Grand Rivers is a city in the picturesque heart of western Kentucky. The city beckons with its unique blend of natural splendor and rich cultural heritage.
With an annual influx of over 2 million visitors, Grand Rivers has firmly established itself as a sought-after tourist destination.
The town’s history traces back to the late 19th century when it emerged as a hub for trade along the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Its strategic location facilitated the transportation of goods, earning it the moniker “Grand Rivers” due to the convergence of these two major waterways.
Today, Grand Rivers stands as a charming testament to its past, boasting a quaint waterfront, historic architecture, and a warm, welcoming community.
One of the primary reasons for its popularity among tourists is the proximity to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, a sprawling natural wonderland that spans two lakes and offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching.
The weather in Grand Rivers is typical of the southern United States, with hot summers and mild winters.
The best time to visit is during the spring and fall when the temperatures are comfortable and the area’s natural beauty is at its peak. Summers are perfect for water activities, while winter months provide a cozy atmosphere for indoor exploration.
With its enchanting history, natural beauty, and vibrant community, Grand Rivers beckons travelers year-round, promising an unforgettable experience in the heart of Kentucky.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Grand Rivers has something to offer everyone. This article will explore the 16 most fun things to do in Grand Rivers, KY.
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1. Lakes National Recreation Area
One of the crown jewels of western Kentucky, Land Between the Lakes offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from hiking and wildlife watching to fishing and camping. It’s a nature lover’s paradise right on the doorstep of Grand Rivers.
People created it in the 1960s to protect the land and provide fun for everyone. It’s a big area, covering about 170,000 acres.
Many animals live there, like deer, elk, and even bison. People visit to see these animals and enjoy nature. There are two big lakes here: Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. People love fishing and boating on them.
History buffs like it too because there are old houses and places to learn about the past. It’s a great place for families to go camping, hiking, and picnicking. Plus, there are fun events throughout the year.
1820 Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
2. Cabin Pizza
Cabin Pizza in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a local favorite known for its unique take on pizza. Unlike the traditional round pizzas, Cabin Pizza offers a square-shaped, thick-crust delight that has won the hearts of many.
This tasty pizza style was inspired by Detroit’s famous Detroit-style pizza, characterized by its deep-dish square shape and crispy edges. It’s believed that this style of pizza first made its way to Grand Rivers to cater to the town’s hungry locals and visitors.
Cabin Pizza stands out with its thick, airy crust that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The toppings are generously placed, and the cheese often goes right to the edge of the pan, creating a mouthwatering caramelized crust.
One interesting fact is that Cabin Pizza is known for its “upside-down” preparation, where the sauce is spread on top of the cheese, giving it a unique and delicious taste. It’s become a beloved dish in Grand Rivers and a must-try for anyone visiting this charming Kentucky town.
So, if you’re in Grand Rivers, don’t miss the chance to savor a slice of local history and flavor at Cabin Pizza, where a square pizza with crispy edges and delightful toppings awaits your taste buds.
2040 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
3. Patti’s 1880’s Settlement
A visit to Grand Rivers wouldn’t be complete without dining at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement. Famous for its mouthwatering two-inch-thick pork chops and mile-high meringue pies, this restaurant provides a taste of southern comfort like no other.
This unique establishment first opened its doors in the 1970s within a historical log cabin. It quickly gained fame for its homestyle cooking and cozy atmosphere. Patti’s began as a small restaurant and has since grown into a sprawling complex, including beautiful gardens and gift shops.
One of the standout features of Patti’s is its legendary two-inch-thick pork chops, which have garnered a loyal following. The restaurant is also famous for its mile-high meringue pies, known for their delicious and decadent taste.
Patti’s 1880’s Settlement offers visitors not only a memorable dining experience but also a glimpse into the past. The restaurant’s decor reflects the charm of the 1880s, providing a delightful ambiance that complements its historic surroundings.
For those seeking a taste of history and exquisite Southern cuisine, Patti’s 1880’s Settlement is a must-visit destination in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. It continues to be a beloved spot for both locals and tourists alike.
1793 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
4. Badgett Playhouse
The Badgett Playhouse is a renowned local theater that hosts a variety of entertaining shows throughout the year. From musical performances to comedy acts, there’s always something happening here.
Established in 1992, the Badgett Playhouse has been a hub for live performances, including musicals, comedies, and various entertaining shows. It provides a platform for local talent to shine and has gained a reputation for its high-quality productions.
One interesting fact about the Badgett Playhouse is that it’s located within the Green Turtle Bay Resort, a picturesque waterfront resort, offering visitors a unique blend of entertainment and relaxation.
The theater’s cozy setting and intimate atmosphere create an enjoyable experience for theatergoers. It’s a place where families, friends, and tourists come together to enjoy a night of entertainment.
The Badgett Playhouse has become integral to Grand Rivers’ cultural scene, adding to the town’s charm and appeal. For those seeking an evening of entertainment and a taste of local talent, this theater is a must-visit destination in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
1838 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
5. Kentucky Lake
With over 160,000 acres of water, Kentucky Lake offers excellent fishing opportunities. Cast your line and try to reel in some bass, crappie, or catfish while enjoying the beautiful lake scenery.
Kentucky Lake is a massive man-made reservoir with a fascinating history and numerous interesting facts.
Constructed in the 1930s as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) project, Kentucky Lake was created by damming the Tennessee River. This endeavor aimed to control flooding, generate electricity, and provide recreational opportunities for the region.
One notable fact is that Kentucky Lake is one of the largest artificial lakes by surface area in the United States, covering around 160,300 acres. It stretches for about 184 miles, offering ample space for various water activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.
The lake is renowned for its diverse fish population, making it a prime destination for anglers. It’s teeming with species like bass, crappie, and catfish, providing excellent fishing opportunities year-round.
Kentucky Lake’s scenic beauty and abundant wildlife make it a hotspot for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers. The surrounding area is home to countless species of birds, creating a birdwatcher’s paradise.
With its rich history and recreational opportunities, Kentucky Lake has become a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts and a significant contributor to the local economy.
Whether you’re seeking adventure on the water or simply want to enjoy the serene surroundings, Kentucky Lake offers something for everyone
1858 J H O’Bryan Ave. PO Box 181. Grand Rivers KY 42045, United States
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6. Grand Rivers Quilt Show
The Grand Rivers Quilt Show is a delightful annual event held in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, that celebrates the artistry of quilting and its rich cultural significance.
Established in 1994, the Grand Rivers Quilt Show has grown over the years to become a cherished tradition in the community. It attracts quilters and visitors from near and far, showcasing the town’s commitment to preserving and promoting this beautiful craft.
One interesting fact about the quilt show is that it typically features a wide array of quilts, from traditional designs to contemporary works of art. Quilters of all skill levels are encouraged to participate, creating a diverse and inspiring display.
The event not only serves as a platform for showcasing intricate and beautifully crafted quilts but also offers educational opportunities through workshops and demonstrations. Visitors can learn about various quilting techniques and gain insights into the history and cultural significance of quilting.
The Grand Rivers Quilt Show is a testament to the town’s vibrant arts and crafts community and its dedication to preserving the art of quilting. It continues to attract both enthusiasts and novices, fostering a sense of creativity and community spirit in Grand Rivers.
Grand Rivers Community Center, 155 W Cumberland Ave, Grand Rivers,KY 42045, United States
7. Grand Rivers Inn
The Grand Rivers Inn, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a historic and charming hotel known for its rich history and cozy accommodations.
The Grand Rivers Inn was built in the 1880s. It has a storied past, having served as a prominent hotel and boarding house in the late 19th century. It played a crucial role in accommodating travelers and visitors during a time when the town was a bustling hub for river commerce.
One interesting fact about the inn is that it has been lovingly restored to its former glory, preserving its original architecture and historical charm. The inn’s antique furnishings and period decor offer guests a glimpse into the past while providing modern comforts and amenities.
Today, the Grand Rivers Inn is a popular choice for visitors looking for a unique and nostalgic lodging experience.
Its convenient location in the heart of Grand Rivers makes it an ideal base for exploring the town’s attractions, including the nearby Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
For those seeking a blend of history and comfort, the Grand Rivers Inn is a welcoming and memorable place to stay in this quaint Kentucky town.
1949 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
8. Grand Rivers Arts & Crafts Festival
The Grand Rivers Arts & Crafts Festival, held annually in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a beloved event that celebrates creativity, craftsmanship, and community spirit.
Founded in 1973, the festival has a long and storied history of bringing together artisans and crafters from across the region. It was initiated to showcase local craftsmen’s talent and skill and has since grown into a significant cultural event.
The festival typically features a wide range of handmade items, from intricate jewelry and textiles to woodwork and ceramics. It’s a great place to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and home decor.
In addition to the arts and crafts, the festival offers a variety of food vendors and live entertainment, making it an enjoyable experience for the whole family.
The Grand Rivers Arts & Crafts Festival continues to be a highlight of the town’s calendar, attracting both locals and tourists alike. It provides a platform for artisans to share their talents and contributes to the vibrant cultural scene of Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
Little Lake Park, Payne St, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
9. Between the Lakes Tap House
Between the Lakes Tap House, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a popular establishment known for its craft beer, tasty food, and lively atmosphere.
Established recently, the tap house has quickly become a local favorite, offering a wide selection of craft beers from various breweries. It’s a welcoming spot for beer enthusiasts and those looking to explore new flavors.
One interesting fact about Between the Lakes Tap House is its location within the Green Turtle Bay Resort, offering picturesque waterfront views. It provides a relaxing and enjoyable environment for patrons to unwind and savor their drinks and meals.
The tap house features a diverse menu, including delicious pub fare and a variety of dishes that pair perfectly with the craft beers on offer. From burgers to wings, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
Whether you’re a beer aficionado or simply looking for a pleasant place to dine and relax, Between the Lakes Tap House has quickly become a sought-after destination in Grand Rivers, contributing to the town’s vibrant dining scene and offering a warm and inviting experience to visitors and locals alike.
1940 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
10. Grand Rivers Jetty
The Grand Rivers Jetty, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a popular attraction known for its scenic boat rides and stunning views of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.
Built to enhance the visitor experience, the jetty offers a range of boat tours, including sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, and even sunset cruises. It provides a unique opportunity for locals and tourists to explore the beauty of the two lakes that converge in the area.
The Grand Rivers Jetty is that it’s often the starting point for various lake adventures. Visitors can embark on relaxing boat rides, enjoy delicious meals while cruising, or capture breathtaking sunsets over the water.
The jetty serves as a gateway to the natural wonders of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, making it a strategic location for those looking to immerse themselves in the region’s outdoor beauty.
With its access to the lakes and its role as a hub for water-based activities, the Grand Rivers Jetty has become a must-visit destination in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. It offers a memorable experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the splendor of these picturesque lakes.
Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
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11. Canal Loop Trail
The Canal Loop Trail, located within the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee, is a scenic and popular hiking trail known for its natural beauty and historical significance.
Constructed in the 1850s, this trail was once part of a system that connected the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. It played a crucial role in transporting goods during the 19th century.
One interesting fact about the Canal Loop Trail is that it offers hikers a chance to walk through history. As you traverse the path, you can see remnants of the old canal system, including locks and dikes, providing a glimpse into the past.
The trail covers a distance of approximately 11 miles and offers a mix of terrain, including forested areas, open fields, and views of the canal. It’s a great spot for birdwatching, with various bird species calling the area home.
Visitors to the Canal Loop Trail can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and learning about the historical significance of this once-vital transportation route.
It remains a cherished destination within the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, offering a combination of natural beauty and a connection to the past.
Kentucky Lake Dr, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
12. Craig’s Dairy Dream
Craig’s Dairy Dream is a beloved ice cream parlor located in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, known for its delicious frozen treats and nostalgic atmosphere.
This charming ice cream shop was founded in the early 1950s. It has been a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike for several decades. It was established by Craig and Margaret Alexander, and their commitment to quality ice cream and friendly service quickly made it a community icon.
One interesting fact about Craig’s Dairy Dream is that it has maintained its vintage charm, complete with retro signage and a 1950s-style interior. It’s like stepping back in time when you visit, providing a delightful sense of nostalgia.
The ice cream parlor offers a wide range of flavors, including classic favorites and unique creations. Customers can enjoy cones, sundaes, milkshakes, and more, making it a perfect destination for sweet tooth lovers.
Craig’s Dairy Dream continues to be a cherished part of the Coudersport community, offering a taste of the past and a scoop of happiness for everyone who visits.
1881 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
13. Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina
The Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a popular vacation destination known for its picturesque setting and recreational opportunities.
This resort and marina complex was established in the late 1980s. It has grown over the years to become a sought-after spot for visitors seeking relaxation and outdoor adventures.
It provides easy access to both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, making it a haven for boaters, fishermen, and water sports enthusiasts.
One interesting fact about the Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina is that it features a variety of accommodations, including condos, cottages, and rental houseboats. This diverse range of lodging options caters to different preferences and group sizes.
The marina offers boat rentals, making it convenient for guests to explore the expansive lakes. Additionally, it’s home to the Between the Lakes Boat Rentals, offering a selection of vessels for various activities.
With its stunning waterfront location, recreational amenities, and proximity to attractions like Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, the Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina continues to be a favorite getaway destination in Kentucky.
It combines natural beauty with modern comforts, providing an ideal setting for both relaxation and adventure.
263 Green Turtle Bay Dr, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
14. Jade and Earth Spa
Jade and Earth Spa, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a wellness and relaxation center celebrated for its rejuvenating treatments and tranquil atmosphere.
Established to provide a haven of tranquility for visitors, Jade and Earth Spa has quickly gained recognition as a premier spa destination in the region. It offers a wide range of services, including massages, facials, and other therapeutic treatments.
One interesting fact about Jade and Earth Spa is that it’s known for its holistic approach to wellness, focusing on the mind, body, and spirit. It provides a sanctuary where guests can unwind, de-stress, and revitalize themselves.
The spa’s name reflects its commitment to natural healing and balance. Jade symbolizes tranquility and Earth represents grounding and stability, aligning with the spa’s mission to provide a holistic and rejuvenating experience.
Visitors to Jade and Earth Spa can enjoy a variety of spa packages and services, making it an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and self-care. It continues to be a cherished part of the Grand Rivers community, offering a sanctuary of serenity and well-being to its guests.
600 Tortuga Dr. Grand Rivers, KY 42025, United States
15. Grand Rivers Fudge Factory
The Grand Rivers Fudge Factory, located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a delightful confectionery shop known for its sweet treats and delectable fudge creations.
Founded in the early 1990s, this charming fudge factory has been satisfying the cravings of locals and tourists alike for many years. It was established with a commitment to crafting high-quality fudge and other sweet treats, and it has become a beloved part of the community.
One interesting fact about the Grand Rivers Fudge Factory is its wide array of fudge flavors, from classic chocolate to unique creations like butter pecan and peanut butter swirl. Visitors can watch the fudge-making process in action, adding to the experience.
The factory also offers a variety of other candies, chocolates, and gourmet popcorn, making it a haven for those with a sweet tooth. It’s a perfect place to find souvenirs and gifts for friends and family.
The Grand Rivers Fudge Factory continues to be a cherished destination in Grand Rivers, offering a taste of homemade sweetness and a delightful shopping experience to all who visit.
487 J H O’Bryan Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
16. Lighthouse Landing Resort and Marina
Lighthouse Landing Resort and Marina, nestled in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, is a renowned lakeside retreat celebrated for its scenic beauty and recreational offerings.
This resort and marina complex was established in the 1970s and has grown over the years to become a beloved destination for vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts.
It offers a range of accommodations, including cottages, condos, and camping sites, making it suitable for various preferences and group sizes.
One interesting fact about Lighthouse Landing is its proximity to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, making it a prime destination for boaters, anglers, and water sports enthusiasts. The marina provides boat rentals, including sailboats and kayaks, allowing guests to explore the expansive lakes.
The resort’s name reflects its iconic lighthouse, a striking landmark that stands as a symbol of guidance and hospitality. The lighthouse also houses a nautical-themed gift shop, providing a unique backdrop for events and weddings.
With its breathtaking waterfront setting, recreational amenities, and access to natural attractions like Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Lighthouse Landing Resort and Marina remains a favored retreat in Kentucky.
It combines modern comforts with a serene lakeside experience, creating a memorable getaway for all who visit.
320 W Commerce Ave, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
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Grand Rivers, KY, offers a diverse range of activities for visitors of all interests. If you’re captivated by the rich history and culture of the town itself, you’re sure to have a memorable and fun-filled time exploring this charming Kentucky gem.