Lake Willoughby — Not to sound like your grandmother hedging on which grandchild is her favorite, but every Vermont lake is special in its own way. Still, there’s no denying that this five-mile-long glacial creation is truly unique. Clear, cold and deeper than a Jack Handey quote, Lake Willoughby is a perennial fave for Vermonters looking to get away from it all — in part because it doesn’t cost you six hours of drive time to the coast of Maine or a cool grand on airfare to the Rockies. Willoughby’s north and south beaches are clean and uncrowded, and the views are amazing — especially from the steep cliffs above. If you’re looking for quaint gift shops and chichi eateries, go elsewhere. Willoughby is a place to chill out and remind yourself why this lake rules the Northeast Kingdom.