The Sweetness of Summer
June 20 marked the official beginning of summer with its promise of long days and evenings of vivid sunsets. Recall your favorite childhood memories of summertime. Is it the sweetness of wading barefoot through a cold creek, just picked blackberries, toasty marshmallows over a camp fire, or the simple pleasure of packing a picnic basket for a day at the lake with friends and family? Or maybe the true sweetness of summer is finding that place that best speaks summer vacation is here.
The 9 Lakes Region has been a destination of choice for affordable family vacations and weekend getaways for savvy Midwest and Southeast travelers. The mountains and lakes provide a natural outdoor playground for carefree activities away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Many visitors come back year after year to their favorite lake, waterfall, campground, state park, or cabin to vacation and relax. Life is simple at the lake when you know where to go.
In a tribute to what visitors already know about the 9 Lakes, the Region is honored to be recognized in Blue Ridge Outdoor’s 2020 “Mountain Blue” Reader Poll of “where to go to H2O.” The 9 Lakes Region was selected in seven categories with a total of thirteen top places selected by readers. The list below represents a sampling the bounty of water-based recreational activities to be found in the region:
- Platinum: Best Tennessee Waterfall: Grotto Falls
- Gold: Best Waterfall in Tennessee: Bald River Falls
- Silver: Best Waterfall in Tennessee: Abrams
- Honorable Mention: Best Lake in Tennessee: Norris Lake
State Parks- Water
- Gold: Best Water-Related State Park in Tennessee: Big Ridge State Park
- Silver: Best Water-Related State Park in Tennessee: Panther Creek State Park
White Water Rafting
- Silver: Best Whitewater Rafting Company: Rafting in the Smokies
- Platinum: Best Swimming Hole in Tennessee: Elkmont
- Platinum: Best Place to Stay with a Water Park: Dollywood’s Splash Country
- Gold: Best Place to stay with a Water Park: Wilderness at the Smokies
- Honorable Mention: Best Place to stay with a Water Park: Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort
- Platinum: Best Fishing Store (non-chain): Little River Outfitters
- Gold: Best Fishing Store (non-chain): Smoky Mountain Angler
Make the 9 Lakes your next vacation destination and find more “places to H2O” here.