Florida is a wonderland of sun and water adventure. It has over 5,373 square miles of lakes to enjoy, making it an ideal location for lake living. Many boaters who’ve enjoyed vacationing at lake towns in The Sunshine State have come to the realization that living in one of these towns would be even better!

With so many lakes and lakefront communities to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to narrow down your choices. No worries — we’ve done it for you. We’ll cover our three favorite lakefront communities in Florida and fill you in on why we think they’re the cream of the crop.

Top 3 Lake Towns in the Sunshine State

Clermont, FL

Clermont Chain of Lakes

The postcard-perfect town of Clermont lies a quick twenty-five miles west of the bustling city of Orlando. With a historic main street and a population of 30,000, Clermont packs a lot of amenities into a small package. This town is the gateway to the Clermont Chain of Lakes, a collection of eleven scenic lakes. Ranging in size from the 3,574 acre Lake Louisa to the tiny 21 acre Lake Cook, you’ll have plenty of choices. In fact, the town itself is set right between two of the largest lakes in the region, Lake Minneola and Lake Minnehaha. There are plenty of options for access, including the town’s public boat ramp into Lake Minneola and a ramp located at Palatlakaha River Park for boating on Lake Louisa. Private homes are located on several of the lakes, with direct lake access. Fishing, kayaking, and boating are some of the most popular ways to enjoy time out on the water in this area.

The Clermont region, as true with all of Florida, experiences lots of sunshine. While that might sound good to you, UV rays are not friendly to your boat. A quality boat cover can preserve years of life in your investment. If you’re fortunate enough to snap up a property in the area with direct lake access, you’ll want to purchase and install a boat lift canopy too.

Eustis, FL

Harris Chain of Lakes

Downtown Eustis Florida

Downtown Eustis Florida // Photo credit: City of Eustis

Located in the aptly-named Lake County, FL, the small town of Eustis sits in the heart of the Harris Chain of Lakes, a breathtaking collection of eight lakes an hour south of Ocala. Home to just under 21,000, this location has a small town feel with a compact, historic downtown that’s perfect for strolling. The lakes surrounding Eustis are some of the largest in the state, including the namesake of the chain, Lake Harris. At 15,087 acres, this flagship lake offers amazing opportunities for fishing. Its world-famous bass fishing makes it a popular lake for fishing tournaments. Sailing, motor boating, and water skiing are popular too.

Lake Eustis

Lake Eustis Florida // Photo credit: City of Eustis

Clewiston, FL

Lake Okeechobee

Known as “Florida’s Sweetest Town,” Clewiston got its nickname due to its success producing sugar cane at farms near the town. Sweet tooths aside, this area’s main claim to fame is its stellar location on Lake Okeechobee. Affectionately called “The Big O” by locals, Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s largest lake and the second largest in the entire US. It’s 448,000 acres dwarfs all other lakes in the state. Although Clewiston is the smallest town we’ve covered, with a population of only 7,500, it offers up outsized opportunities for good times on Florida’s inland sea. The marina in town is perfect for launching your own boat or renting one. Airboat tours and chartered fishing trips leave directly from town too. If you’re hankering for some adventures on land, you can tour the local sugar factory, tee off at the town’s golf course, or drop by the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, a fascinating place to learn about the history and culture of the area’s original inhabitants, the Seminole Indians.

Florida’s freshwater lakes offer boaters endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation. From a lazy day spent picnicking on a pontoon boat to a high-energy adventure water skiing behind a speedboat, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the water in the towns featured here, no matter what your speed.

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