteria and diseases, so it is best to keep the critters out.  A cover secured in place can also protect any equipment stored onboard. 

Even though the cover is an extra, upfront cost, the long-term benefits of protecting your boat will pay off. Avoid costly repairs and pay less up front by purchasing a decent cover. Now that you know what a cover can do, it is time to consider a few things before making that final choice.

Things to consider in choosing...

There are so many options to consider when you’re in the market for a new boat cover. We want to help you make the right choice, so let’s make sure you have your bases covered.

1

WATER PROOF OR WATER RESISTANT 

The fabric on many of these covers are treated with a water-resistant coating. This type of coating will act as a barrier, but will not be able to withstand heavy rainfall or standing water. You might want to invest in a cover that can stand up to rainfall if this is a major consideration.

2

MATERIAL DIFFERENCES 

The main two types of material that you are likely to see when browsing for a pontoon boat cover are cotton canvas and synthetic material, like polyester. Synthetic blends are often more protective than their cotton counterparts due to an added layer of acrylic. The extra protection assists in keeping the water out.

 

To get technical with the material types, there is a durability measurement, called denier. This measurement represents the thickness and stability of the cover. For better protection, thicker covers are better. For a specific number, 600D or higher is typically considered high quality material.

3

OPT FOR THE BIGGER SIZES 

Opting for the next size up will help you avoid struggling with a too small product when covering your pontoon. This is especially true if your boat is in between the listed sizes or on the end of the listed size for the cover.

4

AVOID BRIGHT COLORS 

You may be tempted to purchase a bright and appealing cover. However, do not be tempted by colorful covers. These covers often have a reputation for bleeding into your boat’s upholstery.

5

BUY FOR YOUR NEEDS 

Not all pontoon boat covers are made equal. And, no, we do not mean differences in quality here.

 

Some covers are made for boats that spend lengthy periods in the water. Others are lightweight and great for storing in a shed or somewhere covered. Meanwhile, others are made to be trailered. Since these covers will need to withstand high speeds/winds, they are often equipped with extra ties and air vents to prevent ballooning.

6

STORING AND WINTERIZING YOUR PONTOON BOATS 

Storing your boat for the winter is a little more involved than slapping a nice cover on and calling it a season.

7

CLEAN YOUR BOAT

Sounds simple enough, but this process is time consuming. You will need to clean inside and out to prevent mildew, hardened debris, and any food residue that would attract critters. Remove all your gear and extra accessories and give your boat a proper scrub and vacuum. Apply mildew and rust protection, making sure to wait until everything is completely dry before covering.

 

To protect your engine, you will want to check your boat’s manufacturer guide. Most will follow these steps: Disconnect the battery and/or drain the engine, spray fogging oil into the carburetor and all around disconnected spark plugs, empty the gas tank to about ¾ full and fill the engine with propylene glycol based antifreeze, ensure all valves and seals are shut off, and change oil and oil filters as well.

 

Now it is time to cover your boat with your pontoon boat cover. Make sure there is some air flow to prevent mold buildup.

 

Make sure that you update your insurance policy to protect yourself against theft. Depending on where you are storing your boat, you will need to take appropriate actions to prevent vandalism.

PRODUCT REVIEWS


Overall Rating: 4.5/5


EmpireCovers Aqua Armor Pontoon Boat Covers brings a top of the line cover to your pontoon boat. This cover is ideal for those who do not have a boat garage to house their boat.  This cover protects against most of the elements. It blocks snow, sun, heavy rains and winds. This cover will keep those elements from penetrating to the boat below the distinctive blue cover.

 

Not only does the Aqua Armor act as a block against damaging weather, it is 100% waterproof. It does not simply repel or resist water, but the 1,200 Denier polyester fabric causes water to bead and drip off.  The breathable material will protect against mildew, dampness and musty odors Heavy duty shock cord hem gives the snug fit you desire when traveling with your boat, or if it is sitting in rough wind.

Pros

  • Reinforced seams and sturdy material
  • Quality, 1200D polyester
  • Breathable fabric
  • Auctor ipsum dolor sagittis

Cons

  • Some users report leaks after heavy rainfall

Overall Rating: 3.5/5


Classic Accessories StormPro has crafted this marine grade pontoon boat cover. Although this cover can cost over $200, we definitely feel that this product is worth it. This boat cover was designed to last and will not shrink or stretch with heavy use.The cover remains durable with heavy use or in heavy storms.  The cover is made with high-strength, water resistant polyester fabric. Once in place, the cover has a sleek appearance that adds to its appeal.

The elastic hem, adjustable transom flap, and buckled strapping system will keep this cover in place even during intense winds while duel air vents prevent ballooning. This remains true for high traveling speeds as well. 

A definite bonus that comes with the StormPro is the storage bag that comes with the purchase. This gives you a place to store the cover when the boat is in use.

 

 Classic Accessories wants you to purchase  peace of mind, not just a product. This is why they make sure that they take care of you after the purchase with quality US-based customer service and a five-year warranty. 

Pros

  • Great for various weather conditions
  • Snug, worry-free fit
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • The color fades a bit quickly if left out in the elements

Overall Rating: 3.0/5


The Brightent pontoon cover is easy on the budget, so If you are looking for adequate protection at a great deal, this cover may be right for you. There are two size options along with the adjustable straps, so getting this cover to fit snugly on your pontoon boat should not be an issue.

 

The material is 240D woven polyester and treated with PU, water repellent, and UV-proof coating. While this is a wonderful cover, it is not heavy-duty when compared to some of the others on this list. One of the benefits to this is that one person can manage to fit the cover on without assistance. It is also easy to fold for storage and washing.

 

The fabric is strong and works well for short-term storage.

Pros

  • Budget friendly
  • Lightweight and easy to put on
  • Surprisingly durable

Cons

  • Becomes weak and brittle after continued sun exposure

Overall Rating: 3.5/5


You will have your choice of three colors with this MSC Trailerable pontoon boat cover; specifically, beige, blue, or a nice grey. The Trailerable is our choice for a practical cover. Several sizes are offered so you can make sure you get one that fits your boat snugly, so you can travel or store it with no worries.

 

The durable, marine grade polyester canvas is tough and capable of withstanding strong winds and a variety of natural elements. This cover is specifically designed for both long-term storage and highway travel, so the tough fabric is essential.

 

No matter the shape of your boat, this cover should adjust to fit it.

Pros

  • Strong and waterproof polyester
  • Dependable for long-term storage
  • Fits snugly and is tailorable

Cons

  • No air vents lead the cover to balloon when traveling

Overall Rating: 3.0/5


Another product from Classic Accessories is the Stellex. This cover is marine grade strength. The classic blue cover looks sharp once fit snugly on your boat.  The cover has weather, UV, and mildew protective coatings.

 

An adjustable transom flap and elastic cord provide a tighter, more custom fit for your pontoon while a rope attaches through D-rings for a tailored fit.  A bonus with this cover is that the fabric is 20% lighter, making it easier to handle.

Pros

  • Great for long-term storage
  • Four-year warranty
  • Good cover for the price point

Cons

  • The cover is not durable enough to use while traveling

Wrapping Up!

Year-round considerations for protecting your pontoon boat are essential in its upkeep. A good cover will benefit your boat through each season and all the different elements and challenges that they bring along with them. This means that if you get a quality cover, you can even use it for winterization. Follow our guide and considerations to help choose the best snap-on cover for your pontoon boat. If you have never thought a-boat it, now is the time to keep your investment afloat.

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Why You Need a Vacation by the Lake Every Now and Then

An image of a lakeside with a crescent moon in the sky

North America is home to a tremendous number of lakes and bodies of fresh water. Therefore, whenever you’re looking for a quick getaway from your stressful or monotonous routines, a lakeside getaway is one of the most convenient options available. A short vacation or a weekend getaway to the lake offers a variety of opportunities to both unwind and connect with nature. You can also engage in some adrenaline pumping adventure and sporting activities along the shores.

Let’s go over some of the great things a lakeside vacation has to offer that will have you visiting the waters every now and then.

Do Your Lungs a Favor

Let’s start with the basics. The air that we breathe in urban areas tends to be polluted with a number of contaminants. Conversely,  the air around fresh bodies of water tend to be fresher. Besides, the air around the lakes and other bodies of freshwater contains more negative ions than city air. Negative ions improve oxygen intake by our bodies. You will love this dose of fresh air as it boosts your mental alertness and helps you sleep better by stabilizing your serotonin levels.

Unplug and Immerse in Nature

A lakeside getaway is the perfect opportunity to unplug and go off the radar. Forego the constant phone and text interruptions. Emails can wait.  Take the plunge and turn everything off.  Use this as an opportunity to connect with those around you and with nature. The natural beauty and the serene environment that a lake setting provides can assist you with recharging your own battery, and will energize you for a return to your everyday life.  You can go hiking into the woods, take a dip in the waters around you, or just watch the stars in the clear sky late at night and sleep to the sound of the water.

Immense Health Benefits

The air that you breathe or the sound sleep that you’re able to get during your lakeside getaway, all have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. Besides these, there are a number of healthy activities that you can engage in while you are at the lake.  You can always engage in activities such as hiking, trekking, cycling, or swimming that will further enhance the health benefits that you are able to derive from your visits to the lake.

A vacation at the lake is the perfect opportunity to get back in shape and work on your endurance. You can do a number of things in this regard from running through difficult and strenuous terrains to swimming or canoeing across the lake. Furthermore, the tranquil environment can be a perfect spot to practice meditation and yoga.

Sun Exposure

Let’s face it, our modern lifestyles largely deprive us of the sun exposure that’s vital for our bodies. Even if we aren’t stuck on our office chairs through most of the day, the buildings and the small living spaces do not allow appropriate amounts of sunlight to get through. A getaway to the lake every now and then provides the perfect opportunity to make up for that.

Lake houses create the perfect setting for sun exposure so we can receive our dose of vitamin D and ensure that our bones remain healthy as a result.

Bond with Your Friends and Family

A vacation by the lake is a traditional American getaway for families and friends to bond and have a good time. A lakeside vacation offers a focused time for you to spend quality time with your friends and family. There are a number of activities that you can do in groups of friends and family such as:

  • Hiking in the woods
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Boating or canoeing

Besides all these activities, a campfire by the lake is another amazing activity to spend time and bond with your family and friends. You can engage in storytelling, play music, and sing together while you gather around the fire and make memories that will stick with you for a lifetime.

Adventure and Water Sports

Besides all the natural beauty and health benefits, a lakeside vacation is studded with sporting and adventure opportunities. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, a lakeside vacation will help you sustain your adrenaline levels too. You can go for cycling across the hilly terrain, engage in cliff jumping, go kayaking or speed boating and much more.

A vacation by the lake is packed with fun, health benefits, as well as opportunities to connect with nature. If you’re looking to go on a much-needed vacation by the lake, you can check out our Destinations page for some of the best accommodation options to rent out or to buy the best lake houses or lakeside properties in North America.

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Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

Summer is all about getting outside, enjoying some fresh air, and basking in that summer sun. It’s hot outside though, and that lake starts to look more and more tempting as the temperatures rise.
Whether you’d like to swim in a lake that you know of, or you found a secret swimming hole on your vacation, take a moment to consider whether it’s safe to swim in before you jump in. These warning signs will make it easy to judge if that lake will be as safe as it is refreshing.

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

Sometimes, it can be easy to figure out if a lake is safe to swim in. For instance, if a lake in your neighborhood never has people jumping in, you can assume there’s a reason why.

There are other warning signs though of dangers that can pose a risk while swimming, or which can foreshadow possible illness if you jump in. To protect yourself and your friends, take a look here for some guidelines.

Check Yourself


Part of swimming safely in a lake is to check yourself first. If you’re not feeling well, don’t risk it. Hang out on the side and stick only your feet in. Do not jump into any natural lake with an open wound either.


Is that Algae?

?

Take a look around the river. Do you see algae building up? Even in a still lake or river, you might see some algae. This little green plane looks harmless, but if there’s a lot of it, be cautious. If you swim during an algae bloom, there is a risk of getting sick, especially if you drink some of the water accidentally.
Not all algae are harmful, but there are certain types like cyanobacteria that can be dangerous. Cyanobacteria can be toxic, causing irritation if you touch it and internal damage if you swallow it.
But if you're like me, you probably aren't an algae expert. In terms of knowing if the algae are in bloom or if it's dangerous, you should be able to pick out a distinct smell. It will be off-putting and is a good sign that you shouldn't jump in.


Check Your Surroundings


One thing that people forget when swimming in lakes: there’s no lifeguard. If someone gets hurt, you need to be prepared to help them. This is especially true if you’re swimming with young children; keep an eye on them at all times.

Also, check to see if you can see the bottom of the lake. If you can't, this isn't necessarily a problem, but it's better to know what you'll encounter and how deep the water is just in case you have any problems staying afloat. This is especially true when it comes to slippery rocks. Those can be very dangerous since people are known to slip and hit their heads.


A Fast Current

!

​You might find a beautiful lake to swim in that has a current to it. It’s easy to think that you’ll be able to move right though, but powerful swimming currents are hard to combat. Before you jump in, take a second to think about how fast that current is moving and if your swimming skills are good enough to match up.
Don’t pretend you’re a better swimmer than you are. Step your feet in the water to test how strong the current is. Be sure not to go in any further, even in shallow water. Another method is to throw a stick into the water to see how fast it moves. If you couldn’t catch the stick if you swim after it, you’re at risk to be overpowered in the current.
Also, check to be sure that no current lead to anywhere dangerous. This isn't a movie; you don't want to end up falling down a waterfall because the current is too strong. Try looking for a place with a calm current, or no current at all.


River Merging

!

​​Speaking of currents, the current will be strongest when two rivers meet. This spot will be much stronger than the current for individual rivers and can baffle even the most experienced swimmers. Make sure there are no dangerous areas like this when you begin swimming.
You can check for other danger signs too, like rocks or sharp turns in the river. If you do get swept down the current for a moment, you don’t want to accidentally get tripped up and hurt by some rocks.




See Any Signs?

!

Check around you to see if there are any signs posted around the area. If the land is publicly owned, these signs will let you know what is safe and what isn’t safe. For instance, if there’s a sign that says “no diving,” this means that it won’t be safe to jump in head first. Always make sure to check the water’s depth before you dive in anyway.
Take a look online to see the status of the water for public swimming spots too. Many states list the swimming conditions for public lakes so you can see if the water has been contaminated.


Water Testing

!

​People can get ill from swimming in streams that are contaminated with fecal matter. This might be because the lake is near farmland where animals live or where there are other contaminants like fertilizers. If you’re going to swim near an area like this, pick up a product like API Master Test Kits.
These kits are made to test and monitor the water quality, checking for the pH balance, ammonia, nitrite, and phosphate levels. They're not overly expensive and can be used to test places the EPA hasn't gotten to.


API Master Test Kits

4.5
  • Contains one (1) API POND MASTER TEST KIT Pond Water Test Kit 500-Test, including 6 bottles of testing solution, 3 color cards and 4 glass test tubes with cap
  • Helps monitor water quality and prevent invisible water problems that can be harmful to fish
  • Measures ornamental pond pH balance, Ammonia content, Nitrite levels and Phosphate content
  • Contains six test bottles, instructions, glass test tubes and color charts for 500+ tests
    Use weekly for monitoring and when water or fish problems appear
  • Complete kit for testing pond and tap water
  • Tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite and phosphate levels

Conclusion


Swimming safely can feel like a hassle when you just want to jump in the river and cool off after a hot day, but it’s definitely worth it. Before you run off to have a great time, think about the safety of the lake you’re considering.
Some signs will be obvious, like actual signs, but others, like algae, may take a minute. Either way, you’ll be thankful that you’ve remained safe and in good health when you jump in.

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Best Pontoon Swim Raft

Everyone wants more space in their home, whether you’re on land or on the water. Yes, on the water. If you own a pontoon boat, you already know how useful pontoon swim rafts are for adding to your limited space. However, you might feel hesitant about buying one. There are different sizes and options for families and different uses. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the top pontoon swim rafts to help you make an informed decision.

Product Reviews

This giant floating mat by Intex is made to give you lots of space to relax on the water with your friends and family. It’s designed to provide you with the most amount of comfort by keeping you right at the water’s surface. You’ll be able to feel a bit of water to keep cool without feeling like you’re being flooded.


Attach this floating mat to other floats using the float connectors. If you don’t have enough room with one, you’ll certainly have enough space when you connect them together. No matter how many mats you have, they’ll all fold up small for storage until you’re ready to get out on the water again.

  • Relax with friends on the giant floating mat 
  • New design for optimal comfort keeps you right at the water surface, letting just enough water in to keep you cool 
  • Features Intex connect 'N float connectors for use with other floats 
  • 114'' x 84'', 20ga vinyl 
  • Folds small for storage 

Pros

  • Easy to walk on, lay on, or stand on
  • Can fit up to 8 people comfortably, and will not need refilling for months
  • It will fold slightly when you’re on it to keep you comfortable

Cons

x  It takes a long time to inflate, and there are few instructions for it

The Aqua Expandable Floating Island Raft gives you a large amount of space. As the name suggests, this platform is expandable, giving you more than enough room to relax in the water with your friends. Lay back on the water-activated fabric, which gets bolder and brighter when it hits the water. Not to mention that it’s so soft, making it perfect for laying out in the sun.
This floating island raft isn’t only eye-catching but durable too. It’s heavy-duty, with extreme buoyancy and stability. There are zippers on three sides of it too, meaning that you’re able to connect multiple planks to create an even bigger island of rafts.
Connect a whole bunch without worrying about toppling it, especially since you have anchor dock points as well. The mooring loops will help you anchor the raft so there are no worries about floating away.
When you’re completely finished, use the EZ in-out air valves, which help the raft deflate and inflate easily. A portable air pump will help you get out on the water even faster.

  • SUPER-SIZED PLANK: Expandable, Floating Party Platform Island for You and Multiple Friends with dimensions 11’ x 5.6’ (333 cm x 171 cm) 
  • WATER ACTIVATED FABRIC: Luxuriously Comfortable Cozi-Soft Fabric gets bolder and brighter when wet. 
  • HEAVY DUTY PLANK: Outstanding Buoyancy and Stability made from 60% thicker material than your normal pool float. 

Pros

  • The position of the float makes it comfortable to sit on
  • The mooring loops keep it steady in the water

Cons

x  It takes a long time to inflate, and there are few instructions for it

If you’re looking for top quality, your search stops right here with the Solstice Inflatable Floating Dock. It’s designed to be rigid with high pressure to stay afloat when you step out on the water. Thanks to the drop-stitch construction, this raft will remain strong no matter what you throw at it. This swim raft supports 3 to 5 people, standing or sitting.


Use the 6 stainless steel D-ring tie-downs to keep the raft completely stable. When you want to move it, the 6 reinforced grab handles can help you get a good grip. And once you’re all done, the H3 high-pressure valve is meant to make inflating and deflating easy. Just be sure to inflate between 7 and 10 PSI for the optimal flotation once you’re out on the water.

  • SUPER-SIZED PLANK: Expandable, Floating Party Platform Island for You and Multiple Friends with dimensions 11’ x 5.6’ (333 cm x 171 cm) 
  • WATER ACTIVATED FABRIC: Luxuriously Comfortable Cozi-Soft Fabric gets bolder and brighter when wet. 
  • HEAVY DUTY PLANK: Outstanding Buoyancy and Stability made from 60% thicker material than your normal pool float. 

Pros

  • Even heavier people can stand on it without tipping it
  • It’s easy to climb atop it
  • Very solid feeling underneath your feet

Cons

x  It might take some practice to stabilize this raft

"

Benefits of a Pontoon Swim Raft

All of these rafts are generally easy to install and that they can be used for many uses, not just boating. Attach one to help with swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, or other underwater tasks. They're designed to be stable to increase your available space, but there's more to them than that.

"

Safety

All swim rafts are designed with safety in mind. This means that they are resistant to slipping, have soft and round edges in case you do happen to slip off and are made from durable, high-quality materials. No matter what you encounter, you will remain safe.

"


Stability

The design of a pontoon raft is made stable so that it can support a lot of weight. Your entire crew can stand atop it without it collapsing or tipping over.

"


Maintenance

In all, having a swim raft means much less work for you. You don’t really need to do much maintenance at all. All you have to do is keep everything clean and free of debris.

"

Comfort

You can rest and relax on one of these rafts since they are designed to be large. They have plenty of room to spread out, even if there are other people on the raft. Of course, you won't slip with the patterns underfoot that provide you with some traction.

"

Ease of Use

With the included ladder some of these options have, you can get in and out of the water with ease. It’s also easy to install the raft and anchor it to keep it perfectly steady. Attach the rope firmly and you can relax without worrying.

Conclusion:

It can be difficult to choose the best pontoon swim raft for your needs. You want something durable, strong, and not to mention spacious. Choose a larger option if space is your priority, or pick out one that has the quality you’d like when you go out on the water. No matter which option you choose, you can relax in luxury, floating out over the water in your very own swim platform.

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Top Benefits of Swimming Gloves

Swimming is not only a fun and relaxing past-time, it's also a challenging and effective form of exercise. All you really need to get a great workout in the pool is your swimsuit and a pair of goggles. Swimming is a great alternative to gym workouts and gives you a total body workout that's lower impact.


What a lot of people don’t realize is that there actually are some useful types of workout equipment and accessories that you can use to maximize your pool workouts. One of the most effective and easy to use items is swimming gloves.


Challenge yourself and get in a much more efficient workout with a good pair of swimming gloves, whether you’re taking a water aerobics class, water jogging or simply swimming laps. 

Swim Gloves Benefits

Swimming gloves are a pretty straightforward concept. They’re simply gloves that add a webbing between your fingers. Some will cover your entire finger, while others just cover up to the knuckle. You can choose to get gloves with a more flexible rubber webbing that allows for more hand mobility or gloves with stiffer webbing that keeps your fingers spread apart.

Although the design is so simple, they really make an impact and offer many benefits.


Added

Resistance

In any workout, added resistance is one of the top swim glove benefits and one of the best ways to build muscle and stamina. The webbing in the gloves adds a dragging effect while you're moving your hands through the water.

This forces your upper body to work much more intensely in both pulling and pushing motions, helping to strengthen and tone your muscles faster. The stronger your muscles become, the smoother your technique and movements in the water will be.

Endurance and Cardio

Along with strengthening muscles, training with gloves also provides you with a more intense aerobic workout. Swimming is already a great cardio workout, and with gloves, your heart will be pumping faster and harder because your entire body has to push against the extra resistance.

If you're a competitive swimmer, this is going to be extremely helpful and make swimming without the gloves a piece of cake.

Increased Propulsion

This is especially beneficial if you do water aerobics, snorkeling or scuba diving. Since swimming gloves increase the surface area of your hands, your pushing more water with each stroke and this helps to propel your further than you would with just bare hands. So you’ll be able to cover more distance in a much shorter amount of time.

They Keep You Warm

This is especially true in natural, open water or during the winter months. Swimming the ocean is wonderful and freeing, but it can be quite cold. This is can be distracting and cause your form and technique to suffer. Choosing gloves that are closed fingered will be the best option for situations like these.

Product Review

#1st Rated

Under $10:  TAGVO Aquatic Gloves

If you’re just starting out or trying swimming gloves for the first time, these gloves are a great option if you want to strengthen and tone your muscles, and do so economically.

They're made from very comfortable neoprene material and have adjustable closures on the wrists to ensure optimum fit and comfort while training. Although they're extremely comfortable, they're also a stiffer option which gives you more resistance to increased performance. You'll be able to move much faster and smoother through the water while getting a great upper body workout.

Don’t let the price fool you with these gloves. They're sewn together with water-resistant thread that allows staying perfectly intact through many uses. They're also made to easily slip on and off for quick changing. These gloves are ideal for everything from aquatic fitness, surfing, bodyboarding, diving, and general recreational swimming.

If for any reason are you aren’t satisfied or finding these gloves to be beneficial, Tagvo offers you a 100% money back guarantee within 30-days.

#2nd Rated

Between $10 & $25:  Speedo Aqua Fit

​Founded in 1914, Speedo is one of the most well-known and trusted brands when it comes to aquatic wear and equipment. So it’s no surprise that they’re at the top of the list when it comes to swimming gloves.

These gloves are made from high-quality neoprene material and flexible finger webbing that allows for an efficient resistance workout for muscle and aerobic strengthening. You'll be able to comfortably move and adjust your finger width in and out of the water with more flexible webbing.

These are very soft, comfortable and easy to put on and take off. They also feature useful rubber palms allow you to easily grip other exercise equipment your maybe using and the adjustable wrist closures keep the gloves secure and allow for a custom fit.

In addition to providing a more effective and challenging workout and swim, the compression of these swimming gloves provides support to the hands to protect them from cramps and soreness during and after training sessions. The gentle compression also helps to keep your movements smooth and controlled.

#3rd Rated

Over $25 : DarkFin Webbed Power

If you’re ready to get really serious about your swim training and want to invest in a great pair of swimming gloves, DarkFin’s Webbed Power gloves are an excellent choice. When compared to swimming and diving with just bare hands alone, these gloves will greatly increase your paddling speed and propulsion by increasing your hand’s surface area by 70 percent.

The comfort and flexibility are unmatched. These gloves are ultra-thin and made to feel like a second skin. They’re extremely flexible, allowing you to easily pick up small things, press buttons, adjust clothing, etc., while a cotton flock outer layer gives you a non-slip grip. The fingers are fully covered making them a great for keeping your hands warm during longer sessions or swimming in cold water.

They are meant to fit tight but aren't too difficult to put on or take off, they also come in a variety of sizes so you're sure to find a perfect fit. Another great thing about these swim gloves is that they are 100% biodegradable and made from plant-based latex material.

So they’re perfect if you’re vegan or environmentally conscience. Furthermore, the material is non-absorbent which prevents them from soaking up water and making them heavy.

These gloves are a favorite of champion swimmers, scuba divers, surfers, and military divers, so you know they're of the highest quality and perform well.

 Under $10:  TAGVO Aquatic Gloves

Pros

  • Available in small, medium and large sizes for women, men, and children
  • Adjustable wrist strap provides comfort while ensuring that the gloves stay secure

Cons

  • New gloves will have a chemical odor; they must be exposed for 2 or more days or washed twice to remove the smell

Between $10 & $25:  Speedo Aqua Fit

Pros

  • Rubber padded palms for easier gripping
  • Flexible webbing allows for increased mobility and resistance in the water
  • Comfortable, adjustable wrist strap

Cons

  • Length of the fingers might be a bit long for smaller hands
  • Fingers might be too tight for people wider fingers

  Between $10 & $25:  Speedo Aqua Fit

Pros

  • Ultra-thin, non-absorbent latex material acts as a second skin for maximum comfort and flexibility
  • Increases surface area and propulsion by 70 percent
  • Biodegradable material makes them safe for the environment
  • Available in 11 sizes to ensure a perfect fit always

Cons

  • To easily remove or put on these gloves, there is a bit of a process required. The company suggests using a silicone lubricant spray or putting them while they’re submerged in water.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you're working out, training for a competition or just want to improve your swimming experience, swimming gloves can be a great addition to your routine. Not only will they help make your movements more comfortable and smoother, but they'll also help you to build muscle and get in a little more cardio.
Depending on your needs and goals, there are different types of gloves to choose from. Some will be more flexible, while others are stiffer. You also need to decide if you want open fingered gloves or closed ones for more insulation and warmth while swimming.
If you’re ready to take your time in the water to the next level, consider trying out one other great options we’ve selected. They’re excellent quality and there’s one for any price range or experience level. Once you’ve experienced the amazing benefits that come with wearing swimming gloves, you’ll never want to train or swim without them again. 

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Health Benefits of Living by a Freshwater Lake

The highly urbanized and overcrowded cities that we now dwell in are not how nature intended for us to live. The lack of living spaces in cities and the needs of the modern lifestyles have crammed most of the population into high rise buildings or smaller living spaces. Modern housing solutions lack the natural elements that our bodies and minds crave for a healthy life.

One of the major problems of living in an urban dwelling is that it’s far away from bodies of fresh water. Living by a body of fresh water such as on a lake house offers immense health benefits to you and your loved ones. There has been increased research on these benefits and doctors are increasingly backing the assertion that there are substantial health benefits associated with living close to bodies of freshwater. What’s more, in addition to the health benefits, there are also other attractions of living by lakes.

Let’s look at some of the health benefits that living by a lake holds for you.

Better Quality of Air

The quality of air within most urban settings is quite poor. The air in our cities is polluted from automobiles and industrial operations. On the other hand, the quality of air close to bodies of water is remarkably better. Besides the lack of pollutants in the air, there is another reason for better air quality here. The air near bodies of water is enriched with substantial amounts of negative ions. This goes on to enhance the level of oxygen absorption by our bodies. Breathing fresh air enhances your alertness, balances serotonin levels and goes on to elevate moods and reduce stress. This is one of the reasons that your mind and body crave fresh air when stuck in a difficult situation and your mind doesn’t seem to be working.

Better Sleep

The sounds of traffic and commotion that is typical of most urban settings are detrimental to the quality of sleep that you enjoy every night. Living close to bodies of freshwater has obvious benefits on the quality of your sleep. Living by a lake or another body of fresh water would mean that you’re far away from bustle and din of the city. Furthermore, water is known to have a calming effect on your body and mind. There is a reason why all the music that you tune into to help you sleep has white noise and sounds of water waves. It’s difficult to dispute the fact that these noises are better at inducing sleep than all other sounds combined.

Living close to fresh water will help you get better, deeper sleep and you will wake up fresh the next morning. You can also put suitable earphones on and listen to soft music to help get your mind to a relaxing state.  Needless to say, getting good quality sleep everyday will have several positive health benefits for you.

Up Your White Blood Cell Count

There is more natural plantation around bodies of water such as lakes which can have a calming effect on you. Furthermore, there are specific plants close to bodies of water that give off a substance known as phytoncides, inhaling which leads to a boost in your white blood cell count that will fight off infections and keep illnesses at bay. Living close to bodies of freshwater, therefore, serves as a natural immunity booster.

Water Therapy

Modern lifestyles are stressful and take a toll on your mental and physical health. Water is known to be naturally therapeutic. Living closer to bodies of water is even more beneficial when it comes to helping your mind relax and recoup from the daily stressors of modern life. Going for a swim, or fishing, or just riding a boat into the middle of the lake can all be amazing ways to fight stress. Those going through post traumatic stress or facing a particularly tough situation can all benefit by living near bodies of freshwater such as lakes for all of the activities that they can partake in.

Get More Sun

Our modern urban living spaces do not provide ample opportunities to catch our daily dose of sunlight. When living close to water bodies, however, there are many ways in which you can get the right amount of sunlight. Lake houses or other dwelling options by freshwater are designed in a way for you to get enough sunlight. Besides, there are no high rise buildings around to block the sun anyway.

Sunlight is the most important source of vitamin D which is instrumental in ensuring calcium absorption and maintaining bone health. It can be found in a number of food sources but never in enough quantity. Sunlight is the best source which is amply available when you’re living close to a body of fresh water.

Strengthens Immune System

Living close to nature naturally makes you healthier. The purer air quality, lack of noise pollution, improved sleeping patterns and a number of other reasons contribute to less stress and a more relaxed lifestyle. When you minimize stress, get good sleep, get enough sun exposure and breathe fresh air, you’re bound to have your immune system working at peak levels.

There are a number of health benefits that living by a body of freshwater such as a lake holds for you. If you, too, want to make the most of the health benefits of lakeside living, you can check out our Destinations page for some of the best places to rent out or buy the best lake houses or lakeside properties in North America.

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Simple Food for the Lake House Menu

Lake houses provide such  marvelous views and adventurous experiences of nature that you just want to spend as much time as possible absorbing it all.

How can you get the most out of your trip?

One answer is simple: easy meals.

That’s right, we are going to go over some delicious, easy and quick recipes so you can get back to what you truly want – enjoying your time by the lake. In this guide, we’ll show you some simple but delicious foods for your very own lake house menu.

Great Recipes for a Lakeside Picnic

The right snacks and meal can make your lake house trip even more memorable. Your options are bountiful, especially if you’re willing to get a little adventurous and forage outside. However, some of the easiest side dishes and snacks can be prepared beforehand.

Great snacks or side dishes include:

  • A gallon of your favorite beverage
  • Thinly cut watermelon
  • Oranges, apples, grapes, and other whole fruits
  • Sliced cucumbers or tomatoes
  • Almonds, pecans, or mixed nuts

FINGER FOODS

Everyone loves a good finger food when relaxing outdoors. These options are perfectly easy to create and delectably delicious.

  • Cheese and cracker spread
  • Whole fruits like grapes, strawberries, blueberries, apples or pears
  • Cut peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children
  • Oven-roasted corn - Without removing the husk, back at 400 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste
  • Lots of little chocolates - an assortment of milk, white and dark

HARD BOILED EGGS

Bear with us here. Yes, we said hard-boiled eggs.

These are such a simple treat that offers health benefits along with packing a lovely flavor.

Grab 6 to 8 large eggs and place them in a saucepan. Cover the eggs completely, going over just an inch, with cold water and bring this to a boil. Once a boil is reached, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.

Let them stand for about 17 minutes before placing them in a bowl of ice water. Let them fully cool before peeling the eggs. Proceed with the recipe for the desired flavor that you want.

Notes: Use eggs that are at least 10 days old for the best results. If there are cracks in the eggshells, this may cause cracking while cooking.

SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH

This recipe packs a lot of flavor for something that is relatively easy to make.

How can you make this faster?

Pre-make the sandwiches before you go on your picnic or leave for the lake house. Ingredients prepared beforehand can also help.

Makes 10 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of chicken
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • Cheese, to taste
  • Bread, 20 slices
  • Mayonnaise, to taste  

So, let’s get the cooking started.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes
  • Let cool

Now it’s time to make the sandwiches.

In a large bowl, dice the chicken and add pepper, brown sugar, and salt. Now, add a generous amount of olive oil to the mixture and stir everything together. Add cheese and mayo as needed and put the sandwiches together.

FANCY DRINKS

With elegant finger foods and delicate sandwiches, we are not going to turn down refreshing champagne. That’s right. Champagne.

A trip to the lake house is not complete without a fancy beverage to help you relax.

If you are not interested in anything containing alcohol, that is perfectly fine, too.

A glass of ice cold, fresh squeezed lemonade with a bit of sugar to take away some of the lemon’s tarty bite is marvelous for a bright day overlooking a lake.

And, of course, not much can beat a nice glass of cool water.

Feeling Adventurous?

The great outdoors is teeming with edible food that you can find so long as you know what you are seeking.

So, what are some wild treats that you can find?

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WILD LEEKS

Wild leeks, also called ramps, are closely related to leeks and onions and have a delightful garlic-onion flavor.

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FIDDLEHEAD FERNS

If you are in an area where ostrich ferns grow, then you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a fiddlehead. These are the young, unopened fronds of fern species. Make sure the ones you find are unfurled as they develop an acidic flavor after they have opened. The best part about fiddleheads? They are likely found along the edges of bodies of water; such as rivers, streams, and, yes, even lakes. Your lake house might secretly be harboring tasty snacks along its water banks.

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WILD MUSHROOMS

Wild mushrooms are a flavorful and versatile option. Fresh morels, for example, are very sought after during prime picking season. Make sure that you know what you are looking for with mushrooms since many can have sinister lookalikes.

Wash Your Foraged Treats

Make sure to rinse the dirt off of these edible finds before consuming them or using them in recipes.

More Recipes

Do you want more recipes and tips like those mentioned above?

The Lake House Cookbook written by Trudie Styler and Joseph Sponzo was made for people like us who want an easy meal while living out our dreams at a lake house. This book provides advice on sustainable farming and general countryside/nature living along with earthy and delectable recipes that range from complex to exceedingly easy.

You can’t really go wrong with a book like that.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you just want to enjoy your time while out at the lake house. Experiencing the surreal beauty of a lakeside sunset is dreamlike and, if you can experience it without the beeping of cooking timers blaring at you, then you have yourself the perfect evening. Take these recipes and explore the stupendous natural world around you while breathing in the fresh lake air.

Don’t let cooking hold your enjoyment back. Take the reins by making these easy meals and treats for you and your guests.

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Best Towns on Lake Michigan

With almost 1640 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, there’s no shortage of towns along Lake Michigan. Just think about it: a lakeside town, your house along the water, the sand just outside. That’s the dream!

You don’t need to go to some tropical beach to live that dream, not with these nine towns that sit  along Lake Michigan. Whether you’d like to live in a small or large town,  a place with empty or full beaches, you will have your pick of options here.

You’ll want to begin planning your move to Lake Michigan right away after you take a look at these beach towns. Not only can you relax with the water at your back, but you can experience the culture and community of the town itself.

Holland

DeZwaan Windmill, Holland Michigan

Yes, there’s a Holland in the Netherlands, but there’s also a Holland near Lake Michigan. Think of this town like a mini enclave of Dutch culture.

You can come here to experience both the lake life and some diverse culture too, as you explore activities like turning wooden bowls and woodworking with reclaimed materials.

These are perfect activities to do on a short weekend or if you're visiting for the season.

Beyond the activities, there's much more to see. Take a look at the various lakefronts and parks like Holland State Park or Tunnel Park. Check out the DeZwaan Windmill that was moved from the Netherlands. It is the oldest authentic, working Dutch windmill in the United States and you can still see the mill grind winter wheat and corn.

Whether you’re looking to do some sight-seeing or you want to shop a little, Holland has no shortage of culture and relaxation.

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Traverse City

Great Lakes in Michigan

The surrounding countryside also produces grapes, and is one of the centers of wine production in the Midwest. The area features varied natural attractions, including freshwater beaches, vineyards, a National Lakeshore, downhill skiing areas, and numerous beautiful forests.

Check out Clinch Park, which sits across the street from downtown. You’ll find public beaches all along the region’s 180-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shore, but this 1,500-foot beach and marina includes a trail that conveniently connects to downtown Traverse City.  Stretching 10 miles across Traverse City, TART (Traverse Area Recreational Trail) is one of several paths in a linked system that extends to the winery-dotted Leelanau Peninsula. Jog, bike or stroll past beaches, forests and city streetscapes.

At the beach, you don’t just have to sit on the sand. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and go out on the water.

You can even float down Boardman River south and paddle through Traverse City itself.


If you’re looking for lots of activities to do, you’ll never run out of options in Traverse City. This is one of the best places to experience the water and the city all at once. The Traverse City area is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States. The city hosts the annual week-long National Cherry Festival in the first full week of July, attracting approximately 500,000 visitors annually.

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Ludington

Big Sable Lighthouse - Ludington State Park

Ludington is a quiet little town. You won’t find as much to do compared to a place like Traverse City, but Ludington is the perfect place to unwind, get away from the big city, and just be alone with your thoughts or your family.

Ludington State Park includes a seven-mile-long stretch of sand, which you can access outside the park if you don’t want to spend the money.

There are so many Ludington beaches to discover! You'll find miles of clean, sandy beaches along Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, just minutes from wherever you are in the area. Stearns Park is the most popular beach, with free parking, concessions, playground, Skate Park, mini golf, and shuffleboard. Whether you enjoy swimming, skiing, tubing, boating, or fishing, Ludington's beaches and lakes provide hours of relaxing enjoyment and adventure.

There are two lighthouses in Ludington. The North Breakwater Light is in downtown Ludington and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse is within the Ludington State Park. Just thirty miles north or south you'll find Manistee's North Pierhead Lighthouse and Little Sable Point Lighthouse in the Silver Lake State Park. Most lighthouses are open for tours in the summertime.

You can also head on over to Hamlin Lake Beach, which includes warm, shallow waters. Then visit the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness to experience nature in all its forms, with the water right beside you.

South Haven

Maritime Museum, South Haven

Because of its position on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Black River, South Haven has always been a port city. During settlement, major ship lines stopped there, both passenger and freight. In the early 1900s South Haven became a resort town, sometimes referred to as "The Catskills of the Midwest". South Haven is a major regional tourist draw because of its recreational harbor and beaches. It is the western terminus of the Kal-Haven Trail, popular with bicyclists and snowmobilers. Nearby are Van Buren State Park and the Van Buren Trail State Park.


South Haven offers an interesting array of cultural attractions. The Michigan Maritime Museum, host of the tall ship Friends Good Will, is perhaps its most famous. The Michigan Maritime Museum also hosts an electrically powered river launch called the Lindy Lou. River launch boats were used in the 1890s to the 1930s to ferry passengers up the Black River to various resorts and parks. Visitors are able to buy tickets to ride either ship - the Lindy Lou stays on the river, while the Friends Good Will goes down the river and into Lake Michigan.

The National Blueberry Festival is held on the second weekend of August each year, and is one of the country's oldest continuously-running fruit festivals.

If you like biking, you have no shortage of trails or bike rentals right around town.

Charlevoix

Charlevoix, South Pier

Enjoy a serene walk along the Charlevoix South Pier to the lighthouse right on the end. Grab a bike and choose a stretch of the 26-mile Little Traverse Wheelway to bike down.

Not all of us are quite so fond of so much biking though. You can perhaps do a little hunting instead. We’re talking about rock hunting here.

Start your search for Petoskey stones at Fisherman’s Island State Park and head on over for a twilight tour at Castle Farms, where you can have a wonderful meal at a real French Renaissance-style castle built a century ago.

New Buffalo

Four Winds Casino, New Buffalo

You can drive in from Chicago to visit New Buffalo for a day. You’ll likely want to stay more than a day though once you arrive here.

New Buffalo is also the location for Southwestern Michigan’s first gambling casino, the Four Winds Casino Resort, Southwest Michigan’s only Hard Rock Cafe mixing food, live entertainment and rock-n-roll memorabilia into a high energy night spot.

New Buffalo includes the most amazing white, sandy beaches with just enough solitude to center yourself before returning to the Windy City. Fly kits or launch a canoe here for a relaxing day.

Beyond the beaches, there are masses of flowers, birds, and trees right in Galien River State Park. Just be sure that you're not afraid of heights since you'll be looking down from a canopy walkway that lets you look down from the tower. 

You can also test your endurance by climbing dunes at Warren Dunes State Park, or just go to the park to stay at a cabin.

Suttons Bay

Suttons Bay Village

Located right on the Leelanau Peninsula, Suttons Bay is the perfect place for a romantic getaway, or if you just want to visit some of the wineries and vineyards. Suttons Bay is both rustic and sophisticated, and let’s not forget: there’s the beach.

You can visit the public beach, which is small, but cozy, and head on over to one of the amazing dining places after.

Suttons Bay includes all the cute near-the-beach boutiques that you would expect, as well as wineries and tasting rooms that make your trip that much more amazing.

Muskegon

Muskegon Channel

Muskegon was built on the fur and lumber trade, is now a calm vacation spot on Lake Michigan, calling itself "The Riviera of the Midwest." Sunbathe on several beautiful beaches including Pere Marquette Beach, a certified Great Lakes "clean beach."

Muskegon State Park provides hiking and camping opportunities in the summer, and ice skating, cross-country skiing and even a luge track in the winter. The city is also home to Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park.

The beach is really the shining part of Muskegon. You can go to see one of the two lighthouses, but once you have all your pictures, there’s still a lot to do on the beach.

There are 40 sand volleyball courts set around ready for you to play at, and we can’t forget to mention this: a dog beach! A day at the beach is much more fun when you have your furry friend with you.

If you don't have your pooch with you for the day, you can still enjoy the beach and can go down the Lakeshore Trail bike path to see Muskegon Lake from a distance. It's impossible to pass up a tour of the USS Silversides, a World War II submarine museum, while you're there.

Muskegon State Park

Adventure Amusment Park

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Empire

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Previously named one of the most beautiful places in America, Empire is known as one of the best unspoiled American beach towns.

Not to mention that it's an affordable place to visit for the average person. Visit Glen Arbor while you're in Empire since these two areas are only separated by the lakeshore in between them.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located near Empire.  The park covers a 35-mile-long stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou islands. The park has outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. The lakeshore also contains many cultural features including the 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former stations of the Coast Guard  and an extensive rural historic farm district. In 2011, the area won the title of "The Most Beautiful Place in America" from Good Morning America

Conclusion


There is really nothing like lake living. When you visit one of these amazing lake towns right along Lake Michigan, you might just be tempted to stay.

You have your pick of towns, whether you’re looking for something with a little solitude or lots of activity. Pack your car and take a trip to get a taste of the summer living you’ve been missing.

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Famous Houses on Lake Geneva

Since the 1800s, Lake Geneva has been a fascinating place with many famous structures belonging to some of the wealthiest people in history. Businessmen, real estate tycoons, actors and inventors have all owned homes along the Lake Geneva waterfront. Tourists have enjoyed looking at the beautiful homes owned by these famous figures for years.

Estates built on Lake Geneva include Tudor lodges and French chateaus. Part of the shoreline was once a section of the 1893 World Fair. To this day, it’s absolutely amazing to visit Lake Geneva and revel at the amount of wealth that is invested in these beautiful structures constructed on the shoreline just outside of Chicago.

Lake Geneva is certainly a great destination for those wanting to view the homes and estates of some of the richest people in the United States.

If you’re planning to visit Lake Geneva, consider taking your trip during the fall. Many people who live in and around Lake Geneva swear that the best time to visit is during the months of September and October. During the summer months, it’s fun to rent a canoe and cruise around the water looking at the beautiful Lake Geneva homes.

Remember to keep an eye out for some of the most notable and famous homes along the lake. To enhance your experience, do some research on the various homes and estates on Lake Geneva so you know some history about the individual houses and the people who lived in them when you visit.

Famous Houses on Lake Geneva

1

Wrigley Estates

The Wrigley Estates is actually a collection of different properties named after the Wrigley Family. Yes, that Wrigley family. The family that built one of the largest fortunes in the United States and stands behind the Wrigley Chewing Gum Company, Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs, and the Wrigley Building.

The first home built on the property was Northwoodside, and it was built for the President of the Santa Fe Railroad, Henry Strong. It was later purchased by an inventor responsible for intems such as the sanitary milk bottle cap. The home was finally sold to members of the Wrigley family.

The Wrigley Estate houses take up more property on Lake Geneva than any other estate. The five houses that make up the Wrigley Estates are Hillcroft, Green Gables, Wychwood and there are two boathouses. While there is technically no “Wrigley Mansion”, Green Gables was the house where P.K. Wrigley himself chose to reside and the one that William Wrigley, Jr later purchased.

Many of the homes have undergone a certain amount of renovation and a few are now widely different from the original properties. Nevertheless, it is still interesting to take a peek into what life was like for one of the richest families in American history.

2

Stone Manor

​Otto Young, a Chicago Real Estate tycoon, began construction on Stone Manor in 1899. It was and still is the largest estate built on Lake Geneva. Otto Young’s story is that of the classic American dream. He migrated to the United States from Germany as a poor man and built himself a fortune that would compare to today’s billionaires.

In the early 1860s, Young used his savings from his cigar store to found a jewelry house. The store was very successful and he sold it in 1867. Work took him to Chicago, Illinois in 1871 during the Great Chicago Fire. Young saw potential in the regrowth of the city and established a wholesale jewelry house the next year as Otto Young & Co. His wealth grew, and he finally was able to design Stone Manor for himself as his own dream home. When the mansion was completed, it had seven levels in total.

The first two levels of Stone Manor are sub-basements. Above those are a main floor with a ballroom, library, music room, parlor, kitchen and game room. The next levels contain bedrooms and the fourth level serves as a recreation floor complete with a full gym. Finally, the roof is an open garden with a rooftop swimming pool.

Stone Manor has many beautiful and expensive features to admire. This includes parquet tile floor, 14 karat gold plated fixtures, and a ceiling painted by European artists. Young died only 5 years after the house was finished being constructed. But the home stayed within his family until 1939.

3

Edgewood Estate

​Edgewood Estate is a beautiful home on Lake Geneva that was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, who was one of the most famous names in architecture at the time it was built in 1906. The landscaping was done by Jens Jensen, a famous landscape architect.

The home was originally built for another famous family: the family that started the Swift & Company, or the Swift Meat Packing Company. This was the first meat packing company in Chicago and was founded by Gustavus Swift.

Edgewood Estate was originally named Villa Hortensia after the wife of Edward F. Swift. Today, Edgewood is owned by a Chicago businessman who enjoys spending his summers in the home. The house’s landscaping is well maintained and well worth seeing.

4

House in the Woods

​The House in the Woods, a beautiful Lake Geneva waterfront home, has an interesting story about the construction. A.C. Bartlett, a wealthy Chicago hardware distributor, contracted Richard Stouter for the construction of the home. However, Stouter was already working on two other estates, including the Swift estate.

Because of this, special accommodations had to be made to get the House in the Woods built. Interestingly enough, P.T. Barnum, the famous showman known for starting the Barnum and Bailey Circus, lent Stouter a large 3-ring circus tent so that the home could be constructed during the cold winter months.

After the winter construction, Bartlett surprised his wife with the house that later won multiple design awards. Today, the home is owned by a Chicago insurance executive.

5

Black Point

​After admiring the outside appearance and landscaping of Lake Geneva estates, be sure to visit Black Point for a look inside one of these gorgeous mansions. Originally built for Conrad Seipp, owner of a popular Chicago brewery, the house was later donated by a great grandson to the state of Wisconsin as a museum.

Black Point today is identical to how it was the day it was built. While it has undergone some renovations, visitors and tourists are able to view the home as it looked in 1888 and get the feeling of what it would have been like to live in the estate.

Inside is all the original furniture, drapes, rugs, plumbing, wood trim, molding and other features. In addition, tourists can enjoy seeing the evergreen trees that the Seipp family themselves were so fascinated with. Over their course of ownership, the Seipps planted around 74 different types of evergreen trees on the property.

6

Alta Vista

​Another one of the most popular of the Lake Geneva lakefront estates is Alta Vista. Alta Vista has handed down through multiple major businessmen. Each of whom has started major companies that still exist today.

First, the original Alta Vista mansion was constructed for the businessman Orrin Potter in 1881. Potter was a businessman famous for his work in the steel industry. Unfortunately, this home was burned down in 1919.

The next home constructed on Alta Vista was built in 1909 for Colonel William N. Pelouze, the founder of the Pelouze Scale and Balance Company that dominated the United States Postal Company.

Today, Alta Vista is owned by the Vick Family, the family that owns the popular Vick Pharmaceuticals, known for their famous Vick’s Vapour Rub.

CONCLUSION

A day on Lake Geneva will not lack in beautiful views of expensive and elaborate lake homes.

Spending a beautiful summer day on the water or walking along the water’s edge on a chilly fall day will give you the perfect opportunity to see the homes that surround Lake Geneva.

Whether you live in Illinois or you are visiting Chicago from far away, Lake Geneva is definitely worth the trip.

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Top 10 Lake House Vacation Spots In The US

Nothing beats a relaxing lakeside vacation. You can hike, swim, explore and cozy up to a bonfire at the end of the day.
A lake house vacation gives you all the fun of a beach vacation, without the crowds and crazy high prices that you will find with some ocean side rentals.
If you are looking for the best lakeside towns and resorts in the country, we’ve got you covered. Here are ten of our absolute favorite lake house vacation spots and why we love them.

Top 10 lake house vacation spots in the US

Lake Champlain, New York and Vermont


Lake Champlain is a gorgeous North-Eastern lake that stretches along the border of Vermont and New York. There are plenty of charming little towns surrounding the lake – some of our favorites include Grand Isles, VT, and Willsboro, NY.

It is not problem getting between the two states as there are three ferry boats that connect Vermont to New York from three cities. They run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Lake Champlain is the eighth largest naturally occurring body of freshwater in the continental United States. The lake has 81 species of fish. It is well known for its bass fishing and according to Bassmaster, Lake Champlain is listed as number 5 in the United States.

In Burlington, VT, you can stay in a house right on the lakeshore. Beautiful mountains and green forests make up the surrounding area.

We love Lake Champlain for all of its options. With a lake this size spanning state borders, there will be something for everyone, from great pubs and breweries to challenging hiking trails.

Whatever state you are staying in, you will find the vacation you are looking for at Lake Champlain.

Big Bear Lake, California


When you think of a vacation in sunny California, what comes to mind? Sandy beaches and Hollywood hills? Actually, California has some of the best natural scenery and mountain lakes in the country. Big Bear is a charming man-made lake in rural Southern California. It is a completely snow-fed lake.

Big Bear Lake provides an attractive setting for many outdoor activities, including fishing (trout, bluegill, crappie, catfish and largemouth bass), pleasure boating, and water skiing. It offers over 20 miles of coastline. The local town has some amazing restaurants and craft breweries.

 

One of the best things about a vacation in Big Bear is that you can really go big – vacation rentals right on the shore offer 9 or 10 bedrooms. That’s enough to host the whole family, in a beautiful mountain location.

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia


​For a stunning and relaxing summer vacation, head away from the crowds to Smith Lake in the wild mountains of Virginia. This is not a typical tourist destination, which means you will be able to find peace and quiet in a serene mountain setting.

Wherever you stay in Smith Lake, you will be able to enjoy the calm, clear water and gorgeous natural scenery. It is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon out kayaking or canoeing, spotting birds or fishing.

Smith Mountain Lake offers waterfront cottages or accommodation in the charming little community of Moneta nearby. It is a great spot for fishing and hiking, a perfect getaway for a pleasant family retreat.

Lake Michigan, Michigan


​It would be hard to talk about the best lakeside vacations in America without bringing up Lake Michigan. It’s a gorgeous spot for a safe and fun family vacation. Anywhere you visit on this massive lake will be stunning, but our best recommendation is to stay in Traverse City, Michigan.

The lakeshore in Traverse city is a little quieter, less popular than other areas around Lake Michigan. The water is blue and crystal clear, almost like a tropical ocean – and it gets hot enough for swimming and sunbathing in the summer.

People also like to sail, kayak and fish on the water. There is plenty of hiking and exploring to be done in the surrounding area. Lake Michigan is the perfect getaway for a busy family, eager to spend some quality time together.

Finger Lakes, New York



​Eleven smaller natural lakes in Northern New York make up the Finger Lakes. Depending on where you go, there are all kinds of sights to be seen in the area.

Ithica, near Cayuga Lake, is home to Cornell University and has a lively college town feel. On Keuka Lake, you will find plenty of camping sites and a great spot for boating and fishing.

Nearby Taughannock falls is a gorgeous place to hike, birdwatch or just explore the wilderness. While you are in the region, make sure you tour some of the amazing local vineyards and visit a few high-class restaurants.

Because all of the Finger Lakes are small, glacier lakes, you will find smaller communities around them. You will be able to find quaint family-friendly accommodation without breaking the bank.

If you love fishing, make sure you check out Seneca lake for a chance to catch some famous mountain trout.


Lake Coeur D’Alene, Idaho



​Idaho is known for its natural beauty and Lake Coeur D’Alene, in our opinion, is one of its best vacation spots. This Northern Idaho lake is uniquely shaped with multiple bays. Some of the more well-known spots include Windy Bay, Bennet Bay, Sun-Up Bay, and Rockford Bay.

All of those bays make the lake private, calm and fun to explore, with plenty of options around every corner. Kids and grownups alike will love this vacation spot. The area around Lake Coeur D'Alene has some exquisite high-class dining, golfing, cinemas, and resorts.

There are plenty of accommodation options along the shores and in the surrounding area to meet your budget and allow you to get the most out of the lake lifestyle.

Soldotna and Sterling, Alaska



​Speaking of natural beauty, this list would not be complete if we did not bring up Kenai Lake, Alaska. This gorgeous mountain lake, fed by the Kenai River, is accessible from the two towns of Soldotna and Sterling.

Both towns have plenty of accommodation options and tons of local flavor. In the surrounding area, you will find hikes with pristine mountain views, incredible fishing spots and chances to get up close and personal with nature.

This is a great spot to spend the whole summer, relaxing and getting to know a friendly new community.

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland



​Just like Lake Michigan, there are tons of places to stay around Lake Eerie. Our recommendation to get the most out of this great lakes clear blue water and sandy beaches, is to stay in or around Sandusky, Ohio.

There, you will find plenty of accommodation both on and off the lakeshore. Get close to nature or spend some time in the city. You can even visit the world-famous Cedar Point to ride a few roller coasters.

The Ohio shore of Lake Eerie offers over a hundred miles of pristine coastline. Wherever you go, you will definitely be able to find a great spot for the whole family to enjoy.

Grand Lake, Colorado



Last but not least, this quaint lakeside town at the foot of Shadow Mountain, Colorado is an amazing place to comfortably get back to nature. Shadow Mountain offers a ton of hiking and exploring.

The shore of Grand Lake is not as popular of a tourist destination as some of the other options on our list. This means you will be able to play and relax without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

One of the best summertime activities on Grand Lake is to rent a pontoon boat and spend the day floating, cruising and swimming. Pack a cooler and a picnic lunch, and you will enjoy spending the whole day out in the sunshine.

While you are in Grand Lake, you can take a detour to the nearby Rocky Mountain state park for some amazing hiking and camping opportunities.


Conclusion


Whether you are looking for a place to host the next family retreat, planning a honeymoon or anniversary trip, throwing a party or just hoping to get away for a quiet weekend, a vacation in any of these lakeside American towns is the perfect opportunity.

A vacation on the lake can be as relaxing or as active as you need it to be. Hike, swim, sunbathe and enjoy the natural scenery from the comfort of your lake house or cottage. Remember to get a souvenir tee shirt wherever you go – and don’t forget to pack the cooler

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