If you want to enjoy the great outdoors this summer, you're in luck.

Primarily, because you won't have to drive far and wide in order to have one of the best lake vacations in America.

WHY DRIVE FAR? STAY CLOSE TO HOME

Sure you could travel west and check out some amazing lake stays in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Utah, but what if you want to stay close to home?

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U.S. News & World Report says two of the best lake vacays in America are just north of Rockford.

AN ISLAND LAKE VACATION WORTH THE DRIVE (AND FERRY)

The first one you should consider is a bit of a hike but it sounds like it's worth the drive. Yes, the Apostle Islands are nearly 8 hours from Rockford, but somehow still in Wisconsin.

Never mind that you'll also need a ferry to get there because after all, it's just part of the adventure.

When you finally arrive, prepare yourself, because the Apostle Islands sound like something from another realm.

U.S. News & World Report:

...Its incredible scenery and peaceful atmosphere will be more than worth the journey. Composed of 21 of the 22 islands that are part of the Apostle Islands archipelago...the islands stand out for their colorful, uniquely carved sandstone cliffs and sea caves, which are a result of erosion.

The study also mentions a few places on the upper east coast of America including a slew of awe-inspiring lake stays in Michigan.

ONE OF THE BEST LAKE VACAYS IN AMERICA IS ABOUT AN HOUR FROM ROCKFORD

A bit closer to home, the second lake vacation worth checking out is in Lake Geneva.

I'm sure you've been there a million times but did you know it's considered one of the best places to enjoy a lake vacation in America?

U.S. News & World Report:

Whatever you choose to do, be sure to pencil in time for a stroll along the 26-mile-long Lake Geneva Shore Path, which weaves around the lake and looks particularly scenic come sunset.

Whichever of the two you pick for a lake stay this summer it doesn't sound like you can go wrong.

If you want to get out of Illinois and Wisconsin but kind of stay in the midwest, there were a few others nearby like one in Missouri you should probably check out.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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