Whether you live on the southern tip of Illinois or in the western half of Kentucky, the Land between the Lakes is a great vacation for those not looking to spend big bucks. Culture and outdoor adventure are both offered here.
For those on an Illinois / Kentucky vacation, the quaint downtown of Paducah offers the biggest treasure. From Illinois, go past the main Paducah exits on Interstate 24 to this Kentucky historic vacation landmark. This beautiful area directly alongside the Ohio River is a haven for those seeking art and culture. Unique restaurants pepper the streets. At Whaler’s Catch, you’ll think you’re eating your favorite catch atop a pirate’s mast.
Collectors will be delighted by the several antique shops, one housing three stories of loot. Even if you’re not a quilt fan, see the remarkable Museum of American Quilter’s Society, which is sure to amaze even the least crafty person. Take one of Annie’s Horsedrawn Carriage Rides, or visit one of the sweet stops such as the RiverPlace Pie Shop or The Chocolate Factory. The downtown comprises foreign film theaters, art galleries, and the Market House Museum in historic Market House, once an open-air market of the past. Stroll past the floodwall painted by Robert Dafford with its gorgeous mural paintings of yesteryear Paducah. For a nightlife without the wild side, Saturday nights from 7:00-10:00 pm are great in the summer to hear the 1960’s bands and gospel bands entertain. If the kids are not in the inflatable playground, they are probably watching the stilt walkers and clowns.
For those who cherish elegance, check online at www.thecarsoncenter.org for plays and events at the new enormous Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center. Top off your Kentucky vacation with an overnight stay in one of the bed and breakfasts that are converted from genuine historical inns from another time, but be prepared to pay handsomely.
If you enjoy country charm, beautifully-decorated Patti’s 1880’s Settlement is not a far trip from Paducah in Grand Rivers. Patti is famous for her tender two-inch pork chops and her several choices of pies. Summer and spring are the best times for Patti’s in order to take full advantage of a walk through the grounds of fantastic landscaping teeming with blossoms, fountains and gazebos to make you know you’ve gotten away. The Settlement boasts of gift shops, a miniature golf course, a petting zoo, a playground area, and an arcade. Finish things with a carriage ride for a view of the sailboats on the lake.
Outdoor adventurers, continue on the same street from Patti’s to one of the only Illinois or Kentucky vacation spots to rent a jet ski boat, Green Turtle Bay Marina at Barkley Lake. Sailboat rentals are also available at the Lighthouse Landing Marina, and neighboring Venture River water slide park promises outdoor adventure for kids. The Land Between the Lakes is a fitting name for this summer water escape; it’s guaranteed to suit everyon’e’s liking.