Lakefront Living: 7 Best Lakes in North Carolina To Live On

June 12th, 2024

Lakefront Living: 7 Best Lakes in North Carolina To Live On

Lakefront Living: 7 Best Lakes in North Carolina To Live On

Are you considering moving to a lakefront home in North Carolina? Here are the seven best lakes in North Carolina to live on. 

North Carolina is full of many beautiful places to live, with low costs, pleasant weather, a thriving job market, and stunning landscapes. Alongside the gorgeous mountains and beaches are the lakes around North Carolina.

As one of the top locations for young professionals, growing families, students, and retirees, there are more than enough cities and towns to choose from. While deciding where to relocate to, many look for communities with beautiful landscapes. Luckily, NC has plenty of communities, such as lakeside, oceanside, or mountainside. 

Living lakeside is very different from living by the ocean, city, or mountains. However, it is just as beautiful. Lakes can be found all over NC; however, the natural freshwater lakes are mostly located in the eastern region of the state, according to NCPedia. While the majority of the lakes are used for sports and recreation, many are surrounded by neighborhoods.

As you search for the best lake to live by, you'll have more than enough options. Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax or the best lake for water sports, North Carolina is the best place to be

Keep reading to learn all about the seven best lakes in North Carolina to live on. 

1. Lake Tillery

Address: 1189 Lillys Bridge Rd, Mt, Gilead, NC 27306

Lake Tillery sits on over 5,000 acres with 104 miles of shoreline. Residents get to enjoy the peacefulness of lakefront living and all the fun of lake activities. From swimming, boating, boat rentals, fishing, water sports, and even restaurants on the water, there is more than enough to do. 

Lake Tillery is a reservoir between Falls Reservoir and Blewett Falls Lake near Charlotte, NC. It is a man-made lake created by impounding the Pee Dee River. In addition to lake activities, you can venture to Morrow Mountain State Park for hiking, camping, paddling, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, or just enjoying the great outdoors. 

You can choose between many different home types, sizes, and locations. From luxury properties to waterfront properties to one-bed homes, the options are endless. There are also several subdivisions around the lake you can look through to find the perfect community. No matter which you pick, you'll be surrounded by friendly neighbors, breathtaking views, and absolute relaxation. 

Beautiful Lakes in NC

2. Lake Gaston

Address: Halifax, Northhampton, and Warren counties, Littleton, NC 27850

Lake Gaston is a 20,000-acre lake bounded by the Kerr Dam and Gaston Dam. The lake borders Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties in Virginia and Warren, Halifax, and Northhampton in North Carolina. 

There is public access to the lake on 2369 Jack Brown Road, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, and a public swimming area. The lake is known to be filled with game fish like striped bass, rockfish, sunfish, and crappie. You will need a valid license from Virginia or North Carolina in order to fish from a boat on the lake. 

Lake Gaston is a vacation home dream. There are tons of things to do in the area as well, including the Rosemont Winery for year-round tastings and events. 

Whether you are looking for a vacation home, a full-time place to live, or an investment opportunity, Lake Gaston is the perfect place to look. 

3. Bear Lake Reserve

Address: 503 Harbor Ridge Dr, Tuckasegee, NC 28736

Tucked away in the heart of nature, Bear Lake Reserve is a luxury community that offers some of the best lakeside living options. You'll have the opportunity to do as much or as little as you want. Whether you enjoy water activities, relaxing, or boating around the lake, Bear Lake is the perfect destination. 

You'll be surrounded by gorgeous mountains and pristine waters in western North Carolina. This secluded community is the best place to visit if you are looking for a secluded setting.

Tuckasegee is about an hour's drive from Asheville, meaning you can take a quick day trip anytime you want. This is the perfect place to move to and enjoy peaceful living with city-like amenities. 

The isolation is the main perk but one you should prepare for. On your way into town, stop in Sylva or Cashiers to pick up groceries so you can spend your whole time enjoying the lake and relaxing. 

The average home price in Bear Lake Reserve is about $833,164 and ranges in style, shape, and size. 

View from lakeside home

4. Mountain Golf and Lake Club

Address: 1638 N High Mountain Dr, Cashiers, NC 28717

Mountain Golf and Lake Club is a private mountain community located in the center of the historic Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Offering stunning natural beauty and unique amenities. This private membership mountain retreat is by invitation only. 

Focusing on providing exceptional Carolina mountain experience, traditional and playable golf, luxurious recreation, and a one-of-a-kind family experience, this is the perfect place to move to or visit. 

The clubhouse provides exceptional amenities like a fine-dining restaurant, views of the golf course, a renovated spa and ladies' lock room, a men's locker room with a bar and dining service, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a refreshing swimming pool, tennis facilities, and member lodging. The options for fun are endless in this amazing community. 

The fun doesn't just stop at the water; the community has Outdoor Pursuits facilities where kids can create crafts and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The activity center includes two croquet courts, an indoor basketball court, a video game cavern, two pickleball courts, a sand volleyball court, a treehouse-inspired playground, and a huge dog park. Essentially, this community has everything you could ever want in lakefront living. 

Family time on the lake

5. Connestee Falls

Address: 33 Connestee Trail, Brevard, NC 28712

Located on 3,900 acres of pristine forested land in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountain of Western North Carolina, Connestee Falls is the perfect place to move to. This peaceful, master-planned, well-established, and welcoming community has many fun-filled amenities to keep you busy throughout your whole stay. 

Not only does this gated community boast the beautiful lake, but spectacular mountain views, waterfalls, over 20 miles of volunteer-maintained walking and hiking trails, parks, playgrounds, and 50 miles of well-maintained paved private roads. 

Since its establishment in 1971, this community has grown to have over 1,400 homes. Nearly half of the land is set aside for community members to explore. The median listing price for homes in Connestee Falls is approximately $797,633. You can choose between waterfront homes, homes with views, and land for sale. No matter which home you land on, you will have gorgeous views of the rolling mountains and refreshing lake.  

Beautiful Lakefront Home

6. Lake Toxaway

Address: 100 Waterfall Circle, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747

Lake Toxaway is the largest private lake in North Carolina, with 14 miles of shoreline at 3,010 feet elevation. The waters stream from high in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to make one of the cleanest lakes in NC.

Mostly known as one of the healthiest lakes in NC, Lake Toxaway is home to many families and retirees. You can explore the lake by kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or even cruise on Miss Lucy. If you want some time away from the lake, you are in luck because Lake Toxaway is in the middle of the "Land of the Waterfalls." Here, you can hike the gorgeous cascades, including Gorges State Park, Toxaway Falls, and Panthertown Valley. 

Venture to the quiet downtown for breweries, restaurants, galleries, local shops, and much more. There are several inns you can stay at before you buy a home on the water, including Greystone Inn, which has 30 guestrooms, a restaurant, a bar, and a spa. However, after visiting, it'll be hard to ever want to leave. 

Lake Toxaway is home to several communities with beautiful homes and even better views of the surrounding nature. 

7. Lake Lure

Address: 2930 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure, NC, 28746

Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County. The lake itself is the largest attraction in town for many reasons. Visitors get to enjoy over 800 acres of lake, a clean beach area, and the incredible Blue Ridge mountain range including Chimney ROck. 

Water activities include boating, swimming, fishing, canoeing, water skiing, and much more. The town is a well-known destination for visitors each year and a beautiful place to live. 

The town sits in the middle of Hickory Nut Gorge, a short drive from Asheville. The town also has many opportunities for golfing, hiking, or rock climbing. There are tons of things to do and enjoy, whether you are staying on the lake or in town.

The communities at Lake Lure range in price, including Chimney Rock Ridge, with a median listing price of about $1,085,00. Rumbling Bald On Lake Lure has more affordable homes with a median listing price of $679,777. 

Lakefront Living in NC


We used information and data from several different sources, as well as our own data, to determine the best lakes to live on in North Carolina. Most of the data was sourced from the following sources:

  • NCPedia

FAQ: Best Lakes in North Carolina To Live On

Here are some commonly asked questions about the best lakes in North Carolina to live on.

What is the nicest lake in North Carolina?

Salem Lake near downtown Winston Salem has been ranked last as the best lake in NC. There are more than enough activities to indulge in with the whole family, including fishing, walking trails, and picnics.

Where is the most affordable lakefront property in NC?

The NC lakes with the most affordable home prices include Oak Hollow Lake, Roanoke Rapids Lake, Lake Townsend, and High Rock Lake. 

Where is the best place to live in North Carolina with mountain views?

Asheville, NC, is known as the best mountain town in North Carolina. With miles of scenic views, a temperate climate, many national forests, and beautiful mountains, it is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Additionally, Asheville has many fun things to do in and around the downtown area. 

Where to live in North Carolina near the beach?

Wilmington, Outer Banks, and Emerald Isle are listed as some of the best places in North Carolina near the beach. All are beautiful places to live in and have many affordable housing options. 

What is the healthiest lake in North Carolina?

Lake Auman is considered the cleanest lake in North Carolina. Lake Glenville and White Lake are also known as healthy lakes with good water quality, making all of them great places to swim. 

Best Lakes in North Carolina To Live On - The Bottom Line

Many homebuyers are turning to lakeside living for a better quality of life, fresh air, accessibility to the gorgeous outdoors, water sports, and ultimate relaxation. While most beach towns are crowded with tourists in the summer, lake towns are completely different. You'll find a new kind of peace as each home typically has its own dock and land, so you are far away from your neighbors. 

On the other side, one of the best parts of North Carolina is that there are plenty of lakes across the state. Meaning if you want to buy a home on the lake while still being close to one of the major cities, it won't be hard to find. 

No matter which lake you decide to live on, we can guarantee that you'll absolutely love it. Whether you are looking for a lakefront property in a small town or near a bustling city, you may have to act fast because homes sell quickly. 

Before you buy your next home, feel free to contact one of our helpful real estate specialists, as they are eager to help you find the perfect home. We know that buying a home can be overwhelming, so make sure you are prepared beforehand.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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