Real Estate10 Best Lakes in Tennessee to Live on in...

10 Best Lakes in Tennessee to Live on in 2024


With mountain ranges like the Blue Ridge Mountains and rivers like the Tennessee River to rolling hills and picturesque lakes, Tennessee has countless natural areas to call home. And if you’ve always dreamed of owning a lakeside property in Tennessee, then you’re in the right place.

At Redfin, we’ve collected a list of the best lakes in Tennessee to live on this year. Whether you’re drawn to the city of Chattanooga on Chickamauga Lake or the quaint charm of Tiptonville by Reelfoot Lake, you’re one step closer to finding your perfect lakeside home. Let’s jump in and check out the list.

1. Center Hill Lake (Smithville)

Nearest city: Smithville, TN
Median home sale price: $300,000
Population: 4,800
Homes for sale in Smithville, TN
Apartments for rent in Smithville, TN

Starting our list of lakes in Tennessee to live on is Center Hill Lake, with its crystal-clear waters. This lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking around its perimeter. Edgar Evins State Park is located on the northern edge of the lake where you’ll find mountains, overlooks, trails, and a restaurant. The nearest city is Smithville which has a welcoming community and scenic landscapes. The town is dotted with local eateries and shops that add to its small-town charm.

2. Cherokee Lake (Morristown)

Nearest city: Morristown, TN
Median home sale price: $296,922
Population: 30,000
Homes for sale in Morristown, TN
Apartments for rent in Morristown, TN

Cherokee Lake is a gem located in northeastern Tennessee. This expansive lake is a popular spot for bass fishing, kayaking, and enjoying the great outdoors. Cherokee Lake has several parks to explore, like Panther Creek State Park, which has 17 hiking trails, fishing areas, and horseback riding trails. You’ll find plenty of small communities along the shores, but the closest city is Morristown. From local museums like Crockett Tavern Museum to parks and trails, Morristown has plenty of activities to check out. 

3. Chickamauga Lake (Chattanooga)

Nearest city: Chattanooga, TN
Median home sale price: $319,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,407
Population: 184,000
Homes for sale in Chattanooga, TN
Apartments for rent in Chattanooga, TN

With its proximity to Chattanooga, Chickamauga Lake has a blend of natural beauty and city conveniences. This lake in Tennessee is perfect for those who love water sports, fishing, or simply relaxing by the water. With miles of shoreline, you’ll find countless parks like Harrison Bay State Park, Chester Frost Park, and Booker T. Washington State Park. The lake is located in Chattanooga, a city rich in history and modern amenities, providing endless entertainment and dining options. For example, you can explore the Tennessee Aquarium, watch a game at AT&T Field, and check out the vendors at the Chattanooga Market.

4. Dale Hollow Lake (Celina)

Nearest city: Celina, TN
Median home sale price: $208,000
Population: 1,500
Homes for sale in Celina, TN
Apartments for rent in Celina, TN

Dale Hollow Lake is a picturesque lake located along the Tennessee-Kentucky border. Known for its clear waters and peaceful surroundings, it’s a favorite among residents of both states. There are plenty of marinas for launching your boat, campgrounds, overlooks, and nature trails. The closest community is Celina, on the western side of the lake. This small village is home to about 1,500 residents and there are plenty of local restaurants and shops to explore. This lake in Tennessee is a great option if you’re looking for a secluded and peaceful community.

5. Douglas Lake (Dandridge)

Nearest city: Dandridge, TN
Median home sale price: $310,050
Population: 3,200
Homes for sale in Dandridge, TN
Apartments for rent in Dandridge, TN

Just north of the Cherokee National Forest is Douglas Lake. This lake is ideal for those who enjoy boating, fishing, or simply soaking in the natural beauty of their surroundings. Dandridge, the second oldest town in Tennessee, combines historical charm with the tranquility of lake life. With a small population, it’s a great place to consider living that still embraces the surrounding nature. For example, you can dine at one of the waterfront restaurants, hike the Dandridge Partnership Trail, or camp at one of the many campgrounds.

6. Old Hickory Lake (Hendersonville)

Nearest city: Hendersonville, TN
Median home sale price: $535,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,299
Population: 61,000
Homes for sale in Hendersonville, TN
Apartments for rent in Hendersonville, TN

Old Hickory Lake, located near the bustling city of Hendersonville, is a haven for those seeking both adventure and relaxation. There are plenty of beaches, like Old Hickory Beach, historic spots like Historic Rock Castle, and scenic spots like Two Foot Cove. The lake’s proximity to Nashville provides residents with a combination of serene lake life and energetic city culture. Hendersonville itself has a rich musical heritage, offering a variety of entertainment and dining options.

7. Percy Priest Lake (Nashville)

Nearest city: Nashville, TN
Median home sale price: $485,000
Average 1-bedroom rent: $1,788
Population: 690,000
Homes for sale in Nashville, TN
Apartments for rent in Nashville, TN

Percy Priest Lake offers an escape into nature just miles from Nashville’s bustling downtown. This lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and picnicking, providing a perfect blend of outdoor activities and city amenities. Nashville, known for its vibrant music scene and rich history, ensures there’s always something to do. With a population nearing 690,000, it’s a city that combines the warmth of a small town with the amenities of a big city.

8. Reelfoot Lake (Tiptonville)

Nearest city: Tiptonville, TN
Median home sale price: $97,900
Population: 4,300
Homes for sale in Tiptonville, TN
Apartments for rent in Tiptonville, TN

Located in the northwestern corner of Tennessee, Reelfoot Lake is known for its unique cypress trees and abundant wildlife. This natural haven is perfect for bird watching, fishing, and exploring the great outdoors. Tiptonville is the nearest city and gives a peaceful retreat from city life. You’ll find cozy coffee shops, local markets, and parks in town, making it a great lake town in Tennessee to move to.

9. Tims Ford Lake (Winchester)

Nearest city: Winchester, TN
Median home sale price: $259,900
Population: 9,000
Homes for sale in Winchester, TN
Apartments for rent in Winchester, TN

The next lake in Tennessee to live on this year is Tims Ford Lake, situated near the historic town of Winchester. The lake is renowned for its clear waters, ideal for boating, fishing, and swimming. There are plenty of scenic overlooks, landmarks like Pennington Cave, and hikes at Tims Ford State Park. Winchester’s rich history complements the lakeside living experience. With a population of 9,000, it has a small-town feel with its charming downtown featuring shops, restaurants, and landmarks like The Oldham, a movie theater.

10. Watts Bar Lake (Spring City)

Nearest city: Spring City, TN
Median home sale price: $343,300
Population: 2,000
Homes for sale in Spring City, TN
Apartments for rent in Spring City, TN

With its expansive waters, Watts Bar Lake is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. Located near Spring City, this lake offers a peaceful environment for fishing, boating, and soaking in the sun. Watts Bar Lake is home to plenty of resorts, marinas, campgrounds, and parks, great for enjoying a summer in Tennessee. Spring Lake has a quaint downtown with shops and restaurants, and easy access to the lake.

Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the lakes in Tennessee. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2024. Average rental data from Rent.com April 2024. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.



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