When you think houseboat rentals in Tennessee, think about good times. People have long known that America’s upper south is the perfect spot for vacations on the water—whether that be time spent with family enjoying one of the state’s pristine lakes or hanging out with friends cruising its meandering rivers.

Top destinations for houseboat rentals in Tennessee

If you’re wondering where to find the best houseboat rentals, Tennessee offers a host of unforgettable options—from a trio of tempting lakes to a winding river that leads all the way to Kentucky.

Good, clean fun in Norris Lake

Extending into 5counties, as well as into the Powell and Clinch Rivers, Norris Lake sits around 20 miles from Knoxville. It’s a lake with some seriously impressive credentials, not least of which is the roughly 800 miles of shoreline and a reputation for being one of North America’s cleanest lakes. Chart a course from one of the many marinas that offer Norris Lake houseboat rentals—and be sure to squeeze in a side trip to the lakeside Norris Dam State Park.

Cast a line in Dale Hollow Lake

With a twisted shoreline dotted with sandy beaches and towering evergreens, Pickett County’s Dale Hollow Lake has long been a favorite destination for fans of houseboat vacations in northern Tennessee. You can rent a boat from the likes of the Holly Creek, Eagle Cove, or Sunset Marinas before setting out to relax on the lake’s clear waters. Anglers can spend their days landing smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass from the deck of their Dale Hollow Lake houseboat rental, while the lake also offers sports like waterskiing and wakeboarding.

Happy hunting at Center Hill Lake

Boasting over 400 miles of pristine shoreline and a handy location just a few miles south of I-40, Center Hill Lake is a popular spot for weekend houseboat rentals near Nashville. Plenty of space on the lake makes it a top pick for families and groups, though small houseboat rentals are also readily available. Much of the forested lands that surround the lake are open for hunting, though you’ll need to apply for a free permit should you wish to shoot in Edgar Evins State Park.

Blazing a trail on the Tennessee River

Oodles of houseboat fans swear by Tennessee’s lakes, though there’s plenty to be said for exploring the Tennessee River as well. There’s upward of 650 miles of riverbank to discover, some of it rugged and unspoiled, and other parts well-developed and serving up easy access to all manner of quaint riverside towns and villages. In Tennessee’s west, a jaunt along the river might also mean a visit to the lower reaches of Kentucky Lake—which is home to some of the southeast’s very best sports fishing.

What to expect from Tennessee houseboats?

So, you’ve decided to go for it. Whether you’re taking the kids away for the weekend or you're on the hunt for the perfect summer rental to share with friends, here’s what to expect from Tennessee houseboats.

Solid selection of onboard amenities

Houseboats on Tennessee’s lakes and rivers come complete with a striking selection of amenities. Standard features are likely to include living and dining spaces, as well as full kitchens equipped with all the dishes and cooking utensils you’ll need. Most also provide things like heat, air conditioning, and satellite TV, while the more luxurious options may also include gas grills and hot tubs. For families, the waterslides that drop from the sides of many boats are the kids’ ticket to endless fun.

Countless onshore attractions

Just because you’re enjoying a houseboat vacation in Tennessee doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll spend all your time on the water. A longer houseboat rental serves up plenty of time to explore the state’s lakeside and riverfront attractions. That could mean pulling into one of the many marinas to enjoy lunch at a waterfront restaurant with a view, or, in the case of Center Hill Lake, a jaunt to Cookeville—where scrumptious culinary creations and decidedly upscale shopping await.

Rentals to suit any needs

Houseboat rentals come in all sorts of styles—from budget-friendly boats that are perfect for a low-cost escape on the water to luxury multi-tiered watercraft with all the trimmings and space enough for your whole party to spread out a little—with a typical capacity ranging from 8 to 16 guests. You can also choose the perfect duration for houseboat rental in Tennessee—whether that be a day rental for a few hours of fun, a weekend rental for a quick getaway, or a weeklong summer rental to soak up the best of the good weather.