Tennessee is home to an incredible 500,000 acres of lakes and 50,000 miles of streams and rivers. There are so many lakes to enjoy that are less than 2 hours from Nashville. We put together this list of the best lakes in the Nashville area for you. So, cool off this summer with a day trip to one or all of the following lakes!
Percy Priest Lake
Distance from Nashville: 15 minutes
Size: 14,000 acres and 42 river miles
Percy Priest Lake offers a wide range of recreation activities for locals and visitors. All types of water vehicles are welcome, and you can also rent from the marina.
Old Hickory Lake
Distance from Nashville: 20 minutes
Size: 22,500 acres and 97.3 river miles.
Old Hickory Lake is one of the most popular recreational lakes in Tennessee. It is just 20 minutes from Nashville, making it a super convenient. It is surrounded by plenty of parks to enjoy. For day use of the shorelines, you can go to Old Hickory Beach. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sandy swimming beach or spend a day fishing on the lake.
Center Hill Lake
Distance from Nashville: 1 hr 15 minutes
Size: 18,220 acres and 415 miles of shoreline
Center Hill Lake is perfect for an all-day adventure. The emerald-like waters are well-known for fishing, and recreational activities include kayaking, wakeboarding & skiing. Tranquil waterways wind to Burgess Falls, Rock Island, and Fancher Falls waterfalls. You can find Other waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic lookout points near the lake.
Tim Ford Lake
Distance from Nashville: 1 hr and 40 mins
Size: 3,546 acres
Tims Ford Lake is considered one of the most picturesque lakes in Tennessee! Located less than two hours from Nashville, it makes an excellent place for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Our favorite part of this lake is the beautiful golf course!
School is out, summer is in! Here is a list of some of our favorite places to check out this summer in Nashville.
1. Nashville Shores Lake Resort
The Nashville Shores Lake Resort has plenty to offer! You don’t need to stay there to enjoy the benefits either. Their Treetop Adventure Park is an adventure course including suspended bridges, giant zip lines, cargo nets, Tarzan swings, and many other thrilling elements. They have options for adults, kids, families and groups. Cool off at Nashville Shores and enjoy their slides, a wave pool, lazy river, pools, a beautiful beach, lake cruises and more family-friendly attractions. Grab a season pass to save money!
2. Cheekwood Estates
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and estate in Nashville. Cheekwood offers many diverse experiences. This year, enjoy Sean Kenney’s Nature POP featuring 38 sculptures made from more than 800,000 LEGO® Bricks. This exhibit is open until September and is a great experience for all ages.
3. Fannie Mae Dees Park
Better known as the Dragon Park, Fannie Mae Dees is a great park in Nashville. There are many different playgrounds and grassy areas for fun. Within the park is Lily’s Garden, the first Tennessee playscape accessible to people with special needs. There is a unique one-of-a-kind dragon statue at the park as well. It is a lovely park for all ages.
4. Nashville Zoo
Of course, heading to the zoo is always a fun summer activity. The Nashville Zoo has nearly 3,000 animals representing more than 350 different species. They also have several unique experiences, including Critter Encounters, The Grassmere Historic Home, Wilderness Express Train, and the Jungle Gym (over 66,000 square feet!) Tip: Purchase a membership so you can enjoy the zoo all summer!
5. Wax Museum
Madame Tussauds is a fun wax museum in the heart of Nashville. Enjoy seeing 50 of your favorite wax musical icons, from Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift. The Wax Museum is kid-friendly and a lot of fun!
6. Cook Day Use Area
Cook Day Use Area is a lakeside oasis in the hills of Middle Tennessee. Enjoy a day here with a picnic, swimming, and plenty of trees for shade.
7. Radnor Lake
Unplug with your family at Radnor Lake. It makes the perfect day trip. The trails are heavily shaded, making it an ideal place to enjoy during summer. However, to protect the wildlife, picnics and camping are not allowed here. Keep an eye out for river otters, beavers, mink, and white-tailed deer.
8. Wave Country
Cool off this summer and enjoy one of Nashville’s only wave-action swimming pools. It’s a great way to spend the day with your family. There are several food options, or you can bring your own food and drink in a cooler.
9. Gaylord Opryland
Celebrate summer with events for the whole family at Gaylord Opryland! Enjoy summer fun activities such as the SoudWaves Water Park, Shiny Stash Treasure Hunt, Pirate and Princess Academy, Royal Carriage Rides, and more. You can bundle some of the experiences to save money!
10. Adventure Science Center
The Science Center features over 175 hands-on interactive exhibits with themes including biology, physics, visual perception, listening, mind, air and space, energy, and earth science. They offer many special events, including a Red, White & Bloom event on the 4th of July. Tip: Pick up an explorer pack if you plan on going more than once this summer to save money on tickets!