Sure, Idaho may be a landlocked state but there's no lack of places to get out on the boat or relax on a beach. Believe it or not, Idaho is home to over 2,000 lakes and a beach at one of them was named one of the very best in the United States! 

Photo by Brandon Nelson on Unsplash
Photo by Brandon Nelson on Unsplash
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When you tell someone from out-of-state that Idaho is home to some of the most crystal clear, turquoise waters you’ve ever seen do they look at you like you have antlers growing out of your head? They don’t believe you until you Google “the Caribbean of the Rockies,” pass them the phone and show them some absolutely gorgeous photos of Bear Lake.

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Idaho shares the 20-mile long, 8-mile wide lake with our neighbors in Utah. According to a pamphlet put together by the Utah Geological Survey, its beautiful blue color comes from microscopic particles of white-colored limestone reflecting the water’s natural blue hue back to the surface.

Photo by Brandon Nelson on Unsplash
Photo by Brandon Nelson on Unsplash
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No doubt, its unparalleled beauty is what makes Bear Lake such a popular destination for water recreation and camping in the summer months. There are a handful of beaches around the lake to relax on, but it’s North Beach on the Idaho side of the lake that was named one of the very best freshwater beaches in the entire country.

Fodors Travel put together a list of 15 beaches that they call “The Best Beaches in the U.S. That Are Nowhere Near the Ocean” and they handed North Beach the #6 spot on their list just behind beaches in Michigan, Nevada, California and Illinois.

In their flattering article they said:

“This beach covers two miles of coastline and is an enormously popular swimming area in the summer months. There are plenty of quiet spots to plant a chair, soak up the sun, and enjoy the peaceful scenery of this idyllic green-blue-hued slice of lakeside paradise.”

By enormously popular, they mean that there are certain times when they have to close the beach due to it reaching capacity. According to the Idaho State Parks and Recreation website, during the summer months, it happens around 11 a.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m on Saturdays. As visitation levels drop later in the afternoon, they reopen it if room allows.

YouTube/Idaho Drone Guy
YouTube/Idaho Drone Guy
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If you’re looking for a spot to relax where you won’t see more than a handful of people during the day, Bear Lake probably isn’t for you. But if you mentally prepare yourself for crowds and know they’re going to be there going in, you’ll have a good time and create some epic memories.

Bear Lake is a little over five hours away from Boise, so it’s more of a weekend trip than a day trip. If you can’t commit that time, but still want to see some crystal clear water that looks like it should be on a Caribbean postcard, here are some options a little closer to home!

KEEP READING: These 3 Breathtaking Idaho Blue Lakes must Be On Your Summer Bucket List

While they look like they belong in the Caribbean, these crystal clear blue waters are actually found in Idaho! Click the name of the destination to learn more about it!

EXPLORE MORE: The Most Unique Camping Spots in Idaho and Its Neighboring States

According to Love Explore, these are the most unique camping spots in Idaho, its neighboring states and California (because so many of our new neighbors are from there.) If you visit any of them, please be respectful and practice the seven Leave No Trace Principles.

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You don't have to travel to Oregon or Washington State to experience a float house! There are plenty right here in Idaho.