10 Best Family Beaches in Tennessee [for 2023]
Although Tennessee is a landlocked state and does not have access to the ocean, it has many beautiful lakes with sandy beaches and large rock bays that provide a great alternative to the traditional beach experience.
These lakes offer a plethora of water activities such as swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, and water skiing. Additionally, most of these lakes are located in state parks, meaning visitors can engage in hiking, biking, and camping activities as well.
If you’re a Tennessee family looking for some vitamin C, you’ll have to look no further. We’ve put together a list of the best family beaches in Tennessee to help you plan your next adventure. With a range of activities and picturesque views, these family-friendly beaches are perfect for a fun day or a relaxing weekend getaway.
1. Cordell Hull Lake, Carthage
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Cordell Hull Lake, located in the United States, is a beautiful lake that offers a variety of recreational activities for families. It is managed and maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers, who have made sure that the lake is safe and secure for you to visit.
Cordell Hull Lake is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of tourists every year. The lake’s beautiful views and opportunities for outdoor recreation such as swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, camping, hiking, and horseback riding make it the perfect place for families to enjoy their vacation.
Cordell Hull Lake’s two campgrounds will bring your family There are more than 150 campsites equipped with the necessary facilities for recreation. The parks surrounding the lake have playgrounds and courts for a variety of sports.
The nearby Cordell Hull Dam site is a family-friendly day-use area with a playground, grills, and volleyball courts where you can watch the animals stroll. To ensure your safety, the US Army Corps of Engineers has launched the Life Jacket Loaner Program, which provides life jackets to prevent accidents.
It is recommended to stop by their offices to secure life jackets before your trip to the lake. The best family hotels in Tennessee are about a half hour to an hour from the lake, making it a convenient location for you.
2. Cheatham Lake, Ashland
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Cheatham Lake, located in Tennessee, is an ideal beach, especially for families with young children. This man-made lake, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1950, has 320 miles of shoreline, giving you no shortage of places to relax and enjoy the water.
The beach has nearly a hundred picnic sites, 14 playgrounds, 18 boat ramps, and 2 marinas, making it attractive to families with children of all ages. This beach destination is popular among adventure enthusiasts with a variety of water sports such as water skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and kayaking.
Kayaking is a great way to explore the lake and discover small coves and secret areas of sand patches. The trails around the lake are also perfect for nature lovers, with opportunities for bird watching, wildflower hikes, and horseback riding definitely not something you’ll want to miss.
For campers and hunters, Cheetham Lake has designated areas where they can pitch tents. and enjoy the great outdoors. With so much to do and see, Cheetham Lake is a great place to visit with your family. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreens, snacks, and drinks and enjoy a fun-lled day at this beautiful beach destination in Tennessee.
3. Big Ridge Lake, Maynardville
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Big Ridge State Park is a scenic 3,687-acre state park known for its three ridge systems. The park is a favorite with families for summer vacations, as it boasts a sandy swimming beach, volleyball courts, and many other exciting activities such as basketball, softball, tennis, and a horseshoe pit.
Here you can enjoy the park’s 15 miles of hiking trails. There are also trails to explore, which are perfect for nature enthusiasts. For overnight accommodations, the park has 50 campsites, 20 cabins, and 18 screened-in bunkhouses. There are also open picnic areas with free tables and grills for your whole family to enjoy.
The park hosts several events throughout the year, including an Easter Egg Hunt during the spring, a bluegrass music festival in August, and Night in October Unique Halloween experiences include hiking trails, ghost story sessions, and medieval tournaments. Big Ridge State Park is an affordable vacation spot for families looking for outdoor activities and natural scenery.
4. Cherokee Lake, Moorseburg
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Cherokee Lake is a stunning lake located in Tennessee, named after the Native American tribe that once lived in its vicinity. The lake is known for its sheer size and is a popular beach for bass fishing, paddling, camping, and children’s activities.
The area surrounding the lake is filled with hills and farmland, providing a beautiful setting for any activity. provides background. Several boat docks, parks, picnic areas, campgrounds, and resorts exist along the shoreline, offering families a wide range of activities for all ages. Panther Creek State Park is one park that stands out, offering hiking An excellent destination for enthusiasts.
The park has several hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging, that offer breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding area. In addition to hiking, the park also offers a variety of other activities including boating, camping, and birdwatching. You can also explore the wildlife and ora of the park, which includes deer, fox, turkey, and a wide range of bird species.
5. Chickamauga Lake, Chattanooga
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Lake Chickamauga, named after the Chickamauga tribe of Cherokees who previously lived in the area, is a fun and exciting beach in Tennessee is a haven for families. With its 1,300 kilometers of shoreline, Chickamauga Lake uncovers plenty of opportunities for exploration and outdoor activities. The lake is home to eight parks, two wildlife centers, and a museum, giving families plenty of options to choose from.
You can go camping, hiking, or take nature walks around the lake, or indulge in water-based activities such as swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, fishing, and boating. The area also offers exciting tours and rentals, and there are parks that showcase animal encounters and playgrounds for children.
If you want to add more to your beach vacation experience, 5ive Points Be sure to visit the nearby museum center or explore wildlife at Prentice Cooper State Forest or Harrison Bay State Park. These attractions provide an opportunity to learn more about local history and culture, as well as get up close to wildlife.
6. Center Hill Lake, Rock Island
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Rock Island State Park is a beautiful beach located at the confluence of the Caney Fork River, the Collins River, and the Great Falls Dam in Tennessee. One of the highlights of the park is Center Hill Lake, which boasts 400 miles of spectacular shoreline, making it well known for swimming, fishing, and other water activities.
You can also enjoy two spectacular waterfalls and three historic buildings within the park. The Kenny Fork River is a popular place for you to go hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and boating, thanks to its picturesque views, deep pools, and Thanks for limestone walkways.
The Great Falls Dam, built over a century ago, provides a spectacular cascading waterfall, and Twin Falls can be found cascading down the Caney Fork River created by the dam. Along with the natural beauty and activities, the park is located throughout the area. Scattered also offers two campgrounds with 60 campsites and ten cabins.
An interesting landmark near the Cotton Mill is the 1890 Spring Palace. If you want a more secluded experience, there are a few swimming holes along the rocky edge of Great Falls that you can enjoy on your own. Rock Island State Park welcomes the whole family with lots of outdoor activities, beautiful scenery, and historic sites to explore.
7. J. Percy Priest Lake, Nashville
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If you’re in the Nashville area and looking for a weekend family getaway, J. Percy Priest Lake is a great option. Located just a short distance from the city, this lake offers a variety of activities for people of all ages.
Whether you’re looking to swim, sail, sh, boat, wakeboard, jet ski, water ski, hike, bike, horseback ride, camp, wildlife watching, or picnic, there’s something to satisfy everyone at J. Percy Priest Lake The lake is maintained by Corps of Engineers personnel and has three campgrounds, 11 picnic areas, 12 boat ramps and six marinas spread across its 42-mile length.
The lakeshore beach in the Bryant Cove section of Long Hunter State Park also has a rustic fun playground, and you can even indulge yourself in a game of beach volleyball. You can find the private beach experience here for your family. Nashville Shores are across the lake. This exclusive beach offers a waterpark, adventure park, lake rentals, and cabins, making it one of the best beaches in Tennessee for kids.
8. Grundy Lakes, Monteagle
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The Grundy Lakes area is an excellent place for hiking and relaxing with a beautiful lake and plenty of picnic spots. It’s also home to the ruins of a 19th-century Coke oven, which are a fascinating historic site to explore.
And nearby South Cumberland State Park is the second largest state park on the list, spanning 30,845 acres across four Tennessee counties. The park boasts some of the most picturesque trails in the area, including rock formations, waterfalls, woodlands, panoramic views, a cliff, a plateau, and deep creeks.
Hiking trails are perfect for adventurers and nature enthusiasts, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the area’s natural beauty. However, those planning to camp in the park should be warned against encounters with bears.
Necessary precautions should be taken to avoid it. The park is home to a significant number of black bears, and campers need to store their food safely and bring bear deterrents. Taking necessary safety measures will ensure that campers have a pleasant experience while staying safe.
9. Dale Hollow Lake, Celina
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Del Hollow Reservoir is a beautiful beach located on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, which was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It boasts a range of outdoor activities for tourists like swimming, fishing, boating, and water sports as well as nature walks.
The tranquil and natural setting of the reservoir makes it a great place for relaxation and enjoyment. There are many accommodation options available to you here, including houseboats, cabins, cottages, and campsites.
The York State Historic Park features a playground and There are some museums that are worth visiting. You can enjoy playing with your family at the nearby theatres. If you want to venture beyond the beach, there are some nearby attractions worth visiting for you.
For example, you can visit a Victorian town in Rugby or a Mennonite settlement in Muddy Pond. These destinations offer unique experiences that can enhance your vacation.
10. Kentucky Lake, Buchanan
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Kentucky Lake is a beautiful man-made lake located in Tennessee, USA, created by the Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River in the 1930s. The lake is the largest artificial lake in the United States, covering an area of 160,300 acres, and has become a popular tourist destination for families, fishermen, and campers.
With its expansive 2,064 miles of shoreline and nearby water parks, wildlife preserves, and attractions, Kentucky Lake offers a family-friendly beach experience that’s as close as the ocean. There are many activities available at the lake, including Boating, fishing, camping, nature trails, and historic sites are included, making it an excellent place for a day trip or extended stay.
And the area between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley offers major attractions for exploration, including a living history farm, Woodlands Nature Station, Elk & Bison Prairie, Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, and Turkey Bay OHV Area Kentucky Lake and the Land Between the Lakes provide a wonderful opportunity to explore Tennessee’s natural beauty, learn about its history and culture, and enjoy a fun family vacation.