The most beautiful lake towns in America

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Everyone loves the lake, and living by a beach lake is many Americans’ dreams. While many people think that they can’t afford to live this dream, there are actually many lake towns across the U.S. with an affordable price tag.

WalletHub recently rounded up the best lake beach cities in the U.S. They compared 191 cities across 63 indicators to determine livability. The data ranges from housing costs to quality of beach water.

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

Rankings and methodology

The most beautiful lake towns in America

Key factors used in the study are:

  1. Affordability
  2. Weather
  3. Safety
  4. Economy
  5. Education and health
  6. Quality of life

A breakdown of categories can be found on WalletHub.com.

Image Credit: gradyreese.

46. Morgan City, Louisiana

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

Image Credit: .

45. Zion, Illinois

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

42. Lorain, Ohio

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

36. Racine, Wisconsin

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

30. Oak Creek, Wisconsin

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

24. Vermilion, Ohio

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

18. South Lake Tahoe, California

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

12. Eden Prairie, Minnesota

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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.

6. Kirkland, Washington

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

The most beautiful lake towns in America

  • 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

Related:

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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


The most beautiful lake towns in America

Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn Farley is MediaFeed’s writer/editor. She is a masters of science in journalism candidate at Northwestern University, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.

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