Best desert oasis: Glen Canyon National Rec Area, Utah/Arizona
A blue mirage set in red rocks, Lake Powell—which forms the watery heart of Glen Canyon National Rec Area—has nearly 2,000
miles of shoreline, which means a lot of Lake Powell beaches to choose from.
A few, like Lone Rock Beach, can be reached by car. But some of the best are nameless coves accessed only by boat. Good thing you can rent powerboats at three lake marinas: Antelope, Bullfrog, and Wahweap. (Houseboats are also popular, but you can’t navigate into narrow coves as well.)
Don’t miss: A cruise to the lake’s south shore and Rainbow Bridge National Monument, home to the world’s largest known natural rock bridge.
Get there: $15 per vehicle; nps.gov/glca or lakepowell.com (boat rental). –Peter Fish