Decorate Your Desktop With Our Beach and Lake Photos
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy beautiful sunsets while you fish for walleye, muskie or bass in northeast Minnesota's Lake Vermilion.
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.
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.
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.
Waves lap the shore at Stockton Island, part of Wisconsin's chain of Apostle Islands.
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.
A day at the beach
Settle in on the beach at South Haven, Michigan, for a lazy day of sun and water.
Morning mists invite quiet contemplation from the dock on Republic Island in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
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.
Sand dunes rise as high as 400 feet above Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
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.