So, you’re considering moving your family to Jefferson County in East Tennessee. Like much of the land in this area, there are beautiful, rolling hills, great views and even lakefront property if you like living in the country, and if you prefer town life there are quaint, historic houses near Carson-Newman College as well as modern subdivisions nearby.
But what can you do with your family? There are lots of fun, affordable (in some cases, even free!) activities in this fair county to help you make lasting memories. One of the local favorites is the beach at Cherokee Dam, just minutes from downtown Jefferson City.
The Tennessee Valley Authority maintains multiple dams in our corner of the Southeast USA for the purpose of generating power to residents. The lakes created, as well as surrounding land, provide tons of recreation for swimmers, campers, picnic-ers, day-trippers…all for free, or for a nominal access fee, depending on the site. Click: here for a list of swim beaches maintained by the TVA.
The beach at Cherokee Dam is free to use, and it has some unique features that are appealing, especially for families with young kids! There is a sandy beach at the edge of the water, a stone-walled public bathroom, and many lunch spots complete with picnic tables and even grills—charcoal not included! You can stroll over the dam itself and get an amazing view of Cherokee lake on one side and the steep back end of the dam on the other side. There are walking paths mown into the grassy fields stretching away from the parking lot at the beach, too. In one morning you could get in a swim, a walk, a view and a lunch before heading back to town! Oh, and there are great swings under the tall trees, a few yards up the hill from the water. They are the really tall kind that remind me of my childhood, so you can swing a long, swooping arc while the sparkling water and shady trees seem to tilt around you…or, I guess your kids could swing, too, while you take a break with your camp chair and your novel!
Reserve a bit of energy after your day at the beach, because it wouldn’t really be complete without award-winning ice cream. That’s right, award-winning! No typical store-bought here! Drive the five minutes or so it takes to get from the beach to The Creek Café, located in the historic Mossy Creek section of Jefferson City. Click: here for the website. The ice cream comes fresh from The Apple Valley Creamery. Click: here to visit their website.
“Voted best ice cream in East Tennessee by WBIR TV and ranked #1 local restaurant on Trip Advisor.”
For more information about the renovation of the historic building housing the café, click: here. Jefferson City really is a special place, with motivated people working hand-in-hand to help revitalize this historic town. Trust me, you can taste the community love in the amazing ice cream!
110 E Old Andrew Johnson Hwy
Jefferson City, TN 37760