lake house communities
Destinations,  Lifestyle,  Real Estate

Most Popular Lake House Communities in the USA

(Last Updated On: January 11, 2023)

Lake house communities are a popular choice for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the natural beauty of the great outdoors.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular lake house communities in the USA.

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

View of Lake Tahoe shoreline from the lake. Tall pine trees tucked in between large wooden cottages. There is a pier that extends from the beach into the water.

Located on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for both summer and winter activities. The crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain views make it a top choice for lake living. Only the five Great Lakes are larger by volume than Lake Tahoe.

There are a variety of communities to choose from, but expect to pay a premium. Lakefront properties in the Lake Tahoe area are among the most coveted due to scarcity. The shoreline stretches 72 miles and has a limited number of homes scattered along the lakefront. There are restrictions on new developments, making Lake Tahoe lakefront homes both unique and scarce to purchase. 

Lake Chelan, Washington State

Large rocky cliffs lining Lake Chelan with large homes and pine trees dotting the cliffsides. In the background are large snow-covered mountains.

Located in the heart of Washington’s wine country, Lake Chelan is a beautiful destination for those who love the outdoors. It is the third deepest lake in the country.

The lake is surrounded by mountains and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and hiking. There are a number of lakeside communities to choose from, ranging from upscale developments to more rustic cabins.

The 50.5 mile long glacier fed lake is the most popular freshwater lake in Washington. The valley is also one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country with over 40 wineries and 250 acres of vines.  

Lake Austin, Texas

Looking more like a wide river, Lake Austin is lined with large, lakefront homes on both sides of the water.

Located just outside of Austin, Texas, Lake Austin is a popular choice for those looking to escape the city but still have easy access to all the amenities a big city has to offer.

Austin itself is a city of thriving tech companies, so much so that it has earned the nickname of “Silicon Hills.” The lake is known for its clear, spring-fed waters and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, and fishing.

The lake is a water reservoir on the Colorado River that was formed in 1939 by the construction of the Tom Miller Dam. There are a number of lakefront communities to choose from, including luxury homes and more modest options.

Lake Placid, New York

Looking at shoreline from Lake Placid. In the foreground is a dock with three people standing looking at the water. In the background is a treelined hill with large homes along the shoreline.

Located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Lake Placid is one of only 10 cities that has hosted the Olympics more than once since the modern games began in 1896.

There is a wide variety of opportunities to spend time outdoors including the lake in the summer and winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and Olympic ski jumps.

Many people use Lake Placid as a base from which to climb the 46 Adirondack High Peaks, a set of mountain peaks in New York state. The lake is surrounded by picturesque forests and mountains, and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and hiking.

There are a number of lakeside communities to choose from, ranging from luxury homes to more rustic cabins.

Lake Martin, Alabama

Sunset at Lake Martin. Looking a shoreline with small cottages along the beach.

Located in Alabama, Lake Martin is a popular choice for those looking to escape the heat of the Deep South.

A man-made reservoir located in Tallapoosa, Lake Martin is used to generate power for the Alabama Power Company. One of the largest man-made lakes in the United States, and the largest in Alabama, the lake is known for its clear waters and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming.

There are a number of lakeside communities to choose from, including luxury homes and more modestly priced options.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Aerial view of Lake Winnipesauke including Weirs Beach. Deep blue waters surrounded by homes and trees.

Located in the heart of the White Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee is a popular destination for those who love the outdoors.

Lake Winnipesaukee is known for its annual Ice-Out Contest, in which people try to guess the earliest date that the ship Mount Washington can safely leave port in Center Harbor and motor to other ports.

The lake is surrounded by picturesque forests and mountains and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and hiking. There are a number of lakeside communities to choose from, ranging from luxury homes to more rustic cabins.

Take a peek at the WeirsCAM, which snaps a picture of Weirs Beach every 5 minutes. The camera has been snapping away for the past 23 years! 

Lake George, New York

Looking out at Lake George from a small beach. On the right is a small outcropping of land with a tree and American flag flying at full mast.

Located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is a water-lovers oasis. Lake George is considered to be among the clearest and cleanest large lakes in the world.

In addition to Lake George, there are numerous other lakes and hundreds of miles of streams and rivers. Nicknamed the “Queen of American Lakes“, Lake George is surrounded by picturesque forests and mountains, and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, whitewater rafting, fishing, and hiking. There are a number of lakeside communities to choose from, ranging from luxury homes to cabins.

Lake Norman, North Carolina

Aerial view of Lake George. A road and bridge cuts through treed land with a small marina to the right. On the left the lake weaves around islands and outcroppings covered with trees and dotted with houses.

Located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, Lake Norman is a popular destination for those looking to escape the city but still want to have easy access to all the amenities a city has to offer.

Lake Norman is the largest man-made body of freshwater in North Carolina. The lake is known for its clear waters and offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, and fishing. The striped bass, which tend to dwell along the shallow shoreline, are Lake Norman’s most popular fish.

There are a number of lakefront communities to choose from, including luxury homes and homes that are not as pricey.

Lake Keowee, South Carolina

Aerial view of Lake Keowee. A curvy beach-edged shoreline is covered with trees. Docks and boats line the shore. The lake water is deep blue.

This 18,000 acre man-made lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Keowee is a popular destination for those who love the outdoors.

This clear blue lake runs 20 miles in length, 300 miles of shoreline and is surrounded by the mountains and forest. The lake is home to Jumping Rock, a 30-foot boulder that swimmers love to jump off into the lake.

There are plenty of water sports such as boating, water-skiing, canoeing and kayaking along the many inlets of the lake. Clemson University is nearby as are cultural and entertainment venues in Greenville, South Carolina. Lake houses are plentiful on Lake Keowee, as well as vacant lots to build on.   

 

And, a few bonus facts about lakes and lakehouse communities:

Most Exclusive Lake Houses In The United States

If you have money to burn and the desire to be on a lake, then head to one of the lakes on our list, Lake Tahoe. Not only is this natural lake the second deepest in the United States, you have to have deep pockets to own a lakehouse there.

With restrictions on new developments, you need to rely on an already constructed home going up for sale on Lake Tahoe’s picturesque shoreline. Be prepared (at the time of this writing, Jan. 2023) to spend upwards of $75 million to enjoy those views!

Oldest Lake In North America

If you might not have the down payment for a house on Lake Tahoe, how about looking at Clear Lake in California? This lake has been deemed the oldest and most geologically unique lake in all of North America.

According to geologists, there is molten rock deep beneath the lake from long-dormant volcanoes that keep the lake from filling in with silt and causes the water level to remain about the same year after year. For about $99,000 (Jan 2023), you can get a 3,536 square foot lot on Clear Lake and build your own lakefront home.

Looking out over clear lake from a grass-covered shoreline. Large white clouds are high in the blue sky.

The State With The Most Lakes 

If you are looking for a lake house, you might want to think of going where lakes are plentiful. Somewhere that you would have lots of choices. And that sounds like a great idea until you find out that the state with the most lakes, at 3,197 named lakes and over 3 million unnamed lakes, is Alaska.

Many people think the state with the most lakes is Minnesota, but Minnesota comes in second to Alaska. Seeing as how you would have to love the cold, snow and having your main form of transportation be a snowmobile, Alaskan waterfront property is often more affordable, like this lot on Thorne Bay.

Boat plane landing on Fish Lake in Alaska. A small dock with a stationary float plane is to the right. The sky is mirrored in the large, calm lake surrounded by tree-covered hills.
Fish Lake outside of Talkeetna, Alaska

One Of The Best Lakes For Watersports

There are so many lakes in the United States that are good for watersports, and you could argue that the best lake is whichever one you happen to be on. The next runner up in best lake for watersports would be Lake Havasu in Arizona. Nicknamed “Arizona’s Playground,” Lake Havasu is situated in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

With 400 miles of shoreline and 300 days of sunshine each year, there is plenty to do and enough water to do it on. Swimming, wakeboarding, waterskiing and paddle sports are just a few. There are about 30 dive sites within the lake, so scuba diving is also a popular activity at Lake Havasu. While you are there, take a look at the bridge that spans Lake Havasu.

The bridge had originally been in London, but began sinking (maybe this is where the song came from!) The English sold the bridge, and we bought it and rebuilt it over Lake Havasu in 1971. 

Aerial view of Lake Havasu. At the bottom left is a river feeding into the large lake. Trees and home sit alongside beaches.

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