The Best Places to Live Near Lakes

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Living on a lake can be peaceful and serene.
Living on a lake can be peaceful and serene. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

There are plenty of places to live and visit in the United States near a lake. From all corners of the country, there are small communities and larger cities that are near one or more lakes that provide plenty of water sports and other activities for residents. The following have been ranked as the best places to live, and they are located near lakes.

Eden Prarie, Minnesota

The state of Minnesota has often been called "The Land of 10,000 Lakes," so it is a good place to start. Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was ranked number one in Money Magazine's annual best places to live list in 2010. The small suburb that is only 12 miles from Minneapolis has 17 lakes. The town also boasts 125 miles of biking, walking and hiking trails. Along with the natural beauty is a low unemployment rate, low crime and good schools.

Finger Lakes

Nestled in upstate New York between Rochester and Syracuse are 11 lakes shaped like fingers. The communities surrounding these lakes range from average to extraordinary; however, they all are pretty small. The town of Canandaigua is settled right on Canandaigua Lake and is only a little more than 30 minutes from Rochester. The small town has an expansive waterfront area with plenty of water activities in the summer. Good schools and low crime round out this town.

Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue has a lot to offer. It is a larger city between Lake Washington and the smaller Lake Sammamish. Bellevue has splendid mountain views and a low unemployment rate. The town also has great schools and an excellent cultural scene, including a fine art museum, annual jazz fest, youth theater and botanical gardens. The city has 74 parks and was ranked No. 4 in Money Magazine's best places to live list in 2010.

Austin, Texas

Austin is located in the Highland Lake Region of Texas. A string of six lakes begin in Austin and stretch 85 miles northwest of the city. The lakes are popular for boating and fishing. Austin also has a diverse culture with an impressive music scene. The city has a low unemployment rate. Austin is well-known for its outdoor lifestyle, and each lake in the Highland Lake Region has a distinct personality.

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