Lake Towns in Nebraska: 6 Beautiful Lakes in Nebraska to Live on in 2024

When you picture Nebraska you likely think of rolling plains, unique rock formations, and grasslands filled with wildflowers. However, Nebraska is home to countless picturesque lakes, from the tranquil shores of Elwood Reservoir to the vibrant Holmes Lake. So if you’re living in Nebraska and looking for a lakefront property, you’re in the right place.

At Redfin, we’ve collected a list of popular lakes in Nebraska to live on this year. Whether you’re looking for a quaint lake town or a charming lake in a big city, we’ve got lakes for you to consider buying a home near. Let’s jump in.

Harlan County Lake in nebraska

1. Elwood Reservoir (Elwood)

Nearest city: Elwood, NE
Median home sale price: $149,000
Population: 630
Homes for sale in Elwood, NE
Apartments for rent in Elwood, NE

The first spot on our list of popular lakes in Nebraska to live on this year is Elwood Reservoir. Elwood Reservoir is nestled in the quaint town of Elwood, a serene spot perfect for those looking to escape city life. This reservoir, built in the 1970s, offers a peaceful retreat for fishing, kayaking, and bird-watching. With several trails around, it’s a great area to enjoy the outdoors. Elwood has a charming small-town community with easy access to outdoor activities. The reservoir’s proximity to Elwood means residents can enjoy the tranquility of lakeside living while being close to home.

2. Harlan County Lake (Alma)

Nearest city: Alma, NE
Median home sale price: $76,000  
Population: 1,000
Homes for sale in Alma, NE
Apartments for rent in Alma, NE

Harlan County Lake, located near the charming city of Alma, is a gem for those looking for waterfront living. As one of the largest lakes in the state, it’s a popular spot for boating, fishing, and camping. The surrounding area is dotted with parks and recreational facilities, like Harlan County Lake Recreation Area, Cedar Run ATV Trail, and Alma Vista Overlook & Peckerneck Horse Trail. Alma has a small-town charm, with local cafes, restaurants, and markets. Harlan County Lake is also close to the Nebraska-Kansas border, making it a great option for residents of either state.

holmes lake located in lincoln nebraska

3. Holmes Lake (Lincoln)

Nearest city: Lincoln, NE
Median home sale price: $280,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,120
Population: 292,600
Homes for sale in Lincoln, NE
Apartments for rent in Lincoln, NE

Located in the bustling city of Lincoln, Holmes Lake is a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. This urban oasis is perfect for those who love to fish, jog, or simply relax in nature without leaving the city. The lake is surrounded by Holmes Lake Park, which features a golf course, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Lincoln, as the state capital, has vibrant landmarks, diverse dining options, and historic museums. Living near Holmes Lake means enjoying the best of both worlds – city conveniences and natural beauty.

4. Lake Wanahoo (Wahoo)

Nearest city: Wahoo, NE
Median home sale price: $247,500
Population: 4,900
Homes for sale in Wahoo, NE
Apartments for rent in Wahoo, NE

Lake Wanahoo is just north of the Wahoo area and is a favorite spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking. The lake and surrounding park area offer a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking trails and bird-watching spots. Wahoo itself is a welcoming community with a variety of local businesses and a municipal airport. Lake Wanahoo is a great spot for those seeking a balance between small-town living and outdoor adventure.

mcconaughy lake located in nebraska

5. Lewis and Clark Lake (Santee)

Nearest city: Santee, NE
Population: 420
Homes for sale in Santee, NE
Apartments for rent in Santee, NE

Located along the Nebraska-South Dakota border is Lewis and Clark Lake. Adjacent to the small town of Santee, Lewis and Clark Lake has a picturesque setting for a variety of water sports and leisure activities. This area is steeped in history, providing a unique backdrop for hiking, camping, and exploring. You can find several parks around the lake like Lewis and Clark Lake State Recreation Area, Santee Park, and Calumet Bluff Trailhead. Santee has a community feel, so it’s a great area for those looking to live in a peaceful, scenic location.

6. McConaughy Lake (Ogallala)

Nearest city: Ogallala, NE
Median home sale price: $115,000
Population: 4,800
Homes for sale in Ogallala, NE
Apartments for rent in Ogallala, NE

McConaughy Lake is the state’s largest reservoir and the final place on our list of lakes in Nebraska to live on this year. Located near Ogallala, McConaughy Lake is renowned for its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters, making it great for swimming, boating, and fishing. The lake’s vast size offers plenty of room for water sports and recreation. Ogallala, a city with a rich history from the days of the Oregon Trail, provides a quaint backdrop to the lake’s natural beauty. The community has a welcoming feel with local restaurants, art galleries, and landmarks.

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

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