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Looking for freshwater thrills?

Look no more, fam. Below are our top picks for lake escapes, written for those not lucky enough to live in Whispering Pines or Seven Lakes.

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Source: chapelboro.com

1. Jordan Lake, Apex: Take advantage of nine boat access areas scattered around the shoreline of this 14,000-acre reservoir, with more than 1,000 tent or RV campsites to choose from. There are seven beaches for swimming and 14 miles of hiking trails, and you can see wildlife like Bald Eages and Osprey. Plus, it’s not too far from the city center, so you can enjoy Target, Chipotle and all the other things you wish we had here.

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Source: Seth Myers via onlyinyourstate.com

2. Badin Lake, Troy: Take a dip in thousands of acres located in the Uwharrie National Forest. The state recreation area offers swimming, boating, fishing, hunting and trails for horseback riding, four-wheeling and mountain biking. You can also try jet-skiing, kayaking, pontooning and canoeing. After a long day on the lake, settle in for a drive-in movie before heading to your campsite or cabin, either on the water or nearby Morrow Mountain.

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Source: discoveryburkecounty.com

3. Lake James, Nebo: The truly adventurous can try their hand at a remote, boat-in campground on the Long Arm Peninsula of this 6,812-acre lake located near the Appalachian Mountains. Lifeguards keep watch on swimming areas, and fisherman will find a plethora of white bass. You’ll find a fair share of wineries and breweries within 30 minutes, as well as an orchard and cider mill.

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Source: queenslanding.com

4. Lake Norman State Park, Troutman: The state’s larges man-made lake, 20 miles north of Charlotte, offers plenty of options for lakeside luxury. Roll up to a bar with a boat slip for a liquid lunch, or take a dinner cruise on a yacht.

Though avid mountain bikers rave about the 30.5 miles of single-track trail, the park also offers canoe, kayak, pedal boat and paddle board rentals, as well as a 125-yard long swimming beach. The beach includes a bathhouse with bathrooms, changing stalls and warm showers, as well as a concession stand.

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Source: rvpoints.com

5. Lake Waccamaw: You’ll find this 9,000-acre natural wonder in a town of the same name, near Wilmington. The largest Carolina Bay in the state only averages about 7 feet deep and is home to species found nowhere else. From the trees covered in Spanish Moss to shore-lined seashells to the green swamp, this hidden gem feels more like Florida than North Carolina. Watch out for the alligators.

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Source: Bass Lake State Park, Facebook

6. Bass Lake, Holly Springs: A fisherman’s dream, this lake is stocked with 1,5000 pounds of catfish each month. Night crawlers and red worms are sold at the park concession stand, and you can even rent a pole. There’s no camping or swimming, but you can rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboat (no motors allowed). Fans of geocaching will be happy here, too.

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THE LOCAL INTEL OF YOUR WILDEST DREAMS

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