Center Hill Lake is known as one of the most beautiful vacation areas in Tennessee. Center Hill Lake is a reservoir that was created in 1948 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam on Center Hill Lake was built to reduce flooding as well as to produce electricity. The lake is very large, at 64 miles long, and it covers more than 18,000 acres. As a recreation area, the lake is better known for its recreational activities, especially fishing, and the fact that it has over 400 miles of shoreline. Three state parks are located along the shoreline, and some areas remain undeveloped and natural, providing many opportunities for hiking and horseback riding. There are many vacation rentals on and near Center Hill Lake if you are interested in planning a getaway here.

1. Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

center hill lake
Source:Flickr/Steve Conny

Water lovers and nature lovers alike find an escape at beautiful Center Hill Lake. Enjoy swimming, boating, and water skiing, or just take a walk to experience the picturesque beauty that surrounds the water. Visit the dam, and enjoy the many birds and animals that live in the area.

2. Smithville, Tennessee

craft festival
Source:Flickr/Brent Moore

Smithville is the nearest town to Center Hill Lake, a mere eight miles to the southwest. In the summertime, it is the home of the home of the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree and Craft Festival, which is a fun event to experience. Many people time their vacation at Center Hill Lake with the Fiddler’s Jamboree. Smithville has plenty of shopping and dining options, as well as easy access to beautiful attractions such as waterfalls and grist mills.

3. Silver Point, Tennessee

river rafting

When you want to get away from it all, Silver Point is a place that fills the bill, and is backwoods river country at its finest. The town is located on the Caney Fork River, and has ideal access to rafting and kayaking. Check out the majestic Carmac Falls at Evins Mills, or go whitewater rafting along the river. Silver Creek is located approximately 45 minutes east of Nashville via Interstate 40.

4. Macedonia, Tennessee

forest wood

It’s all about those charming, rural country roads when you stay in or near Macedonia. This is definitely country living at its best, and the pastoral landscapes will take your breath away. Feel free to explore the back roads to take in the mountain vistas and the valley views. You’ll be close to the lake and nearby parks…if you can tear yourself away from the relaxing beauty of the countryside.

5. Johnson Chapel Recreation Area

man boy fishing

When you take your family to stay near the Johnson Chapel Recreation Area, make sure to bring the fishing gear along. The recreation area is located right along the edge of the lake, and is a fantastic retreat for families who love all outdoors activities. This area is a bit off the beaten path, which is perfect for anyone seeking solitude and great fishing.

6. Burgess Falls State Park

woman hiking

Staying near the Burgess Falls State Park area puts your family in touch with the wilderness. The park features four waterfalls, including one that plunges more than 130 feet into the gorge. Native Americans once used the land as a hunting ground. Take your family  a step back in time when you hike through the woods and along the river in this historic place.

7. Rock Island State Park

state park
Source: Flickr/Michael Hicks

The views will take your breath away at Rock Island State Park. Located at the headwaters of the Caney Fork, Collins, and Rocky Rivers, its highland beauty includes Caney Fork Gorge that lies below Great Falls Dam. Take in the scenic overlooks, towering waterfalls, deep pools, and historical landmarks, including the old spring house. Stay in a vacation rental nearby to make the most of this special place.

8. Liberty, Tennessee

mule painting
Source:Flickr/Brent Nashville

Just a few minutes west of the lake, historic Liberty offers small town hospitality and an unusual claim to fame, the Allen Bluff Mule. Locals will share the history of the painting on the bluff outside of town — though be warned that what you hear may vary from person-to-person! You will love the combination of the charm of this small town with the breathtaking beauty of the countryside.

9. McMinnville, Tennessee

cave stone

McMinnville is a larger city that is about 30 minutes south of Center Hill Lake. It has a much more urban feel, and you can go here for nightlife, museums, and shows. It only takes a few minutes to get outside the city limits to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, including the Cumberland Caverns, so stay here if you’re eager to enjoy great dining and nightlife on your trip.

10. Williams Crossroads, Tennessee

campfire

If you choose to stay in Williams Crossroads, you’ll love the rural setting, where the air is clean and you can find some peace and quiet. You’ll be a stone’s throw from Edgar Evins State Park, where you can leave you cares behind while you cook outside with the kids and run around in the woods. Enjoy some country cooking in nearby Silver Point.