Make Memories in Burnside Year-Round

Nestled along the shores of Lake Cumberland, Burnside, Kentucky, beckons as the ideal summer haven. Drawing visitors from near and far, this delightful locale promises sun-drenched days brimming with outdoor adventures. Burnside is more than just a summer destination, offering charm throughout the year. Embark on your next journey with our comprehensive guide to all that Burnside has to offer, ensuring an unforgettable experience regardless of the time of year.




Golfer teeing off at General Burnside Island State Park golf course in Kentucky


Sunny days are back, and the flowers are blooming. It’s the perfect time of year for a round of golf. Grab your clubs and head to General Burnside Island State Park Golf Course, a Signature Series course by architect Brian Ault surrounded by Lake Cumberland. You can get some extra swings in at the course’s practice driving range, putting green, chipping green and sand trap.


The area is also excellent for scenic drives. Journey along backroads to take in the budding Bluegrass scenery. This is the “Car Cruise Capital of Kentucky,” after all. You’ll see all sorts of custom and classic cars at the Somernites Cruise in Somerset on the 4th Saturday of each month, April through October. The Cruise Meet & Greet is held at Cole Park each Friday of cruise weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Hungry for a meal that is sure to please? Visit Downtown Pizza Pub! Choose from their crisp salad bar creations, tempting selection of gourmet pizzas, tasty pasta dishes, mouthwatering sub sandwiches, and juicy burgers. End on a sweet note with a treat from their daily dessert selection.




Couple on roof patio of houseboat at Lees Ford Marina in Burnside, KY



Cool off this summer on Lake Cumberland. Kayakers, boating enthusiasts, swimmers, jet skiers, anglers and water lovers of all kinds are in for an epic lake adventure. This 65,530-acre lake is the perfect destination for your favorite form of water recreation. Find all your lake-day needs at the full-service Burnside Marina. Lee’s Ford Marina also offers rentals, from jet skis to houseboats.


Plan your trip around the Summer Kickoff Concert. On the first Saturday of June each year, visitors and community members alike head to Cole Community Park for live music, family games, and more at this early summer bash.


When your stomach starts rumbling, head over to the Goodie Shack. This summer staple, open March through November, is famous for hot dogs and chili dogs. Cap your meal with a frozen treat: creamy soft-serve ice cream.




Up for a camping trip? Reserve a campsite at General Burnside Island State Park this fall when the temps are just right for a night under the stars. This 94-site campground welcomes campers from mid-March through mid-November. Sites are equipped with utility hookups, plus there is a dumping station, showers and restrooms onsite. Be sure to call ahead for reservations.


Lake Cumberland is excellent for fishing. Here, anglers can reel in crappie, striped, largemouth and smallmouth bass. Local experts can also lead you to the best fishing holes on the lake. The area is home to multiple local fishing guides. Book a guided trip to help reel in your next trophy catch.


If you’re in town for Labor Day Weekend, don’t miss Thunder Over Burnside. This annual holiday celebration includes food trucks, local vendors, a beer garden, live music and a massive firework display over Lake Cumberland.


Treat yourself to steaks, seafood, pasta and breathtaking lake views at Guthrie’s Grill. Be sure to ask for a seat on the patio to take in the Lake Cumberland scenery and crisp autumn weather. 




During the holiday season, the area transforms into a winter wonderland. Head to General Burnside Island State Park for Christmas Island. Running Nov. 18 through Dec. 31, this local tradition features an extravagant light display, a Vendor Village featuring local shops and makers and free photo ops with Santa and the Grinch.


Go ice skating in Somerset. Skating on the Square is open each December while SomerSplash waterpark transforms into Tiki’s Winter Wonderland in the winter.   


Take a quick 30-minute drive south to the Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns. Here, you can board The Polar Express. Experience Chris Van Allsburg’s beloved holiday classic firsthand. Your train ride to the North Pole is filled with holiday cheer, including caroling, hot chocolate and gifts from Santa himself.


Don’t miss the Country Christmas Festival at Bear Wallow Farm. Get into the holiday spirit as you stroll through thousands of lights on the Trail of Lights. Then, the kiddos can write letters to St. Nick before getting their picture made with him. And that’s not all — there are more than 20 attractions on this farm, from live music to fire pits to slides and hayrides. 


If you’re on a road trip, stop by Heffelfinger Tree Farm to cut down the perfect Christmas Tree on your way back home!


Escape the chills with a hot meal from Reno’s Roadhouse. Expect sizzlin’ steaks, tender ribs and juicy burgers, along with a mouthwatering selection of apps. 




No trip to Burnside is complete without the perfect accommodations. Choose from a variety of cabins, resorts, bed and breakfasts and more lodging options to fit your vacation needs.


Burnside 7 Gables Motel is a historic motel just a few blocks from Lake Cumberland. Guestrooms include double, king and triple occupancy rooms for larger groups. Plus, there’s a free continental breakfast and a pool onsite.


Woman enjoying pool at Gables Motel in Burnside, KY



Villager Resort on Lake Cumberland is ideal for families and friend groups. Pick a cottage to accommodate your whole crew. With a private dock, an arcade, a swimming pool, a basketball court and tennis courts, Village Resort is the perfect base for an unforgettable family vacation. 


With access to Lake Cumberland and Daniel Boone National Forest, Lake Cumberland Resort is the ultimate base for outdoor fun. Whether you’re interested in boating, jet skiing, hiking, golfing or whitewater rafting, this resort is your doorstep to adventure. Choose from a collection of properties, including suites, cabins, cottages and fully furnished estate homes.


Browse more burnside lodging options here.

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