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Lakes of the United States

Lake Guntersville is the largest lake in Alabama with 75 miles in length and a total of 69,000 acres. It is located in the northern part of the state between Bridgeport and Guntersville. The lake was created by the Guntersville Dam on the Tennessee River. The name Guntersville is derived from John Gunter in the 1800s, who was an early German settler in the area and a wealthy owner of a salt mine. During this time the land was settled by a Cherokee tribe. A trade was made between the tribe and Gunter; salt for the tribe and Mr. Gunter married the chief’s daughter. Next to the lake is a 6,000 acre park of beautiful woodlands. The park has a championship golf course, beach, fishing, hiking trails and more. There are lake view cottages and modern campgrounds on the lake. Taylor Mountain is the home of a resort lodge with chalets on the ridge tops for fabulous accommodations. The lake and resort was in the 2008 issue of “Field & Stream” as one of the “Top 10 Fishing Towns in America”, and featured in “Where to Retire” magazine recently.

Lake Martin is located in the counties of Tallapoosa, Elmore and Coosa in Alabama. The lake of over 750 miles is 44,000 acres with a beautiful wooded shoreline. It is one of the largest artificial lakes in the United States. The formation of the lake came about from the construction of Martin Dam on Tallapoosa River in 1936 which generates power for the Alabama Power Company. The dam was originally called Cherokee Bluffs, but was renamed in honor of Thomas Martin who was the president of the power company at that time. The lake is an extremely popular recreational area for swimming, boating, waterskiing, camping, fishing and golfing. The community hosts many events throughout the year including Aquapalooza, the world’s largest boat party which took place in July. In fact, the suntan.com team was there set up next to Sinclair’s Restaurant (a top 10 outdoor dining restaurant) handing out koozies and reminding everyone about the safe ways to suntan.

The show was put on by Robert Gunn, Sinclair’s, Russell Lands, Sea Ray Boats and Sea Doo with the aid of the police and fire departments and more. That evening there were some local acts from Alabama and Josh Carter of the Carter Twins but headlining the whole event was superstar country singer Alan Jackson. There were about four thousand boats tied up in the lake and about 30,000 people in attendance for this free event. The lake also heads up fishing tournaments and has a fabulous fireworks show July 4th.Lake Martin also has many special landmarks like the Willow Point Country Club with a great golf course, but the most famous is Chimney Rock which is a large formation of rock that looks like a chimney. Next to that rock closer to the water is Acapulco Rock, however the locals like to call this famous place Chimney Rock or “The Rock”.

Boaters park their boats here by the thousands during the summer to watch thrill seekers climb up the 60 feet to the top and jump off in the water (and of course many join in, too!). There are pictures on our web site under “event photos” and Aquapalooza. Please check them out.Stay at the Creekside Lodge & Conference Center where you can relax by the fire enjoy the pool have a great massage. Play a round of golf at the Willow Point Country Club, Stillwaters Resort less than a mile away or at the Robert Trent Jones Grand National complex less than 30 minutes away.


Lake Ontario is one of the United States five Great Lakes with Ontario, Canada being its boundary to the north; south is Niagara Peninsula and New York. The lake is not only the smallest in area of the Great Lakes, but it does not border Michigan. The primary inlet to the lake is the Niagara River, which is from Lake Erie. The primary outlet is the St. Lawrence River. An interesting fact about the Great Lakes is that they are twenty percent of the worlds freshwater and most flows over Niagara Falls. The shoreline is mostly rural on the American side of the lake, except for Rochester and a small part of Oswego. The largest island on Lake Ontario is Wolfe Island near Kingston at the St. Lawrence River entrance and you can get there by ferry. The entire lake rarely freezes in the winter because the foot depth averages from about 280 – 800 feet. In fact, the only recorded times in history that the lake completely froze over were the years 1875 and 1934. The cold winds move over the lake and pick up moisture from the lake creating the lake effect snow. 
Sometimes if it is a very cold windy winter and the wind blows up high waves on the lake, the waves will freeze. It is such a beautiful site to see these waves turned into huge chunks of ice. Also during the winter the lake can change its scenic appearance almost by the hour when the ice constantly changes locations.
In the summertime there are many kinds and sizes of boats on the lake including small motor boats, fishing boats, sailboats and yachts. There is much opportunity for recreation including hiking, canoeing, backpacking, birding, fishing, sailing or take one of many charter tours. There are plenty of quaint little towns, fabulous restaurants, great accommodations and fun places to shop in this area. Spend some time taking tours of the Lake’s lighthouses. 
Whether it’s summer or winter here you will need your sun protection for your suntan. Stay at the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel & Spa, which is AAA four-diamond, 5-star luxury hotel just 100 yards from Niagara Falls.

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains located on the borders of the two states of California and Nevada. About two thirds of the lake shoreline is California. It is situated just west of the famous capital of Nevada, Carson City. The lake is 1,645 feet deep and was formed about 2 million years ago during the Ice Age and will never freeze. It snows here from November to April and will flood in the area if the snow melts rapidly and there is a lot of rainfall. August is the warmest month with a high average of 78 degrees. January is the coldest month with a low of about 19 degrees. The water is a blue crystal and the mountain ranges surrounding the lake are spectacular with snow on their peaks. It’s easy to travel here. The three highways are I-80, U.S. Hwy. 50 or NV Hwy. 431. If you fly into Reno you will have a very beautiful scenic one hour drive to the lake; or fly into Lake Tahoe. It takes an hour or two, but you can also drive around the lake. The magnificent panoramic views of the lake and mountains bring in many tourists, but the activities are abundant. One of the major tourist attractions for the Nevada side is the casinos like Tahoe Biltmore Lodge & Casino, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino (my personal favorite), Bill’s Casino Lake Tahoe, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Casino and Resort and more. 

The list goes on and on for things to do at Lake Tahoe in the summer including swimming, scuba diving and sun tanning at the very large public beach called Kings Beach. Boating is the biggest fun activity among the visitors and home owners on Lake Tahoe. Take a charter tour on the lake. There are hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails all around the lake of all different ranges in difficulty and popularity. 

Winter time brings a totally different agenda in activities. There are a dozen of the more popular ski resorts including my favorite, Heavenly Mountain Resort, also Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak Northstar at Tahoe, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Mount Rose Ski Resort and more. There is also snow tubing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. If you would like a romantic ride around the area try a horse pulled sleigh ride – very nice!


The television series Bonanza was filmed at Lake Tahoe; in fact you can tour the house and barn where they were filmed. Several movies were shot here also; including a scene from Godfather II, the Corleone family compound; Smoking Aces, Assassination, Body Guard and City of Angels. It’s very easy to get burned from the sun here, so be sure to use your sun protection and get a great suntan instead!

-Ms. Suntan

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