The 46 Best Lake Towns in America To Consider for Vacation or A New Hometown

While the beach is beautiful, a majority of Americans don’t live near the coast. Or perhaps you would love to get away or even live full time near the water, but coastal beach towns are too crowded, or too expensive, for you. Well, America’s Lake Cities come to the rescue!

Let’s take a look at the Best Lake Cities Across America

While we often think of The Great Lakes, America actually has over 100,000 lakes throughout the country. WalletHub recently rounded up the best lake cities in the U.S. after looking at affordability, weather, safety, the local economy, education and health services, the lake water, and overall quality of life in the area. 

46. Morgan City, Louisiana

  • Total Score: 33.11
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 6
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 46
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 45
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 45
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 34
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 34

45. Zion, Illinois

  • Total Score: 34.95
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 46
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 28
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 34
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 44
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 27
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 43

Image Credit: Dhalls / Wiki Commons.

44. Hope Mills, North Carolina

  • Total Score: 36.84
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 27
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 41
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 38
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 46
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 44
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 29

Image Credit: Indy beetle / Wiki Commons.

43. Gages Lake, Illinois

  • Total Score: 36.9
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 34
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 36
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 43
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 37
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 30
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 45

Image Credit: Page Light Studios/istockphoto.about:blank

42. Lorain, Ohio

  • Total Score: 37.43
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 36
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 15
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 27
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 43
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 42
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 46

Image Credit: CGP Grey / Wiki Commons.

41. Council Bluffs, Iowa

  • Total Score: 37.97
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 39
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 44
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 36
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 27
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 32
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 30

Image Credit: Jared Winkler / Wiki Commons.

40. Waukegan, Illinois

  • Total Score: 39.6
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 43
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 26
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 25
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 38
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 35
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 39

Image Credit: Éovart Caçeir / Wiki Commons.

39. Lake Elsinore, California

  • Total Score: 40.08
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 38
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 37
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 26
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 29
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 41

Image Credit: Mrbooger / Wiki Commons.

38. Michigan City, Indiana

  • Total Score: 40.12
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 20
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 34
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 44
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 35
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 36
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 27

Image Credit: Drew Jacksich / Wiki Commons.

37. Ashtabula, Ohio

  • Total Score: 40.16
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 41
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 4
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 39
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 41
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 43
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 32

Image Credit: Roland Penttila / Wiki Commons.about:blank

36. Racine, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 40.58
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 44
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 21
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 33
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 33
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 41
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 23

Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

35. Portage, Indiana

  • Total Score: 41.04
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 24
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 30
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 28
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 42
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 28
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 44

Image Credit: Pedco / Wiki Commons.

34. Port Huron, Michigan

  • Total Score: 41.65
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 30
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 8
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 40
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 40
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 31
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 31

Image Credit: Notorious4life / Wiki Commons.

33. Oregon, Ohio

  • Total Score: 42.31
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 13
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 40
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 31
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 28
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 38
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 40

Image Credit: City of Oregon, Ohio.

32. Sebring, Florida

  • Total Score: 42.6
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 32
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 31
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 35
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 39
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 46
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 8

Image Credit: Warren-Pender / istockphoto.

31. Lakewood, Washington

  • Total Score: 43.94
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 28
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 14
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 42
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 24
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 24
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 26

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.about:blank

30. Oak Creek, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 44.36
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 37
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 42
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 21
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 10
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 25
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 42

Image Credit: City of Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

29. Shorewood, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 45.04
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 42
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 45
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 7
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 25
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 16
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 28

Image Credit: Freekee / Wiki Commons.

28. Kenosha, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 45.59
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 35
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 27
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 29
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 37
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 20

Image Credit: stockphoto52/istockphoto.

27. St. Cloud, Florida

  • Total Score: 47.68
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 5
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 37
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 10
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 45
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 38

Image Credit: Ebyabe / Wiki Commons.

26. Laconia, New Hampshire

  • Total Score: 49.88
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 25
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 17
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 9
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 13
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 40
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 21

Image Credit: Ken Gallager / Wiki Commons.

25. Plattsburgh, New York

  • Total Score: 50.21
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 19
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 33
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 6
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 34
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 33
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 12

Image Credit: Annacecchini / Wiki Commons.about:blank

24. Vermilion, Ohio

  • Total Score: 50.44
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 11
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 11
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 4
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 30
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 26
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 37

Image Credit: Ken Winters / Wiki Commons.

23. Stoughton, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 50.75
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 40
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 19
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 3
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 14
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 33

Image Credit: TheCatalyst31 / Wiki Commons.

22. Branson, Missouri

  • Total Score: 50.93
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 26
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 43
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 46
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 32
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 39
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 2

Image Credit: KTrimble / Wiki Commons.

21. Burlington, Vermont

  • Total Score: 51.85
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 45
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 39
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 12
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 18
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 10
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 6

Image Credit: Pixabay.com.

20. Loveland, Colorado

  • Total Score: 51.99
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 22
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 35
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 17
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 15
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 18
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 15

Image Credit: Montanabw / Wiki Commons.

19. Mequon, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 52.31
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 12
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 18
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 14
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 20
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 3
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 35

Image Credit: Cebmw / Wiki Commons.about:blank

18. South Lake Tahoe, California

  • Total Score: 52.93
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 38
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 20
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 41
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 11
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 21
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 3

Image Credit: Kusska.

17. Alpena, Michigan

  • Total Score: 53.31
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 29
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 1
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 13
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 36
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 12
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 11

Image Credit: ehrlif/istockphoto.

16. Duluth, Minnesota

  • Total Score: 53.42
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 33
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 13
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 26
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 22
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 15
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 10

Image Credit: Jacob Boomsma / istockphoto.

15. Highland Park, Illinois

  • Total Score: 53.81
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 8
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 29
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 11
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 19
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 20
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 14

Image Credit: JeremyA / Wiki Commons.

14. Bay Village, Ohio

  • Total Score: 54.88
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 7
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 3
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 1
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 31
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 19
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 36

Image Credit: rabesphoto / Wiki Commons.

13. Lake Havasu City, Arizona

  • Total Score: 55.2
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 2
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 7
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 32
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 12
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 22
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 18

Image Credit: Lisay.about:blank

12. Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  • Total Score: 55.3
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 17
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 9
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 16
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 8
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 5
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 24

Image Credit: Appraiser / Wiki Commons.

11. Brookfield, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 55.51
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 14
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 22
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 18
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 9
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 8
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 13

Image Credit: Ottawa University.

10. Pewaukee, Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 55.79
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 16
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 32
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 22
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 4
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 9
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 16

Image Credit: Ryan Hohm/istockphoto.

9. Davidson, North Carolina

  • Total Score: 57.31
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 4
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 10
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 5
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 5
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 17
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 22

Image Credit: Prince Grobhelm / Wiki Commons.

8. Rocky River, Ohio

  • Total Score: 57.57
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 9
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 2
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 2
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 21
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 13
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 25

Image Credit: Ken Winters / Wiki Commons.

7. Mercer Island, Washington

  • Total Score: 58.49
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 15
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 20
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 2
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 1
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 19

Image Credit: Dllu / Wiki Commons.about:blank

6. Kirkland, Washington

  • Total Score: 59.16
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 18
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 19
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 3
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 4
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 7

Image Credit: Jelson25 / Wiki Commons.

5. Cornelius, North Carolina

  • Total Score: 59.24
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 1
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 6
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 15
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 16
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 7
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 17

Image Credit: PLCMC / Wiki Commons.

4. Holland, Michigan

  • Total Score: 59.28
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 21
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 12
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 24
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 7
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 11
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 4

Image Credit: csterken/istockphoto.

3. Redmond, Washington

  • Total Score: 59.49
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 10
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 23
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 30
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 1
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 2
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 9

Image Credit: Chrismiceli / Wiki Commons.

2. Folsom, California

  • Total Score: 61.65
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 3
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 5
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 29
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 6
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 6
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 5

Image Credit: The Oaked Ridge / Wiki Commons.

1. Traverse City, Michigan

  • Total Score: 66.88
  • ‘Affordability’ Rank: 31
  • ‘Weather’ Rank: 16
  • ‘Safety’ Rank: 8
  • ‘Economy’ Rank: 17
  • ‘Education & Health’ Rank: 14
  • ‘Quality of Life’ Rank: 1

Image Credit: @michigansherry / Instagram / TraverseCity.com.

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