A Quick Guide to The Best Boating Around Memphis, TN

When you think of great boating destinations, your mind probably doesn’t immediately jump to a landlocked state like Tennessee. Sure, Memphis is cozied right up against the mighty Mississippi River, but aside from that, the region isn’t exactly known for its many lakes and estuaries.

But, just because it doesn’t border an ocean, one of the Great Lakes or an expansive gulf, doesn’t mean there isn’t good boating in Memphis, TN! In fact, if you know where to look, there’s plenty of opportunity to spend an enjoyable time on the water.

Boating Destinations in Tennessee

Whether you’re someone who likes to drop a lure and lounge or get the whole family out on the water for some tubing and skiing, the Mississippi is always a good choice for boating in Memphis, TN. Unfortunately, it can get a little crowded during the peak summer months.

boating on Pickwick Lake

If you’re looking to escape the commotion, you might have better luck hitching up your boat and making the journey to a couple of boating destinations near Memphis, TN:

  • Pickwick Lake (2.5 hours away): Technically, Pickwick lake runs through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee—which means if you’re looking to stay within the state, you’re in luck! This lake has an average depth of 30 ft, making it great for just about any craft. You’re likely to see a pontoon boat on the water on any clear day. And, with plenty of bass and catfish to be had, it’s an angler’s paradise during fishing season.
  • Pinoak Lake (2 hours away): Looking to make a weekend out of your intrastate boating trip? Pinoak Lake is the perfect destination! Not only is this pristine lake a boater’s paradise, it’s also a premier camping and hiking destination.
  • The Tennessee River (2 hours away): The largest offshoot of the Ohio River, this mighty river spans the state and is a wonderful way to get familiar with many of Tennessee’s biggest cities. Explore its many forks to take in some breathtaking scenery while you relax on the water.

Boating Near Tennessee

Looking to get out of the state for a regional boating adventure? There’s plenty of interstate boating near Memphis, TN! Jaunt into neighboring Arkansas or Mississippi to visit one of these great boating destinations:

  • Horseshoe Lake, AR: Just a short way down the Mississippi River you’ll find Horseshoe Lake. This lake is home to several sleepy towns and plenty of nature. And, as a shallow lake, averaging depths of 15 ft, it’s great for activities like wakeboarding and swimming.
  • Arkabutla Lake, MS: A sizeable lake in Mississippi, this body of water is your destination for active boating! Break out the water skis and tubes and be sure to pack your beach gear. Be warned, though: this lake gets roughly 2 million visitors annually—it could get a little crowded!
  • Sardis Lake, MS: A little deeper into Mississippi (about an hour from Memphis, TN) you’ll find Sardis Lake. It’s hard to find a body of water more pristine than this one! You’ll enjoy boating activities of all types here—from snorkeling to tubing or just cruising. For fishermen, there’s also plenty of bass and crappie to go around.

If you’re looking for new surfs to explore outside of the usual boating in Memphis, TN, consider a day trip to any of these destinations. You’re bound to find welcoming waters!

pontoon boat on pickwick lake