Ky Lake


Kentucky Lake

Since 2000
Murray Mayfield Paducah

Kentucky Lake is the massive resort region of far western Kentucky. Although the common term for the region is "Kentucky Lake," it actually includes a second big body of water, Barkley Lake, and the Land Between The Lakes National Park, which is a 100 mile peninsula between those waters. The lakes extend all the way across Kentucky and Tennessee and into Alabama. Kentucky Lake includes more miles of shoreline than any other lake in North America. All that water obviously offers swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, diving, sailing, kayaking, wind surfing and kite boarding. But the Land Between the Lakes offers hiking, biking, backpacking, horseback riding, historical sites, nature study and living history exhibits. The largest buffalo herd east of the Mississippi roams there, as do deer, hawks, owls, eagles, three dozen species of birds and a dozen species of small mammals. The fish are legendary, especially the giant Paddlefish and Catfish (see top right). The shorelines are dotted with resorts, marinas, fishing camps, small towns, houseboats and rental cottages. 250 restaurants serve all these people. Most of them are fast food outlets, snack bars and national chains. But there are many outstanding restaurants down there. The commercial center of Paducah and the college town of Murray contain several each. The state parks and shoreline resorts contain some more. The rest are scattered around the area, on or close to the water.

Kentucky Lake is the only rural area of Kentucky with enough sitdown restaurants to justify divisions. We've divided the area into Paducah, Murray, Mayfield and the actual Lakeshore. Paducah, the only real city down there, has redeveloped its downtown and offers a dozen really good restaurants. If you're vacationing at the lake for a week or two, on a rainy day you need to drive north into Paducah and peruse the art galleries, boutiques and other attractions. While you're there, eat lunch at one restaurant and dinner at another. Murray is the region's college town. Murray State is a great small university, with one of the nation's top Fisheries majors, Division I basketball, and the lake in its backyard for recreation. It's worth half a day to visit the university, check out the shops, and eat lunch and dinner at two of its college style restaurants. Mayfield is a classic Mid South small town with a strong agricultural atmosphere. Out around the lakes, as you might imagine, restaurants tend to feature fish and, if possible, views of the water. This is not a large region. During a week or two stay you can sample all three towns and both sides of the lakes.
Central Ky
Kentucky Lake
Northern Ky
The Mountains
Western Ky
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