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'Water' you waiting for? Take a dip in East Tennessee this summer

Whether you’re looking to kick back and chill or seeking an adventure to stave off those dog days of summer, you've got plenty of options.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As the summer gets hotter, we’re all looking for ways to enjoy some time off while keeping cool. 

Fortunately, if you’re reading this article, you either live in or plan to visit East Tennessee, and it has plenty of quarries, rivers, lakes and waterfalls.

Whether you’re looking to kick back and chill or seeking an adventure to stave off those dog days of summer, here are some ways to beat the heat in East Tennessee. 

Just be sure to wear your sunscreen and drink plenty of water!

If you want to do some exploring, rent a hydro bike, kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard (or bring your own) and take a cruise around East Tennessee’s many waterways.

  • River Sports Outfitters at Ijams Meads Quarry in Knoxville
  • The Cove at Concord Park in Knoxville
  • Knoxville Adventure Collective at Volunteer Landing in Knoxville
  • Adventures Outdoors/Norris Paddling Adventures in Oak Ridge
  • All Aboard Rentals in Louisville
  • Norris Paddling Adventures in Rocky Top
  • Big South Fork National River in Oneida
  • French Broad River in Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge in Knox County
  • Holston River in Knoxville

RELATED: Public phase of Tennessee RiverLine launches from Suttree Landing Park with paddle event

If you’re in the mood for a relaxing float, going tubing on the Little River or the Pigeon River might do the trick.

  • Smoky Mountain River Rat in Townsend
  • Tube River Rage in Townsend
  • Pigeon River Outdoors in Gatlinburg

RELATED: How to chase waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains

If floating is just too slow for you, try a whitewater rafting adventure.

  • Smoky Mountain River Rat Whitewater in Hartford
  • Rafting in the Smokies in Hartford
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center in Hartford
  • Big Bear Rafting in Hartford
  • Smoky Mountain Outdoors in Hartford
  • Tube River Rage in Townsend
  • If you're experienced, check out Obed Wild and Scenic River in Lancing

RELATED: What you need to know about new life jacket labels

If you’re looking for something to entertain the kids, there are plenty of splash pads around to frolic in.

  • Anakeesta’s Black Bear Village in Gatlinburg
  • Carl Cowan Park in Knoxville
  • Krutch Park in Knoxville
  • Market Square in Knoxville
  • New Harvest Park in Knoxville
  • Powell Station Park in Knoxville
  • Volunteer Landing at Neyland Drive in Knoxville
  • World's Fair Park in Knoxville
  • Zoo Knoxville’s Clayton Safari Splash in Knoxville

RELATED: Knox County splash pads are officially open for the Summer!

If your family and friends are more of an adventurous bunch, head to a water park.

  • Dollywood's Splash Country
  • Soaky Mountain
  • Wilderness at the Smokies
  • Wild Water Dome Indoor Waterpark

RELATED: Dollywood's Splash Country & Soaky Mountain Waterpark open for the season

Of course, you can’t go wrong with heading to the nearest swimming hole and taking a dip on a hot day.

  • Ed Cothren Pool in Knoxville
  • Inskip Pool in Knoxville
  • Oak Ridge City Pool in Oak Ridge
  • Fort Dickerson Quarry
  • Mead’s Quarry Lake in Knoxville
  • The Cove at Concord Park in Knoxville
  • Indian Flats Trail

RELATED: Swim instructors encourage water safety as summer inches closer

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