14 Best Tennessee Lakes for Family Vacation Rentals

If you’re looking for the best lake getaways in Tennessee, we’ve got you covered!

Nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts will love our collection of the best Tennessee lakes for a family vacation.

Whether you enjoy spending time fishing or water skiing, each of the TN lakes below provides visitors with plenty of options for outdoor fun and recreational activities.

These lakes are the perfect place for a family vacation because you can find amazing cabin rentals with easy access to the water.

Some of the homes even include boat docks and a private pool!

So, check out our list of the best lakes below to find Tennessee vacation rentals for your upcoming family trip!

(Some of the links in my posts are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Lake Vacation Rentals

When planning a family vacation to any destination, my family and I like to use the VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) website to find the perfect condo or house.

The VRBO website allows users to filter out their search results based on the criteria that is important to them.

house on lake

For example, you can sort your results based on number of bedrooms or bathrooms. You can also choose to only see properties with amenities like a pool or a hot tub.

Additionally, VRBO allows you to narrow down your lake house search results with options like pet friendly or waterfront.

Each of the lakes featured in our post below offers family friendly activities in desirable locations throughout Tennessee.

These are our top picks for best lakes in Tennessee for vacation rentals:

Douglas Lake

Douglas Lake in Tennessee

Douglas Lake is located in eastern Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pigeon Forge.

This family friendly lake offers fun activities like boating, fishing, and swimming while enjoying gorgeous views of the mountains.

You can find all sizes of rental houses available on Douglas Lake. Many of them include a private dock and a pool or hot tub.

Norris Lake

Norris Lake in Tennessee

Norris Lake is located just a short drive from Knoxville and is known as one of the country’s cleanest lakes. 

This lake features miles of shoreline where you’ll find popular activities like horseback riding, rock climbing, and hiking.

Norris Lake also boasts numerous marinas, restaurants, and a golf course. You can find plenty of rental options for vacation homes, including condos, large houses, and houseboats.

Cherokee Lake

Cherokee Lake in Tennessee

Cherokee Lake sits in East Tennessee near Knoxville and is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the state.

This lake provides several marinas for jet ski and boat rentals. It also features multiple campsites, including Panther Creek State Park.

Cherokee lake is the perfect place to rent a log cabin or a family vacation home.

Old Hickory Lake

Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee

Old Hickory Lake is a popular TN lake that sits just outside of Nashville.

You can find all sorts of fun activities on this lake like boating, camping, and hiking. Old Hickory Lake is also a great fishing spot, particularly for largemouth bass.

Visitors can find plenty of options for vacation rentals on Old Hickory Lake. You may even see a country music star!

Center Hill Lake

Center Hill Lake in TN

Center Hill Lake is located in Middle Tennessee and is the perfect place to find gorgeous waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy water sports and hiking trails at this popular family vacation spot.

Center Hill Lake offers multiple marinas and campgrounds for visitors. 

Those looking for additional amenities (like a full kitchen) can choose from one of the many house rental options.

Cordell Hull Lake

lake in Tennessee

Cordell Hull Lake sits in middle Tennessee just east of the Nashville area.

This lake features fun outdoor activities like biking, hiking, boating, and fishing.

Visitors can choose to spend their time at a campsite near the lake or they can rent a cozy log cabin to enjoy during their lake vacation.

Watauga Lake

Watauga Lake in Tennessee

Watauga Lake is located in the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Tennessee. This lake sits in the Cherokee National Forest and is a great place for boating and fishing.

You’ll also find picnic areas, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife near Watauga Lake.

Visitors can rent all types of accommodations from a log cabin to a massive vacation home with lake views.

Reelfoot Lake

Reelfoot Lake

Reelfoot Lake is located in northwestern Tennessee and is a great spot for fishing, boating, and hiking.

Created by multiple earthquakes, Reelfoot Lake is also a popular place for viewing wildlife, including bald eagles. 

You can find campgrounds in the area along with multiple lake vacation rentals.

Watts Bar Lake

lake in tn

Watts Bar Lake is located in eastern Tennessee between Knoxville and Chattanooga. Popular activities on this lake include camping, boating, and fishing.

Visitors can rent all sizes of boats from the marinas, including jet skis, pontoon boats, and houseboats.

You can also find plenty of lakefront properties available to rent on Watts Bar Lake.

Dale Hollow Lake

Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee

Dale Hollow Lake is located in Middle Tennessee near the Kentucky border and is one of the most popular lakes for families in the state.

This lake offers all types of activities, including fishing, hiking, and biking just to name a few.

Visitors can choose from campgrounds or house rentals when looking to vacation on Dale Hollow Lake.

Chickamauga Lake

Chickamauga Lake stretches throughout portions of eastern Tennessee, including the city of Chattanooga

Popular activities at this lake include boating and fishing along with other water sports.

Lake Chickamauga offers multiple marinas as well as campsites and vacation home rentals.

Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake is located in the northwestern side of Tennessee near Clarksville.

It is known as one of the largest lakes in the nation and is THE largest manmade lake in the eastern United States.

Visitors can find all types of accommodations on Kentucky Lake, including campgrounds, condos, and vacation rental houses.

Tims Ford Lake

lake in tn

Tims Ford Lake sits in the southern, middle part of Tennessee near the town of Winchester.

Visitors to Tims Ford Lake enjoy activities like boating, horseback riding, and swimming. 

You can rent cabins and lake houses of all sizes for your family lake vacation at Tims Ford lake.

Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake sits in the southwestern side of Tennessee and also parts of Alabama and Mississippi.

Popular activities on Pickwick Lake include boating, water skiing, and fishing.

Visitors can find numerous lake houses available for rent all along the shoreline of Pickwick Lake.

Final Thoughts on Lake Getaways in Tennessee

Overall, the state of Tennessee provides numerous options for family lake vacations.

Whether you’re looking for the largest or the cleanest lake around, Tennessee features the ideal spot for your family.

With activities like fishing, water skiing, horseback riding, and boating, you really can’t beat a weekend (or week) of fun on the lake.

Since most of Tennessee boasts mild temperatures almost all year round, visitors can typically enjoy lake activities from April through October.

You can find all types of rental properties on the Tennessee lakes featured in this post, whether you’re looking for a small log cabin or a huge house for a family reunion.

No matter where you choose to stay, we hope you and your family enjoy your time on the water in Tennessee!

Check out our lake vacation packing list for additional tips on planning your trip!

What Tennessee lakes do you think are best for vacation rentals?

Comment below to share your thoughts!

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lake and trees with text overlay Lake Getaways in Tennessee

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