Towns and Cities That Offer Great Midwest Waterfront Lifestyles

When you think of states like Kansas and Iowa, chances are you envision fields, prairies, and farmland stretching as far as the eye can see. The Midwest isn’t primarily thought of as a place with beautiful waterfront terrain, particularly in states like Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, which are landlocked and away from the Great Lakes. However, just because there aren’t the large bodies of water you’d find in Midwestern states like Michigan and Wisconsin doesn’t mean these states don’t have towns and cities within them that offer top-notch waterfront lifestyles.

Let’s look at some of the great waterfront options in the Midwestern states of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.

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Kansas is a pivotal part of America’s agriculture industry. It is a large state that is sparsely populated, known for its flat landscapes and wheat fields.

Milford is a small Kansas town home to a permanent population of less than 500. However, it is a popular summer destination due to its location right on the shores of the beautiful Milford Lake. This is an area great for fishing or spending days on the water, and it is an ideal location for Kansas waterfront living.

Ozawkie is another tiny Kansas town with a pitch-perfect location along the water. While less than 1,000 people live in Ozawkie, its proximity on and around Lake Perry makes it a popular getaway spot. Lake Perry is one of the best places in the state for boating, with numerous yacht clubs and marinas. It is also a great golf area.


Nebraska is better known for its expansive prairies than any major body of water. It has a mostly dry Midwestern climate with incredible dunes and towering rock formations. The state is primarily recognized for its farming and unique natural scenery. You can find some great waterfront locations in the cornhusker state.

Alma is a small but welcoming community home to around 1,300 residents. While winters are cold in this tiny town, summer brings an influx of visitors. That is because of its location on Harlan County Lake. This is an area popular for summer camps, camping trips, fishing, and boating. The nearby forests are popular for ATVing and other activities.

Burwell is technically on the water, with the tiny North Loup River winding around the town’s borders. However, the real attraction is about five miles north, with Calamus Reservoir. Calamus Reservoir is a popular spot for fishing and boating, with a wide and calm surface. Purchasing lodges in this area is exceedingly common.

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Iowa is known for its plains and cornfields. However, the Hawkeye state does have some great waterfront options for those willing to step off the beaten path.

Polk City is a small city that is only a short drive north of Des Moines. Its location along Saylorville Lake and Big Creek State Park makes it a highly sought-after destination. Its marinas are filled with boats come summertime, and the waters are a deep blue and great for fishing and swimming.

Pella is a quaint little city with a scenic downtown area, home to over 10,000 residents. While it might not be right on a body of water, it has great proximity to one of Iowa’s best lakes. It is only a short drive from Lake Red Rock, a scenic lake surrounded by parks, forests, and even a golf course. Lake Red Rock is the largest in the state and a great place to spend a summer.

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Missouri is a state in the central part of the U.S, bordering eight other states. Missouri has great urban and rural areas, a unique culture, and delicious food. It has beautiful waterfront towns and cities.

Osage Beach is a small city in the Ozarks home to a permanent population of just over 5,000. However, those numbers swell dramatically as city residents flock to the Ozarks. It is located on the Lake of the Ozarks and has great tourism attractions, beaches, and boating.

Warsaw is a small city located further west in the Ozarks. It doesn’t receive the same large swell of tourists, but there is much to do here. With nearby marinas, resorts, and camping grounds, it gives you a great Ozarks experience without the same tourist crowds, making it the perfect Missouri waterfront city.

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