Douglas Lake was created in the early 1940s by the Tennessee Valley Authority to control flooding in the Tennessee River Valley and provide hydroelectric power to the area. The result was 44 square miles of water and 513 miles of shoreline.
A few towns are located around the lake, including Banbury and Dandridge. Dandridge is mainly located on the northern side of the lake, about midway between the east and west ends. Hwy 92, aka Chestnut Hill Road, crosses the lake at a narrow section, over an island, and onto the south side of the lake. This island and another small section are also part of the town of Dandridge.
Dandridge has just over 3,300 residents and is the county seat of Jefferson County. The closest larger city to Dandridge is Knoxville, about a 35-minute drive due west on Interstate 40. Dandridge is considered a suburb of Knoxville, and some commute for jobs. Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park are about an hour south.
Condos in Dandridge
Condos in Dandridge come in a few different styles – some are similar to townhomes with garages and porches, and some are two to three-story buildings with decks and common areas. Some are in gated communities near the water with boat slips and fitness centers. Sizes range from 1 bedroom and one bathroom with just over 500 square feet to 3 bedrooms and three bathrooms with close to 1,900 square feet.
Given its location, condos in Dandridge are used as vacation homes, rental properties, or single-family homes where a private yard is not desired.
Condos offer low maintenance, a convenient location, and amenities, which gives you more time to enjoy the lake and town.
Here are six reasons why Dandridge is a great place to purchase a condo.
1. The Beautiful Lake
Douglas Lake is a recreational paradise. There are fantastic views of the Great Smoky Mountains from anywhere around the lake. Visitors and residents can take advantage of boating, fishing, camping, and swimming in the lake.
Douglas Lake is one of the top places to catch crappie, and bass fishing tournaments are held in the spring and fall. The lake offers many tributaries where fly fishing is also popular.
Douglas Lake has many coves that are great to explore by canoe or small motorboat. Paddle along the shore and catch sight of many species of birds. There are 24 boat ramps around the lake to set in the water. Some private homes and condos offer private slips to park your boat. Lighthouse Pointe Marina & Boat Club and Mountain Harbor Marina both have slips for storing your boat and pontoon rentals, where the boats are large enough for up to 10 people to enjoy the lake.
Head over to Douglas Dam and see the massive structure holding the valley's water. Camping, picnicking, and hiking are close by.
2. The Excellent Schools
If you have young children, rest assured that the schools in Dandridge are top-notch. Children attend Piedmont or Dandridge Elementary, then Maury Middle School, and finally, graduate from Jefferson County High School. Nearby Knoxville has several colleges, including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Johnson University, and Maryville College.
3. The Rich History
Dandridge was settled in the late 1700s and named after America's First Lady, Martha Dandridge Washington. A battle of the Civil War also took place in the town. Many old homes and historic spots can be enjoyed on a walking tour. The Revolutionary War Graveyard, County Courthouse, and Shepard Inn (dating back to 1814) are some of the tour's highlights. Stop by the Dandridge Visitor Center for a history lesson and happenings in the town.
4. The Abundance of Shopping and Dining
While you are in the Downtown District, check out Tinsley-Bible Drugstore. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, an old-fashioned float, cream soda, or ice cream. People have been getting their prescriptions filled here since 1911. The Shoppes at Roper Mansion offers a unique place to find antiques and furnishings.
After a long day on the lake, stop by Swann's Marina and its Millstone Restaurant for a relaxing meal. They serve salads, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, and hearty platters of catfish, steak, or salmon.
Take a tour of Bush's Beans. Learn the history of this famous brand and enjoy a down-home meal of sandwiches, chili (made with Bush's beans, of course), entrees, salads, sides, and ice cream. Your meal includes a sample of the "bean of the day." On your way out, pick up a souvenir with Duke the Dog's cute face.
5. The Opportunities for Hiking and Golfing
Cross the Dandridge Bridge and find yourself at the Dandridge Dock, where you can have a picnic on the shore or wander out onto the dock and cast your fishing pole. A bit further south is Dandridge Municipal Park.
Dandridge has three public golf courses within 20 miles of town, including Dandridge Golf and Country Club. There are 27 holes on Bermuda fairways with views of the mountains and lake. The course is designed for beginners and pros alike. Visit the pro shop or take a lesson.
6. The Warm and Welcoming Community
The Town of Dandridge has been working hard over the past several years to revitalize the downtown and waterfront areas. This includes a farmer's market pavilion, where local farmers bring in fresh produce and goods.
Each fall, Dandridge hosts free concerts with Music on the Town. For seven weeks, you can hear live music on a stage behind Town Hall. It's a great place to meet your neighbors and enjoy the historic downtown area. Check out the Scots Irish Festival held each year.
Bring your kids to the Field of Dreams Activity Center for workouts or sporting leagues.
Moving to Dandridge
Whether you are looking for a vacation spot to get out of town for the weekend or a permanent home away from the city, Dandridge fits the bill. It's perfect for those who love fishing, fishing, or hiking. It's perfect for families with great schools and many activities in the nearby Smoky Mountains. There are plenty of housing options in Dandridge, including single-family homes on the waterfront and low-maintenance condos within walking distance of the lake and downtown areas.
Dandridge is close enough to Knoxville to commute for work or cultural events, and it's a gateway to the mountains. A walk through the town and along the waterfront will encourage you to stay.