New Yorkers are lucky to be surrounded by water: When we get the urge to take a dip on a hot summer day, there are plenty of family-friendly beaches on Long Island or at the Jersey Shore. But, for families with little kids, the ocean can be intimidating, with its choppy waves and miles of hot sand without an inch of shade.
If you're itching to get the kids out of the city to enjoy a swim in the great outdoors, what better place than one of our area's beautiful, tranquil, freshwater swimming lakes? We've rounded up the best lake swimming spots within a 2-hour drive from the city.
Find more fun things to do this summer (and ways to cool down) with our Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide for NYC kids.