There are thousands of lakes and rivers across the nation, with a variety of ways to enjoy them. From the chilly shores of the North to the more temperate waters of the South, you can find a lake or river for any activity you like, such as tubing, fishing, boating, swimming, or kayaking.

With so many lakes and rivers to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to go. So, USA TODAY 10Best narrowed the field by having a panel of experts nominate their favorite places across each of six categories. Readers then voted for their top picks to determine the winners.

Click on each category below to see the full winners list:

Best Fishing Lodge: Blue Bank Resort in Hornbeak, Tennessee

Catch crappie in shallow waters, bass in submerged cypress trees, and catfish lurking in channels when you choose a fishing adventure at secluded Blue Bank Resort on Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee. Guides help with spotting the most popular fish hangouts and picking the best bait and lures.

Accommodations range from lakeside hotel rooms to cabins, campsites, condos, and a house lodging up to 15 guests. Look into fishing packages that include everything you need for a sporting getaway.

Full list of winners: Best Fishing Lodge »

Best Lake: Lake Erie in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

It may be the shallowest of North America's Great Lakes, but Lake Erie has a massive amount of potential when it comes to both tourism and outdoor adventure. Buffalo, Cleveland, and Toledo are just a few of the storied cities that can be explored along the Erie shore, while recreation opportunities range from fishing to bird-watching to shipwreck diving.

Full list of winners: Best Lake »

Best Lake for Swimming: Lake Jocassee in South Carolina

Located in the northwesternmost reaches of South Carolina, the scenic Lake Jocassee is fed by natural Appalachian rivers all throughout the year, each one coming together to form a particularly idyllic mountain lake. During a swim, visitors can scour the water for creatures like sunfish and trout, and as an added bonus, there's no shortage of rushing waterfalls to admire along the shore.

Full list of winners: Best Lake for Swimming »

Best Lake for Water Sports: Lake Erie in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

From Toledo to Buffalo, Lake Erie is loaded with historic cities all along its shores — and this large concentration of settlements has fostered an impressive outdoor adventure scene for aquatic explorers. A paradise for fishing in particular, this sprawling water feature is packed full of bass, salmon, trout, and a wealth of other marine animals, and as an added bonus, there's no shortage of fascinating shipwrecks for divers to explore.

Full list of winners: Best Lake for Water Sports »

Best River for Fly Fishing: Au Sable River in Michigan

The Au Sable River spans 138 miles along the northern reaches of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, with no shortage of fascinating fauna thriving within its waters. For visiting fly fishers, brown trout are a particularly common catch, with the surrounding shores offering perfect conditions for the fish to thrive each year.

Full list of winners: Best River for Fly Fishing »

Best River for Tubing: Shenandoah River in Virginia and West Virginia

The Shenandoah River offers a mellow tubing experience. The portion popular with tubers near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, takes one to two hours to float, while the stretch of the river's South Fork, near Luray, Virginia, takes three to five hours, depending on the trip you choose.

Full list of winners: Best River for Tubing »

Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.usatoday.com daily to vote in more Readers' Choice Awards.

This article originally appeared on 10Best.com: Where to make a splash this summer: Best lakes and rivers in the US

2024-06-15T10:10:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd