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Decorate Your Desktop With Our Beach and Lake Photos

Enjoy the beauty of Midwest beaches and lakes on your computer with free desktop images from our collection of Midwest Living photographs. Find a photo you like, click “Download this image,” then right-click on the photo to make it your desktop image.

Ripples at sunset

A boat glides across Chippewa Flowage in the northern lakes of Wisconsin.

 

Scenic cliffs

The mineral-stained cliffs and sand dunes of Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretch for 42 miles along the Lake Superior shore.

 

Park Rapids sunset

The lakes around Park Rapids, Minnesota, provide a quiet retreat at sunset.

 

Oak Street Beach

Chicago's Oak Street Beach stretches like a carpet beneath Magnificent Mile skyscrapers. Palm trees dot the sand, and a swath of pebbles lines the Lake Michigan shore.

 

Lake Erie shore

Ohio's Marblehead Lighthouse has guided sailors along the rocky shore of Lake Erie since 1822.

Ripples at sunset

A boat glides across Chippewa Flowage in the northern lakes of Wisconsin.

 

Rocky ripples

A rocky bottom lies under Lake Michigan's waters near Beaver Island.

 

Fair Hills Resort, Detroit Lakes

Fog wisps across a secluded lake owned by Fair Hills Resort near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

 

Bands of colors

Rock formations create spectacular bands of color at Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

 

Wildlife refuge

Grasslands surround sand-bottom lakes at Nebraska's Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, home to more than 260 species of birds as well as deer, muskrats and beavers.

 

Lake Vermilion

Enjoy beautiful sunsets while you fish for walleye, muskie or bass in northeast Minnesota's Lake Vermilion.

Summer breezes

Pinwheels spin in the breeze at Kohler-Andrae State Park on the shore of Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

 

Lighthouse at dusk

As the sun sets, fishermen try their luck off the end of the pier at Michigan's South Haven lighthouse.

 

Heart of the lake

Head to the heart of the Ozark's vacation zone with a boat trip on vast (and vastly popular) Lake of the Ozarks.

 

Island retreat

Stout's Island Lodge in Wisconsin is a five-minute boat ride from the mainland.

 

Bend a rod

South Dakota's Lake Oahe is one of the best lakes in North America for walleye. From south of Bismarck, the lake (actually a dammed stretch of the Missouri River) flows south for 231 miles to Pierre for a total of 2,250 miles of shore and hundreds of fish-harboring coves.

 

Wetland beauty

Ohio's Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, a low-lying wetland near Lake Erie, is a haven for blue herons, egrets and other waterfowl, as well as deer, foxes and coyotes.

 

Apostle shore

Waves lap the shore at Stockton Island, part of Wisconsin's chain of Apostle Islands.

 

Serene wilderness

Wilderness reigns supreme and serene at one of the best-kept secrets in our national parks system: Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, a Lake Superior island north of the 48th parallel.

Read more about Isle Royale National Park

A day at the beach

Settle in on the beach at South Haven, Michigan, for a lazy day of sun and water.

Read about the Southwest Michigan shore

Misty views

Morning mists invite quiet contemplation from the dock on Republic Island in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

 

Kansas bluffs

Limestone bluffs at Kansas' Cedar Bluff Reservoir form a scenic backdrop for water activities.

 

Through the dunes

A path through the dune grasses leads to the sandy shore of Lake Michigan.

 

Voyageurs National Park

Many visitors to Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park explore the 30-lake wonderland by houseboat. No roads run through the 218,000-acre park.

 

Dune view

Sand dunes rise as high as 400 feet above Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

 

Skyline view

The 31st Street Beach offers sweeping views of the Chicago skyline.

 

Guarding the Manitou Passage

The 19th-century South Manitou Island Lighthouse sits along the rocky shoreline at Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

 

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