It’s easy to wrongly assume that people in landlocked states can’t enjoy the same beach fun as those in coastal locations, but many inland areas have their own unique stretches of sand and water to enjoy, and Kentucky is a prime example.

There are plenty of unique beach spots to spend a sunny day in the Bluegrass State, and this guide will tell you all about them.

1. Cherokee State Park

Cherokee State Park
© Schlierner/

Kentucky Lake is the site of many of Kentucky's best beaches. One of the state's top recreation areas, Kentucky Lake is ideally suited for all kinds of activities, including hiking, cycling, and fishing, and is a wonderful place for people to get away from the cities and feel at one with nature.

Cherokee State Park, over in Aurora, is a great place to enjoy the lake. There are various sandy expanses to be found around the park and you can enjoy some gorgeous views of the surrounding scenery here, as well as having more than enough space for picnics and beach games. More Kentucky State Parks

2. Barren River Lake

Barren River Lake
© shodography/

Kentucky has a lot of large lakes that stand out as some of the state's finest recreational areas, and Barren River Lake is one of the best. Situated in the southern part of Kentucky, this lake provides the perfect conditions for a myriad of fun activities.

On a warm day, the waters here are just right for swimming and splashing around with the kids. Barren River Lake is also a great fishing spot and if you'd like to spend a full weekend or longer here, various camping facilities can be found right nearby, along with private cabins available to rent.

3. Beaches Near Me: Carr Creek State Park

Beaches Near Me: Carr Creek State Park
© SolisImages/

If you're looking for a good beach in east Kentucky, Carr Creek State Park is the one for you.

Covering several hundred acres of land, this state park is built around a huge lake with several soft sandy areas for people of all ages to enjoy.

Some excellent swimming can be enjoyed at this Kentucky beach, making it a nice spot for families and friends to hang out together, and the lake is home to many different species of prize fish too, so it's a fine spot to do some fishing. More day trips in Kentucky

4. Beaches in Kentucky: Buckhorn State Park

Beaches in Kentucky: Buckhorn State Park
© tashas/

Also in the eastern side of Kentucky, Buckhorn State Park is another of the state's best beach locations. Buckhorn Lake is a real natural wonder and a must-visit location for any kind of outdoor or nature enthusiast.

The beach here is even equipped with some nice, clean amenities like restrooms and changing rooms.

Buckhorn State Park is one of the best beaches in Kentucky for couples, offering a really romantic atmosphere at any time of day, especially in the evenings when you can sit on the sand and watch the sun go down.

More ideas: Best Water Parks in Kentucky

You are reading "11 Best Beaches in Kentucky" near me today?

5. The Moors Resort and Marina

The Moors Resort and Marina

Since Kentucky Lake is the biggest artificial lake in terms of surface area on the eastern side of the Mississippi River, it's no surprise to see it popping up again in our list. The Moors Resort, over in Gilbertsville, is another excellent Kentucky beach spot from which to admire the beauty of this lake and the surrounding landscapes. Lots of scenic trails can be enjoyed nearby, and the beaches here provide soft sands and lots of sunshine all through the summer, with some good swimming spots too. This is one of the best family-friendly beaches in Kentucky.

6. Beach Near Me: Pennyrile State Park

Beach Near Me: Pennyrile State Park
© nenetus/

Located near the town of Dawson Springs, Pennyrile State Park is another beautiful beach area in the Bluegrass State. There's a lot of nice scenery here and it's an excellent place for people of all ages to gather together and have fun of all kinds. Whether you're looking to stay active with activities like hiking and swimming or simply enjoy the peace and quiet, Pennyrile State Park is a great Kentucky beach to visit. It's also a nice camping spot and there are several pretty cabins available to rent in the area.

7. Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
© Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park

A favored resort amongst visitors and locals, the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is popular for its ideal location, an abundance of activities, and superb options for accommodations and dining. The resort is nestled within a 170,000-acre peninsula filled with dense forests and surrounded by pristine lake waters. Guests can choose between the lodge, which offers private patios and balconies with every room, private cottages, and over 200 paved campsites equipped with utility hookups. For activities, there’s plenty to do including boating over the 160,000-acre lake, exploring 120 miles of hiking trails, and playing on the 18-hole championship golf course. Lucky visitors may also get the chance to spot American Bald Eagles, which commonly nesting in the area year-round.

113 Administration Drive, Calvert City, Kentucky 42044, Phone: 270-362-4271

8. Lake Barkley State Resort Park

Lake Barkley State Resort Park
© Patrick Jennings/

Situated perfectly along the wooded shoreline of Lake Barkley, guests of the Lake Barkley State Resort Park can enjoy both beachside and forest activities. The park is home to a seasonal public beach offering volleyball, fishing, and boating, along with private indoor and outdoor pools exclusive to resort guests. Aside from water activities, guests can explore inland with miles of scenic hiking and biking trails. Bird lovers will especially enjoy the park’s thriving ecosystem filled with over 200 species to be observed. The resort offers a number of accommodations from lakeside rooms and suites in the main lodge, to private cottages and log cabins, to several campgrounds situated throughout the park.

3500 State Park Road, Cadiz, Kentucky 42211, Phone: 270-924-1131

9. Closest beach to me: Green River Lake State Park

Closest beach to me: Green River Lake State Park
© Peakstock/

Green River Lake State Park is a great stop for nature lovers. The park is home to a massive 8,200-acre lake lined with a relaxing sandy beach shore. Visitors have the opportunity to stay at the lakeside campgrounds complete with facilities like a grocery, dump station, bathrooms, and even laundry facilities. There are loads to do out on the lake with boat and water sport rentals available at the marina. The park also has over 1,300 acres of land filled with diverse wildlife and fun activities. Parkgoers can enjoy a game on the 18-hole miniature golf course, hike along the various scenic trails, and even go horseback riding through the forest.

197 Park Office Road, Campbellsville, Kentucky 42718; Phone: 270-465-8255

10. Romantic Beaches in Kentucky: Nolin Lake State Park

Romantic Beaches in Kentucky: Nolin Lake State Park
© Michele/

This beautiful state park only opened for public enjoyment in May 2001 and has since become a popular spot for fishers and campers alike. Those looking for some quiet relaxation amongst nature will definitely want to stop for a visit to Nolin Lake State Park. Boaters and licensed fishers can explore the massive 5,795-acre lake filled with prize catch like bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish. Along the shore, a comfortable sandy beach makes a great spot for swimming, sightseeing, and lakeside camping. The 333-acre park offers more than 70 campsites throughout its land area, some equipped with water and electricity hookups. There’s plenty to explore inland including a 9-mile trail where visitors can hike, bike, and observe various wildlife displays.

2998 Brier Creek Road, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky 42259; Phone: 270-286-4240

You are reading "11 Best Beaches in Kentucky", cheap and closest to me now

11. Rough River Dam State Resort Park

Rough River Dam State Resort Park
© Rough River Dam State Resort Park

Known for its deep waters, licensed visitors can experience one of Kentucky’s best fishing spots at Rough River Dam. Here, anglers can rent a pontoon and relax on the 5,000-acre lake amongst an abundance of fish. Along the shore, a scenic public beach and volleyball court are also available for those wanting to enjoy the sand and gentle lake waves. Accommodations are plentiful within the park including a 40-room lodge offering private balconies and patios, 17 two-bedroom cottages situated near the lake, and several primitive and electric campsites for every kind of camper. Other activities include miniature golf, basketball, and a beautiful nature trail where hikers can spot various birds including Bald Eagles.

450 Lodge Road, Falls of Rough, Kentucky 40119; Phone: 270-257-2311

12. More Info About Kentucky Beaches

More Info About Kentucky Beaches
© tonktiti/

Beautiful beaches can be found all around the United States of America, but when we think of American beaches, our minds tend to inevitably drift towards the coastal states and cities. Places like Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, Miami Beach in Florida, or Malibu Beach in California stand out as some of the nation's finest shoreline spots. There are also the famously charming and traditional beaches of New England or the paradisiacal postcard sands of Hawaii. It’s easy to forget that many of America’s inland states also benefit from their own beautiful beaches too. They might not look out on the Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, but beaches can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Kentucky, for example, is one state that is rarely associated with beaches. The reality, however, is very different. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches for Kentucky residents and visitors to enjoy without even needing to leave the state. The Bluegrass State is home to a lot of vast lakes, many of which have their own gorgeous beaches for people of all ages to enjoy. Another great advantage of Kentucky lakes is that they offer a lot of variety. Whether you're looking to swim, sunbathe, play games, watch the sunset, fish, hike, cycle, camp, or more, you'll find what you're looking for in the beaches of Kentucky.

The 11 Best Beaches in Kentucky near me today according to local experts:

More Ideas: Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina

Set on the shores of the Cumberland River, the Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina is a family-friendly waterfront resort that offers individually owned condo townhomes for vacation rentals, as well as a marina, a private beach and spa, two restaurants and an array of recreational facilities. Located on the eastern edge of the picturesque little village of Grand Rivers on Lake Barkley, the Green Turtle Bay Resort is ideal for a family vacation with fully furnished apartments and condos, two swimming pools and tennis courts, a fully equipped fitness center with an indoor swimming pool and sauna, as well as special activities and programs for children. Renowned as the premier marina resort on Lake Barkley in Western Kentucky, the Green Turtle Bay Resort, and Marina is a gateway to the Land Between the Lakes Federal Recreational Area.

The Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina offers a range of fully furnished condos in one, two, three, and four bedroom units for vacation rentals. Each condo is appointed in a variety of styles and tastefully decorated with comfortable décor and furnishings with fully-equipped kitchens, including washer and dryers, spacious living areas with pull-out sofas and fireplaces, cozy bedrooms with plush beds and private bathrooms with showers and baths. Condos have outdoor areas with gas grills, outdoor dining facilities, and lovely views, and all units are equipped with linens, towels and complimentary coffee and tea accompaniments.

The Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina offer two dining locations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Overlooking the harbor and marina, the Commonwealth Yacht Club rests at the centerpiece of Green Turtle Bay Resort and offers a diverse menu of continental cuisine and an extensive wine list. The Commonwealth Yacht Club is open seasonally from mid-February through December.

The Dockers Bayside Grille serves hearty and healthy menus for hearty breakfasts and healthy lunches, as well as a range of beverages. From hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast to freshly prepared salads and sandwiches for lunch, the Dockers Bayside Grille has something for everyone. The Dockers Bayside Grille is open seasonally from March through November. The Village Market and Café sells a variety of essentials, groceries, and other sundries.

The Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina offers a wealth of amenities, facilities and services for guests staying at the resort, ranging from two restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to an award-winning marina with 450 slips for all types of water vessels. Facilities at the resort include a full-service spa, a fully equipped fitness center with an indoor swimming pool, sauna and showers, two outdoor swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, tennis courts, and a store that sells the latest in nautical fashions, accessories, and home décor. Other amenities include pontoon boat and watersport rentals; a ship works repairs and service yard, a dry rack storage, and a conference center that can accommodate up to 120 guests. Green Turtle Bay Boat Rentals offers a large variety of water sports rentals, including kayaks, tubes, skis and stand-up paddleboards, as well as double-deck pontoon boats, an Avalon luxury pontoon and Triton with water slides, and Alumacraft fishing boats.

The Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina has a new Conference Center that can accommodate up to 120 guests in a picturesque setting for a diverse variety of events. Situated on a wooded knoll overlooking Engineer's Cove and the Dry Stack storage bay, the Conference Center features three flexible and versatile meeting rooms that can be converted into one large room if required, as well as a separate Executive Boardroom for smaller gatherings. Additional services include catering and beverage supply, event planning and management and concierge services.

263 Green Turtle Bay Drive, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, Phone: 270-362-8364

More Ideas: Maple Hill Manor

Kentucky is well known as the horse capital of the world, home to thoroughbreds belonging to princes and Hollywood royalty alike. With rolling hills of bluegrass, bourbon, and historical charm it is no wonder that this area attracts astute vacationers.

Maple Hill Manor is a charming bed and breakfast located in Springfield close to Bardstown and is a glimpse into the Antebellum past. This working Llama and Alpaca farm is a preserved home reminiscent of a quieter more simple time.

Keeping with the historical preservation of the property, each room is a unique step back in time. Guests can enjoy the relaxing whirlpool or lounge by their fireplace in the premium rooms. Each room comes with a Full Country Breakfast, anytime beverages, and a homemade dessert. The property is smoke free to preserve the historical integrity of the location. Each room bears the name of a significant southern historical figure.

The McElroy Honeymoon Hideaway is designed and furnished with all the nuances of a romantic retreat. It contains a two-person whirlpool, a fireplace along with a lush queen bed. Crown molding, custom curtains, high thread-count cotton, are just some of the details which make this the ideal romantic getaway. This room contains an exterior entrance and patio.

Stephen Collins Foster wrote the well loved state song, "My Old Kentucky Home" and is the namesake for the room containing two horse themed oil paintings. These images evoke for the guest the regional connection to the horse industry with all the glamour it contains. This room contains a queen-sized four-poster bed and stunning views of the "Butterfly Moon Garden" out the large windows. The Foster contains a walk-in shower and private bath, with an electric fireplace and whirlpool, another excellent choice for a honeymoon.

Bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the John James Audubon room. The framed pictures of local birds and the outdoor views overlooking the neighboring horse farms creates a relaxing ambiance. The Audubon contains a Queen canopy bed with a cozy Alpaca blanket, a gas fireplace and lush decor. This room can be combined with the Stephen Foster room for larger family or group accommodations.

Guests can enjoy the elegance of the mahogany decor in the cozy Abraham Lincoln Library. This room is ideal for bibliophiles and history buffs. The bed is a Half-Tester Queen, with mahogany bed frame and the walls are lined with shelves of antique books and collectibles. The gas fire place is a great place to unwind with a good book or to relax and watch the scenic sunsets.

The Jefferson Davis is another second floor room with antique decor and a wrought-iron canopy bed. The oversized windows overlook the Butterfly Moon Garden and neighboring farms. There is also a gas fireplace. Extra bedding can be reserved for added sleep availability for a small fee.

The Clara Barton offers a spacious airy feel, with lighter decorations creating a summertime ambiance any time of year. The windows invite with views of the Gazebo and gardens. Guests can watch the Llama's frolic in the front pastures as they enjoy their stay in this room. This room connects with the Harriet Beecher Stowe room for larger groups and families.

With more views of the Wedding Gazebo, this getaway is great for a ladies retreat. This space contains a queen bed and two twin beds, and the antique decor creates a truly elegant escape. This room connects with the Clara Barton Room and the McElroy in any combination of the two. Extra sleep accommodations can be added.

Located in perfect distance from Lexington or Lousiville, the Maple Hill Manor is an enviable location for the special day. The property contains the famous Butterfly Moon Garden, one of many flower gardens on the property. This special garden is comprised only of white flowers causing it to appear to glow on a full moon night. This ivory backdrop is also the perfect backdrop to a wedding. The Wedding Gazebo offers another enchanting possibility, along with the available Horse and Carriage rides. Rolling hills, scenic views and Maple lined lawns ensure the perfect backdrop to these special events. Guests and wedding parties can contact the Director of Events, to ensure the day goes off without a hitch.

The central location also makes Maple Hill Manor a great place to host a corporate retreat. The property contains a variety of both indoor and outdoor venues, with a meeting room which can seat up to 30 guests. The dining room is available with seating up to 25 to 50 for a dinner or lunch meeting. Corporate amenities include the use of high speed internet, flip charts and markers, large screen television, business services and transportation.

Maple Hill Manor also has a playful side. The location is perfect for the old-style cozy mysteries which are hosted at the property. Guests can play the part while enjoying the gourmet dinner. Guests can either sign up for an open event, in which the property sets the date once enough people have joined, or they can reserve the locale themselves for a party of friends and families.

The Manor will provide everything needed including the invitations, character lists, costume ideas (guests provide their own costume) and catering. A variety of whimsical themes are available including the Luau Birthday, a '20's Chicago Gangster theme, the English Castle, or 1950's Happy Days for smaller groups from 6-8 participants.

Larger groups from 8 and up can visit Ancient Rome with the Terror in a Toga event. Other choices include a Knight of Murder, the medieval setting, or a variety of Wild West themes. Participants can travel through time with the variety of decades, from the hopping '50's to the tubular '80's, the possibilities are endless. There are even a variety of Ladies Only mysteries available. These include the Bachelorettes & Bullets for a unique pre-wedding event. Also, Killing for the Crown, Death by Chocolate and Stop the Presents. Teenagers can even take part in the fun with the Love Letter, a night of mystery designed specially for a younger age range.

2941 Perryville Road, US 150 East Springfield, KY 40069, Phone: 800-886-7546

More Ideas: Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa

Enveloped by the rolling hills of Kentucky’s beautiful Bluegrass Country, the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa offers an authentic Southern oasis. The luxury hotel features stylish accommodations with private bathrooms and modern amenities, award-winning cuisine and an array of first-class facilities and guest services, including a full-service spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center and a Rees Jones designed golf course. The hotel also boasts 28,000 square feet of event space for weddings and conferences and is within a short drive from several notable attractions such as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Keeneland Race Track, and Kentucky Horse Park.

The Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa features stylishly appointed guest rooms and suites with contemporary décor and furnishings, private bathrooms, work desks and chairs, and modern amenities. Conveniences include pillow-top mattresses, premium linens, flat-panel LCD TVs with premium movie channels, coffee makers, mini-refrigerators and complimentary bottled water, telephones with voicemail services, and free wireless Internet. Additional services include room service, local restaurant delivery, newspaper delivery, laundry and valet dry cleaning services and daily housekeeping services.

Standard Guest Rooms are 312 square feet in size and feature one king or two queen-sized beds with pillow-top mattresses and duvets, and en-suite bathrooms with granite countertops, dual sinks, walk-in showers and marble floors. Sitting areas feature workstations with good lighting and comfortable chairs lounge chairs for relaxing. Other room types include Concierge Level and Balcony Rooms, and One-Bedroom Hospitality Suites.

Guests can enjoy a variety of breakfast options in the hotel dining room, ranging from Buffet and Continental Breakfast to Full American or Hot breakfasts. Other dining options around the property include JW’s Steakhouse, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves a range of All-American cuisine inspired by the surrounding local Bluegrass heritage. JW's Lounge offers casual fare and cocktails for lunch and dinner, while 19th Hole is a newly renovated restaurant overlooking the 19th hole of the golf course that serves light fare and beverages for breakfast and lunch. Starbucks® Coffee House offers great specialty coffees, teas and pastries throughout the day and Top Deck is a seasonal outdoor café-style bar that offers delicious snacks and refreshing drinks in a laid-back atmosphere.

The Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa offers an array of amenities, facilities and guest services to enhance every stay, ranging from a full-service spa and fitness center to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a Rees Jones designed golf course. The Spa at Griffin Gate presents a range of indulgent treatments and massages, including massages, skin care and facials, body treatments and manicures/pedicures. The hotel’s 24-hour fitness center is fully equipped with a range of cardiovascular equipment, and the indoor and outdoor swimming pools are open year-round with towels provided. The 18-hole, par-72 Rees Jones-designed championship golf course is set on 250 acres and offers a scenic and challenging Bluegrass golf experience.

The Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa offers beautiful venues for weddings, receptions, and other special celebrations, as well as corporate functions and business meetings. Six unique wedding venues and reception halls dotted about the 220 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds cater for every type of event, whether small and intimate or large and formal and include a variety of services such as catering, planning and management, and more. Venues range from The Mansion, a historic 19th-century antebellum mansion that can accommodate smaller wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners, as well as outdoor ceremonies on the lawn to the spectacular 9,570-square foot Grand Ballroom that accommodates up to 700 guests for receptions. Other venues include the Bluegrass Pavilion & Patio with beautiful views of the groomed grounds and golf course; the Paddock Pavilion & Patio that boasts 5,400 square feet of space; and the beautiful reception hall of the Terrace Ballroom that is perfect for intimate weddings of up to 100 people.

The hotel also caters for business functions and conferences with a variety of smaller rooms for private events and the Grand Ballroom which can accommodate up to 1,200 guests for large meetings and conventions. All business venues have state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, delicious and unique catering menus and the Paddock Pavilion offers 5,400 square feet of inviting outdoor space for pre- and post-function events.

1800 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40511, Phone: 859-231-5100