When it comes to summertime fun, a weekend (or entire week) at the lake is my definition of the best way to spend time. There is nothing better than blissful days spent sunbathing, inner tubing behind a speed boat, or sipping a refreshing cocktail on the deck while watching the sunset over the lake's horizon. Did you know that colorful Colorado features 4,000 beautiful lakes and reservoirs? That's a lot of water activities and splashing excitement to soak up.
But how do you choose which region and lake to make yours for those five precious days of vacation time you have been saving? To create the most uncomplicated decision-making process for you, we researched and discovered our favorite lakeside vacation rentals in the entire state. We hope that this list assists in finding the perfect family retreat for bring your summertime crew!
Vega Lake Cabin near Grand Junction
Peace and harmony await at this enchanting treehouse for adults. This grand lodge is just one hour from Grand Junction, Colorado, allowing for the perfect launchpad for adventures in the area. With stunning views of Vega Lake, which is the largest body of water in the Grand Valley area, this 6,500 square-foot home provides superb opportunities for trout fishing, canoeing (two canoes and one small rowboat are provided), stargazing around the fire pit, and making memories that will last a lifetime.
Inside this gorgeous home, find custom craftsmanship, an expansive kitchen for group meals, stunning cathedral ceilings in the living area, a family/theater room, and a 500 square-foot covered deck. We love this specific home as it comes complete with incredible on-site amenities, including coolers, a canopy, day-backpacks for hiking, cross-country skis/boots, sleds, a grill, four mountain bikes, snowshoes, kid-friendly perks, a foosball table, and so much more.
Lakeshore Cottage at Shadow Mountain Lake
Wonderfully situated at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, this Lakeshore Cottage on Shadow Mountain Lake offers a wonderful place to call home away from home for a weekend. With 1,346 surface acres of dark blue waters, Shadow Mountain is perfect for boating (find two boat launches nearby), jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, and fishing, particularly for trout and salmon.
This quaint cottage presents a fantastic lake, island, and mountain views from the spacious deck. Also, it includes three kayaks and one canoe for fun-filled days cruising the pristine lake waters. See the elusive swimming moose who makes frequent visits to the lovely family home. You can also explore the charming resort town of Grand Lake, located just three miles away, for shopping and dining options.
Lakefront, Rocky-View Oasis on Woodmoor Lake
Another Rocky Mountain beauty, this lakefront home sits on the tranquil waters of Woodmoor Lake. This water and the mountain-view oasis is conveniently located near Colorado Springs. It's also a quick trip from the Denver airport and iconic attractions like the Garden of the Gods and downtown Monument. Fully equipped with all the amenities, enjoy lake-view soaks in the private hot tub, roast marshmallows over the fire pit, or play a friendly game of pool in the lounge.
What's great about staying at this vacation rental is that this lake is not open to the public, so you can paddleboard and kayak without the crowds. You can also find an ample array of hiking trails and popular attractions within a scenic drive.
Private Estate in Conifer
A custom-built luxury home in the lovely town of Conifer, this private estate is a sure bet for your lake getaway just outside the big city. This home, situated on a two-acre property, has a private lake with its own swim beach, trout fishing, kayaks, a canoe, and even a fishing boat with an electric motor. You can even rent this home for your lakeside wedding or reception! Divine luxury and convenience fuse when you stay here - a 1500 square-foot hardwood deck presents terrific views and a double-sided indoor/outdoor fireplace. A game room is equipped with a ping-pong table, an Xbox, cornhole, ladder ball, and more.
Waterfront Cabin on Grand Lake
Since this area is home to some of the best lakes in Colorado, we had to throw this Grand Lake beauty on our list. Appreciate your own grassy beach and access to a canoe, two kayaks, and a private dock for fishing and relaxing.
This lakefront paradise boasts a stunning interior with a fully-stocked kitchen, an open floor plan, and elegant spa-like bathrooms. Boaters can delight with nearby boat launches and recreation areas for easy access to even more land and water activities.
Modern Lakeside Haven near Lake Dillon
This Colorado lake rental provides the perfect combination of comfort and convenience, a modern duplex with amazing views and access to Lake Dillon. Newly renovated, this duplex sits in the Corinthian Hill community and presents a roomy layout with ample room to unwind and entertain. The bus stop is within walking distance, and there is even a hiking and biking trail behind the home. When you choose to stay at this Lake Dillon hideaway, you and your crew can also enjoy using the neighborhood pool and hot tub.
Twin Lakes Paradise Steps from National Forest
Situated just steps from the National Forest and the beautiful shoreline of Twin Lakes, we promise you will get lost in the unobstructed views of Mt. Hope, Quail Mountain, La Plata, and Mount Elbert (the highest peak in Colorado) at this mountain home.
As if having trails at your doorstep and panoramic mountain views wasn't enough, this beautiful alpine lake home also has a fitness room, a steam shower, a foosball table, a dartboard, and a firepit for a fantastic conversation on cool evenings.
Modern Cabin at Blue Mesa Reservoir
No Colorado lake list is finished without mentioning one of the most loved and largest bodies of water in the whole state - the Blue Mesa Reservoir. A part of the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Blue Mesa has no shortage of water activities and lounge-worthy beaches to sip and sun on when you stay at this lake-view retreat.
This high-desert community is lodged between Montrose and Gunnison, where the mighty waters of the Gunnison River merge together before cascading through the jutted walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a National Park you must visit if you can! Sunny days at Blue Mesa are spent exploring the 29-mile-long body of water, which is stocked with millions of fish yearly. Waterskiing, windsurfing, horseback riding, and hiking are also requested recreational choices of visitors here.
"Million Dollar Views" on Lake Purgatory
This custom-built estate is nestled in a forest of aspens and evergreens on the stunning shores overlooking Lake Purgatory. Elegance and luxury ooze from the walls of this Purgatory paradise, which features a wraparound deck with a private hot tub and a spacious interior with all the comforts of home and more. A trout-filled lake awaits with a short hike from the balcony.
Inside, find a stone fireplace in the dramatic Great Room, with a wall of windows showcasing the lake and San Juan Mountain views. The custom kitchen has everything you need to create your favorite recipes for the group. At the same time, at the dining table sits the group for meals with views of Engineer peak. Added perks include a soaking tub, a loft, and family-friendly perks like a Pack' n Play and highchair.
Lakefront Campsite on Lake San Cristobal
Our list could not be complete without one oddball in the grouping. This one is for our friends who love sleeping under the stars on a fantastic summer evening...the ones that opt for a sleeping bag over the king-size memory foam in the Airbnb.
Ranked as the second-largest lake in Colorado, Lake San Cristobal is located in Lake City. The only way to truly take in the beauty of this San Juan Mountain gem is by reserving a campsite at Wupperman Campground. Lake San Cristobal is ideal for trout fishing, boating, and picnicking, with endless miles of shoreline. At 9,000 feet elevation, Wupperman offers 31 campsites, all with lake views, accommodating RVs and tents.
An avid adventurer and lover of all things outdoors and travel, Sydney Paschall has explored and discovered as many beautiful places as she can, with extra time spent in Oregon, Colorado, and driving up and down the west coast. Now based in Austin, Sydney focuses her time on writing, social justice, and activism, living more mindfully, and staying active to optimize the mind, body, and soul. Instagram: @_sydshine
Where are your favorite places to go glamping? Share your experiences with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!
Enjoy reading about the open road?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.