Now that warm weather is settling in, it’s time to explore all the wonderful watery nooks and coves of Western Kentucky’s nature-filled recreational treasures, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Whether you’re planning a family jaunt; focusing on fishing, sailing or water skiing; riding a horse or an ATV; ferreting out antiques or simply craving the peace of nature, these gorgeous waterlands can fill your bill.
And there’s no more comfortable place to put your feet up at the end of a vacation day than at a bed and breakfast.
“Our farm has been in my husband’s family for years,” said Jan Elkins of their 200-acre spread near Benton. “It’s so beautiful, and we wanted to share it with other people.”
So in April 2007, Seven Creeks Bed and Breakfast opened its gates – sheep, goats, dogs, cats, chickens and all – to offer overnights in two “cottage/Texas décor” bedrooms, complete with creeks, country grounds, an outdoor Jacuzzi, an antique claw foot tub and handmade quilts.
Breakfast can range from homemade granola and bagels to a groaning board of ham, biscuits and gravy, all cooked by Elkins. Once you fill up on tasty vittles, you can head out to explore the lakes area of Western Kentucky.
If the water is calling, Lighthouse Landing can teach you how to sail or Buzzard Rock Marina can put you on the water to fish or tool around in a motorboat. Hit the links on the shores of Lake Barkley at Mineral Mound State Park’s 18-hole course, with its woodsy front nine and lake-view back nine.
History hounds can snoop around two nearby Civil War battle sites, Eddyville Cobbs Battery and Sacramento. At Happy Trails Riding Stables in Eddyville you can saddle up on a trusty cayuse. Or if you just want to be entertained, do it Branson-style at the Kentucky Opry in Draffenville.
Nearby Grand Rivers offers two eateries to sate your traveler’s appetite. Patti’s 1880’s Settlement is famous for its two-inch grilled pork chops and “mile-high” coconut, lemon and chocolate meringue pies. But if you’re looking for not-quite-so-heavy, the Lite Side Deli and Garden Café serves yummy, healthy breakfasts and lunches and will even pack a picnic for you.
A comfy lodging with a Paducah address, Rosewood Inn Bed and Breakfast is actually in the country, with a pretty pond and horses frolicking in its fields. Guest suites all feature private baths and whirlpool tubs. Breakfast is served in the indoor dining room or outside on the veranda.
Though Rosewood specializes in the country experience, the inn is but 15 minutes from that Paducah’s river city charm, including the renowned Museum of the American Quilter’s Society, the Floodwall Murals and the 26-block LowerTown Arts District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
But if it’s quiet time close to nature you’re craving, Lakehouse Retreat Bed and Breakfast sits at the terminus of a dead end road outside Kuttawa on the shores of Lake Barkley, where you can perch on a wide deck and watch deer feeding; yachts, sailboats and paddle wheelers drifting downstream; and eagles, osprey and blue herons soaring above.
Amenities at the chalet-style home include 230 feet of beachfront, wireless Internet, a full breakfast and a Jacuzzi that overlooks the water.
“We have total peace and quiet and privacy… no traffic, no planes,” said Trecia Westlie, who, with her husband Al, has owned and run the lodging since 2006. “All you’ll ever hear is a barge going down the lake.”