I wish there was a 'west coast' forum, but I the site only offers state-by-state. However, since many of us are widely traveled, here goes...
We want to take a vacation on a lake with a toddler (1.5yr old). A few requirements:
1. Within 2-3 hour flight from LA
2. Within 1 hour drive from the airport
3. Warm water suitable for swimming in July/Aug.
4. Relatively developed (i.e. we'll need at least a few restaurants around). A kids playground would also be nice. (I love some of the more remote parts of Tahoe, but it would be a major pain with a kiddo to have to drive for 20 min every time we need dinner.)
5. Preferably shallow beach
6. Forested area with plenty of shade.
7. We need a 2br place (full suite hotel or an apartment will work). We want to keep under $200/night.
The only place that I know of that fits the bill is Tahoe (can't swim at big bear, Arrowhead sucks, Castaic is hotter than Hades)
Since we are flying anyway, I was hoping to expand my horizons beyond CA. Would love to find a nice lake in a deciduous forest. Any suggestions for OR, WA?