11 Best Beaches in Tennessee(And Closeby!)

tennessee beach

If you are looking for the best beaches in Tennessee, you’ve come to the right place, and this piece is just for you! Though Tennessee is one of the most underrated states in the United States, there is much to do and see. It is home to one of the most visited national parks in the United States and has a surprising number of beautiful beaches. Several activities are available for visitors who like to be active. Hiking, kayaking, cycling, and horseback riding are just a few of the exciting outdoor recreation available in Tennessee. The state is also home to waterfalls, rivers, and mountain plateaus. 

If you’re a visitor looking to explore the beach options, here are some of the best beaches in Tennessee for your enjoyment. Please have a wonderful trip! 

Rock Island State Park Beach

Rock Island is well-known for whitewater kayaking and has hosted international freestyle kayaking competitions. The park has nine hiking trails, and visitors will be glad to find the natural sand beach close to the campground and high-class rental cabins. 

Within the park, there are four picnic areas. Tables, grills, and drinking water are all provided, and all have restrooms. Each seat can hold 30–100 people, and you can make reservations for group use. Visitors are permitted to reserve up to a year in advance.

Visitors should be cautious around the gorge because water may rise rapidly. While swimming is not utterly prohibited, jumping into a body of water at unknown depths is not advisable. 

Do you want a fun way to get your students interested in learning? A day at the Rock Island State Park beach is an opportunity to learn. It would be best to consider a walk with knowledgeable and experienced park rangers. Rock Island State Park provides students with accessible, experiential educational opportunities that engage and educate them. Select from various park programs or collaborate with a ranger to develop a program that meets Tennessee academic standards in your classroom. 

Rock Island has 60 campsites, including a grill, a picnic table, and electrical and water hookups. The camping area has three modern bathhouses with hot water showers, restrooms, and commodes. For the convenience of self-contained camping rigs, there is a dump station at the far end of the campground. The park office is where campers must register. 

Douglas Headwater Public Swimming Beach

If you are looking for the ideal spot to kick back and relax outdoors, look no further. Douglas Lake is the place! It is full of exciting activities. The lake is open to swimming, so you can cool off and wade in the water wherever you want! You can rent a jet ski and race across the water for a more thrilling experience or go wakeboarding. You will not have difficulty relaxing at Douglas Lake, whether floating on the water or sitting on the shore admiring the view.

One fun activity that can be engaged in at Douglas Lake in Tennessee is fishing. The lake is rated among the top ten in the country for largemouth bass and crappie fishing! The lake is open to fishing at any time of year, but a fishing license is required. Families and groups have an option of picnic spaces to choose from, including the smoky mountain cabins. A boat ramp close to the beach allows visitors to reposition their boats onto the lake. Alternatively, you can rent a pontoon boat for a few hours of fun on the open water. 

Center Hill Lake Beach

The 20,000-acre, 64-mile-long Center Hill Lake has existed for 74 years (created in 1948). It is located in middle Tennessee, central to Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, and is complemented by surroundings such as the Smoky Mountain National Park (which is 2 hours and 30 minutes away). This means that visiting Center Hill Lake is an opportunity to experience different adventures. The original river channel along the face of the bluffs near the dam is the deepest part of Center Hill Lake, measuring 195 feet. Center Hill Lake’s docks are not overcrowded, the water is clean, and the lake is in excellent condition. This is beneficial to both residents and visitors. There are a plethora of activities that you can engage in at the beach. Some include: renting a boat and booking a cruise to soak in all the beauty around the lake; engaging in exploration activities like jet skiing, kayaking, touring coves, and others; enjoying sunset dinner at a marina; camping outdoors under the stars, and keeping warm with a bonfire. The gigantic waterfalls surrounding the lake and sand beach are an intriguing sight for visitors. 

Cordell Hull Lake Beach

Cordell Hull Lake is a Cumberland River lake in north-central Tennessee, about forty miles east of Nashville, near Carthage. The lake has a nearby dam and areas that can serve as playgrounds, grills, and volleyball courts. The lake and the dam are named after a former US Secretary of State—Sir Cordell Hull. A life jacket loaner program is available to visitors to prevent accidents around the beach. Millions of tourists visit Cordell Hull Lake each year to explore outdoor recreational opportunities like boating, camping, swimming, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, and hiking. The amenities on this beach are more comfortable for family and group getaways. 

Cordell Hull Lake offers boaters numerous opportunities to pursue their respective recreational interests. The 11,960 acres of water provide opportunities for a variety of recreational activities. Because canoes, sailboats, fishing and hunting boats, pleasure boats, and personal watercraft all share the waters, each boater is responsible for respecting other boaters and practicing good boating ethics and launching etiquette.

Kentucky Lake Beach

Kentucky Lake is a major navigable reservoir in Kentucky and Tennessee on the Tennessee River. It was established in 1944 by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lake, which is larger in surface area than any artificial lake east of the Mississippi River, has 2,064 miles (3,322 km) of shoreline., although Lake Barkley is larger by volume. You can go water skiing, tubing, or relax in the breeze on Kentucky Lake. Although there are no lifeguards, it is a safe swimming area with a picnic area nearby. Some options for family fun activities at the beach include a visit to the hitching post; touring the Megson farms; mini-golf or gold panning at Patti’s 1880s settlement; or enjoying a fun night at the Kentucky Opry Country Music Show. 

There is a range of resorts available on Kentucky Lake for families and groups to choose from, including Whispering Oaks Resort, Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, America’s Paradise Resort, and Lynnhurst Family Resort. 

Anderson Beach

Anderson Beach, located in the green hills of Tennessee on Percy Priest Lake, is a lakeside oasis, offering campers various recreational opportunities on the lake and in the surrounding woods and grasslands. Visitors can set up camp chairs, umbrellas, and other equipment to suit their preferences. There are a few play areas surrounded by beautiful trees and plenty of natural shade. Picnic tables are available with a grill next to each, which allows visitors to warm their lunch or grill their own food. It is a favorite spot for locals and tourists during hot summer days as it allows them to cool off. The waves at this beach are beautiful to watch at sunset and are exactly like the ocean waves. A safety line in the water separates the deeper parts from the shallow parts. Anderson Beach has plenty of sandy beach access to the water for kid-friendly swimming. Anderson Road Campground is nearby.

Cherokee Lake Beach

With 463 miles of shoreline and 33,000 acres, Cherokee Lake is one of the largest in Tennessee. The lake is located near Knoxville, Tennessee. This lovely lake is well-known for its excellent bass fishing, clear blue water, and picturesque setting in the Tennessee hillsides. Bring your blanket, sun umbrella, and swimming attire to make the most of your beach time.

Cherokee Lake’s shoreline features boat docks, resorts, parks, picnic areas, public access points, a wildlife management area, and campgrounds. 

According to numerous online reviews, there are numerous places to swim at Cherokee Landing, and the landing receives 4.7 out of 5.0 ratings. They have neat restrooms and well-maintained grounds. Surrounding the beach are well-known resorts and cabin rental facilities, including Wa-Ni Village resort and Cardinal Cove resort.

The lake is popular among anglers due to its abundance of largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, white bass, and stripers. The beach’s Cherokee Dam Campground has many tent and trailer sites, heated showers, a playground, a group pavilion, and picnic tables with grills.

Cedar Creek Beach

The Cedar Creek recreational area’s sandy beach offers shade protection during hot summer afternoons. You should put Cedar Creek Beach on your map if you want a place to chill during the summer. Nashville day-trippers are only 39 km northeast of this landscape, drawing families to the water with sand castle-making kits and beach balls. It has very nice sights and is windy. The beach is surrounded by comfortable camping spots for personal, family, and group getaways. There is also a sand volleyball court where children and adults can play. Activities like boating and kayaking can be carried out around the shoreline. Picnic tables, campsite fire pits, and shepherd’s hooks for lanterns are available to visitors to make camping comfortable. The surrounding campground can handle big rigs and has a bar area. You can consider swimming in the coves. The coves along the lake provide a safe place for swimming with the family. The waters in the coves are also calmer than those in the central lake. You could also consider Aqua World USA, a water park near Cedar Creek Lake. Visitors to the area can enjoy a refreshing swim at the park. They are open at 6 a.m. every day and also offer evening swimming. 

Carroll County Lake Beach

Bloggers and explorers have overlooked this lake, which may be the most beautiful in Tennessee. Carroll County 1000-acre Lake is a lovely lake with two clean beaches and a great concession stand. It is usually referred to as the “thousand-acre lake” and is the largest and most beautiful lake in west Tennessee, located about halfway between Nashville and Memphis. The lake opened in the spring of 2013 and features 22 miles of beautiful shoreline; 600 miles are dedicated to water sports, while 400 acres are dedicated to fishing. The water sparkles and the shorelines are stunning. 

It has a family-friendly atmosphere and breathtaking views. The Lake Manager and staff are exceptionally polite and helpful. If you do not want to swim or do not have a boat, you can still enjoy the lake. The main office building has benches and a porch surrounding it. It is a pleasant place to sit and take in the beauty of the lake, birds, and friendly people. Many young people go there to swim and enjoy the beach; they are quiet and respectful. The surroundings are neat.

However, on May 6, 2022, it was renamed Lake Halford. Fishing, swimming, sunbathing, boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, and other water sports require a permit for a Carroll County Watershed Authority lake use. Fishing also requires a Tennessee fishing license. 

Grundy Lake Beach 

Grundy Lake is located outside Tracy City and is a fantastic spot to get up close and personal with nature and history. It is a lovely, large park with four lakes to swim in, six sandy beaches, and four hiking trails; small kids may probably find some trails challenging, though a helpful visitor center is available to recommend safe trails and trails to avoid. The park is now recognized on the National Historic Register. In addition to natural features, 130 coke ovens were constructed in the park in 1883, and in addition to natural features, they still stand in ruins today. There is an unsupervised beach area adjacent to the parking area, surrounded by a picnic area, a beautiful bathhouse, and a cute playground; parents are advised to keep an eye on their children on this particular beach. A lovely wooded area exists where visitors can enjoy a scenic one-mile drive. Even though there may be a heatwave at the beach, the temperatures are delightful. There is plenty of lovely scenery under the shade of the trees. If you are considering camping, reservations for specific campsites can be made online or over the phone up to five months before your arrival. It is best to make reservations ahead of time. 

Chickamauga Lake Beach 

Chickamauga Lake is an excellent recreational reservoir you don’t want to miss for anything in the world! It is a lovely place to engage in outdoor fun activities such as hiking, sailing, camping, fishing, and golf. There are several swimming beaches located around the lake. There are also about 35 boat ramps and 15 marinas at your beck and call. It is the only place you can swim unattended, both at the upstream end of the Chickamauga Lake dam and at the bottom of the lake. There is a buoy line that other swimmers use, and there are other swimming areas, such as Harrison Bay and Chester Frost Park, with small swimming areas. When you arrive at Chickamauga Lake, please don’t forget to try out Jacobs Myers restaurant on the river for a nice meal. A group pavilion is available on the beach and can be reserved in advance. The following facilities are available in this wheelchair-accessible pavilion: one electrical outlet with two plug-ins; lighting underneath the pavilion; eight tables seating 64 people; and three charcoal grills. The restrooms are close by, the beach area and boat ramp are accessible on foot, and there is a paved parking lot.


Tennesse is famous for its music and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While Tennessee may not strike many as a great place to dive deep into the water because it’s a landlocked state, there are many fantastic beaches to try out there. The good thing about these beaches is that irrespective of the direction you go, you’ll always find a beach to cool off. This article has briefly explored the best beaches in Tennessee. All you have to do is read through and find the perfect one for you. The good thing is that there’s a beach for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type that prefers diving into the water or the type that prefers sunbathing on the beach; we have it all covered. 


Q: Which beaches in Tennessee are the best for swimming?

A: Chattanooga Beach, Cumberland Mountain State Park, and Fort Loudoun Lake are the best beaches in Tennessee for swimming.

Q: Does Tennessee have any beaches?

A: Yes, Tennessee has many beaches along its rivers and lakes.

Q: Which beach in Tennessee is the best for fishing?

A: The best beach in Tennessee for fishing is probably Fort Loudoun Lake.

Q: What species of fish can I find on the beach in Tennessee?

A: You can catch various fish at the beach in Tennessee, including bass, catfish, and crappie.

Q: What beaches are close to Tennessee?

A: The closest beaches to Tennessee are in Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky.

Q: Does Tennessee have an ocean beach?

A: No, Tennessee does not have an ocean beach. The closest ocean beaches to Tennessee are in Florida and the Carolinas.

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