My husband is from upstate New York. His grandmother lived across the street literally from Lake Ontario. Big open water was always present for: fishing,swimming,boating,or whatever else they could come up with.I'm from Colorado. Growing up we had rivers and lakes;nothing as grand as Lake Ontario,but beautiful all the same. We went camping often and thou I inevitably got sea sick I enjoyed getting on our family's canon and fishing the afternoon away. We lived in Georgia for seven years and there we had so much water between small streams,lakes and the ocean.
Our little bit of Texas, El Paso, is pure desert.Water to play in...find a swimming pool or drive 3-4 hours! That is with the exception of a park that if it had not been for getting completely lost one day I never would have found, Ascarate Park .http://www.epcounty.com/parksandrec/ascaratepark/lake.htm
Ascarate Park is defiantly kind of a smorgasbord of outdoor activity for family. On the 448 acres there is a golf course, baseball fields, a playground,a duck pond,walking and biking trails,places to picnic,and a 18 acre lake.