If you love the water so much that your friends question if you are part fish, there are plenty of places in the United States that are ideal for an water-themed vacation. As a bonus, many of these are not crowded beaches but rather off the beaten path locations that offer the beauty and serenity of water but without tons of tourists. Check out these secluded and scenic water destinations:


Tamolitch Pool, McKenzie River, Oregon

Tamolitch Pool is also known as Blue Pool for good reason—the small pool of water near the McKenzie River east of Eugene and Springfield, Oregon, is like a miniature Crater Lake in the middle of the forest. As Every Trail notes, Tamolitch Pool is reached by a relatively easy hike along the McKenzie River trail. The first part of the hike goes through old growth Douglas fir, and features a slow climb to an old lava flow area, below which lies the serene and clear blue pool. Although you can technically make your way down the embankment and swim in the water, be aware that it is exceptionally cold. Instead, consider packing a picnic lunch in your backpack, spread a blanket on a large rock above the water and enjoy your meal overlooking one of the more memorable bodies of water in the country. For lodging, nearby Eugene and Springfield have plenty of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts.

Lake of the Isles, Minnesota

In a state nicknamed “the land of 10,000 lakes” you know there will be plenty of incredible bodies of water to visit. For example, the Lake of the Isles is a low-key and uncrowded place, with breathtaking views of the large homes that surround it. While Lake of the Isles does not have any beaches, it’s a great spot for water sports like canoeing, kayaking and fishing. In the winter, the lake transforms into an ice skating rink. Because Minnesota gets pretty cold in the fall and winter, if you travel to Lake of the Isles during these seasons, be sure to bring along the proper cold-weather clothing.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu

Hawaii is home to many incredible water destinations, some of which feature more fish than tourists. For example, HanaumaBay Nature Preserve in Oahu offers some of the clearest and bluest waters in the world, making it ideal for snorkeling. The city and county of Honolulu have reduced the number of visitors to this body of water and have added restrictions to keep the bay clean and the marine ecosystem healthy. Unlike the busy Waikiki Beach and other spots around Oahu that are filled with tourists, at Hanauma Bay you’ll find fewer people. The bay is located around 30 minutes from Waikiki; you can stay there and then rent a car to drive to the preserve. Since the preserve only features a snack bar, bring along a picnic lunch and set aside enough time to watch the educational video and do some snorkeling.

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