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Otter Tail County named top-10 boating destination

Star Lake is home to many looking for fun in the water during the summer.

Thousands flock to Otter Tail County to beat the heat in the summer months, and a few get to enjoy the lakes year around.

Well, word gets around when it comes to the beauty and tranquility that is lakes country, and one national publication is one of them.

Boating Magazine named Otter Tail County one of the top 10 places to live and boat.

"Otter Tail County officially contains 1,048 lakes," the article states. "Minnesota does have a shorter summer but it's made up by its passionate boaters."

The article also claims that Otter Tail County has the most lakes contained in a single county in the United States.

"People love to live on lakes up here," Bill Kalar of the Otter Tail County Land and Resource Management Department told Boating Magazine. "Every year we have more waterfront homes being built. We've got no shortage."

The article also praised the county for economic development.

"The construction of an ethanol plant in the area promises new jobs and more than $110 million per year added to the local economy, making the near future look bright," the article says.

Overall, on a scale of one to five, Otter Tail County got a five on waterfront availability, four for ease for boaters, three for strong boat-related business, and two for number of good boating days.

Coming up ahead of Otter Tail County was Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Knoxville, Tenn., Tampa Bay, Fla., Benton County, Ark., and Seattle.

Coming in seventh through tenth were Finger Lakes, N.Y., Austin, Texas, Oconee County, S.C., and San Diego.

For the article, go to

More of the best places to live and boat in the country, from Boating Magazine.


Seattle life revolves around the outdoors, mostly the water. The gray skies cannot keep boater indoors. Seattle's boating communities are the heartbeat of the city.

Benton County, Ark.

Benton County used to be boating hidden treasure in the Ozark Mountains. Well, the secret is now out. Benton is now the third-fastest growing county in the United States, for the most part because of the clean environment, improving economy and accessibility of 30,000 acres of boatable water.

Tampa Bay, Fla.

Tampa Bay equals sunshine. This alone makes it a top contender for one of the best places to live and boat. On one side you have the Gulf of Mexico (St. Petersburg), then there's the bay. With all of that water, it's no wonder why Tampa is one of the top 10 places to live and boat.

Knoxville, Tenn.

The Tennessee River is a major part of every aspect of life in Knoxville. Travel upstream from the city is a popular fishing and camping spot. Recreation is found closer to the city.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"Venice of America," Fort Lauderdale feels like a floating city. Fort Lauderdale has 165 miles of canals and waterways around and through the city. Also, Florida's year-round boating weather contributes to making it a great boating city.

Finger Lakes, N.Y.

In the Finger Lakes, summer revolves around the water. There are trout derbies, day cruises, vacation lake houses and family/romantics picnics surrounding its lakes.

Austin, Texas

From Austin to 85 miles northwest of the city, the Highland Lakes region of Texas harbors six lakes known for boating and fishing. Austin caters to both the younger demographic and retirees.

Oconee County, S.C.

Lake Keowee and neighboring Lake Jocassee are quiet considering how close they are to Clemson University. The college student crowd sticks to Lake Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee. The region has become a center retreat for boaters relocating from up north or from down south.

San Diego

Sunny San Diego is a 100 percent correct common cliché. Boaters in San Diego rarely plan their day out on the boat around the forecast. Boaters enjoy relaxing in Mission Bay, cruising out to Catalina Island, and catching concerts at the downtown San Diego amphitheater.