Guide To Boating In Chattanooga


Summer is almost here, and with it comes boating season! Chattanooga is known for its beautiful waterways, and boating is one of the most popular summertime activities for  Chattanoogans. Whether you’re new to boating or a seasoned pro, Chattanooga has so much to offer on the water!

Guide to Boating in Chattanooga
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Chattanooga Bodies of Water 

Tennessee River: Probably the most well known body of water in our beautiful city, the Tennessee River is a playground for boaters. Spanning from Chickamauga Lake at the Chickamauga Dam to Nickajack Lake at the Nickajack Dam, the Tennessee River spans 50 miles through Chattanooga.

Chickamauga Lake: Another hot spot for Chattanooga Boaters is Chickamauga Lake. Covering over 36,000 acres and over 800 miles of shoreline, this is a great place to go to get away from the river traffic. With its convenient location to downtown, it’s the perfect place to spend a day on the water playing and exploring.

Nickajack Lake: Located about 30 minutes from Chattanooga is Nickajack Lake. Due to its location, it doesn’t get nearly as much boat traffic as Lake Chickamauga or the Tennessee River.

Guide to Boating in Chattanooga
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Chattanooga Marinas

Chickamauga Marina: Located on the lake side of the Chickamauga Dam, this is a popular spot for boat lodging and launching. It’s located beside a great park with a large playground, pavilion, restrooms, walking trail, and designated swimming area. Erwin Marine Sales is also located here.

Erwin Marine Riverfront: Located just steps away from Ross’ Landing, this marina is in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. It’s one of the few boat launch areas downtown.

Island Cove Marina: One of the larger marinas in Chattanooga, this popular spot is located off of Highway 58 on the Chickamauga Lake. It’s home to Amigo’s and several lodging spots.

Harrison Bay: Harrison Bay is a state park that’s a boat lover’s paradise! With a marina, camping spots, restaurant, golf course, and more, this is a great place to start your day on the lake. The boat launch here is large with ample parking.

Lakeshore Marina: Located on the north side of Chickamauga Lake, just past the Chickamauga Dam, this marina is in a great location for Chattanoogans. You aren’t getting all of the river traffic here, but you’re still very close to downtown Chattanooga.

Harbor Lights Marina: Located in Soddy Daisy, this is another large marina on Chickamauga Lake that offers everything a boater could need!

Waterside Restaurants

One of my favorite things to do while boating is eat at restaurants right on the water. Being on the water all day really works up an appetite, so it’s very convenient to tie your boat off on a restaurant dock and grab some delicious food!

Amigo’s at Island Cove: This is a popular restaurant on the Chickamauga Lake. It gets very crowded in the summer, so keep that in mind when hunger strikes.

Steve’s Landing: Steve’s Landing is another summer hotspot. Located in Soddy Daisy on Chickamauga Lake, this is a hotspot for land lovers and boaters alike. It has its own dock to make parking easy.

Dockside Cafe: Located at Harrison Bay, this little restaurant is delicious.

River Drifters: Located on the Tennessee River, this restaurant is just on the outskirts of downtown Chattanooga.

Lakeshore Grille: If you’re spending the day on the water near the Chickamauga Dam, this restaurant is in a great spot for you!

Zois Harbor Lights: Located in Soddy Daisy, this restaurant offers a wide variety of foods on their menu.

Wherever you decide to go boating this summer, I promise that the beautiful Chattanooga waterways won’t disappoint!

Don’t miss out on our guide to swimming holes!


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