Summertime means spending time outside, under the sun, preferably on the water. It just doesn’t feel like we’ve officially kicked into summer gear until we’ve (sometimes less than enthusiastically) thrown on a bikini and made our way onto some body of water. And there’s nothing more frustrating than planning a day at the lake or on the beach only to arrive at a dirty, murky-watered locale. To save you from wasting any precious tanning rays, we’ve found the most beautiful, and beautifully populated watering holes for your summertime frolicking. Whether you’re planning on swimming laps to keep out of the heat and up with your bikini bod, or you’re just checking out the local talent, break out the sunscreen! You may have to put in a couple of hours driving from Knoxville, but the road trip will be well worth it…
Long Hunter State Park
Located near Nashville, you’ll find the Long Hunter State Park and J. Percy Priest Lake. The Lake offers everything from picnicking to hiking, swimming, and wildlife observation! In addition to the swim beach, there’s beach volleyball courts and play areas for the kids. Plus, if you’re having too good of a time, you can always spend the night camping on the beach!
Paris Landing State Park
If you find yourself more in the northwest of Tennessee, head over Paris Landing State Park to frolic on the waters of Kentucky Lake. The beaches offer ample tanning and swimming real estate, and the Park offers actual real estate too, from cabins to a 130-room inn! Nobody in the family will be bored, with the options of golfing on an 18-hole course to fishing available!
Rock Island State Park
This is for all you Southeasterners! The Park features a natural sand beach along Center Hill Lake within proximity of Virgin Falls and Cumberland Cavers. The Park has all the makings of a natural adventure, while offering activities like hiking and boating. You can even make a weekend out of it and stay in a cabin rental or on the campsites!
Long Island Beach, Davidson County, TN
This secluded beach area isn’t crowded or noisy—it’s perfect for a relaxing, beautiful day at the beach. It’s a bit of a trek to the coastline, but the waterfront offers swimming, whitewater paddling, fishing, and boating, to name a few water activities! Close to Nashville Shores, Long Island Beach is the perfect place to get your toes wet and take a break from the day-to-day grind.
Chickasaw State Park, Henderson, TN
Featuring a wide variety of activities from hiking to picnicking, Chickasaw State Park is the perfect place to visit for a day of fun in the sun in western Tennessee. Lounge on the beach, hit the water in a pedal boat or go for a run around the lake. Plus, you can make a family vacation out of it and state in a cabin or lodge in the area! What’s better than a day at the beach? More than one day at the beach!