12 Best Places to Buy a Lake House in the U.S. in 2023

Lakes are quintessential all-American vacation destinations. Regardless of which side of the lake versus ocean debate you fall on, you can’t argue with the fact that the former provides a year-round reprieve from our busy lives, along with an endless supply of water sports, idyllic views, and cool breezes. And with approximately 480,000 lakes dotting the continental U.S., chances are there’s a natural or man-made option a quick drive from your home.


So, no wonder lakefront properties are an increasingly popular real estate investment. But as demand has risen, so have prices. That’s why vacation rental company Evolve put together a list of the best places to buy a lake house in 2023.


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The company looked at three main factors when evaluating the data: median home value, estimated yearly expenses, and vacation rental performance metrics for lake house destinations across the U.S.


“When determining the best places to buy a lake house, we look at destinations that have advantages for both potential investors and future guests,” Louis Olds, director of real estate at Evolve, told Travel + Leisure. “For investors, we present the Evolve Difference as a way to help lake house owners maximize income and exceed the projected revenue of the market. For guests, we showcase desirable locations that have the right atmosphere for relaxation, natural beauty, and many ways to have fun.”


Keep reading to find 12 of the best places to buy a lake house in the U.S.



Saranac Lake, New York

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This historic mountain town in the Adirondacks tops Evolve’s ranking, thanks to its affordable median home prices ($250,190) and great rental potential ($25,294). Located in upstate New York — with proximity to not one but several lakes, including Lake Placid — the charming destinations has a bustling cultural scene with year-round activities, events, markets, and festivals, only adding to its appeal with renters. In the winter, the town becomes a major ski destination. Visitors can enjoy 15 acres of skiable terrain that’s also perfect for snow tubing and snowshoeing.



Branson, Missouri

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Branson is a

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The 15 Best Resorts in the Continental U.S.

The best resorts in the United States, according to Travel + Leisure readers, deliver a strong sense of local character and a distinct connectedness to their geographic surroundings, whether they’re in New England or California. Attentive, warm service placed these resorts — many of which are returning favorites — ahead of their competitors.


Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L invites its readers to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.


On the West Coast, dreamy properties in popular Southern California locales snagged three spots: No. 5 San Ysidro Ranch and No. 9 Rosewood Miramar Beach (both in Santa Barbara County) and No. 15 Sparrows Lodge (part of the boutique-resort renaissance in Palm Springs). One voter said this property is “stylish, well-situated, and has exceptional service. Sparrows Lodge is my favorite destination in Palm Springs.” The promise of wide-open spaces attracted travelers to nature-centric options like No. 10 the Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, in the Park City, Utah resort area, and No. 3 Under Canvas Mount Rushmore, a glamping venue in South Dakota. “There are amazing views right from the camp,” affirmed one voter. “Sit on the patio with a glass of wine for a beautiful sight.”


Courtesy of Pickering House

Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and elevated hospitality created a powerful triumvirate in Florida. The Nobu Hotel Miami Beach won this year’s No. 8 spot, impressing readers with food, service, and stylish interior design. One voter raved about the in-room dining (in the evenings, guests can order signature Nobu dishes such as spicy tuna), while another “loved the Japanese-designed rooms.” For a quieter escape farther north, off the coast of Georgia, the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island (No. 4) embodies what one traveler called “a true luxury eco-lodge.” Guests can learn about local wildlife, go kayaking, and disconnect from plugged-in society. “There are no TVs or radios,”

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