Best lake towns near Houston

7 Best Lake Towns to Live in Near Houston 2024

Looking for a lake town to live in near Houston? Dreaming of living the lake life while staying close to the city? You can have it all. We’ve found five lake towns located less than an hour from Houston (plus one lake town that is a bit further—a 1.5-hour drive from the city). Here are the best lake towns to live in near Houston.

kids at a lake

Check out the Richest Suburbs of Houston

Best Lake Towns near Houston

The Woodlands, TX

  • Distance to Houston: 30 miles north (39 minutes)
  • Median Home Price: $535,501 (June 2022-June 2023)

The Woodlands is one of the best lake towns to live in near Houston. The Woodlands, Texas, is not just any suburb of Houston—it’s one of the best suburbs of Houston where you can enjoy the lake life, while still being within close proximity to Houston.

Located 30 miles north of Houston, The Woodlands is a beautiful master planned community with lakes, ponds, golf courses, parks, shopping centers, country clubs, restaurants- everything you can think of!

The Woodlands TX

At the heart of The Woodlands is Lake Woodlands a 200-acre lake where residents can enjoy kayaking and paddleboarding or dining at one of the many waterfront restaurants on Lake Woodlands. 

Aside from the lake, there is also The Woodlands Waterway which is a 1.4-mile long water corridor that features walking paths alongside it, as well as water taxis and trolleys. 

Families love renting swan boats on The Woodlands Waterway, it’s a great way to explore. 

There are also kayaks and paddleboards for rent on the waterway.

kayaking on a lake

The Waterway connects The Woodlands Mall, The Woodlands Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Waterway Square, and the Pavilion, making it not only a scenic route but a practical means of transportation as well.

And throughout the year, the waterway plays host to numerous events, from concerts to festivals, bringing together the Woodlands community.

The Woodlands is home to over 40 bodies of water, many of these ponds and lakes are teeming with bass and catfish, making them a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. 

The Woodlands have a catch and release policy, however, there are exceptions to this rule; locations like Bear Branch Reservoir and Lake Woodlands allow anglers to keep their catch.

One of the cons about living in The Woodlands is that swimming and motorized power boats are not allowed on the lake. 

While Lake Woodlands may not permit swimming, that doesn’t mean residents can’t cool off during the hot Texan summers. 

There are no shortage of pools in The Woodlands. There are 14 community pools at the Woodlands, many with splash pads. 

For boating, you can easily head over to Lake Conroe which is 25 miles north of The Woodlands (or a 30 minute drive). This larger lake welcomes motorized boating.

The Woodlands is teeming with shopping and dining options. From high-end boutiques to waterfront restaurants. 

Aside from lake living, The Woodlands also has great schools. Niche.com ranks The Woodlands as the #2 suburb with the best schools in the Houston area.

The Woodlands is truly one of the few suburbs of Houston where you can enjoy lake life while still be close enough to Houston. 

Check out the Richest Suburbs of Houston

Montgomery, TX

  • Distance to Houston: 55 miles (1 hour and 6 minutes)
  • Median Sale Price: $411,287 (June 2022-June 2023)

Montgomery is one of the best lake towns near Houston. Located 55 miles north of Houston, it’s a charming, historic Texas town with a country-vibe (it’s the birth place of the Texas flag!)

With a median sale price of $411,287, there is a wide range of homes in Montgomery from lake homes to condos.  

Lake Life

Lake Conroe is the main attraction of Montgomery. This expansive, 21,000-acre lake is a hub for boating, fishing, water skiing, jet skiing and other water sports. 

There are even man-made sandy beaches on Lake Conroe where Montgomery residents can sunbathe, play beach volleyball or just relax on the beach.

Living in Montgomery can feel like a vacation with Margaritaville Resort located right in town.

Margaritaville is a waterfront resort with a lazy river, water park, mini golf course, restaurants and hotel. It’s the perfect place to grab dinner on the waterfront restaurant or even a staycation!

Pontoon boat on lake

Aside from lake living, Montgomery also has great schools. Niche.com ranks Montgomery ISD as the #13 best school district in the Houston area.

If you are looking to live the lake life and still be within an hour drive from Houston, Montgomery is a good option.

Cypress, TX 

  • Distance to Houston: 28 miles (44 minutes)
  • Median Sale Price: $366,000 (June 2023)

Cypress is one of the best Houston suburb near a lake. When discussing the lake life in Cypress, we are talking about living in the Towne Lake neighborhood of Cypress.

Jet ski

Towne Lake is a master-planned community in Cypress built around one of the largest private lakes in the Houston area spanning over 300 acres.

Living in Towne Lake means you have access to the lake for boating, fishing, kayaking and other water sports.

There’s also a marina, waterpark, and a boardwalk filled with restaurants and shops at Towne Lake.

The boardwalk is a hub where the community gets together for events.

The best part about Towne Lake is the lake is a private lake, only Towne Lake residents can use it! That means it’s never crowded!

Pontoon boat on lake

With a median home price of $366,000, Towne Lake has a diverse housing options from waterfront home with private docks to lake side condos.

Aside from the lake life, one of the best parts about living in Towne Lake are the schools. Towne Lake is districted to the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD which is a top-rated school district. 

Niche.com ranks Cypress-Fairbanks ISD the #6 best school district in the Houston area.

Lake life, great schools, easy commute to Houston- Towne Lake is truly one of the best lake towns to live in near Houston.

Clear Lake, TX 

  • Distance to Houston: 30 miles (43 minutes)
  • Median Sale Price: $434,693 (June 2022-June 2023)

Clear Lake is one of the best lake towns to live near Houston. 

Clear Lake TX

Located just 22 miles south of Houston, Clear Lake is close enough for a daily commute to Houston and still be able to come home to a lake lifestyle.

With a median home price of $434,693, Clear Lake offers many housing options from waterfront homes to starter homes.

Boating is a big part of the lake culture at Clear Lake. Many Clear Lake residents own a boat and weekends are filled with boat rides. 

Fishing, kayaking, and sailing are also popular activities.

There is no shortage of things to do in Clear Lake.

Aside from boating, Clear Lake residents have Kemah Boardwalk right in their backyard. 

Keman Boardwalk is a vibrant waterfront entertainment destination with amusement rides, restaurants, shops and even a boutique hotel.

Keman Boardwalk in TX

Clear Lake is also home to many waterfront parks with children’s playgrounds, and walking or biking trails with lake views.

A local favorite is Clear Lake Park, a 59 acre park with a boat launch, fishing pier, playground, splash pad, jogging trail, sports fields, community center and an open air pavilion.

Aside from lake living and outdoor recreation, Clear Lake also has great schools. Clear Lake’s school district- Clear Creek ISD, is one of the top-rated schools. 

Niche.com ranks Clear Creek ISD as the #5 best school district in the Houston area.

Clear Lake is also home to the Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston (NASA!) Perfect for those working in the aerospace industry!

And if that wasn’t enough, Clear Lake is also very near the Gulf beaches of Galveston. It’s only a 48 minute drive from Clear Lake to Galveston Island. 

The combination of great schools, lake living and plenty of recreation make Clear Lake one of the best suburbs of Houston for lake living.

Kingwood, TX

  • Distance to Houston: 28 miles (49 minutes)
  • Median Sale Price: $349,000 (June 2023)

Kingwood is one of the best suburbs near Houston that is near a lake. Located on Lake Houston just 28 miles north of downtown- its location is perfect for those seeking lake life but still want to be near Houston. 

Kid Jumping in lake

The lake life in Kingwood is a blend of relaxation and recreation on Lake Houston.

Lake Houston is a playground for water enthusiasts- whether you’re keen on boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, or just dipping your toes in the water.

Spanning over 12,000 acres, Lake Houston is perfect for cruising on a sunny day, and for those who love fishing, the lake is abundant with a variety of freshwater fish.

Kayaking on lake

Known as the “Livable Forest,” Kingwood lives up to its moniker. With over 75 miles of nature trails, residents can immerse themselves in nature, whether they’re out for a jog, a bike ride, or a leisurely walk.  

Aside from the lake life, Kingwood is a master planned community with lots of shopping centers including a waterfront shopping center right on Lake Houston. 

For those seeking the country club lifestyle along with the lake life, it’s possible at Kingwood. The Clubs of Kingwood is a large country club with over five 18-hole golf courses! It’s also a family-friendly country club with a water park, Kids Club, and a lot of social events.

If you are looking for a Houston suburb that will give you the lake life, the country club lifestyle and close proximity to Houston, then Kingwood is a good option for you.

Conroe, TX 

  • Distance to Houston: 40 miles (55 minutes)
  • Median Sale Price: $317,579 (June 2022-June 2023)

Conroe is one of the best Houston suburbs for lakeside living. Located 40 miles north of Houston, Conroe is a lake town near Houston. It’s perfect for anyone who works in Houston but also wants to live the lake life.

With a median sale price of $317,579, Conroe is more affordable than other lake towns near Houston. 

Just a quick 19 minute drive to Lake Conroe, residents can enjoy the lake life.

Lake Conroe, TX

Lake Conroe is a large lake well-known for its boating scene. Boat parties are common, especially during summer weekends and holidays. 

Groups of friends and families anchor their boats close to one another, creating floating party hubs! It’s a fun way to spend the weekend!

Lake Conroe is also popular for water skiing, wakeboarding and jet skiing. The lake is also a haven for fishing.

Several restaurants and bars along the lake offer dockside services. Boaters can pull up, dock, and enjoy a meal.

If you are looking for a more relaxing time on the lake, there are beaches on Lake Conroe.

kid at a lake

Lake Conroe Park is a sandy beach with a swimming area, fishing piers and playgrounds. There are also private communities with private beaches for its residents on Lake Conroe.

Aside from lake living, Conroe also has great schools. Niche.com ranks Conroe ISD as the #7 best school district in the Houston area.

The close proximity to Houston, great schools and lake life makes Conroe one of the best lake town near Houston.

Livingston, TX 

  • Distance to Houston: 74 miles (1 hour and 15 minutes)
  • Median Sale Price: $184,000 (June 2023)

Livingston is one of the best lake towns near Houston. 

Located 74 miles north of Houston, although Livingston is a little further from Houston, we are still including it on our list of the best lake towns near Houston.

kayaking on a lake

Livingston may not be ideal for those who need to commute into Houston daily but if you can work from home occasionally, then Livingston might just be the perfect lake town for you. 

Lake Livingston is a boater’s paradise. It’s one of the largest reservoirs in Texas, spanning over 90,000 acres. Many residents own boats, and there are multiple marinas and docks scattered around the lake. 

Fishing is also popular in Lake Livingston as well as jet skiing and water skiing.

Livingston is a more affordable lake town near Houston with a median sale price of $184,000. It’s a great option if you don’t have to commute to Houston daily and have the flexibility to work from home some days.

The combination of affordable homes, lake life and close proximity to Houston makes Livingston one of the best lake towns near Houston.

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