Destinations

Best Beaches In Tennessee

South Cumberland State Park

7 Top Beaches in Tennessee You Must Explore

Your summer days are never complete sans a vacation in some of the stunning beach destinations of Tennessee, a landlocked US state. So when you plan a beach vacation, Tennessee possibly does not come to your mind right away, but the state boasts of the most picturesque lakes together with the jaw-dropping land of Dixie.

Though Tennessee is seated in the inland area of the southeastern US and distant from the roaring waves of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, you will find a plethora of activities such as fishing, swimming, canoeing, picnicking, or simply spend a fun-filled day on the beaches with your family and friends.

Tennessee State Parks are in plenty of swimming holes together with a couple of sandy lake beaches. Whether you want to take in the beauty of the cascading waterfalls, an adventurous hike, or just enjoy a picnic and a game of volleyball, Tennessee beaches have it all. Here are seven of the top Tennessee beaches that you must include in your bucket list for a summer trip with your loved ones:

1. Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park

The park is situated approx 90 minutes, southeast of the centrally seated city of Nashville, also the capital of Tennessee. Therefore, if you are looking for water, sand, and unlimited fun, head for Rock Island State Park with your family or friends.

The park boasts of spectacular waterfalls, featuring a natural and sandy beach right at the Central Hill Lake banks.

Activities: The popular activities include volleyball, horseshoe play, fishing, hiking, kayaking, and boating. You can trek along the banks and splatter water close to the rock-strewn shore by the main falls. When you return, you can notice a couple of swimming holes where you can take a cool, refreshing dip to beat the summer heat.

Places to stay: The place also features a couple of camping sites and cabin rentals for tourists, close to Virgin Falls, Cumberland Caverns, as well as Burgess Falls, which are very, very touristy. You can stay in one of the 3-bedroom, 2-baths cabins, open, all through the year.

You can also pitch a tent in a camping ground, savoring grilled fish, and playing guitar under the starry sky after sundown. The campsites here have room for motor homes, tents, and trailers.

Cost: The cost of a trip to Tennessee and Nashville will cost you approx $964 for a single person and $1,927 for two individuals for seven days.

2. South Cumberland State Park

South Cumberland State Park

If you want to cool off this summer, then the Grundy Lakes region in South Cumberland, Tennessee, is your best bet. The artificial beach is ideal for unwinding under the sun or just chilling out for a fun, waterside picnic with your friends.

Activities: If you are looking for some more thrill and adventure, hike to one of the numerous and stunning waterfalls located down the trails at South Cumberland State Park. Hike to the Greeter Falls, which is a one-mile and return hike and not too tiring. You will also find many boulders that will tempt you to climb on them and jump. Then, be careful, and do not injure yourself. You will also find a swimming dock for sunbathing and for some adrenaline rush; you can dive into the water.

Places to stay: You can camp at the park, but then beware of bears. If you are camping here, take extra measures to stay safe, especially with food. While camping, keep your food containers hanging approx 200 feet off the camping ground as well as 12 feet above the ground.

3. Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake is the best family outings with your kids. The best spot to visit this summer for playing on the sand and splashing water. You will find a swim beach down the volleyball courts as well as a playground located in the Bryant Grove part of this scenic lake.

Activities: The place just off Nashville is the perfect spot for swimming, volleyball, backpacking, picnicking, trekking, boating, watching wildlife, and fishing.

Places to stay: You can camp at Percy Priest Lake or choose to put up at one of the country inns and suites close to the place. Then, if you are an outdoorsy person, we recommend you camp here with your loved ones.

4. Cummins Falls

Cummins Falls

Head for this newest park in Tennessee that boasts of the stunning Cummins Falls to leave you mesmerized. Did you know that it is has been rated one of the best swimming holes in Tennessee by the Travel and Leisure Magazine?

Visit this park to take in the beauty of the 75-foot cascading fall absolute with a transparent swimming hole as well as rock shelves for relaxing, jumping, and sitting with your family or friends. The cascading fall is a sight-to-behold!

Activities: The primary activity is hiking, but it is a bit challenging and therefore, ideal for families with older kids. Then, if you like some challenge and adrenaline rush, Cummins Falls is your best bet. The experience is rewarding. You can also take a dip in the water with your family or friends.

Places to stay: If you are visiting Tennessee for some other state, there are plenty of options to stay at hotels close to Cummins Falls. These include the Days Inn, La Quinta Inn, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Cookeville, and more.

5. Big Ridge State Park

Big Ridge State Park

Your trip to Tennessee state parks is budget-friendly and worth the visit. When it comes to Big Ridge, the park is densely forested, spreading across 3,687-acre land seated on the Appalachian Ridge as well as the Valley Range featuring thin ridges bordered by lush green stream valleys.

Activities: The Park is perfect for families and known for activities abound. You will find over 15 miles of hiking trails, the paths varying from easy to craggy. The sandy beach adjacent to this state park boasts of a swimming area for kids. The other exciting activities include tennis, sand volleyball, basketball, horseshoe pit, and softball. The tennis courts and the basketball court are the key attractions of this park.

Places to stay: There are about 50 camping sites on, or close to Norris Lake, accommodating home on wheels, trailers, recreational vehicles (RVs) for campers. You can also build a tent and enjoy camping with your friends. In case, you do not own a motor home. Back camping is available at Big Ridge State Park free of cost.

6. Paris Landing State Park

Paris Landing State Park

Seated on the northeast side of Tennessee together with Kentucky Lake, this state park is a must-visit if you love traveling. Paris Landing State Park scenic beaches down the banks of Kentucky. The park stretches across 841 acres of land on the shore of River Tennessee, damned right from the lake of Kentucky, offering scenic views to tourists like you. The park seating on the widest section of the lake not only offers spectacular views but also ideal for water sports aficionados.

Activities: You find swimming areas at this state park, where you can take a cool dip as well as soak up some heat of the sun. The other activities are boating, fishing, waterskiing, hiking, playing, and of course, the park boasts of an 18-hole verdant, undulating golf course, where you can tee like a pro. You will get all golfing supplies, rental clubs, lessons, and golf carts at the pro shops.

Places to stay: You will find abundant places to stay with your family or friends including a 130-room tourist inn, cabins, and camping sites.

7. Old Hickory Lake

Old Hickory Lake

You will fall in love with the stunning beaches of Old Hickory Lake, a fun place for families and friends. There are three unique day-use areas including Laguardo, Cedar Creek, and of course Old Hickory Beach. The park features grills, boat launching ramps, and restrooms.

Activities: The key activity is swimming, as the park as a beautiful swim beach. You will find picnic tables where you can enjoy a family picnic savoring tasty food. Boating is another popular activity at Old Hickory Lake boasting of houseboats, boat rentals, pontoon boats, ski boats, and even slip rentals. Old Hickory is popular for fishing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, sailing, swimming, and kayaking.

Places to stay: You can stay at a houseboat to soak in the beauty of the lake and its scenic surroundings.

Bonus – Tennessee Waterfalls

Tennessee has some spectacular waterfalls, over 325 of them plummeting from an elevation of over 200 feet with pools beneath where you can splash water or take a refreshing dip in the summer. The notable waterfalls include Cane Creek Cascades, Altamont Falls, Coon Creek Falls, Emory Gap Falls, Burgess Falls, Twin Falls, and Foster Falls to name a few.

Wrapping up

You will find no better place than Tennessee abound with state parks, sandy beaches, verdant valleys, forests, lakes, waterfalls, inns, camping grounds, and cabins. You can explore these places without creating a dent in your wallet, ideal for family vacations and picnics. So pack your bags and hit the roads. Explore the parks and the great outdoors. Bon voyage!

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