Growing up in the innocent years of the 1950s and ‘60s and being one member of a family of educators and professional people, summertime was always great fun for us. We believed in gathering knowledge – we believed in traveling. So, we traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada to see and learn about the world – but we always included at least two weeks staying on a lake in the Adirondack Mountains. This repeated habit formed the basis for my recreational needs – the need for water – for relaxation and entertainment. Now, I can’t imagine vacationing, much less living, without being near water. This value is a constant in my life.
Three summers ago, my husband and I bought a speedboat to use on a vacation we were taking to the Adirondacks (good excuse). When we returned home to Ohio, we tried to use our boat on the lakes around Cincinnati and Indianapolis. It didn’t work for us. It seemed more trouble than it was worth and the lakes of the Midwest are disappointedly small and overcrowded. Selling the boat was out of the question, so the search was on to find an alternative lake for our boating pleasure.
Everyone talks about the “J” effect that is happening lately. This term refers to those snowbirds from the North who think they want to retire to Florida only to eventually backtrack to the Carolinas or Tennessee. My husband and I participated in the “B” effect. We skipped going to Florida altogether and made a beeline for Tennessee. For starters, we bought a lakefront lot on one of the Southern Great Lakes, as they are sometimes called.
The best-kept secret in Tennessee is Watts Bar Lake, the king of the Southern Great Lakes (and here I am, blabbing the news to everyone). I just can’t contain my excitement over finding such a wonderful place. Tennessee is there waiting for you, too, if you can bring yourself to get past your old false misconceptions. True, life seems somehow simpler, and some people and places are quaint because they can’t or don’t want to keep up with NYC. How refreshing! I’m personally fed up with crowds and traffic jams and rudeness and fearing for my safety.
On Watts Bar Lake, it’s never crowded because the lake is just too big. The majority of lakefront is owned and managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, so it still looks like wilderness. When you do pass someone in a boat, they actually wave at you. Isn’t that a hoot? Lakefront property values are still fairly reasonable, although that is changing quickly. Apparently, someone else besides me also blabbed.
Bottom-line, if you are a water lover and a crowd hater and enjoy rare birds like bald eagles and ospreys and nature and good fishing and water sports and friendly people, you need to check this area out. It’s not far from the Smokies, Knoxville and Chattanooga. There’s plenty to do, or you can just do nothing. I like that part the best!
My husband and I built a cedar home of our own design on the lake. We call it “Cheronac” in honor of his Cherokee heritage and my love of Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. For now, we are there every weekend, driving to and from Cincinnati. Someday, we hope to call it our only home.
Hotel Pigeon Forge
East, Tennessee Hotels & Resorts
Fabulous location for Pigeon Forge vacation. Hotel Pigeon Forge Inn & Suites is located on the main parkway in Pigeon Forge. We're next door to Country Tonite Theater across the street from Titanic Musuem and 1 mile to Dollywood and Dixie Stampede...
Starting at $45 Per Night
Got It Al U'All - WIFI,Yr Rd Pool,Hotub,Jacuzzi,
East, Tennessee Vacation Rentals
Beautiful Log Cabin located right in the heart of Pigeon Forge Tenn just 1.5 mi from Dollywood/Splash Country ,Year Round Covered Heated Pool. View ,Wifi, Private Hot Tub...
Starting at $149 Per Night
East, Tennessee Vacation Rentals
Dancing Bear is a beautiful 1 bed, 1 bath cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with "Out of this World Views!"...
Starting at $75 Per Night
Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures
Nashville, Tennessee Ballooning
Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures is a full service hot air balloon ride company. We specialize in Charter rides, Advertising, and Tether Events. Great for Anniversaries, Birthdays, Weddings, Gift Vouchers, and any special occasion....
Starting at $200 Per Person
Ocoee Adventure Center
Ducktown, Tennessee Kayaking & Canoeing
OAC offers unsurpassed Ocoee River kayaking, rafting, biking and hiking trips!...
Starting at $40 Per Person
Big Frog Expeditions
Southeast, Tennessee Rafting Trips
Exciting and scenic rafting adventures on the Ocoee River. The Big Frog Expeditions staff is fun and experienced to make your time on the river memorable!...
Premium half and full day Ocoee rafting adventures
Ocoee, Tennessee Rafting Trips
Ocoee River whitewater rafting, premium half and full day rafting trips with Quest Expeditions. Experience the nation's most popular whitewater adventure! Mountain cabin rentals, retail and photo shop, catered meals, group lodging, conference center....
Starting at $30 Per Person
Smoky Mountain Kayaking
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Kayaking & Canoeing
Guided lake kayak tours and kayaking lessons in east tennessee. kayak historical sites on the lakes of the smokies while viewing wildlife!...
$45 Per Person
Luxury Gatlinburg Cabins with Theater Rooms
Gatlinburg, Tennessee Vacation Rentals
A Luxury Gatlinburg log cabin rental resort featuring 1 to 5 Bedroom Luxury Cabins with hot tubs, gas grills, theater rooms, saunas and more!...
Starting at $110 Per Night
Luxury TN Vacation Lake Houses
Knoxville, Tennessee Vacation Rentals
Imagine waking up to a luxury lake front house with private dock. Each of 10 is different but all are great! Bring your boat, food,& clothes. TLC supplies everything else. 1 hour from Knoxville, Chattanooga, & Smokies. Great fishing, water sports....
Starting at $130 Per Night
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