These Are the Most Affordable Lake Towns In the U.S.

published Jul 29, 2022
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lake house dock
Credit: Jon Bilous/

If you’ve been dreaming of lakeside living but have always been put off by the hefty price tag, consider checking out a lake town that’s not as well known. has compiled a list of the most affordable lake towns in 2022, and while these destinations might not be ones with the highest name recognition or bragging rights, they do offer a host of they have all the scenic views and privacy associated with small town charm.

To determine the most affordable lake towns, the team looked at more than 11,000 towns with or on lakes. They then calculated affordability by analyzing median home list prices year to date through May 2022 for these communities. Finally, they factored in the number of restaurants, bars, and entertainment establishments per capita to ensure there was more to do in these places than just lounge by the water.

Here, the top five most affordable lake towns to consider. See you by the water!

Sulphur, OK

Median home price: $224,000

Sulphur, Oklahoma is famous for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, an oasis of calm and nature that boasts lakes, waterfalls, and plenty of scenic hiking routes.

“With the campsites, the natural spring water, the scenic views around the park, and the lake, it’s just so calming and relaxing,” Misty Treptow, executive director of the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce, told ““If [someone] already had one home by the lake and they had another home in an expensive city and you had to consolidate, which are you going to choose?”

Spirit Lake, IA

Median home price: $301,000

Spirit Lake is located just south of the Iowa-Minnesota border. The small town, which made’s 2020 and 2019 lists, offers something for everyone, from nature lovers to history buffs and foodies to golfers.

Watertown, SD

Median home price: $315,000

With a name like Watertown, its no surprise that you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to lakes. Tucked between Pelican Lake and Lake Kampeska, Watertown, South Dakota offers a plethora of water sports like canoeing and water skiing. In addition to lakeside living, residents also take advantage of the prime fishing, picnic, and camping spots, and a scenic paved trail for bikes and pedestrians.

Winsted, CT

Median home price: $260,000

Winsted, Connecticut is a picturesque community is home to Highland Lake, one of the largest lakes in Connecticut and a popular spot for residents to beat the summer heat. Meanwhile, downtown is filled with antiques stores, restaurants, and small boutiques.

Ketchikan, AK

Median home price: $420,000

Alaska might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of lake houses, but the state offers plenty of picturesque waterfront homes. Ketchikan, also known as the “salmon capital of the world” s built up along the waterfront due to its steep and mostly forested terrain. This charming town attracts amateur photographers and those seeking out unspoiled natural beauty.