Summer means lake season and here in the Charlotte area, we are surrounded by some wonderful lakes. I grew up going to camp on Lake Wylie in South Carolina and it will always have a special place in my heart. Many many people love Lake Norman to the North of Charlotte as well. And within a few hours’ drive, there are numerous other lakes. At the lake you may enjoy taking the boat out, going tubing or skiing, or my preferred activity just sitting on the dock with a drink. But while lake life can bring a lot of fun, it, unfortunately, can be dangerous as well. That’s why USA By The Numbers compiled a list of the most dangerous lakes and the 3rd deadliest lake is not too far from South Carolina.

The 3rd deadliest lake is Georgia’s Lake Lanier. USA By The Numbers reports that there were 43 deaths at Lake Lanier between 2015 and 2021. They also say that Lake Lanier had 128 watercraft incidents between 2015 and 2018, according to Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources. Lake Lanier is located Northeast of Atlanta. Its water is described as “murky” and there is a steep drop from the shoreline that often catches swimmers by surprise. Lake Lanier ranked only behind Lake Michigan and Lake Mead. Luckily none of the North or South Carolina lakes made this list. Though that doesn’t mean tragic accidents don’t happen here.

Lake Lanier

Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

 Here are some good reminders to keep in mind when on the water:

  • Make sure if you are swimming or on a boat in the lake, you don’t swim alone.
  • Don’t go out on the water without a Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Don’t dive or jump from cliffs or bridges into the water. It can be hard to tell the depth of the water and see the presence of submerged rocks, trees, or other hazards.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when swimming in lake water or supervising children who are swimming.
  • Do not rely on floats as life-saving devices.

Remember it doesn’t have to be the deadliest lake, any lake can be deadly which is why it is important to take safety precautions. May your summer fun on the lake be safe. Read about the rest of the most dangerous lakes here.

The Most Beautiful Lake In North Carolina Is Minutes From Charlotte

Do you love to spend your summers on the lake? If so you may be interested to know that Insider recently published a list of the most beautiful lakes in each state. Some are huge names like the Great Salt Lake in Utah (which I skipped out on visiting to go to a Super Target-in my defense there wasn’t one in Charlotte at the time?). And many are some of the larger lakes in the states and the most well known. Some are near the coast, others nestled in the mountains, or close by to the city. But what about North Carolina? What is the most beautiful lake in North Carolina? My first guess would have been Lake Lure but that’s not it.

I’m going to keep you in suspense for just a few more minutes. This list was culminated by the experts at Insider and is based on their opinions. You can view what they have to say here as well as the best lakes in each US state. Below you’ll find the most beautiful lake in North Carolina as well as some of the surrounding states. While I grew up going to camp on a lake that was not mentioned in this list and it will always be my favorite. Though I know most people will agree that this is the most beautiful and I respect your opinion. Truthfully I’m not much of a lake fan anyway. I don’t do water I can’t see my feet in anymore.

The Most Beautiful Lakes

  • North Carolina

    Just 20 miles north of Charlotte you’ll find Lake Norman, North Carolina’s largest man-made lake. Lake Norman or if you’re from this area “the lake” is surrounded by the towns of Huntersville, Davidson, and Cornelius. In these towns, you’ll find many lakefront homes perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. Get all the info on Lake Norman and plan your visit here.


  • South Carolina

    South Carolina’s most beautiful lake is the largest in the state covering 100,600 acres. Lake Marion is bordered by Clarendon, Calhoun, Berkeley, Orangeburg, and Sumter counties. It’s one of two beautiful water bodies that comprise Santee Cooper Reservoir. 16 boat ramps surround the lake which is known for its fishing. Get more info here

  • Georgia

     At its peak water capacity Lake Allatoona covers more than 12,000 acres and has 270 miles of shoreline. The lake and the majority of the surrounding land are managed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Though there are areas for public use and some that are leased to private entities. Visitors can camp or access the lake for one of the marinas. Get more info about Lake Allatoona here

  • Tennessee

    Norris Lake covers 34,000 acres and is surrounded by 800 miles of shoreline. On the lake you’ll find 22 marinas and resorts, 3 state parks, and  2 wildlife management areas. With so much to do you can plan an entire vacation around Norris Lake. Tt’s surrounded by the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee and is one of the state’s cleanest lakes. Major bonus points for that one! 

  • Virginia

    Smith Mountain Lake or SML for short is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The surface area of the lake is 32 square miles across Franklin County, Bedford County, and Pittsylvania County. About 22,000 people live on the lake, which has been featured in several movies. Get more info on SML here.