The United States is home to stunning travel spots, some of which feature waters as blue as any you’ve ever seen. Aesthetic, psychological, and sensory considerations contribute to the water’s attractiveness. The sight of peaceful, clean, blue water has a soothing effect, and you can find some of the clearest water in the US. It’s a common metaphor for finding solace and stepping away from the stresses of everyday life. Here are ten such spots in the United States.
1. Crater Lake, Oregon
Rivers typically feed lakes, but not this lake. Crater Lake is a pristine natural wonder formed within a collapsed volcano’s caldera. The lake’s water is sourced only from melted snow and rainfall. The absence of sediment and mineral deposits in the lake’s water contributes to its vibrant hue and exceptional clarity. A remarkable feature that makes it one of the cleanest and unspoiled lakes globally. Crater Lake, with a depth of 1,943 feet, is the deepest lake in the United States.
2. Lake Tahoe, California, and Nevada
Although the lake’s water clarity has decreased in the last 50 years, new research shows that North America’s largest alpine lake has the most transparent waters since the 1980s. Lake Tahoe, one of the twenty oldest lakes in the world, was formed over 3–4 million years through a combination of volcanic activity, faulting, and glaciation. The Lake Tahoe Dam, built in 1913 in Tahoe City, raised the lake’s water level by about 10 feet, transforming it into a reservoir.
3. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of the last untouched marine ecosystems in the United States, and its greatest asset is the Tortugas’ extensive coral reefs. Strong marine currents and the area’s lack of pollution make for a thriving ecosystem home to diverse marine life. Its clean, clear water allows sunlight to penetrate deeper, supporting the growth of coral and providing an ideal habitat for marine life. This remote national park is perfect for snorkeling and diving.
4. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
The Apostle Islands are located in Lake Superior, and the lake’s clarity draws divers and kayakers who want to see the vibrant underwater landscapes and shipwrecks. Beaches, cliffs, ocean, and 21 individual islands comprise the vast and varied landscape of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
5. Yosemite, California
The high snowmelt runoff during the spring and early summer seasons renders the water of several Yosemite lakes, including Mirror Lake and Tenaya Lake, exceptionally pure. The optical clarity of these bodies of water is often exceptional, allowing for stunning mirroring of the surrounding landscape. This national park is famous for its spectacular scenery and waterfalls, but you can swim in most waterways. The Merced River is a popular kayaking, rafting, and floating spot.
6. Devil’s Den, Florida
This is an extraordinary underground natural pool near Gainesville, characterized by its transparent blue-green water that maintains a constant temperature of 72°F. The highly transparent water provides excellent visibility for visitors to observe underwater rock formations, fossils, and aquatic life. One can engage in snorkeling or scuba diving amidst the rock formations, stalactites, and prehistoric fossil deposits.
7. Warren Falls, Vermont
This location within the Green Mountain National Forest is a noteworthy discovery, as it boasts cascading waterfalls and natural pools exhibiting remarkably clear water. You can slide down the falls, jump off the rocks, or kick back in the natural jacuzzi. Cliff jumping is a popular activity here but always carries a high risk, so it would be best to exercise caution.
8. Sebago Lake, Maine
Sebago Lake in Maine is renowned for its pristine clear water. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, the lake’s crystal-clear depths offer a mesmerizing sight. Visitors are enthralled by the clarity of the water, which allows for excellent visibility, making it an ideal destination for boating, swimming, and other water activities. The sparkling clarity of Sebago Lake’s waters creates a tranquil and immersive experience, inviting all who visit to appreciate its natural beauty.
9. Havasupai Falls, Arizona
This remote oasis in the Grand Canyon is where you can see five spectacular waterfalls with turquoise water contrasting with red rocks. You must hike 10 miles or take a helicopter from the trailhead at Hualapai Hilltop to reach this paradise. Its unique turquoise color results from mineral-rich water flowing over the limestone formations of the area.
10. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
Showcasing the breathtaking panorama of the Mokulua Islands has earned Lanikai Beach a reputation as one of the world’s top beaches. The reliable wind conditions make the beach ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Located in the Kahao neighborhood of Kailua on the leeward side of Oahu, Hawaii, this beach also goes by Kahao Beach. The word Lanikai means “heavenly sea” in Hawaiian. With its heavenly sea and breathtaking views, it’s genuinely “shore” to make you feel like you’re in beach heaven!
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