No better place to take a boat trip than Norris Lake, Tennessee.  With scenic lakes and rolling hills complementing the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s hard to find a vista that is less than gorgeous. Today, we’re highlighting Norris Lake as an especially scenic part of a delightful state. So, pack up and be sure to bring your Crownline.


The Lake

Norris Lake, TN Aerial

Norris Lake is a serpentine, 52-square-mile body of water located in northeast Tennessee, about 20 miles north of Knoxville. Home to an abundance of wildlife and scenic coastline, Norris is an escape for city folk and a way of life for the locals. It’s a quintessential Appalachian lake, meaning local residents use it for both work and pleasure. With one million people visiting the area every year, tourism is a leading industry. But the lake also provides millions of dollars in revenue for the state thanks to the high-powered hydroelectric dam that generates up to 132,000 kilowatts of electric power.

Norris Lake Sunset

Photo from


Things to Do

When it comes to fun on the lake, fishing, power boating, scuba diving, water sports, and camping are a few of the options. There are 20 marinas for you to explore and dock your boat. Check out Hickory Star Resort or Shanghai Resort and Marina for a fun family vacation. Beach Island Resort and Marina has some great cabin options along with watercraft and houseboat rental and a sports pub. It’s a lively spot that’s a better fit for families with kids over age six.

Beach Island Resort and Marina

Norris Lake extends to the Powell River and Clinch River as it snakes its way through the lush mountains and across east Tennessee. Explore islands, jump off a bridge, water ski, throw a cocktail cruise, or do it all. From cliffs to beaches to caves to trails, Norris Lake has plenty of points of interest to keep you busy for days.

Clinch River View


Where to Eat

Clinch River Brewing is the hottest spot in the area for food and drink. The craft brewery offers a rotation of awesome brews and an impressive selection of Southern comfort food. Other options include the tasty and beloved Charley’s Pizza Parlor. Or, if you’re looking for the best barbecue, head to Coal Creek Smokehouse. It’s a delightfully homey place that dishes out the best-cooked meats you could ask for. The Oh Baloney! Sandwich is shockingly delicious.

Clinch River Brewery


Friendly and fun, Norris Lake is an escape, a home, and a haven that’s worth a trip to soak up the beauty and culture of true Appalachia.