Oconee County, South Carolina
Located less than 20 miles from Clemson University, Lake Keowee and neighboring Lake Jocassee are surprisingly quiet. While the college students stick to Lake Hartwell, Keowee and Jocassee draw a more adult, if not affluent, crowd.
The region sits at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, and has become a bull's-eye for boaters wanting to relocate from up north or from down south.
About three-quarters of the houses on Lake Keowee are summer homes, but developments like the Cliffs, which has opened three gated mountain-lake residential communities here, are trying to make the lake a more permanent home for many. "The developers are trying to make it into another Lake Lanier [Georgia]," says Nate Ellison, general manager of Lake Keowee Marina. For the time being, the minimal crowd makes it a natural for the top 10.
Scorecard (scale of 1-5)
Waterfront Availability: 5
Ease for Boaters: 4
Strong Boat-Related Business: 3
Number of Good Boating Days: 4