Spend your next vacation at one of these peaceful lakes in sunny Southern California!
California is famous for its long and diverse coastline, but not everyone enjoys the unpredictable nature of the vast Pacific Ocean. Some of the best beaches can be found along the gentle shores of the state’s inland lakes. These lakes also provide an easier time for any fishing beginners, plus they offer a wide variety of delicious freshwater fish to catch.
If you’re looking for that special summer getaway, then look no further than these Southern California lakes. Once you’ve found inspiration, all that’s left is to rent a campervan and enjoy your vacation!
Best Lakes for Swimming and Water Sports
These cool California lakes are perfect for water lovers, whether you prefer swimming, boating, or even jet skiing!
Big Bear Lake
To the north of Los Angeles in the San Bernardino Mountains sits the stunning Big Bear Lake. The clear blue waters are bordered by pine woods, with docks and marinas dotted around the shore. The sun-soaked beaches of Big Bear Lake are perfect for a day of splashing around. Swimming is encouraged here, but for those who prefer being on the water to being in it, there’s plenty to do. Boats, kayaks, and paddleboards can be rented from the marinas. You can even take boating lessons. Anyone seeking the thrill of adventure can ride across Big Bear Lake on water skis or take a jet ski out for a spin!
A smaller lake, also found in the San Bernardino Mountains, Silverwood Lake is a small slice of heaven for anyone seeking a perfect lakeside vacation. The picturesque landscape of green mountains emerging from the blue water is an incredible backdrop for your swim. And swimming is easy on the sandy beach which fades into the warm, shallow waters. You can also find exciting water sports here, ranging from motorboat tours to wakeboarding lessons. Silverwood Lake is known for being a popular water skiing destination.
Standing proud as Southern California’s biggest natural freshwater bodies, Lake Elsinore is a fantastic spot for a fun family summer getaway. There are miles of sandy beaches running along the shoreline, providing easy access for swimmers. Once you’re finished with the swimming, you could go for a boat ride or a spirited kayak race. Water sports enthusiasts will definitely be tempted by the water skis and jet skis for rent around the lakeside. If you are truly adventurous, you can book a session to go hang gliding or even skydiving at Lake Elsinore!
The Best Fishing Lakes in California
Enjoy a well-earned fishing weekend at one of these wonderful lakes. Remember to purchase a California fishing license before you head out!
Diamond Valley Lake
A peaceful lake surrounded by grassy hills, Diamond Valley is one of Southern California’s biggest reservoirs. If you’re yearning for a place to relax into nature as you fish, there’s no greater spot. Indeed, the Diamond Valley Lake boasts several aquatic species within its calm waters. The prize fish here are the bass: largemouth, smallmouth, striped, and black. Or you can try your luck for a rainbow trout, or a channel or blue catfish. The lake is also home to more colorful species, including bluegill, green and redear sunfish, and tule perch.
There are three fees you need to pay in order to fish at Diamond Valley Lake. The parking, fishing, and shoreline fees added together come to $15 plus $9 per person. You are allowed to keep a certain number of each fish but the rest must be returned to the lake to ensure the ecosystem is sustained. Check the Diamond Valley Marina website to see the exact numbers.
On the border of the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park lies the fishing haven of Lake Cuyamaca. This serene spot is surrounded by grassy banks and woodlands and is overlooked by the Cuyamaca Mountains. Every visitor who comes to fish at Lake Cuyamaca is hoping to reel in an elusive sturgeon. However, you may catch only one to keep and it must be between 40” and 60”. If you like bullhead catfish, then you can keep as many as you can catch. There are also largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill, and trout swimming around the lake. Look up the catch limits online before heading out.
Fishing and parking at Lake Cuyamaca will set you back $10 per car, $4 per youth, and $10 per person over sixteen. You can also invest in an annual parking pass for just $75, which saves you money if you regularly come back!
A large lake on the border of California and Arizona, Lake Havasu is far more urban than the others. This might put some off, but others might relish the opportunity to fish in the day before experiencing the local nightlife. Fishing can be done on either side of the border, but you must carry a license for the state you will be in. Make sure to also check the catch limits before you start.
The species here are plentiful, with many fish to go around. The most popular fish here are the largemouth, smallmouth, and striped bass, alongside the channel and flathead catfish. You can also reel in rainbow trout, black crappie, redear sunfish, and bluegill. If you’re really lucky, you might pull in a giant catfish!
Keep Cool By The Lakeside
Whether you enjoy sharing a drink over a fishing rod or spending your days sunbathing on sunny shores, these California lakes are the perfect getaway this summer. Get going now with one of our affordable and comfortable campervans. Don’t forget you can earn extra income on your own campervan when it’s not in use!
Join us this Friday for an in-depth guide on how to work remotely from your campervan!