Gatlinburg may not be the first place you think of for beach vacations, being in the mountains of Tennessee, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some beautiful spots to soak up the sun and enjoy the lapping waves nearby!
Check out this list of the best beaches near Gatlinburg, TN to find your spot in the sun.
Best Beaches Near Gatlinburg, TN
Before you head out in your swim trunks or bikini, check out this list to find the perfect beach for your style and preference.
Swimming and Sunbathing Near Gatlinburg, TN
Most of the beaches near Gatlinburg are manmade, pristine, easy to find, and gloriously beautiful. Enjoy a good swim, sunbath, or time in the sand with the family.
1. Cherokee Lake Beach – Cherokee Dam Campground, Mooresburg, TN
Cherokee Lake has over 463 miles of shoreline and 30,300 acres of water, making it one of the largest in the state. The lake has loads of places to enjoy the water and sun, but the beach is located in Mooresburg by the Cherokee Dam Campground.
The swimming area is enclosed and keeps out motorized boats for safe swimming and relaxing on the water.
The beach is lined with trees for shade, while picnic tables, benches, a playground, and the Cherokee Dam Visitor Center resides nearby.
Enjoy nature paths and stunning views as you hang out.
The lake is about 1 hour 20 minutes from Gatlinburg.
2. Douglas Lake, Tennessee
About an hour and 10 minutes away from Gatlinburg, Douglas Lake is nestled into the foothills of the Great Smokies north of Gatlinburg.
The lake is prime for fishing, swimming, boating, waterskiing, RV and tent camping, hiking, and much more. Plus, there are some lovely marinas on the water.
The dam that controls the reservoir stretches 202 feet high and 1,705 feet across the French Broad River to create the lake, creating a body of water that has 513 miles of shoreline and over 28,000 acres of water.
You’ll also enjoy loads of wildlife and birdwatching at this particular lake, along with trails, picnics, a boat ramp, and the wonderful swimming beach.
3. Melton Hill Park Beach
With a sandy shoreline, green lawn, convenient facilities, and glorious natural views, Melton Hill Park Beach is a great option for your Galtinburg-esque beach day outing.
The calm, beautiful beach is nestled along the shores of Melton Hill Lake a little west and north of Knoxville.
It is the perfect spot for a lazy day on the sand, a romantic getaway for the day, or some fun activities like volleyball, playgrounds, trail hiking, biking, wildlife and wildflower viewing, and enjoyment of the pier.
4. The Cove Beach — Knoxville
Located on Fort Loudoun Lake, Cove Beach is a serene spot to enjoy some swimming, sunbathing, and family fun. The beautiful water invites you in for watersports, while the sandy beach welcomes sun worshiping, volleyball, and other activities.
The beach is known for being clean, clear, and beautiful, and the lake is known for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, gentle waters, and clarity.
In the park, you’ll also find a skate park, golfing, a marina, and convenient amenities.