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Featured Articles

5 Autumn lake-life experiences to check off your bucket list this year

Nick Marchese


11/08/2021

Every summer must come to an end but that doesn’t mean lake life ceases to exist. In fact, this is a wonderful time to rent a lake house or drive an RV to a lake and enjoy some of the beautiful scenery as the seasons change. Here's 5 things to get you started this Fall:

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1: In the northern part of the US, leaves are starting to change color, water temps are cooling, and many fruits are prime for picking. In the Midwest, there’s a slew of you-pick apple orchards that are the start of wonderful annual traditions. Many commercialized orchards will have fun events for the kiddos, petting zoos, and local jams, baked goods, and apple cider donuts! Just north of Chicago you’ll find Apple Holler and to the west you’ll find a new-but-fantastic Woody’s Orchard. Apples are just one example, You-Pick fruit orchards are becoming a firm staple and tradition in the Midwest.

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2: Just because the water is cooling in the north it doesn’t mean that you can’t go out on the water. It also doesn’t mean that folks in the south or west don’t have the ability to go boating too. If you don’t have a boat, fear not! BoatSetter.com has you covered. Here you can find and rent a boat for a few hours or days! They have selections from Pontoons and Deckboats to Yachts with dedicated drivers. The bottom line is that BoatSetter.com shares the same passions as BetterLakes.com - let’s help people have a better lake experience.

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3: Relax, enjoy the scenery, and be calm. Some of the best sunsets and evenings are spent on the shoreline by the water. If you have a [SoloStove]https://(www.solostove.com) or travel sized firepit, pack it up, rent a [VRBO (https://www.vrbo.com) on the lake and settle in for some time to truly unwind and enjoy the changing seasons. This is a perfect time to check out some of the smaller lakes like Dewey Lake where you don’t need to spend your days cruising the lake but rather just get close to the energy that comes from being by the water!

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4: Use alcohol to keep warm (if and only if you’re 21)! Nothing goes better with fall weather than a strong drink that helps numb the impending cold weather. Some of the best whisky can be sampled through services like Flaviar.com but that takes planning ahead and about $300 a year to get a few tasty samples. It’s always advisable to support the local economy and check out their liquor selection for your preferred autumn spirits. That all being said, wine tasting is a great way to enjoy the fresh air a bit while on your lake vacation! TripAdvisor.com is a great place to find some local wineries.

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5: Take a nice stroll (or aggressive hike) along the waterfront and collect seashells. There’s a lot of fun crafts that you can do with a little creativity. Kids love the idea of shell collection but you can step it up by making something cute and wearable. Check out The Spruce Craft’s suggestions: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/seashell-activities-1253753 . If you’re more of the aggressive hike kind of person, https://AllTrails.com is a great resource but don’t forget to bring the right gear for your hike.

Featured

Using BetterLakes.com

Nick Marchese


12/13/2021

BetterLakes has several goals in mind but the main focus is to help you find a better lake experience. With this goal in mind, here’s how to use BetterLakes.com. Please know that it’s still “under construction” and many things are changing regularly. The community can’t be built without your help though. This quick tutorial will show you how to submit a lake, search for a lake, review a lake, and upload photos for lakes.

How to Search for a better lake

If you know the name of the lake you want to vacation, fish, relax, or practice your elite wake boarding at, start at betterlakes.com and search for the lake name. Here’s a great example of a lake that’s already been submitted.

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https://www.loom.com/share/4f63b31873524bf48bb63b7ec36cb840

Once the lake name shows up, go ahead and click to see the lake profile page.

How to search by city:

If you don’t know which lake you want to go to, but you do know the general area, go ahead and enter a nearby city or town. That could help you get closer to the better lake experience that you’re looking for.

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How to Browse for a better lake

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself here, don’t get lost in time. Eventually, there’s going to be a lot of lakes and you could really spend the day in a vicarious lake vacation travelling the country from the comfort of your computer or phone. You can limit the lakes results by using the filters. These filters are based on what other Lake Goers have said about the lakes - not necessarily factual data.

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What’s in a lake profile

Once you find the lake you were meant to find, check to see if there’s any nearby vacation rentals. If you’re exploring the lake for the first time, book a vacation rental! Check out the lake and the nearby area. Waterfront vacations are good for the soul - that’s a fact. After you’ve been to the lake, tell the world about it. Let everyone know how amazing, or dull, the lake and area are. Klinger Lake Profile.png

How to submit a lake

Submitting a lake to BetterLakes can be started at the bottom of each page. Click on “Submit a Lake”. Drag the map and BL Pin around to find the lake you’re submitting and enter the name of the lake and as much other information that you have there. Once the lake is submitted, the team at BetterLakes will review it to make sure it’s valid. Come back in a day or two and see the lake profile in all its glory. Now it’s time to review the lake

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How to review a lake and leave photos

Let your creativity go wild, or focus on simple reviews. It’s up to you. On the lake profile page scroll down a bit and select “Leave Review”. How many stars do you give the lake? Once you tell us your experience, tell us what you did at the lake or any stand out characteristics. Then, upload a photo if you want and share it with the world! Lake Review.png

What's in a Deck Boat

12/14/2021

There are a ton of different boat types out there and each one one has its unique characteristics. Likewise, each has its own benefits. When shopping for a boat or renting a boat (from boatsetters.com), it’s important to really think about what purpose the boat will serve.

One important thing to know -** ANY BOAT IS BETTER THAN NO BOAT**! With that said, it’s this writer’s humble opinion that deck boats are among the best all-purpose boats for inland boating on small to moderately sized lakes. The best way to think of a Deck Boat is a ski boat with pontoon seating arrangements and a good sized deck and platforms at the bow (front) and stern (back) of the boat.

Before we can get to why deck boats are so great, let’s address just a few of the most common things to do on many of these mid-sized lakes.

  • Fishing
  • Cruising
  • Water sports
  • Swimming
  • Sightseeing
  • Visiting with friends and family
  • Transporting
  • Anchoring
  • And most importantly, relaxing.

You can do many of the same things on most boats but with certain ones you might find your options limited. With a deck boat, you can have almost everything you need. If you fish, check out the Starcraft deck boats with the fishing package. It’s pretty slick how they add the boat seat on the front deck along with a trolling motor for more stability.

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As for cruising around the lake, taking a few skiers or tubers out with your friends and family, it’s an excellent way to go. The large seating arrangements allow for plenty of passengers (more than an equivalent sized ski boat) and it allows for easier conversation.

Another great aspect of these boats is the number of extras that come with it. Some come with a cushion that inserts between the front two seats to make a bed-like boat cushion - it’s amazing, really! The amount of storage on a deck boat is unprecedented for a ski boat! Each seat can have storage under neat, the v-shape of the hull creates a nice pocket for under floor storage, the cabin/steering wheel adds another section for storage as well. You can also add a tow tower to the boat for added ski/wakeboard launching.

All said and done, deck boats are extremely diverse. They are an excellent choice for families, novice-to-medium skilled skiers or wakeboarders, and anyone looking to enjoy the fresh air that comes with cruising on a lake.