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.
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
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 is a