Holiday Shores Lake, Illinois, USA

Also known as:  Holiday Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Holiday Shores Lake.

If you’re considering Holiday Shores Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Holiday Shores Lake guide!

Holiday Shores Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Illinois - Southwest -

Holiday Shores Lake is a sprawling 430-acre, man-made lake in Madison County, Illinois. Formed by the damming of Joulters Creek in 1965, this unique lake offers 17 miles of pristine shoreline and endless outdoor recreation.

Holiday Shores Lake, or Holiday Lake, as it is sometimes called, is a private lake just north of Edwardsville. Limited to property owners, membership in the Holiday Shores Lake Association has its rewards: with membership comes access to three private sandy beaches, a baseball field, tennis courts, a lakeside pavilion, a playground, and a boat ramp. The boat ramp is operated by an independent marina, but can be used by Holiday Shores Lake members. Although a private lake, there are some vacation rentals and real estate for sale. Guests of members can also use facilities on the lake.

Fishing in Holiday Shores Lake is equally enjoyable from shore or boat. Anglers will find a variety of sport fish to include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, catfish, and crappie. Exploring the lake by motorized boat, sailboat or canoe is also a fantastic way to take in the lake and enjoy the calm water and cool afternoon breeze. Note: Although most fish taken from Illinois lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Illinois Fish Advisory (link below) before eating fish caught from any Illinois waterway.

Visitors and residents of Holiday Shores Lake looking for additional outdoor recreation will find that surrounding Madison County, in the southwest region of Illinois, has many parks and recreational opportunities. Horseshoe Lake State Park is home to the second-largest natural lake in Illinois after Lake Michigan. This 2,960-acre park offers bird watching, nature trails, camping, fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. The Olin Nature Preserve in the town of Godfrey offers 300 acres of tall-grass prairie and woodlands for bird watching and wildlife viewing.

Less than an hour’s drive from Holiday Shores Lake is the bustling city of St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis area offers plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy nature. The city of St. Louis has more than 100 parks, including Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. The city also stakes claim to one of the nation’s top-rated zoos, and its cultural institutions rank among the finest. There is also no shortage of great restaurants, nightclubs or unique shops. Music fans will find everything from blues to rock to hip hop. The downtown area boasts great museums, art galleries, and cultural festivals. Shopping in St. Louis includes everything from small independent shops to large malls.

If the big city isn’t to your liking, the historic town of Edwardsville lies just south of Holiday Shores Lake. The third oldest town in Illinois, Edwardsville has a well known downtown historic district and a number of historical landmarks. Edwardsville also has parks, hiking trails, and a 46-acre nature center. Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville is also located on the edge of town.

Spending a few days on sparkling Holiday Shores Lake will be sure to relax your mind and body. With its moderate climate, beautiful scenery and abundance of water related activities, Holiday Shores Lake is the perfect place to visit and explore or relocate to and call home.

Custom Holiday Shores Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Holiday Shores Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Holiday Shores Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Holiday Shores Lake

The Holiday Shores Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Holiday Shores Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Holiday Shores Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Holishor Association, Inc.

Surface Area: 430 acres

Shoreline Length: 17 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 482 feet

Maximum Depth: 28 feet

Water Volume: 6,610 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1965

Drainage Area: 126,000 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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