Tennessee Lakes? Which would you choose?
August 5, 2008 9:57 PM   Subscribe

Tennessee lakes?

Which lake is better for a week of house-boating at the end of August -- Lake Norris, Dale's Hollow, or Cumberland? Or are they all equally awesome?

We're current L.A. residents, looking to relax - maybe fish - maybe not. Certainly cooking, drinking, swimming, and staring at nature. Is there a distinct difference between the three mentioned that I should be aware of?

Thanks for any info. If it matters, I'm an Okie and used to nature - my man, well, he's a genius, but not so outdoorsy. It'd be nice to have a "general store" type place nearby to buy bug spray, etc. Also, it's only the two of us going there.
posted by Kloryne to Travel & Transportation around Tennessee (5 answers total)
If you don't get a response here, you might want to post your query at the city-data.com general forums for Tennessee. I've seen mention there of all three of the places you asked about.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:36 AM on August 6, 2008

Best answer: Lake Cumberland is actually in Kentucky, just not far from the Tennessee Line. Dale Hollow is just below it, along the TN/KY border, and Norris Lake is a couple hours away to the east - but basically, if you're staying at the lake and not going anywhere else, they're all going to work. All are fairly well served by marinas and state parks.

One thing to consider (since you mentioned drinking) is dry counties. Clinton County in KY (which borders Dale Hollow and Cumberland) is dry, and Cumberland County (one of 5 bordering Norris) is dry, so plan ahead. Dale Hollow is relatively well served on the TN side, but be aware in TN you can't buy beer in the same store as wine or hard liquor. Also, all 3 are not huge metropolitan areas, so if your tipple of choice is on the less-common side, load up in Nashville/Knoxville before heading to the lake.

If I had to choose, I would go for Dale Hollow, I've been to all 3, but it's the only one I've speant a large deal of time at. The state park on the KY side has a pretty nice restaurant available (the State ark along Cumberland has a nice one too), there's a lot of shoreline and great views, and there's a lot to do around the lake if you need to get away from the water for a few hours.
posted by pupdog at 5:47 AM on August 6, 2008

Dale Hollow or Cumberland. I have been to all three and Norris is below those other two IMO. Cumberland is typically more crowded than Dale Hollow, but is also less isolated in terms of stores, restaurants, etc.

I would also consider going to Laurel lake. It is every bit as beautiful as Cumberland, less crowded, cleaner, and close enough to Corbin to duck into town for meals (and booze). Houseboat rentals can be arranged through the marinas. Out of all the lakes I have been to in KY and TN, this is by far my favorite. Mefi mail me if you have any other questions and have fun!
posted by jtfowl0 at 6:15 AM on August 6, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all for the answers so far. And yeah, dry counties - sheesh. I forgot about those. That may well be the single most important piece of info for me yet :)
posted by Kloryne at 10:50 AM on August 6, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all - Looks like we're heading to Dale Hollow. If you hear of an upside-down houseboat, well... you know who to look for.
posted by Kloryne at 11:58 PM on August 7, 2008

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