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The Most Popular Lakeside Towns You Never Knew Existed

Summer is no time to be landlocked.

If you’ve been dreaming of dangling your feet off a dock with the sun warming your shoulders, there’s nowhere better to do it than at your own lake house. These charming lakeside towns are among the most searched on Trulia—and they all have lake homes for sale, meaning they could make your second-home dreams become a sunshine-filled reality.

Can’t you just imagine zipping into this little town in your flipflops for fireworks and popsicles? See available homes here.

Rome City, Indiana

A Midwestern lake town for nature lovers.

Indiana doesn’t share the same summer-destination reputation as its Great Lakes neighbors, but Rome City has Midwestern-getaway vibes to spare. Located on the inland Sylvan Lake in northeast Indiana (less than an hour from Fort Wayne), Rome City both offers outdoorsy activities and celebrates outdoorsy culture with the Gene Stratton-Porter State Museum and Historic site. This preserved home of Indiana’s most famous female conservationist, photographer, and author hosts workshops, cookouts, and outdoor music events all summer.

Sixteen miles of shoreline give Rome City residents room for waterskiing, fishing, or kayaking at home as well. There are plenty of cottages, farmhouses, ranch-style, and Colonial houses available both on and just off the water, and you can find some deals. You could build custom on a $10,000 lot or get a 1,600-square-foot three-bedroom on the water for $269,000.

Henrico, North Carolina

A rural setting for families, retirees, and Sasquatch, too.

There are few things as relaxing as sitting barefoot by the lake with a glass of sweet tea. And in the area around Henrico, North Carolina—a rural hamlet on Lake Gastonsecond-homebuyers are sure to find plenty of places to lift their glasses.

Lake Gaston spans five counties between northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia and includes communities like Henrico, Littleton and Roanoke Rapids. While the towns themselves are small, there are around 150,000 retirees, families, and tourists who call the Lake Gaston area home.

Greet you summer neighbors over a BBQ lunch at Grandpa’s Kitchen or take a selfie with Bigfoot at the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum in Littleton, just a few minutes’ drive down the road. Henrico’s charm comes from its mix of residents—and its variety of homes, ranging from a large lakeside cottage on the waterfront for $499,900 to a 700-square-foot fisherman’s cabin for $112,000.


In Kimberling City, you can spend the afternoon on the lake and catch an evening concert in the city. See available homes here.

Kimberling City, Missouri

A hidden retreat just minutes from Branson.

For those who love the idea of a hidden lakeside retreat but don’t want to be too far from the bright lights of the city, try Kimberling City, Missouri. This town of 2,400, located on crystal-clear Table Rock Lake in the Ozark mountains, is just a 35-minute drive from Branson, Missouri, one of America’s favorite vacation hubs.

Ski-Doo riders can catch a wake in the morning and hop aboard the Time Traveler, the world’s fastest, steepest and tallest coaster at Silver Dollar City in the afternoon. By evening, theater lovers can take in 76 Country Boulevard, Branson’s main-street district— and still make it home by nightfall to watch the nightly theater: sunset from the dock.

Try a lakeside condo for $160,000 or enjoy the lake breezes and mountain views from a large, family home in the hills above the water.


Longville, Minnesota

An unspoiled resort nestled between the lakes.

Paddle a kayak into the quiet, misty waters at dawn or draw in a breath of the pure, fresh air in Longville, Minnesota, an unspoiled resort roughly four hours north of the Twin Cities.

Bounded by Leech Lake to the north, Hackensack to the west and Remer to the east, Longville is a quiet, uncrowded area where you can enjoy some of the best water recreation in the state. Campers love the area for the pristine woods, and kids of all ages join up for the weekly Turtle Races, held Wednesdays from June to August.

Homes reflect the natural beauty. With their abundance of wood and glass, structures like this $280,000 log cabin fit seamlessly into the landscape.

south haven, minnesota

Quintessential small-town America awaits in the itty-bitty lakeside community of South Haven. See available homes here.

South Haven, Minnesota

An ideal location for those who crave the quiet life.

The 192-resident town of South Haven is in Minnesota, about 20 miles south of St. Cloud. Surrounded by 26 lakes, all within a 10-mile radius, it’s an ideal spot for people looking for a quiet summer on the water.

Anglers target South Haven to cast their rods, especially Clearwater Lake (the largest in the area), which is abundantly stocked with bass, pike, walleye, bluegill, and crappie. But life in the super-small town isn’t antisocial. There are a couple of places to grab a hot meal in town—Mom’s Place and Bedrock Bar and Grill—and on summer Saturdays, you can put down the pole and visit the huge and busy Swappers Meet, a combination garage sale, antique store, and farmer’s market.

You can find a lakeside home in South Haven on a wooded lot for the mid-$300s or a rambler-style house at the water’s edge for $200,000.

nebagamon, Wisconsin

From summer parades to sunsets that’ll melt your heart, Lake Nebagamon is a summer-lover’s dream. See available homes here.

Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin

A vacation spot that’s a slice of pure Americana.

Find a slice of pure Americana at Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin. This lakeside village at Wisconsin’s northwestern tip (about 175 miles north of the Twin Cities), takes people from their harried daily lives and drops them into to a simpler time.

Here, you can enjoy melting ice cream cones, 4th of July boat parades and hikes with the family. And in the winter, cozy up to the fire with hot chocolate and marshmallows after a day of snowmobiling and ice sports.

The fireworks over the lake would be breathtaking from a historic home in the $150,00 range or choose a lakeside paradise, a modern luxury home with its own dock, for $749,000.

Graford, Texas

A premier resort, deep in the heart of Texas.

Located about 60 miles east of Fort Worth, Graford is one of Texas’ premier resorts. Spa-goers can rejuvenate at one of its lavish hotels and spas, like the Lush Resort, a lakeside hotel with hammock-like lounges that invite napping.

Or for those who crave adventure over downtime, there’s the challenge of scuba diving or trail running in the hills above Possum Kingdom Lake, a waterway known for its breathtaking views and over 300 miles of shoreline.

If lake-house living, Texas style, is making your boots scoot, try an 800 sq ft vacation condo — or a multi-million dollar custom homes built right into the lake’s cliffs.

Deerwood, Minnesota

A year-round destination for fishing enthusiasts.
You know you’ve found Deerwood, Minnesota, when you see the Leaping Deer in Elmer Park, at the site of the old Deerwood Railroad Depot. Located 125 miles north of the Twin Cities, this tiny city fronts on Serpent Lake, a clear, fresh waterway with nine miles of shoreline.

More than 250 homes and cabins cling to the meandering lakeside, sheltered by towering birch, pine and oak forests. Campers and hikers take in the clear air and clearer water, while the kids work off their animal spirits at Traditions, a family fun center with mini golf, water wars and frozen yogurt.

Like nearby Clearwater Lake (about 100 miles south), Serpent Lake is home to many fish species, and hosts fishing tournaments like Bassmaster and an annual ice fishing competition, making it another year-round destination for anglers.

See how much it costs to live in:

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METHODOLOGY: These locations represent 10 of the top 20 searched zip codes identified as lake house vacation home areas on Trulia. Lake house vacation home areas were identified as those where at least 25 percent of homes listed on Trulia are vacation homes.

Ready to start your summer home search? See what’s available, here on Trulia.