Kansas is home to picturesque plains like Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, the Missouri and Arkansas rivers, valleys, and lakes – all perfect for enjoying the great outdoors. If you’re living in Kansas and want to find a lake town to buy your next home near, then look no further.

Redfin has put together a list of eight popular lakes in Kansas to buy a home on, each offering its own charm and lifestyle. From the bustling shores of Clinton Lake in Lawrence to the tranquil waters of Waconda Lake in Glen Elder, there’s a lake town in Kansas for you.

1. Clinton Lake (Lawrence)

Nearest city: Lawrence, KS
Median home sale price: $155,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $852
Population: 95,800
Homes for sale in Lawrence, KS
Apartments for rent in Lawrence, KS

The first spot on our list of lakes in Kansas to live on this year is Clinton Lake. Located on the western side of Lawrence, this expansive lake offers year-round activities, including fishing for bass and catfish. Clinton Lake is surrounded by several public parks such as Bloomington and Clinton State Park. These parks provide boat launches, picnic areas, and trails for hiking and biking. Lawrence, with its lively downtown, offers a mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, making it a great place for those looking to live near Clinton Lake.

2. El Dorado Lake (El Dorado)

Nearest city: El Dorado, KS
Median home sale price: $130,000
Population: 12,900
Homes for sale in El Dorado, KS
Apartments for rent in El Dorado, KS

El Dorado Lake is located near the quaint city of El Dorado. As one of the larger lakes in the state, it offers plenty of opportunities for boating, kayaking, and fishing. The lake’s surrounding areas are dotted with parks, including the Rock Quarry and El Dorado State Park, which features amenities such as boat ramps and picnic areas. El Dorado itself is a community with a rich history and a welcoming small-town charm, with local dining and shopping options. Its proximity to El Dorado Lake makes it a great spot for those seeking a peaceful lakeside lifestyle.

3. Milford Lake (Junction City)

Nearest city: Junction City, KS
Median home sale price: $210,000
Population: 22,300
Homes for sale in Junction City, KS
Apartments for rent in Junction City, KS

Milford Lake, the largest lake in Kansas, is a prime location for fishing, camping, and water sports. Situated near Junction City, this lake is a popular destination for both residents and visitors. The area is home to Milford State Park, which has facilities for picnics, boating, and hiking trails that showcase Kansas’s natural beauty. Junction City, with its close-knit community and variety of local businesses, provides all the conveniences for lakeside living. You can also find other small towns like Fort Riley, Grandview Plaza, and Ogden.

4. Perry Lake (Ozawkie)

Nearest city: Ozawkie, KS
Median home sale price: $160,000
Population: 630
Homes for sale in Ozawkie, KS
Apartments for rent in Ozawkie, KS

Perry Lake is a picturesque spot located near the small town of Ozawkie. Known for its clear waters and scenic surroundings, Perry Lake is ideal for boating, fishing, and hiking. The area around the lake is home to Perry State Park, which offers a variety of outdoor activities, including trails for mountain biking and horseback riding. Ozawkie is a small lakefront community with a few local restaurants and cafes. Its proximity to Perry Lake makes it a great location for those seeking a quiet, lakeside lifestyle.

tuttle creek lake in kansas

5. Toronto Lake (Toronto)

Nearest city: Toronto, KS
Median home sale price: $11,600
Population: 200
Homes for sale in Toronto, KS
Apartments for rent in Toronto, KS

Toronto Lake is a hidden gem in the small town of Toronto. This lake offers a serene escape with its beautiful landscapes and quiet atmosphere. Toronto Lake is perfect for those who enjoy fishing, kayaking, and simply enjoying the outdoors. Toronto is a great small town in Kansas with its quaint Main Street. The town’s proximity to Toronto Lake means residents can easily enjoy the benefits of lakeside living, including breathtaking sunsets and an abundance of wildlife.

6. Tuttle Creek Lake (Manhattan)

Nearest city: Manhattan, KS
Median home sale price: $279,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $855
Population: 53,800
Homes for sale in Manhattan, KS
Apartments for rent in Manhattan, KS

Tuttle Creek Lake, located just north of Manhattan, is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as camping, boating, and fishing. The lake is surrounded by Tuttle Creek State Park, which offers a wide range of amenities including hiking trails, picnic areas, and a marina. Manhattan, known as “The Little Apple,” is a vibrant city home to Kansas State University, Flint Hills Discovery Center, and Riley County Historical Museum. Living near Tuttle Creek Lake provides the perfect balance of nature and city life.

wilson lake with people on the shore

7. Wilson Lake (Wilson)

Nearest city: Wilson, KS
Population: 830
Homes for sale in Wilson, KS
Apartments for rent in Wilson, KS

Wilson Lake is known for its clear blue waters and rugged shoreline. This lake is perfect for activities such as sailing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. You can find parks like Minooka Park Recreation Area and Wilson State Park, beaches like Giebler Beach, and hiking trails like Bur Oak Nature Trail. The nearby town of Wilson, often referred to as the “Czech Capital of Kansas,” has plenty to offer from its annual Czech Festival to authentic European cuisine. Living in Wilson provides a peaceful lifestyle with easy access to the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of Wilson Lake.

8. Waconda Lake (Glen Elder)

Nearest city: Glen Elder, KS
Population: 360
Homes for sale in Glen Elder, KS
Apartments for rent in Glen Elder, KS

The final spot on our list of lakes in Kansas to live on this year is Waconda Lake. Situated in the town of Glen Elder, Waconda Lake offers a retreat for fishing, boating, and bird-watching. There are plenty of parks and golf courses located along the shores such as Glen Elder State Park and Lakeside Golf Course. Glen Elder, with its small-town charm and friendly community, has plenty to offer from city pools to local restaurants. The town’s proximity to Waconda Lake allows residents to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational activities the lake has to offer.

Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the lakes in Kansas. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2024. Average rental data from Rent.com April 2024. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

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