As I was working on a new event announcement for Earth Day at Kentucky Dam Village, a thought kept running through my head – kind of like a puppy through an open field.
It occurred to me that something unique can be said about Kentucky Dam Village: It fascinates me.
Each park in the Kentucky State Park system has its own personality and identity. But, here’s the thing… most only have one!
Kentucky Dam Village? Well, she has a couple.
Maybe it’s because I love photography so much, but one of the quotes I spout off the most is, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That quote will serve me well here, so let’s just let the pictures tell the story.
Reason Number 1
Kentucky Dam Village State Park is a SOLID great time waiting to happen. Boating, fishing, water skiing, golfing, swimming, tennis… You could, literally, fill your day with fun and adventure from front to back and be more spent at the end of the day than my money is on Friday
I took the picture at the top of the page one afternoon. I walked down the hill behind the lodge and a squirrel (friend of mine) and I watched people having the time of their life on the water. Sometimes you could even hear the laughter all the way to the shore. The marina is right beside the lodge, so you can watch people leave (on their way to their next adventure ) and return (glowing from both the sun and the fun).
The energy is palpable.
After walking around for about 30 minutes, I was ready to park my bones for a while, so I walked back up the hill to the lodge’s patio and sat down to check Twitter, upload my pictures to Pinterest – you know, important stuff. I sat down at one of the tables pictured below.
As you can see, Kentucky Lake is still very much in sight. And yet sitting at one of these shaded tables (whether you’re reading, drinking coffee, talking, or Tweeting) is a totally different experience from the one on the Lake (or even beside it). Even though you’re still within feet of adventure and excitement, this is one of the most relaxing and scenic spots in the state. The trees, the birds, the breeze from the lake – all of it just struck me as uncommonly peaceful.
Same place. Two completely different effects. Within minutes. Fascinating.
Reason Number 2
The lodge. The lodge, itself, fascinates me.
Let me say this – right up front. I love the historical, nostalgic presence a lot of our Resort State Parks have. Kentucky History is one of my favorite subjects in the world and our Parks are loaded with history. The stories these lodges could tell! They’ve seen so many fashion trends come and go – and the stories they’ve heard could make your hair stand on end.
I’m a history buff through and through and… trust me.. you never want to get me started on the subject of Kentucky history because there is no OFF button.
There are some lodges in the system who may show their age. I couldn’t care less. Wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s history – and that’s beautiful. I think the parks do an excellent job of keeping that history while implementing a modern feel at the same time. In other words, these Kentucky State Park lodges make an 80 year old feel as comfortable as they do someone 1/8 their age.
I’m obsessed with Ky State Park Lodges and Kentucky Dam Village’s lodge is one of my favorites. The picture (above) is from the front of the lodge. It’s… well… it’s okay.. um… kind of different, right?
OK. So it looks more like a Government office.
But, let’s go inside, okay?
Is this huge fireplace cool or what?! And the view of Kentucky Lake? Gorgeous. The spacious lobby and scenic view never fails to catch me off guard – and I’ve seen it countless times.. literally countless, I’m not sure I can even count that high.
They even have large checkers for those who are up for a little competition. After my husband blew me out of the water a couple of times, I decided I was much more into simply enjoying the view. He’s like, “Want to play checkers?” But I have to break it to him, “Sorry I’m busy enjoying the view of Kentucky Lake.”
There’s also a great gift shop in the lodge and, yes, it fascinates me too. There are wonderful Kentucky crafts, Kentucky food products, gifts, tees, toys, and candy in the gift shop. In fact, one of my favorite bracelets was bought in this gift shop (below). I collect bracelets and have for about 10 years – so for this one to be a personal favorite is really saying something.
But even the gift shop isn’t the most beautiful thing about the lodge. You have to go downstairs and step out back for that.
How beautiful is that? This is the back of the lodge – and every time I see it I think, I’ts a shame you don’t lead with that.
Again, the front of the lodge isn’t bad…. it’s just not this…
Reason Number 3
As I mentioned, the lodge has a restaurant. We haven’t eaten in this particular state park restaurant in a very long time, so things may have changed (PLEASE let me know in the comments below if they have) – but the desserts and coffee in Harbor Lights are better than the actual meals.
The desserts and coffee are so fantastic, in fact, that I’ve often thought they should just make the restaurant a Dessert Bar/Coffee Shop.
Honestly, the desserts off the menu are extraordinary. Just see the chess pie above. And the Chocolate Fudge Pie below!
The pie crust is always flaky and wonderful and every single bite is beyond delicious.
The thing is, there are a couple of excellent Catfish restaurants within minutes of the park. When you have restaurants that concentrate entirely on making the best catfish and hush puppies possible, it’s hard to compete. We almost always eat supper anymore at one of these restaurants and save dessert with coffee for Kentucky Dam Village.
The coffee is better than Starbucks – or any coffeehouse I’ve ever had to be honest – and the desserts look and taste like something from an upscale restaurant. Upscale as in the type of restaurant you’d only wear your Sunday best to and upscale as in, “Look at those prices!”
The desserts are perfection – and without the price of upscale desserts. That fascinates me. A state park with desserts that will blow you away. What?? Is Betty Crocker, herself, in the kitchen?
And for a restaurant to have desserts that overshadow the actual meals is also pretty fascinating.
Again – in all fairness – we haven’t eaten an actual meal at Harbor Lights for a couple of years. Maybe they’ve gotten so fantastic that, now, their amazing desserts are jealous. If so, please let me know and I’ll go check them out.
With dessert afterwards of course.
Reason Number 4
The golf course is a total beauty. This isn’t one of the largest or most popular golf courses in the state – it isn’t even one of the most famous ones in the state park system. Yet everytime my husband or his friends play this course, it gives them all they can handle!
For golfers, the course is challenging yet not so challenging that you end up throwing your clubs.
For photographers, the course is 1,001 photo opportunities – as in one after the next. The landscaping is impeccable and the people who care for this golf course obviously don’t just care about what they do, they take great pride in what they do.
And it shows.
Boy does it show.
You never know who you’ll run into on the course either…
Reason Number 5
Two words: Kentucky Lake. Kentucky Lake is the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River and it’ll leave you speechless every time. If it were the boastful type, Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park could pound its chest and yell, “Location! Location! Location!” because, let’s face it, this location is second to none.