September 6, 2023

The Best Lakes to Explore near Memphis, Tennessee

lakes near memphis

It’s no secret that we love going to the lake. I grew up at the lake almost every weekend, and now we love spending time at the water with our kids too. There is no shortage of nice lakes near us, and we love spending some of our summers at the lake. We have tried out every single 1 on this list except for 1, but we plan to cross that one off our list soon too. Check out my list of the best Lakes near Memphis below and let me know which lakes are your favorite!

The Best Lakes Near Memphis

Greers Ferry Lake in Greers Ferry, AR – 3 hours from Memphis, This lake is super deep in many spots, so it’s great for boating! The water is super clear too. It is great for boating, tubing, skiing, etc. And the Little Red River is just right down the road if you’re looking to do some fishing too. We usually come here each year and love to spend a weekend here.

Smith Lake in Pullman, AL – 3 hours from Memphis, this lake is highly recommended! It is great for surfing, wakeboarding, and more. It is really starting to become a popular lake, so it could be crowded. But it is definitely worth checking out as it is becoming more popular in the South than Pickwick Lake. And it’s only an hour away from Huntsville, AL which has so much to offer for families and kids. If you end up visiting, let me know what you think!

Pickwick Lake in Counce, TN – 2 hours from Memphis, this is our all-around favorite lake so far. It was the lake I grew up going to, and my family has a cabin there still. It can get a little crowded on holidays, but it is such a large lake that there is still plenty of room without feeling too crowded or the water is too choppy. It’s perfect for boating, tubing, skiing, camping, and more. The town has a decent amount of good restaurants too, even though it’s a small town. This is a good option if you’re looking to spend more than one day at the lake.

Sardis Lake in Sardis, MS – 1 hour from Memphis, this one makes our list based on proximity. It’s so short of a drive that it’s great for a day trip. It’s great for boating, fishing, skiing and tubing. You won’t find the smoothest water, but it’s worth it for the short drive. The lake itself wasn’t super large, but the area was nice with lots of playgrounds and camping areas. It was just perfect for a quick day trip!

Enid Lake in Enid, MS– 1.5 hours from Memphis, This lake is only a shorter longer drive than Sardis. It is great for boating, camping, hiking, and fishing. And it’s another great spot for a quick day trip! I have also been camping there, and it was a lot of fun!

Kentucky Lake in Camden, TN – 2 hours from Memphis, this large lake offers so much. From boating to skiing to hiking to fishing, you can do it all here. It’s another great option if you’re looking to spend an entire weekend at the lake. You won’t get bored here with plenty to do!

Pinoak Lake in Lexington, TN – 2 hours from Memphis, this lake is part of Natchez Trace State Park. It is small, but it is so nice only being a couple hours’ drive. Also, it is usually pretty clean here and a good lake for boating, skiing, and tubing. It is definitely a hidden, small gem in my opinion.

Beech Lake in Lexington, TN – 1.5 hours from Memphis, This is another lake we grew up going to a decent amount because of the short drive. It isn’t the cleanest lake in regards to the picnic areas, but with its short drive, it is fine for a day trip. We liked the swimming area and sand area for the kids. It’s definitely one you should check out if you’re looking for something close.

What is your favorite lake? Let me know if you’ve tried any of these lakes near Memphis or have any other recommendations.


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