10 Lake Getaways in Tennessee: Top Destinations for a Relaxing Escape

Imagine waking up to the sound of gentle waves, enjoying your morning coffee on the front porch of a cozy cabin, and surrounded by the natural beauty of Tennessee’s stunning lakes.

With numerous lakes scattered throughout the state, you’ll never be short of options for your next family vacation.

Tennessee’s picturesque lakes offer a haven for both adventure enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility. As you explore the options, think about what your perfect lake getaway would entail.

Do you see yourself basking in the warmth of a morning sunrise, casting a line for a fresh catch, or paddling out into the still waters? Or is your ideal getaway focused on quality family time, staying in comfortable lakefront accommodations, and making memories with loved ones?

Whatever your preference, Tennessee’s diverse lakes cater to various tastes and experiences, promising countless opportunities to unwind, rejuvenate, and indulge in fun-filled moments.

So pack your bags, gather your family, and embark on that much-needed escape to any of Tennessee’s exceptional lake getaways.

Top Lake Getaways in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to some beautiful lakes that offer fantastic getaways for you and your family.

Nestled within the Appalachian Mountains and Cherokee National Forest, these lakes provide the perfect setting for relaxation and adventure.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the best lake getaways in East Tennessee, including Norris Lake, Douglas Lake, Watauga Lake, Center Hill Lake, and Cherokee Lake.

Norris Lake

1. Norris Lake

Norris Lake is one of Tennessee’s largest and most popular lakes. With over 800 miles of shoreline, you’ll have plenty of space to explore by boat, kayak, or paddleboard.

Known for its clean, clear water and spectacular scenery, this lake is a hotspot for fishing, water sports, and hiking.

Norris Lake’s surrounding communities offer vacation rentals and amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Douglas Lake in East Tennessee

2. Douglas Lake

Douglas Lake, located near the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, is known for its picturesque views and abundant wildlife.

It’s an ideal destination for fishing, boating, and swimming, with over 550 miles of shoreline to explore.

As a bonus, its proximity to attractions like Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park make it a great hub for exploring the wider area.

Watauge Lake

3. Watauga Lake

Nestled in the Cherokee National Forest, Watauga Lake boasts pristine waters and breathtaking mountain views.

Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, this lake offers incredible hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting opportunities.

With a variety of vacation rentals and campgrounds available, you’ll feel right at home in this serene environment.

Center Hill Lake

4. Center Hill Lake

Center Hill Lake, set among rolling hills, is a popular boating, fishing, and swimming destination. At 139 acres, there’s ample room for water sports and relaxation.

Nearby, you’ll find rentals and accommodations to suit your needs and access to hiking and biking trails.

The beautiful surroundings make this lake a delightful getaway spot.

Cherokee Lake

5. Cherokee Lake

Last but not least, Cherokee Lake is an ideal destination for those seeking a quieter, more secluded experience.

This picturesque lake covers over 28,000 acres and provides ample opportunities for fishing, birdwatching, and boating.

Cherokee Lake’s peaceful atmosphere makes it a great location for unwinding and connecting with nature.

Reelfoot Lake

6. Reelfoot Lake

Reelfoot Lake is a unique body of water created by a series of earthquakes in the early 1800s. Today, you can enjoy this lake’s peaceful scenery and the rich wildlife that inhabits the area.

Apart from being a great spot for fishing, Reelfoot Lake also provides opportunities for boating and bird watching.

Old Hickory Lake

7. Old Hickory Lake

Just outside of Nashville, Old Hickory Lake offers a perfect getaway for those seeking outdoor activities and water sports. With ample boating, camping, and hiking opportunities, this lake has something for everyone.

And if you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’ll appreciate the abundance of largemouth bass in its waters. Plenty of vacation rental options are available on Old Hickory Lake, making it an ideal location for a family trip.

8. Cordell Hull Lake

Cordell Hull Lake, situated on the Cumberland River, is a lesser-known hidden gem for lake adventures in Tennessee.

This beautiful reservoir offers a serene boating, fishing, and camping location, including several well-maintained campgrounds.

An interesting note about this lake is that it was completed in 1973 and crosses both the Indian and Central time zones.

Percy Priest Lake

9. Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake, another lake near Nashville, is perfect for a quick getaway from the city. This lake offers loads of recreational activities, such as swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking.

Don’t miss out on the impressive trails around the lake, which are perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

Nickajack Lake

10. Nickajack Lake

Formed by the Chickamauga Dam on the Tennessee River, Nickajack Lake has a variety of recreational opportunities to offer visitors.

You can enjoy its waters for swimming, fishing, and boating while the surrounding area is perfect for hiking and picnicking. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the majestic bald eagles that frequent the area.

Make the most of your Tennessee lake getaways by exploring these lesser-known lakes. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Volunteer State and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

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