7 Can’t-Miss Beaches in Kentucky

The next time you’re looking for a beach getaway, make sure to check out these family-friendly beach options in Kentucky! We may be best known for our miles of waterways, but did you know that we also have beautiful beaches? Grab your beach towel, swimsuit and sunscreen, then hit the road to one of these can’t-miss Kentucky beaches!

Beach view at Barren River Lake State Resort Park

Barren River Lake State Resort Park

Located in south-central Kentucky near the small town of Lucas, Barren River Lake State Resort Park features a beautiful beach just a short walk away from the Louie B. Nunn lodge. There’s also a nearby playground where kids can run, play and have fun. Extend your trip with a visit to nearby Mammoth Cave National Park or the National Corvette Museum and other fun attractions in Bowling Green – just a 40 minute drive away. 

Family plays with beach ball at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park

Enjoy the beautiful 1,200-acre lake from the beach at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park in southeastern Kentucky. There’s even a bathhouse complex with showers for visitors to use! The Perry County beach is usually open Memorial Day through Labor Day. For some more family fun, check out the nearby playground with a jungle gym, slide and swings. The park also has horseshoe pits near the playground and lower shelter; if staying overnight, check out equipment at the lodge desk. 

Pink sunset at Cave Run Lake

Cave Run Lake

Amid the rolling hills of northeastern Kentucky, you’ll find Cave Run Lake located within the Daniel Boone National Forest near Morehead. The 8,270-acre lake offers two beaches where visitors can swim: Twin Knobs Recreation Area and Zilpo Recreation Area. Both areas offer spectacular views of the lake. You can also waterski at Twin Knobs Recreation Area, and there’s several boat ramps located along the lake to enjoy before or after the beach.

Sunny day at the beach at Green River Lake State Park

Green River Lake State Park

Get some sand between your toes at the beach at Green River Lake State Park in Campbellsville. Take a relaxing swim, join a game of volleyball on the sand or soak up the sun. This beach is steps away from the park campground, so it’s a great option for camping families. Whether you camp or not, make a day of it by packing a picnic basket to enjoy the lake view!

Two women ride horses on the beach at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area

Located in western Kentucky between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL) offers a number of swimming locations where visitors can splash around in the water, plus walk or ride – with an off-road vehicle or by horseback – along the beach. Many of the areas have picnic tables and campfire rings available. If you’re camping at LBL, there are two designated swimming areas located in Hillman Ferry and Piney Campgrounds that are open to campers at those facilities. Two nearby state parks: Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and Lake Barkley State Resort Park, also offer beaches for swimming. 

Families enjoy a day at Nolin Lake State Park beach

Nolin Lake State Park

Relax on the sandy beach at Nolin Lake State Park near Mammoth Cave National Park. The beach is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 333-acre park is also a great place to camp, with 32 campsites with water and electricity plus 27 primitive campsites. If you have a fishing enthusiast, bring your fishing poles because there’s an abundance of bass, catfish, crappie and walleye in the 5,795-acre lake. 

Inflatables at Karst Beach
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave

Karst Beach

Make a splash with your whole family at Karst Beach, located at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Mammoth Cave! The sandy beach along the 2.3-acre lake features a 1,300-square-foot Wibit, an inflatable sports park, as well as a volleyball net, inflatable loungers, slide and corcls, which are small boats that look like an upside-down Frisbee. Karst Beach is included for official campers, but the Wibit is a separate amenity that can be purchased by campers and guests.