The one thing that everyone desires is that perfect little house with gorgeous water views, and maybe their own private dock. Okay, maybe this isn't a dream of everyone but it is for many, and, luckily, there are plenty of towns that can give that to a person. While they all come at a price, not every waterfront view is created equal, and there are some that are worth the money over others.
Additionally, while the view might be grand, what about the town a house is in? The community surrounding a home is just as important as the house itself, and, again, the U.S. is home to quite a few lakeside destinations that offer this. According to a study done by WalletHub, the top five lakeside towns to live in have great scores across the board. Based on a system that ranked safety, affordability, economy, weather, health, education, and quality of life, these are the top four that came in above all others.
Traverse City, Michigan
Those who have been to Michigan probably won't be surprised to know that it made the top five not once, but twice. The best lakeside city for homeowners is, without a doubt, Traverse City. It got the highest ratings in every category and offers a stellar quality of life over many others thanks to the diversity of its recreational activities and geographical location.
Anything from vineyards to boating is on the list of things to do here, and multiple forested regions allow for great hiking and places to enjoy nature on land. The nightlife in Traverse City is surprisingly diverse as well, with many options for entertainment given the time and the season.
It's surprising to know that any city in California made the list of the top lakeside destinations to live in, especially the top five. While many are thinking of Pacific Coast getaways and beachside resorts when it comes to California, Folsom offers something just a bit different. The north and western borders of this city run parallel to two different lakes, giving people plenty of options when it comes to where they want to be.
It's also close to Sacramento which is a comfort to many knowing that a bigger city is not all that far, while still enjoyed the somewhat private nature of a lakeside retreat. The weather, dining options, and live entertainment are all part of why Folsom's quality of life ranks it at number two.
Cornelius, North Carolina
North Carolina is a beautiful state but, similar to California, most people dream of the ocean when it comes to this state's natural beauty. Cornelius is somewhat of a hidden gem as far as lakeside retreats go, but its high rankings in both school systems as well as affordability, in which it ranked number one, make it a go-to destination for anyone wanting a lakeside home.
Aside from that, the area is beautiful and gives way to gorgeous lake views as well as rolling hills. If you're not looking for a house in the area, this is a great place for a vacation, in general. Life is a bit more laid-back and casual here, and going out usually includes hitting a brewery or kayaking around Lake Norman.
Holland, Michigan ranks at number four in terms of an overall score as well as its score for quality of life. With Dutch-inspired architecture and style, this town is a nod to its heritage which can be seen throughout the village. It's quaint and magical and exudes everything a person could want in a small town without feeling too personal. In town, visitors will find a number of small eateries and boutique shops, as well as microbreweries for those looking to relax with a local brew.
The most well-known feature of Holland is probably its lighthouse, which was nicknamed 'Big Red.' The lighthouse can be found in Holland State Park, which is another beautiful, remote destination to explore. In the spring and summer months, the fields surrounding the lighthouse burst to life with a colorful array of tulips, making for an incredibly scenic landscape. It seems like there's never any shortage of beauty in this town and, if the park is any indication, it's the kind of place where magic sprouts from the most unexpected places. Holland sits on the edge of Lake Macatawa, which provides stunning views all around its calm, glistening shoreline. It's by far one of the most beautiful lakeside towns in the top five.