Discover the 15 Most Beautiful Lake Towns in the U.S.

Written by Niccoy Walker
Published: May 25, 2023
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Have you ever dreamed of living a peaceful life on a beautiful lake, spending your day sipping cold drinks in an Adirondack chair? If so, you are not alone! Check out the 15 most beautiful lake towns in the U.S. and start packing your bags! Learn about their locations, nearby attractions, and what houses are going for in these areas.

1. Saugatuck, Michigan

Aerial view of Saugatuck, Michigan
Saugatuck is known for its famous Oval Beach and Art Coast


Known for its world-famous Oval Beach along Lake Michigan, Saugatuck is the ultimate getaway for the summer. The area is rich in scenic waterways, grass-covered dunes, and a lively atmosphere. When you’re not paddling or jet skiing on the water, you can stroll along the Art Coast or dine on the waterfront. The city of Saugatuck is on Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, and homes in the area average between $500,000 and one million.

2. Greensboro, Georgia

Georgia - US State, Greensboro - Georgia, Atlanta - Georgia, Coastline, Dusk
The city of Greensboro has a small-town feel

© Benz

Greensboro is a historic city located on Lake Oconee, featuring antebellum homes and southern charm. The city is halfway between Atlanta and Augusta and offers residents a small-town feel while still being lively. The lake offers areas for swimming, camping, picnicking, and other recreation. And around the lake, you will find hotels, restaurants, and fun local events. The average home price in Greensboro is between $620,000 and $850,000.

3. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Lake Wentworth
A resort town with plenty of recreation

©AJ Purcell III/

Wolfeboro is a resort town beside Lake Winnipesaukee, with the motto “The Oldest Summer Resort in America.” The town is surrounded by lake beaches and forested mountain ranges, where you will find hiking trails and ski areas. The area also offers shopping, dining, concert venues, and museums. The average home price in Wolfeboro is around $500,000. 

4. Summersville, West Virginia

Summersville Lake, West Virginia
Aerial View of the rocky Long Point Peninsula at Summersville Lake, West Virginia in the summer.

© Kreutz

Summersville is a small city in Central West Virginia sitting on the banks of Summersville Lake. The reservoir features over 60 miles of shoreline and offers plenty of recreational opportunities, such as swimming, fishing, boating, camping, and water sports. The town is full of history, stake parks, pubs, and wineries. The average home price in the area is around $270,000, but homes can be as much as $20 million.

5. Grand Marais, Minnesota

Grand Marais Lighthouse on Lake Superior
Grand Marais is on Lake Superior’s North Shore

©Sam Wagner/

Located in Cook County, Grand Marais is a city on Lake Superior’s North Shore. It’s an adventure town and beach getaway where you can hike through state parks, visit the lighthouse, or relax along the shore. It’s a suburban area that consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Minnesota. Along with its scenic beauty and boutique shops, you will be immersed in an amazing art culture. Median home prices fall between $350,000 and $550,000.

6. Copper Harbor, Michigan

Copper Harbor, Michigan, 2015, Architecture, Autumn
Nature lovers appreciate the trail systems and waterfalls


Copper Harbor is an unincorporated community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s a popular area for scenic drives, hiking, and recreational activities. Nature lovers appreciate the unique trail system complete with waterfalls. It lies on the shores of Lake Superior and offers an excellent spot for seeing the Northern Lights. Copper Harbor is also known as the gateway to Isle Royale, one of the least visited national parks due to its remote location. Copper Harbor is a small community in a rural location, where there is not a lot of real estate, except for undeveloped land. 

7. Lake Havasu, Arizona

Lake Havasu Arizona
Lake Havasu has 60 miles of waterways

©Pamela Au/

Located in Western Arizona, Lake Havasu is a city known for its desert trails and water recreation on Lake Havasu. The area attracts millions of visitors annually who come to enjoy over 60 miles of navigable waterways and other popular attractions. When you’re not playing on the water, you can go golfing, biking, hiking, shopping, and dining. The average home price in the Lake Havasu area is $450,000 to $550,000.

8. Lake City, Colorado

Aerial View of Lake San Cristobal in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in Autumn
Lake San Cristobal is near Lake City

©Paul Brady Photography/

Lake City is the only town in Hinsdale County, located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. The scenic town offers exceptional scenery, from rocky canyons to crystal blue lakes. The town sits near Lake San Cristobal, the second-largest natural body of water in the state. The area offers opportunities for fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. And the small town has everything you need for the perfect getaway. Average home prices in lake city vary between $450,000 and $650,000.

9. Rangeley, Maine

Rangeley Lake Maine New England
Rangeley is surrounded by mountains


Rangeley is a charming community nestled in the western Maine mountains along the Rangeley Lake shores. The area comprises more than 800 acres of forests and lakes to explore, including hiking, swimming, and boating. With a small-town feel, it’s easy to feel at home in this scenic area. When you’re not on the water, check out the local shops and dining options around town. It is also a popular area during fall, where you can enjoy epic leaf-peeping. Average home prices hover around $400,000.

10. Bayview, Idaho

Bayview Marina at Lake Pend O'reille, Idaho, USA.
Bayview is known for its floating homes

©Art Boardman/

Bayview is a town along Lake Pend Oreille’s south end in Kootenai County, Idaho. It is a small, quiet unincorporated community surrounded by natural beauty and known for its historical floating homes. Bayview offers plenty of attractions, hotels, restaurants, and recreational activities. Boating, water skiing, fishing, and hiking are just a few popular things to do in the area. Bayview home prices vary greatly and can be anywhere from $200,000 to over a million dollars. 

11. Ely, Minnesota

Aerial View of Ely, Minnesota during Summer
Ely is a gateway to a large stretch of wilderness

©Jacob Boomsma/

Ely is in Northeastern Minnesota in the Boundary Waters, one of the largest wilderness areas east of the Rocky Mountains. With countless waterways and miles of shoreline, Ely provides the perfect outdoor adventure. While most people visit for recreation, Ely also offers plenty of things to do in town. Visit the wolf-viewing center, peruse local shops, dine at delicious restaurants, and come to an annual festival. Ely averages between $150,000 and $360,000.

12. Bigfork, Montana

Aerial view of islands and distant mountains in Flathead Lake, Montana on calm summer morning.
Bigfork sits on Flathead Lake

©Francisco Blanco/

Nestled in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, Bigfork is an upscale resort town on Flathead Lake. Swan River and Flathead Lake both run through Bigfork and offer over 185 miles of shoreline for all of your water activity needs. The area features a lively art scene, fine dining, golf courses, and expensive boutique stores. Renting a vacation home is one of the best ways to visit Bigfork. Average home prices in the area are over one million dollars.

13. Burlington, Vermont

Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.
Fall Colors at Lone Rock Point on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.

© Kreutz

Located on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore, Burlington is a small, vibrant city in Northwestern Vermont. You will find history museums, historic buildings, American folk art, shopping, and dining. And, of course, there are many outdoor activities for every season. This city has a small-town vibe while still being lively, fun, and popular. The average home price in Burlington is close to $500,000.

14. Aurora, New York

View of Cayuga Lake, Aurora, NY
Aurora is in Upstate New York


Aurora is in Upstate New York on the banks of the Cayuga Lake. The area features fairytale-like mansions along the water and a lively college town. It is considered a premier resort town in the Finger Lakes region, where people can escape the big city and relax in unspoiled nature. Along with the area being a perfect destination for water activities, Aurora also offers many wineries and museums. Homes prices range from $300,000 to well over one million.

15. Okoboji, Iowa

West Okoboji Lake Iowa
West Okoboji Lake is the deepest lake in Iowa


Okoboji is a city along the eastern shore of West Okoboji Lake in Dickinson County. West Okoboji is part of the Iowa Great Lakes, including Spirit Lake, the largest natural lake in the state. From state parks to amusement parks and arcades, Okoboji offers a one-of-a-kind experience for vacationers. Average home prices range between $500,000 and $600,000.

The Most Beautiful Lake Towns in the U.S.: A Recap of the Top 15

#1Saugatuck, Michigan
#2Greensboro, Georgia
#3Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
#4Summersville, West Virginia
#5Grand Marais, Minnesota
#6Copper Harbor, Michigan
#7Lake Havasu, Arizona
#8Lake City, Colorado
#9Rangeley, Maine
#10Bayview, Idaho
#11Ely, Minnesota
#12Bigfork, Minnesota
#13Burlington, Vermont
#14Aurora, New York
#15Okoboji, Iowa

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Aerial view of Saugatuck, Michigan
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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer and content creator focusing on nature, wildlife, food, and travel. She graduated Kappa Beta Delta from Florida State College with a business degree before realizing writing was her true passion. She lives in the Triangle area and enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking!

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