12 U.S. Destinations for the Perfect Last-Minute Summer Vacation

1. Lake Mead, Nevada

Lake Mead, Nevada
CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock.com

Lake Mead is a great lake in the desert that is beautiful — it’s 112 miles long and the nation’s largest water reservoir when at full capacity — and close to two major attractions that are far more crowded: the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

Attractions include Hoover Dam, which created Lake Mead when it was built on the Colorado River in the 1930s, and Black Canyon National Recreation Trail.

In recent years, however, newly revealed attractions are drawing visitors, CBS News reports.

Lake Mead’s volume has dropped due to extended drought, with a white “bathtub ring” created by the leaching of minerals showing the former high-water level. So hikers can now access the ruins of the Old West town of St. Thomas, which had been underwater for decades after the dam was built.

Also, divers now can see the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber that crashed into Lake Mead while on a secret mission in 1948. Previously, it was too far under the surface for sunlight to reach it.

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