The 2nd largest Great Lake
The only Great Lake that the U.S. can claim entirely, Lake Michigan is the 5th largest lake in the world. Its name is derived from the Ojibwa Indian word "michi-gama," which means "large lake." There are numerous state parks dotting Lake Michigan's shores, as well as many charming small towns that cater to weekenders and seasonal residents. However, if you can't make it out of Chicago, there are an abundance of options for enjoying the Lake - most of the city's waterfront has been converted into parks with running and biking lanes, while several beaches in the city ensure a great view of the skyline from anywhere in the water.