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Zürichsee (Lake Zürich)
It's a bit too busy for waterskiing, but every other activity is on offer on this end of the beautiful lake, from swimming to walking along the promenade and people-watching.
This may be the only major city in the world where you can actually swim in the heart of downtown—as hundreds do on hot summer days at its four beaches (called "Badeanstalte," or "Badis" for short—literally bathing installations—and subject to 6 SF admission). Expect to find changing rooms, lockers, restaurants, and either soft green grass or wooden docks to lie on.
And whether you feel like rowing out onto the lake to serenade your true love, taking a lunch cruise past waterfront villas, or zipping to one of the lakeside restaurants in a water taxi, there are all kinds of boats for rent.
Lago (Utoquai 6, Kreis 8, Zürich, 8008. 044/2622220. www.lago-zuerich.ch.)
Zürichsee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (Bürkliplatz, Kreis 1, Zürich, 8001. 044/4871333. www.zsg.ch.)
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