The Most Popular Lakeside Towns You Never Knew Existed

If you’ve always wanted to dangle your feet off a dock while the sun warms your shoulders, there’s no better place to do it than at your own lake cottage. These gorgeous lakeside communities are among the most sought, and they all feature lake homes for sale, which means they may turn your second-home fantasies into a sunny reality.

Rome City, Indiana

A nature-loving lake town in the Midwest.

Indiana may not have the same summer-destination reputation as its Great Lakes neighbors, but Rome City exudes Midwestern charm. Rome City, located on inland Sylvan Lake in northeast Indiana (less than an hour from Fort Wayne), offers outdoor activities as well as honors outdoor culture through the Gene Stratton-Porter State Museum and Historic Site. Throughout the summer, this historic home of Indiana’s most famous female conservationist, photographer, and novelist conducts classes, cookouts, and outdoor music events.

Residents in Rome City have access to sixteen miles of shoreline for waterskiing, fishing, and kayaking. There are many cottages, farmhouses, ranch-style, and Colonial homes available on and near the water, and you can get a good deal. On a $10,000 site, you could build custom, or you could obtain a 1,600-square-foot three-bedroom on the water for $269,000.

Henrico, North Carolina

A rural location for families, retirees, and, of course, Sasquatch.

Few things are more peaceful than sitting barefoot by the lake with a drink of sweet tea. And second-homebuyers will find plenty of locations to raise a glass in the area surrounding Henrico, North Carolina—a small village on Lake Gaston.

Lake Gaston encompasses five counties in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, including Henrico, Littleton, and Roanoke Rapids. While the towns themselves are small, the Lake Gaston area is home to around 150,000 retirees, families, and tourists.

Meet your summer neighbors at Grandpa’s Kitchen for a BBQ lunch, or take a selfie with Bigfoot at the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum in Littleton, just a few minutes away. Henrico’s attractiveness stems from its diverse population and diverse housing options, which range from a huge lakeside cottage on the riverfront for $499,900 to a 700-square-foot fisherman’s cabin for $112,000.

Kimberling City, Missouri

A secluded hideaway just minutes from Branson.

Kimberling City, Missouri, is a great option for those looking for a hidden lakeside escape but don’t want to be too far away from the city lights. This 2,400-person hamlet on crystal-clear Table Rock Lake in the Ozark Mountains is only a 35-minute drive from Branson, Missouri, one of America’s favorite vacation destinations.

In the morning, travelers can catch a wake and then ride the Time Traveler, the world’s fastest, steepest, and tallest coaster, in Silver Dollar City in the afternoon. By evening, theatergoers can visit 76 Country Boulevard, Branson’s main thoroughfare, and still return home in time to enjoy the nightly theater: sunset from the pier.

Try a lakeside condo for $160,000 or a huge family home in the hills above the water for lake breezes and mountain vistas.

Longville, Minnesota

A pristine retreat tucked between the lakes.

Paddle a kayak into the calm, foggy lakes at dawn, or take a deep breath of the clear, fresh air in Longville, Minnesota, a pristine resort four hours north of the Twin Cities.

Longville is a calm, uncrowded area bordered by Leech Lake to the north, Hackensack to the west, and Remer to the east, where you may enjoy some of the best water recreation in the state. Campers enjoy the area’s natural woodlands, and youngsters of all ages attend the monthly Turtle Races, which take place on Wednesdays from June to August.

Homes reflect nature’s beauty. Structures like this $280,000 log lodge blend in with the scenery thanks to their abundance of wood and glass.

South Haven, Minnesota

A perfect spot for individuals who seek peace and quiet.

South Haven, Minnesota, has 192 residents and is located about 20 miles south of St. Cloud. It’s a great site for individuals hoping for a calm summer on the water, as it’s surrounded by 26 lakes within a 10-mile radius.

Anglers go to South Haven to cast their lines, particularly on Clearwater Lake (the area’s largest), which is stocked with bass, pike, walleye, bluegill, and crappie. However, life in the ultra-small town is not antisocial. In town, Mom’s Place and Bedrock Bar & Grill serve hot meals, and on summer Saturdays, you may put down the pole and attend the enormous and crowded Swappers Meet, a combination garage sale, antique store, and farmer’s market.

A lakeside property on a forested lot in South Haven can be found for the mid-$300s, or a rambler-style house on the water’s edge for $200,000.

Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin

A holiday destination that is pure Americana.

Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, offers a taste of true Americana. This lakeside community on Wisconsin’s northernmost edge (approximately 175 miles north of the Twin Cities) transports visitors away from their hectic daily lives and into a calmer era.

You can enjoy melting ice cream cones, 4th of July boat parades, and family hikes here. In the winter, after a day of snowmobile or ice activities, curl up by the fire with hot chocolate and marshmallows.

The fireworks over the lake would be beautiful from a historic property for around $150,00, or choose a lakefront paradise, a new luxury home with its own dock, priced around $749,000.

Graford, Texas

Deep in the heart of Texas, a superb resort.

Graford is one of Texas’ top resorts, located about 60 miles east of Fort Worth. Spa-goers can unwind at one of its opulent hotels and spas, such as the Lush Resort, a lakeside hotel with hammock-like loungers that inspire napping.

For those who prefer action to relaxation, scuba diving or trail running in the hills above Possum Kingdom Lake, a waterway noted for its spectacular views and over 300 miles of shoreline, are options.

If lake-house living in Texas makes your boots skid, try an 800 sq ft vacation condo — or a multi-million dollar custom home carved directly into the cliffs of the lake.

Deerwood, Minnesota

A fishing enthusiast’s year-round getaway.

When you see the Leaping Deer in Elmer Park, near the site of the former Deerwood Railroad Depot, you know you’ve arrived in Deerwood, Minnesota. This tiny settlement is located 125 miles north of the Twin Cities on Serpent Lake, a clean, fresh lake with nine miles of shoreline.

Over 250 cottages and cabins cling to the lake’s meandering shore, hidden by towering birch, pine, and oak forests. Campers and hikers enjoy the clean air and water, while the youngsters work off their animal spirits at Traditions, a family entertainment center with mini golf, water fights, and frozen yogurt.

Serpent Lake, like neighbouring Clearwater Lake (approximately 100 miles south), is home to a variety of fish species and organizes fishing contests such as the Bassmaster and an annual ice fishing competition, making it a year-round destination for anglers.

Read more: What a $250,000 Home Looks Like in Every State

Leave a Comment