Boating Around Kentuky Lake, KY
Time Well Spent
Tucked in the southwestern corner of Kentucky and stretching south into Tennessee, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley together comprise one of the largest man-made bodies of water in the world. The two finger-shaped reservoirs have more than 3,000 miles of shoreline between them and boaters can cross from one to the other via the Barkley Canal, at the regions northern tip. Both lakes are studded with full service marinas and secluded anchorages, and many facilities rent vessels, including houseboats. The region is a magnet for anglers trying to hook bluegills, catfish, and bass, but there’s plenty to do beyond casting a line. Explore the many forestrimmed coves, keeping an eye out for mallards and pintail ducks. Kentucky Lake is a great stop on your exploration of the Tenn-Tom, a cruise we recommend.
What to do
Hiking and Outdoor adventures
The 170,000 acre tract that separtates the two bodies of water is known as the LBL, or Land Between the Lakes, a wilderness area created by John F. Kennedy in 1963. The LBL offers a wide range of outdoor experiences including the Elk & Bison Prairie, where native species have been reintroduced and now roam freely; the Homeplace 1850, a working recreation of a 19th century farm; and the WoodlandsNature Station, an interactive interpretive center that brings the regions natural beauty to life.
Nature, Space, and Shopping
The Golden Pond Planetarium & Observatory has four telecopes for viewing the dazzling night sky. The park’s many former logging roads are perfect for cycling, and there’s a designated section for zipping around on ATVs over more than 100 miles of trails. In short, the destination has something for everyone, even for those who would rather shop than cruise—antiques shops, Amish greenhouses, and an outlet mall are all within easy access.
What to eat
Bee Spring Grill
Best known for their breakfast, which is said to be the best breakfast on Kentucky Lake. Try their famous Country Ham with REAL red eye gravy or the homemade pancakes. Everything is made to order. Enjoy breakfast or lunch inside at the cozy counter, or take in the atmosphere outside on the beautiful brick patio. (573 Bee Spring Rd., 270-354-6515)
Buzzard Rock Cafe
Overlooks the bay and is a favorite for boaters and locals alike. The Buzzard Rock Cafe serves up "American Cuisine" - good home-cooking and the best burger on the lakes. Their ribs were voted "Best Ribs" on the lake. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday afternoon. (985 Buzzard Rock Rd., 800-826-6238)
Dockers Bayside Grill
Perfect after a day of swimming and boating for a snack or a full breakfast or lunch. With daily specials, this trip won't break the bank but the food is delicious.Menu favorites include the sink your boat omelet, the turtle burger, grilled chicken salad, and Dockers' famous desserts. The restaurant is overlooking the bay is is hearty and heart healthy.
Where to dock
Green Turtle Bay Houseboat Rentals (270-362-0121) is located on beautiful Lake Barkley at the Green Turtle Bay Resort in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Grand Rivers is your gateway to the northern entrance of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL), and Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the largest bodies of fresh water between the Great Lakes and the Gulf. A part of Waterway Adventures, Green Turtle Bay Houseboat Rentals makes Lake Barkely and Kentucky Lake your premier houseboat vacation destination. Over 200,000 acres of pristine cruising waters, secluded shorelines, intimate coves and the "Land between The Lakes Federal Recreation Area" will make your Green Turtle Bay Houseboat Rentals vacation unforgettable.
Beaver Creek Resort (606-348-7280) is an energetic marina full of activities, clubs, and amenities chosen for the active boater who demands ease and convenience in a fun family friendly atmosphere. Amenities include slips with water and electricity, covered or uncovered slips, transient dockage, fuel dock open 24 Hours - 365 days a year, shower and bath facilities, and laundry facilities.
Burnside Marina (606-561-4223) is located on the eastern side of Lake Cumberland, and known for its houseboat vacation rentals near the town of Somerset, Kentucky. Burnside Marina is a full service facility offering floating boat slips with direct access to the lake. Visitors to Lake Cumberland will find Burnside Marina Vacation Houseboat Rental along with the Boat and Personal Watercraft Rentals the perfect way to spend a day on the lake. While visiting the lake you may want to check out nearby Somerset which offers excellent shopping and many other activities such as concerts, music festivals, car shows, craft shows, and more.
Jamestown Resort & Marina (270-343-5253) is KY's best kept secret located on south central KY on beautiful Lake Cumberland. It has over1200 mi of shoreline, great houseboating lake. They have over 640 slips, 25 lg houseboats, and a 200 seat restaurant located on the water.
Green Turtle Bay Resort & Marina (270-362-8364) has 450 slips,many of them for transient boaters, plus repair services and several courtesy cars for exploring and provisioning. The two on-site restaurants are excellent—Dockers Bayside Grill serves up omelets and burgers for a hearty breakfast or lunch; Commonwealth Yacht Club overlooks the harbor and is a great choice for dinner or Sunday brunch. Reservations are required for the Yacht Club. The nearby town of Grand Rivers is a short stroll away and has lots of cute shops as well as Patti’s 1880s Restaurant, a beloved restaurant famous for its two-inch pork chops and house-made pies.