The most beautiful lake towns in America

Lifestyle

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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

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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

  • 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

  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Related:

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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

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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, 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.