Skip to Content

Sweetwater, TN: Home of America’s Largest Underground Lake

The Lost Sea, an underground lake (photo: Jay Williams)
Underground lake (photo: Jay Williams)

Sweetwater is a city in central Tennessee full of charming shops, eateries, and friendly people.

While you are here, don't miss a chance to explore underground at the fascinating Lost Sea.

A visit to the Sweetwater Valley Farm Cheese will satisfy your hunger after a long day of caving.  

The Lost Sea (Craighead Caverns)

Take a boat ride on the Lost Sea, a unique natural wonder listed as “America's Largest Underground Lake” in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Lost Sea has been designated a Registered Natural Landmark by the U.S. Dept. of Interior.

When you visit the Lost Sea Adventure, you tour the cavern's rare formations and a boat ride on the underground lake.

The temperature remains a pleasant fifty-eight degrees year-round, and there are no stairs to climb!

Wide sloping walkways take you on an adventure to the many interesting rooms, some of which are among the widest, highest, and largest rooms of any caverns in the Southeast United States.

Upon entering the lake room, you will board large glass bottom boats for an exciting trip on the Lost Sea.

While on the trip, you will observe some of the largest rainbow trout in the United States.  

Sweetwater Valley Farm (Photo: Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council METTC)
Farm (Photo: Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council METTC)

Sweetwater Valley Farm

Located on W. Lee Highway between Philadelphia and Loudon, TN, Sweetwater Valley Farm is known for producing cheese in a farmstead manner.

Visitors and locals alike stop by this farm to enjoy artisan cheese with state-of-art facilities and factory tours. Award-winning cheddar cheese is made here in a highly controlled manner.  

The Knoxville Zoo

Visitors to the Knoxville Zoo will experience fauna from around the world. It houses about 800 animals.

You'll see animals in their natural outdoor habitats in exhibits like Black Bear Falls, Chimp Ridge, and Grasslands Africa.

You can see mammals including giraffes, langurs, lions, rhinos; birds like laughing thrush, hornbills; and reptiles like rattlesnakes and turtles. 

Sweetwater, TN (photo: Susans_view)
Sweetwater, TN (photo: Susans_view)

Sweetwater Flea Market

Go on a shopping spree at the Sweetwater Flea Market that has almost 800 vendor booths.

Check out the various vendors who are selected to provide the best shopping experience to all its visitors. 

Many of the shopkeepers here have spent significant time selling goods.

The flea market has both an outdoor and an indoor area that attracts many businesses offering their goods at low prices.

There are a lot of products that can only be found at this flea market. 

Moreover, the shopping area is climate controlled and also has free parking. The market is open on weekends, year-round. 

Where to Stay

Next on the list for planning your trip is to find decent and affordable hotels in Sweetwater; the internet can drive you crazy with the many options.

Gladly, I found the perfect place to stay and also unwind, all at the same time. My search stopped at OYO Hotel. The property is only 11 minutes away from the famous Lost Sea.

The hotel also offers many amenities such as free Wi-Fi, valet parking, anytime check-in (great for people who drive to visit here), AC, TV, mini-fridge, seating area, geyser, CCTV cameras, PlayStation, Jacuzzi and more at an astounding price. 

____

This story was brought to you in partnership with OYO Hotel.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends: