Lake Raystown is PA’s hidden treasure

The Marina Restaurant has the best home fries in the world


I’m a Long Island gal, born and raised, which means I grew up around the ocean. Lakes were foreign to me and my only ideas of them were murky, dirty water with alligators and disgusting fish crawling around. Then, I decided to go to college conveniently located right on Cayuga Lake, the longest of New York’s Finger Lakes. And boy, was I wrong. My first of many exposures to the lake life was nothing short of fantastic, and though I prefer being ocean-side, lakes will hold a special place in my heart.

That being said, my roommates and I took a trip this past weekend to a little (or should I say, huge) place called Lake Raystown, PA. This lake, found entirely within Pennsylvania, is 8,300 acres long.

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Before this weekend, I had never even heard of Lake Raystown, nor would I have considered it to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the experience of seeing. But now, I’m here to tell you why Lake Raystown is one of the best places to plan your next escape away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life.

The Marina

Just a short drive up the hill, the marina is only a minute away from the resort at Raystown. With dozens of beautiful boats docked, it’s a convenient location to keep your boats or meet your friends to jump on theirs! Visitors can also find areas nearby the Marina to go fishing. An additional bonus? The Marina Restaurant, which serves some of the largest pancakes and best home fries you’ll ever eat.

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The Marina store

Right behind the marina’s waters is a gift shop for all of your touristy needs! Everything from key-chains, to postcards, to even the sunblock you forgot to pack for your trip can be found here! What a better way to say, “You’re missing out!” than a tacky, but very necessary, “I heart Lake Raystown” shirt!

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It’s super kid-friendly

Extremely safe and fun, the resort is ideal for children to regard Lake Raystown as one of their favorite traveling destinations. With an endless list of activities to keep the kiddies busy, there’s also one thing bound to keep them entertained—kids and adults alike—and that’s feeding the ducks and fish in the marina. And trust me when I say, those carp don’t mess around with their food!

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Look at those views!

Breathtaking. Gorgeous. Stunning. Peaceful. Serenity. Relaxing. Perfection. Whether it’s the view from your balcony or out on the water, you’re sure to be stunned by the effortless beauty of the world and the nature surrounding us.

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The resort itself (minor detail!)

The resort at Lake Raystown is centrally located to the water, the marina restaurant, and the gift shop. For a cheap price, visitors can stay in these rooms comfortably and happily. What else do you really need besides a clean bathroom, comfortable bed(s), a table with chairs, a couch, a mini refrigerator, and a television! I mean, it’s not like you’ll be in there much anyways!

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Resort activities

Watersports put aside, the Resort has so much to offer visitors if you choose to stay on land! There are events planned out every weekend, ranging from paintings, to slip’n’sides, to tye dying shirts, to water balloon dodgeball, to even a flashlight candy find hunt! There’s a playground on site for the younger kiddies and a Proud Mary Showboat for the older crowds (with karaoke on board later in the evening). The resort even has activities for your four legged family members, including a Pet Show with categories ranging from “Most Lovable” to “Best Dressed?”

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Extreme water sports

Yes, finally, now we’re talking! The reason almost anyone takes a trip to the lake is for those adrenaline-rushing water sports we all love. On any nice day in the summer, Lake Raystown is populated with all different kinds of boats, jet skis, tubers, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and swimmers. In the summer, the water is warm, so don’t worry about flipping that tube or paddleboard because it’s inevitable you’ll take a dip in the refreshing waters.

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And don’t forget the cliffs!

Unlike some lakes, this one is surrounded by a large majority of trees—it’s pretty desolate. Along the shore of the lake, you’ll find the occasional cliff perfect for cliff diving. The ones with the ropes attached are your best bet at climbing efficiently and safely. Helpful hint: wear water shoes if you’re planning on this one… you (and your feet) will thank me later! Not into heights? Come on, beat your fear and do it for the Insta!

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So what are you waiting for? It’s time to book your next vacation to Lake Raystown, PA. Get out there, jump off a cliff, and experience all the best that Lake Raystown has to offer because life begins today!