Real Estate

8 of the Best Lakes in Kansas to Live in 2024

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

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

1. Clinton Lake (Lawrence)

Closest city: Lawrence, KS
Median Home Sales Price: $155,000
Average rent for 1 bedroom: $852
Population: 95,800
Homes for Sale in Lawrence, KS
Apartments for rent in Lawrence, KS

First on our list of lakes in Kansas to stay this year is Clinton Lake. Located on the west 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 stay close to Lake Clinton.

2. El Dorado Lake (El Dorado)

Closest city: El Dorado, KS
Median Home Sales 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 town of El Dorado. As one of the state’s major lakes, it offers plenty of boating, kayaking and fishing opportunities. The area surrounding the lake is lined with parks, including Rock Quarry and El Dorado State Park, which have facilities 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 an ideal location for those seeking a peaceful lakeside lifestyle.

3. Milford Lake (Junction City)

Closest city: Junction City, KS
Median Home Sales 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 destination for fishing, camping and water sports. Located near Junction City, the lake is a popular destination for both residents and visitors. The area is home to Milford State Park, which has facilities for picnicking, boating and hiking that showcase Kansas’ natural beauty. Junction City, with its close-knit community and variety of local businesses, offers all the amenities for lakeside living. You can also explore other small towns like Fort Riley, Grandview Plaza, and Ogden.

4. Perry Lake (Ozaki)

Closest city: Ozaki, KS
Median Home Sales Price: $160,000
Population: 630
Homes for Sale in Ozawake, KS
Apartments for rent in Ozawake, KS

Perry Lake is a charming place located near the small town of Ozawa. Known for its clear water and natural surroundings, Parry 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. Ozaki is a small lake front community with a few local restaurants and cafes. Its proximity to Perry Lake makes it an ideal location for those seeking a quiet, lakeside lifestyle.

Tuttle Creek Lake in Kansas

5. Toronto Lake (Toronto)

Closest city: Toronto, KS
Median Home Sales 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. The lake offers a tranquil escape with its beautiful scenery and serene atmosphere. Toronto Lake is perfect for those who enjoy fishing, kayaking and the outdoors. Toronto is a great little city in Kansas with a wonderful Main Street. The town’s proximity to Toronto Lake means residents can enjoy the benefits of lakeside living, including breathtaking sunsets and an abundance of wildlife.

6. Tuttle Creek Lake (Manhattan)

Closest city: Manhattan, KS
Median Home Sales Price: $279,000
Average rent for 1 bedroom: $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, the Flint Hills Discovery Center, and the Raleigh County Historical Museum. Living near Tuttle Creek Lake offers the perfect balance of nature and city life.

Wilson Lake with people on the shore

7. Wilson Lake (Wilson)

Closest city: Wilson, KS
Population: 830
Homes for Sale in Wilson, KS
Apartments for rent in Wilson, KS

Wilson Lake is famous for its clear blue waters and rugged coastline. The lake is perfect for activities like boating, hiking and wildlife watching. 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 called the “Czech Capital of Kansas,” has plenty to offer, from its annual Czech Festival to authentic European cuisine. Living in Wilson offers a peaceful lifestyle with easy access to the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of Wilson Lake.

8. Wakonda Lake (Glen Elder)

Closest city: Glen Elder, KS
Population: 360
Homes for Sale in Glen Elder, KS
Apartments for rent in Glen Elder, KS

Last on our list of lakes in Kansas to stay this year is Wakonda Lake. Located in the town of Glen Elder, Wauconda Lake offers fishing, boating and bird watching retreats. There are many parks and golf courses along the beaches such as Glen Elder State Park and Lakeside Golf Course. Glenelder, with its small-town charm and friendly community, has a lot to offer, from town pools to local restaurants. The city’s proximity to Wauconda Lake allows residents to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational activities that the lake has to offer.

Note, this list is not comprehensive of all lakes in Kansas. Median home sales price data from Redfin Data Center During April 2024. From average rental data Population data obtained from April 2024 United States Census Bureau.

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