Waterfront Motels in Tennessee

by Meg Jernigan

Tennessee has more than 1,000 lakes, natural and manmade, and 60,000 miles of streams. Waterfront motels in Tennessee tend to be in rustic fishing and boating resorts where guests have multiple lodging options like cabins and RV parks. Most are no-frills and budget-friendly, with lower rates during the wintertime.

Holiday Landing Marina

Holiday Landing, on Tims Ford Lake about 55 miles northwest of Chattanooga, has standard motel rooms and waterfront cabins. Motel rooms offer basic lodging with two full-sized beds and a private bath. Cabins have kitchenettes and a deck. Rates are seasonal, with winter rentals deeply discounted. Tims Ford Lake, known for striper and bass fishing, is the site of several fishing tournaments each year. Holiday Landing Marina has boat slips, a tackle shop and a boat launch.

Buchanan Resort

Located on Kentucky Lake in north central Tennessee, Buchanan Resort offers motel rooms and cabins. Motel rooms have kitchenettes, private bathrooms and double beds. Cabins range in size from two to four bedrooms, some with full kitchens. The rustic resort’s marina, open through November 1st offers boat rentals, a bait & tackle shop and slips. Professional fishing guides are on hand. Three campgrounds are lakeside and within walking distance of the marina and launches. Oak Tree Grill is open Monday through Saturday during the summer season.

Shanghai Resort

Each waterfront motel room at the Shanghai Resort, 45 miles north of Knoxville on Norris Lake, has two queen beds, a mini-fridge and microwave oven. The resort also rents a two-bedroom cabin and covered boat slips for sailors spending the night onboard. Ski boats, pontoons, waverunners and water toys like wakeboards are available by the hour or the day. The resort has a casual outdoor restaurant on the water and a banquet room for parties.

Sportsman’s Resort

Sportsman’s Resort, located on Reelfoot Lake in the far northwest corner of Tennessee, has two locations. The resort’s motel is at the north location on Upper Blue Basin. Single units on the upper floor of the motel have two double beds while downstairs units are larger and accommodate more guests. All of the rooms have lake views and kitchenettes. Reelfoot Lake bans jetskis, seadoos and water skiing. Sportsman’s promises to match the package price of any other resort on the lake.

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