With summer just around the corner, there has never been a better time to plan the perfect weekend getaway. But no need to dust off the suitcases or shell out the big bucks, we’ve compiled a list of our 5 favorite lakes in Denver, Colorado. With fishing, swimming, and BBQ-filled afternoons just minutes away, all that’s left to do is pack the sunscreen!

RELATED: And you thought Colorado didn’t have any water…

1. Sloan’s Lake

Sloan Lake - @lucasneiderer - OutThere Colorado
Sloan’s Lake. Photo Credit: @lucasneiderer (Instagram).

Nestled just west of downtown Denver on Sheridan Boulevard, Sloan’s Lake boasts 177 acres of water activities and abundant park greenery. With the Denver city skyline as your backdrop, it’s no wonder this urban retreat is a local favorite. Admission is free, and both motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed from April 1st – November 1st (a permit is required).

RELATED: Visit Colorado’s Seven Falls

2. Cherry Creek Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir 2 - @norwood.foto - OutThere Colorado
Cherry Creek Reservoir. Photo Credit: @norwood.foto (Instagram).
Cherry Creek Reservoir - @tannerholl85 - OutThere Colorado
Cherry Creek Reservoir. Photo Credit: @tannerholl85 (Instagram).

Colorado may be hundreds of miles from a coast, but at the reservoir located in Cherry Creek State Park, a beach is only a few miles away. A sandy shoreline and designated swimming area provide the perfect weekend vacation without the high price tag or extra hassle. Boats, jet skis, overnight camping, and even horseback riding are available for your leisure, making this one of the best lakes in Denver. Admission into the park is $9 per day.

3. Chatfield Lake

Chatfield Lake - @ryneswanberg - OutThere Colorado
Chatfield Lake. Photo Credit: @ryneswanberg (Instagram).

Possibly one of the most versatile parks in the Denver area, this lake located in Chatfield State Park offers boating, water-skiing, ice-fishing, biking, camping, and even a hot air ballooning area. Looking for something a bit more laidback? Head over to the Swimbeach located on the west side of the lake for some sandy relaxation. Admission is $8 per day.

RELATED: 13 Places You’ve Got to Fish this Summer

4. Ferril and Duck Lake at City Park

City Park Denver - @laurenelizrose - OutThere Colorado
City Park. Denver, Colorado. Photo Credit: @laurenelizrose (Instagram).

If you’re looking for scenic views and plenty to do, City Park has got you covered. Stop by Wheel Fun Rentals and grab a paddleboard, kayak, or paddleboat for the afternoon. Looking to add a bit more to your lake day? The Denver Zoo, City Park Golf Course, and Denver Museum of Nature & Science are all within walking distance of the lakes. Admission to the park and lakes is free.

5. Aurora Reservoir

Aurora Reservoir - @marijojones - OutThere Colorado
Aurora Reservoir. Aurora Colorado. Photo Credit: @marijojones (Instagram).

While a few miles outside of Denver, the 800-acre Aurora Reservoir is one worth noting. With the lifeguarded Swim Beach opening back up Memorial Day weekend, scuba diving capabilities, and free access to the archery range, the Aurora Reservoir is sure to have something for everyone in the family. Day passes are available for $10.

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5 Lakes Denver - OutThere Colorado