Party Central, Six Scenes You Don't Want To Miss!
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri The Scoop: Amateur partyers and teetotalers are out of their league at the aptly named Party Cove. The adult-only three-day revelries run on holiday weekends during the summer and are attended by thousands. Anderson's Hollow Cove is the new home for this roving party. If your booze stash leaves no room for food, don't fret. The floating pizzeria is open late. The Site: www.funlake.com
Lake Havasu, Arizona/California The Scoop: The lake's 20,000 acres are filled with big-money boats from California, Nevada, and Arizona. Copper Canyon and the Sandbar are old news thanks to local constabulary. Look for raft-ups and beach parties along the manmade channel. The Memorial Day party spot is hard to miss-in past years it has drawn as many as 200,000 boats. The Site: www.golakehavasu.com
Mildred Island, California The Scoop: Locals claim that Labor Day weekend at the Meadows is a 50-year- old institution of extreme partying. But newbies in the know say the waters surrounding 1,000-acre Mildred Island is where it's at. After-hours anchorages can be had near Mandeville Tip, Five Fingers, Steamboat Slough, and Lost Slough. Drop by Al's Place in the tourist town of Locke for first-class eats. The site: www.californiadelta.org
Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Lake Erie The Scoop: April through August boaters raft up five-deep at the local marinas and fill the anchorages. This island is a little more family friendly than others, so plan to bring the kids. They'll love the hands-on displays at the state's Aquatic Resources Visitor Center. You can get hands-on yourself at the Boathouse Bar and Grill. The Site: www.put-in-bay.com
Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah The Scoop: Bullfrog Bay is the tried-and-true party spot at Powell. But Duane at the visitor center recommends any of the 96 canyons or 7 major bays. According to him, "If you raft-up, frat guys from Denver, church groups from Utah, and everyone in between will come." If no one shows, no loss, you can bathe alone in the 81⁄2 trillion gallons of 80-degree water. The Site: www.powellguide.com
Lake Mead, Nevada The Scoop: The largest manmade lake in the country has countless coves. Tan lines are only for the prudish at Sandy Point in the Gregg Basin on the eastern shore as well as Sandy Cove in the Bolder Basin in the west. Insiders also give the thumbs-up to Black Canyon at neighboring Mohave Lake. It's the desert, so sunscreen and drinking water are lifesavers. The Site: www.funonthelake.com