Norris Lake, Tennessee Travel Guide

Norris Lake, Tennessee, is the water-lovers dream vacation! Here, you can enjoy boating, fishing, golfing, and swimming. Or you can just relax! The fishing is some of the best in the country and lake is crystal clear for skiers. Norris Lake vacations have a little bit of everything for everyone in your family so you’re sure to have a wonderful vacation. Use this travel guide to help you plan your Norris Lake vacation.

What to Do in Norris Lake

norris lake travel guideNorris Lake marinas have been well-preserved and kept in pristine condition. You’ll enjoy the modern marinas for fishing, boating, and swimming. In fact, Norris Lake fishing is some of the best in the United States. The Clinch trail waters that flow from the Norris Dam are known as some of the finest trout fisheries. Wild, rainbow, and brown trout are abundant here. Norris Lake is home to over 56 species of fish and is known for its striper fishing. Fishing here is like fishing along a spring creek. The clear, shallow waters make this a perfect fishing spot.

The Norris Dam State Park offers more than 4,000 acres of shore around Norris Lake. The park has a full service marina, swimming pool, tennis courts, volleyball area, playgrounds, and other recreational activities. You can also explore caves, take a leisurely walk through scenic valleys, fish in the streams, or see the beautiful wildflowers. Many like to take a hike through the forests that surround Norris Lake. You can experience the natural wonders in the area and see wildlife up close and personal. Some of the wildlife spotted in the area are deer, turkey, great blue herons, and even eagles on occasion. During the summer months, you can take guided tours, see slide shows, or participate in one of the many recreational programs.

Norris Lake boasts over 34,000 acres of water. That means there’s plenty of space for boating, water skiing, swimming, and even scuba diving. On the shore, you can golf, hike, take a horseback ride, or rock climb. Here you’ll fine three state parks, two wildlife management areas, and 59 public access sites of endless fun for Norris Lake vacations.

The Norris Lake community has planned many fun and cultural activities to keep you entertained on your vacation. From April through December, on the first Friday of every month, you can enjoy evenings full of music, food, exhibits, and dancing. Year round, the first Saturday of every month is filled with family fun. Take a stroll through the Farmers market, shop the local merchants and shops, and explore the downtown area. There’s always something fun and exciting going on in the community.

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What to See in Norris Lake

The main attraction at Norris Lake is the lake itself. With boating, fishing, and swimming, there’s plenty to keep your entire family entertained for hours. You can head to Norris Dam State Park where you’ll find other outdoor activities. You can go hiking, explore the fields of wildflowers, spend some time in the forests with the wildlife. You’ll find some wonderful hiking trails along the River Bluff Trail. Norris Dam State Park is an excellent choice is you want to get off the water for a little while and enjoy some time on land.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Norris Lake

norris lake vacationsLocal crafts and shops are a big hit in Norris Lake. In fact, the Community Craft Center is known as a place to shop for fun treasures. The Community Craft Center was founded in 1970 as a way to share local crafts and help enrich the local community. The original mission of the center was to teach, produce, and sell hand crafts. Today, local people still gather to share their creations, talents, and crafts. You can find treasures such as pottery, weaving, quilts, baskets, wood carving, and Appalachian folk art.

You’ll also find wonderful shopping in Clinton’s Historic District. Here are over 35 stores that sell antiques, collectibles, and other unique shops. You’ll also enjoy just walking around the district and taking in the rich architectural history.

There are three main restaurants right at Norris Lake. The Waterside Marina restaurant offers a full breakfast menu, with lunch and dinner options as well. This restaurant is family-friendly and serves items kids will love such as chicken nuggets and pizza. Flat Hollow Marina restaurant is a fun outdoor dining experience. You’re welcome to come to this restaurant straight from the lake, sand on your feet and all. Open seasonally, you can dine at Nordstroms Gallery restaurant. Norstroms features a wonderful Mother’s Day buffet and other dining choices. Be sure to check for hours and days Nordstroms is open.

For a wider variety of shops and restaurants, you can travel a short distance to nearby towns.

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When to Visit Norris Lake

Norris Lake is a popular tourist attraction and favorite recreation place for locals. The summer time is the best time to visit Norris Lake, as the weather is the best this time of year. However, you’ll also find more crowds in the summer time. You can also visit Norris Lake in the spring and fall time, but be sure to check with local marinas for seasonal operation hours. All facilities and marinas may not be open in the off season.

Temperatures average around 80 degrees in June, July, and August. The summers are warm, with some rain showers. Thunderstorms are commonly in the late spring and summer. Tennessee tends to be a humid state, especially in the summer months. Spring comes in January and generally lasts until May. The average temperature at Norris Lake is about 60 degrees.

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What to Bring on a Norris Lake Vacation

You’ll spend most of your time on the water when you come to Norris Lake. Be sure to bring your bathing suit, shorts, and flip flops! Sunscreen is an essential and you’ll want to lather the sunscreen on before heading out on your adventures. The weather is warm in the summer time, so light clothing is best. In the evenings, you may be more comfortable in long pants and a light jacket, as there may be nights when the temperatures are cooler.

Restaurants are casual at Norris Lake. There’s no need to dress up when you go to dinner. In fact, you can come straight from the lake to the dinner table. You don’t need to bring any fancy clothes to fit in around here.

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Local Services in Norris Lake

Norris Lake has over 20 marinas on the lake. Here you can rent houseboats, float houses, ski boats, and even jet skis. You’ll find all the modern conveniences like restaurants, campgrounds, and laundry services. Right on the marinas there are plenty of condos, homes, and hotels to choose from. For the best price on accommodations, try You’ll save lots of money by finding a vacation rental instead of blowing your budget on an expensive hotel.

Whether you’re coming to Norris Lake for a long weekend, or enjoying an extended summer vacation, you’ll find everything you need to make your stay at Norris Lake comfortable in the community. The full service marinas and boat rental facilities make water activities easily accessible. There are also community pools, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and other recreational hotspots. There are even convenience stores, post offices, and some local groceries.

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What to Know About Norris Lake

Norris Lake has over 800 miles of shoreline for fun water activities and relaxing. The lake is 56 miles up the Powell River and 72 miles up the Clinch River. The surroundings are absolutely magnificent as Norris Lake is surrounded by the East Tennessee mountains. Free launch facilities are available at most marinas, so you can get right out on the water and enjoy your vacation immediately.

Norris Lake is settled in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, approximately 20 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee. Norris Lake vacations are best known for fishing, boating, and hiking. Norris Lake is not fed by another major dam, so the water is clean and warm.

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Getting to Norris Lake, Tennessee

Norris Lake is about 20 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee. The closest airports are the McGheeTyson airport in Knoxville, the Scott Municpal Airport in Onedia, theMoore Murrell airport in Morristown, and the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge airport in Sevierville.

Norris Lake is easily accessible by car. If you are flying to your vacation, rent a car at the airport and follow the maps to Norris Lake. If you are driving from a nearby city or state, you’ll find street signs and directions along the way.

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Why Norris Lake Vacation Rentals?

Norris Lake has 75 camp sites, cabins, and hotel accommodations. For the best price, that won’t break your budget, try for cabins and condos perfect for your Norris Lake stay. You’ll find all the comforts of home without the expense of traditional hotels or the inconvenience of camping. has a wide variety of rentals to choose from so you’re sure to find just the right place for your entire family.

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