No doubt, finding time to take a vacation is becoming increasingly difficult. We are constantly busy with school, work, family, and friends. If you are looking for a great, relaxing place to go on vacation, there are beautiful beaches in Tennessee that will be perfect for your next getaway.
Millions of people visit the United States every year to experience the beauty of the country. And nothing beats a day at the beach. If you live in Tennessee, you know all about the wonderful landmarks in the Volunteer State.
Here are 20 of the most beautiful beaches in TN to visit on your next trip.
Most Popular Beach In Tennessee
Tennessee boasts a relatively high number of lovely beaches for a landlocked state. With dozens of majestic beaches to choose from, finding the right one can be a challenge. If you’re looking to visit the most popular beach in Tennessee, this is definitely one to consider.
Cherokee Lake Beach – Hawkins County
Cherokee Lake, named after the tribe of Native Americans who once lived nearby, is now well-known for its bass fishing and the surrounding hills and agriculture.
About 30 miles east of Knoxville, Tennessee, at the base of the Clinch Mountains, is where you’ll find Cherokee Lake. With 463 miles of shoreline, Cherokee Lake is one of the largest lakes in Tennessee and has one of the best Tennessee beaches.
The Cherokee Dam Campground has many tents and trailer sites, warm showers, a playground, a group pavilion, picnic tables with grills, and a magnificent swimming beach. The modern campsite with 48 locations and a sizable boat ramp is close to Cherokee Lake Beach.
Expect a lush, shaded sanctuary above the beach, where you may unwind in the cool shade. The Cherokee Dam Visitor Center, picnic tables, seats, and a play area are all located in this lakefront meadow.
Cherokee Lake Beach offers a broader range of family-friendly activities than other Tennessee beaches. For instance, it displays concerts, parties, and fireworks. If you want to get even more active, walk the length of the enormous Cherokee Dam.
Check out the facilities and services at Holiday Inn Express & Suites for a wonderful experience while you visit Cherokee Lake.
Nashville, Tennessee Beaches
Cook Day Use Area
Cook Day Use Area is a fantastic location for swimming, picnics, and other activities. It is situated on Percy Priest Lake. It has one of the smallest Tennessee beaches, but with stunning views of the lake from every angle.
Cook Day Use Area is also great for families. There are 12 picnic spots with tables and grills available at this location and several old trees that provide a ton of shade.
A beach is available for lake swimming. Even though the beach area is not very large, there is still room for building sand castles and sunbathing.
Percy Priest Lake
J. Percy Priest Lake is situated in Tennessee’s north central region, halfway along the Stones River’s sixth and seventh miles. Nashville, the state capital, is located about 10 miles east of the dam.
Percy Priest Lake is a lovely stop among other beaches in Tennessee, with beautiful landscaping, picnic tables, and a view of the dam. Free lake maps are available inside, along with information on boating and even children’s activity books about water safety.
Additionally, the lake is served by many marinas. It is home to different recreational associations, including Percy Priest Yacht Club, Tennessee Boat Club, Vanderbilt Rowing Club, and Vanderbilt Sailing Club.
Around the lake, there are a lot of parks and campers that offer places to get outside and enjoy nature. It is a popular fishing spot and has facilities for swimming, picnics, and restrooms. Like many other Tennessee beaches, Percy priest Lake has stunning views.
Located 11 miles Northwest of Ashland City, TN, Cheatham Lake is among the beaches in TN that locals love.
Aside from the numerous individual picnic tables with grills, the area also has two boat launching ramps, two playgrounds, two volleyball courts, a softball field, and public restrooms.
Cheatham Lake’s designated swimming area is open to those who want to cool down. However, unlike other Tennessee beaches, boaters are not permitted in this swimming area. Additionally, there aren’t any lifeguards on duty, so swimming is entirely at your own risk.
Mid-May to Labor Day, the Right Bank Recreation Area charges a day use fee of about $5 per car. Four picnic shelters, Cottonwood, Beachside, Willey’s, and Red Bud, are available for reservations at the Right Bank Day Use Area.
Old Hickory Beach
With plenty of space and a sizable picnic shelter that can hold up to 100 people, Old Hickory Beach might be the ideal beach in Tennessee for you.
A playground for kids, a boat access ramp, and a sandy bathing beach are available for a nice beach day. On the lake, sailing is also very popular. Bass, catfish, and crappie are popular targets for fishermen who can catch them from a boat or the bank.
Old Hickory Beach also allows visitors to observe local wildlife, which is not common to find at other Tennessee beaches. The blue heron and white egret are migratory songbirds that frequent the area.
Its 1.1-mile nature trail is accessible to individuals who enjoy hiking. The beach doesn’t have much parking. A $5 fee per vehicle is required for day use.
Where To Stay In Nashville
Knoxville, Tennessee Beaches
While there aren’t too many beaches in Knoxville, you can still visit many Tennessee beaches not too far away. Here are some of the best beaches in Knoxville or nearby.
Melton Lake Park
Melton Lake Park is the ideal setting for an outdoor experience. The lake is widely regarded as one of the best meter rowing beaches in Tennessee and a top rowing site in the country. Alongside scenic shorelines, you can enjoy a day of stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking or a game of beach volleyball.
Its 5.6-mile waterfront greenway is ideal for strolling, running, and bicycling after you’ve had a splash. In addition, it has family-friendly features including covered picnic tables, a playground, and a pavilion.
The Cove at Concord Park
In the southwest of Knox County, a public park called The Cove runs along the Tennessee River. The Cove is a unique beach in Tennessee with something for everyone to enjoy.
Its amenities include a paved walking track, playground, sand volleyball courts, a beach, a swimming area, and numerous picnic tables and grills.
Like several Tennessee beaches, the Cove at Concord Park also offers boat ramps, concessions, fishing, a marina, trails for mountain biking, tennis courts, and a golf course. Leashed pets are allowed. It also has facilities for canoeing and kayaking that is great for water sports enthusiasts.
South of Charleston on Folly Island, Folly Beach is one of the best Tennessee beaches near Knoxville. Its 1,000-foot-long pier is one of its most outstanding features.
Folly Beach offers various water activities, including swimming, fishing, boating, and more. Pirate’s Cove Playground and Skate Park also offer plenty of free amusement for children.
On the other side of the water, there is a second playground. Folly also has a dog park, making it a favorite, just like other beaches in Tennessee.
You can meander through charming shops there and eat delicious southern delicacies. Additionally, there are surf and gift businesses all along Center Street. The 1876-built Morris Island Lighthouse is visible from Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve’s beaches and wildlife-rich ecosystems.
Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms is one of the gorgeous beaches in Tennessee, close to South Carolina. This beach is ideal for rest and relaxation because it is breathtaking and uncrowded.
You can engage in a ton of enjoyable beachfront activities here. They feature a beachside park with picnic space and a playground for youngsters in addition to the usual seaside entertainment.
You can also visit their Sea Biscuit Cafe for a delectable breakfast and lunch. They provide all of your favorite breakfast foods in addition to dishes like seafood omelets and shrimp and gravy. Everything about this location puts it among the top Tennessee beaches to visit.
Where To Stay In Knoxville
There are many hotels and suites with superb services in Knoxville. Baymont by Wyndham is a popular option due to their efficient staff, comfortable rooms, and pet-friendliness. For a luxurious stay, consider Comfort Suites or Crowne Plaza Hotel that are well-rated by visitors.
Memphis, Tennessee Beaches
On the banks of the Mississippi River stands the charming city of Memphis. It is also located near many stunning lakes and spectacular beaches in TN.
Big Ridge State Park Beach
The beach at Big Ridge State Park is among the most well-maintained beaches in Tennessee. It features clear, gentle water, a sandy beachfront, and various entertainment.
You can enjoy beach volleyball games, swim in clear waters, or soak up the sun while the kids build sandcastles. Sports lovers can also try many other activities at Big Ridge State Park, including basketball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and softball fields.
Big Ridge Beach has amenities that make it one of the most family-friendly Tennessee beaches. It is one of the safest beaches for kids to visit. Credit to the floor’s substantial base, this beach is practically comparable to a freshwater pool. The deeper portions of the lake are located in a separate, restricted area.
Rock Island State Park Beach
Rock Island State Park is arguably the most beautiful beach in Tennessee. It features crystal-clear waters, magnificent cliffs covered with foliage, and an excellent coastline.
It’s common to see people basking in the sun’s rays, swimming, enjoying the beautiful views, taking pictures, and going on boat trips.
In addition to its scenic vistas, Rock Island Beach offers camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and picnicking facilities. These and other amenities make people rank it among the best beaches in Tennessee.
Paris Landing State Park Beach
This beach is among the many well-protected Tennessee beaches. It has a beautiful sandy shoreline and calm water that attracts locals and visitors, and we’re sure you’ll love it.
The park is ideal for water sports, including fishing, boating, and waterskiing. A gorgeous 18-hole par 72 golf course is also available at the park. The golf pro store at the park offers equipment rentals, instruction, clubs, and carts.
You can enjoy the cool water, tan on its sandy beachfront, or get some fresh air at this beach in Tennessee. It has clean facilities and showers that are great for cleaning up after a day of fun. There is also a nice picnic area where you can enjoy your meals comfortably.
Arkabutla Lake Beach
The closest beach location from Memphis is Arkabutla Lake Beach, which is about a 43-minute drive away. Large crappie and excellent sailing conditions can be found at Arkabutla Lake in Mississippi.
It is a well-liked swimming beach with lots of conveniences close by. The lake provides amenities for camping, swimming, and picnic areas. It’s just as relaxing as many Tennessee beaches.
There are many activities for you and your friends or family. You can sit at the water’s edge with your kids and build sandcastles, splash around in the cool water, and play games like catch or frisbee toss. It is also a good destination for sailing, canoeing, kayaking, or any other water activity.
Where To Stay In Memphis
Some of the best hotels in Memphis include The Guest House at Graceland, Hilton Garden Inn, and the reputable Hyatt Place. These locations are clean, comfortable, offer professional services, and are great for your pets.
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Best Family Beaches In Tennessee
Family vacations are a great way to bond; there’s nothing quite like a beach trip. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend time with your loved ones, here are some of the best beaches in Tennessee for families.
Chickamauga Lake – Bradley County
Due to the dense population around the lake, Chickamauga Lake is frequently used for outdoor recreation, especially at its southern end. It was given that name in honor of the local Chickamauga Cherokee people.
The lake is one of the most well-liked beaches in TN for families. It has several beach activities to keep you and your family entertained throughout your stay.
Chickamauga Lake’s most popular water activities include boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. There are thrilling trip options and rentals along with parks with playgrounds and animal encounters, just like many other Tennessee beaches.
Check out La Quinta by Wyndham if you’re going to be in Bradley County for some time. Your family will love their modern rooms and friendly reception staff.
Grundy Lakes – Tracy City
The beach in the Grundy Lakes region is ideal for swimming and lounging in the sun. Families that visited this beach in Tennessee loved the remains of 19th-century furnaces close to the lake.
Also, the area around Grundy Lakes has some pretty good hiking routes that nature lovers enjoy. The presence of rock formations, trees, waterfalls, streams, and deep gulfs gives Grundy Lakes a panoramic view. Besides, it’s one of the largest state parks in its region. Therefore, it is not surprising to find one of the best Tennessee beaches for families here.
For a relaxing stayover, you can bring your family along to Quality Inn Monteagle. Your four-legged buddy will also love it, and it’s very accessible for the elderly or handicapped.
Cordell Hull Lake – East Nashville
Cordell Hull Lake, created and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers, attracts millions of tourists annually. Its main attractions are scenery, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and horseback riding.
Cordell Hull provides various family-friendly recreational opportunities such as camping, wildlife viewing, water sports, and environmental education. The availability of family-friendly amenities makes this beach stand out among other beaches in TN.
However, keep an eye out for wildlife through the parks. Family-friendly amenities are available at the lake’s two highly popular campgrounds.
Center Hill Lake – Rock Island
Center Hill Lake offers 400 miles of shoreline, two beautiful waterfalls, and three historic buildings. Its stunning vistas, large ponds, and limestone trails put it among the top Tennessee beaches for families.
You and your family can have a great holiday experience at Center Hill. There are 10 cabins and up to 60 different campsites across the area. Swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, and hiking are some of the activities that locals and visitors enjoy most. There’s never a dull moment at this beach in Tennessee.
Wingate by Wyndham is great for families. Great location, professional staff, and comfortable rooms are just some of the things visitors enjoyed during their stay.
Other Popular Beaches In Tennessee
Dale Hollow Lake – Clinton & Cumberland, KY | Overton & Pickett, TN
The Dale Hollow Reservoir, situated on the Kentucky/Tennessee border, was primarily built for flood management. The lake has one of the most famous beaches in Tennessee with a well-liked recreation area, boasting more than 620 miles of beautiful shoreline and pure, spring-fed waters.
You can enjoy a day of water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and fishing on one of the best Tennessee beaches.
Dale Hollow Lake is known for its exquisite houseboats. Visitors can swim practically anywhere on the lake. However, it is safer to do so in authorized swim areas since there are no lifeguards on duty.
You can stay at Sleep Inn & Suites Columbia, KY, if you plan to visit Dale Hollow Lake. They have excellent room service and a lovely pool. Plus, they’re pet-friendly!
Douglas Lake – East Tennessee
Douglas Lake is situated at the foothills of the famous Great Smoky Mountain. It is roughly 25 miles east of Knoxville, and most of its shoreline is used for farming and residential construction.
However, Douglas Lake has facilities to give you a relaxing day at the beach. You have access to swimming, fishing, and other water sports and birding amenities. It is one of the outstanding beaches in Tennessee for many reasons.
It is located next to the boat launch, has twelve boat ramps, and is available to day users.
There are many great hotels in East Tennessee, but one of the popular favorites is Graduate Knoxville. People love the decor, and their services are superb all around.
Kentucky Lake – Southwest Kentucky
Kentucky Lake, with over 15,000 acres, is one of the world’s biggest artificial lakes. The lake was established in 1938 and is just 6 hours from the Smoky Mountains.
Kentucky Lake has no sandy beaches or lifeguards, but it’s still an outstanding spot for a day by the water. The lake is perfect if you enjoy fishing, hunting, and boating.
It has a swimming spot in the Moss Creek Day Use Area between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. You can also access facilities like barbecue grills, picnic tables, and public restrooms.
Galt House Hotel is an excellent location in Louisville, Kentucky. You can visit Kentucky Lake and other beautiful Tennessee beaches from this location.
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Visiting The Best Tennessee Beaches
Tennessee beaches are some of the most beautiful and serene in the world. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the clear waters of Dale Hollow Lake, these are just a few of the best beaches in Tennessee awaiting your visit.
There are many ways to find a fantastic beach, but the best TN beaches differ slightly from the rest. You want to find a place with many fun activities and convenient amenities. Some of them are close to major cities making these beaches easy to get to.
Tennessee is known for many things but when planning a trip there, be sure not to forget these beaches.