Angel here and it's tradition for our family to visit the beach at least once a year. We love the beach but hate the drive. Kentucky has several beaches that will make you feel like your in Florida!

Growing up I don’t ever remember getting to go to the beach until I was in high school and never with my own family always with others. When I became a mom I decided when my kiddos got old enough we would start making memories in the sand.

Our go-to beach in Florida is Panama City. It’s where I visited and felt like I knew pretty well so we return for our first trip. Now, we make a yearly trip. This year we stayed for Christmas.

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The drive is always something we dread. The kids get restless and momma wants to LOOOOSE (extra O's for emphasis) it. So, I decided to see where the closest beaches were without the long drive.

To my delight, I found there are a handful of beaches in Kentucky that allow swimming in the summer and even have camping and lodging available right on sight or close by.

Kentucky Dam Village State Park-It's open seasonally for swimming.  This park has a lodge and its own swimming pool if you don't like swimming in a lake.

Rough River Dam State Resort Park-Our family loves this place.  There is a lodge, public access beach, playground, and restaurant in the park.  Right across the street is a wonderful little place called The Lake House Restaurant and we eat there every time we go to the lake.

Lake Malone State Park-Has tons of camping sites.  There is also a public access beach and fishing.  If you love the outdoors you can even walk the hiking trails on your visit.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park-Complete with a lodge and camping sites you can bring the family to swim and feel like you are totally at the beach.  The family will absolutely not get bored at Pennyrile there are tons of activities; kayaking, fishing, hiking, golfing, equine camping, pedal boats, and more.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park-located in Lucas, Ky.  This 10,000-acre lake has a gorgeous beachfront to kick back and enjoy during warm weather.  One super awesome and convenient thing about Barren River Lake it is only about half an hour from Mammoth Cave.  You could literally plan an entire long weekend and get it all in.

Lake Barkley State Resort Park-I remember visiting Lake Barkley when I was just entering my teen years.  My friend Jenny's parents had a houseboat and we would go there on the weekends when it was warm.  They even had jet skis.  There were always tons of families visiting the lake.  The lodging is amazing and you can also rent cabins or bring your tent to camp out.  The lodge has 120 rooms and each has a balcony that gives you a lake view.

Laurel River Lake-Quite possibly the most beautiful.  Located in the Daniel Boone State Park in Whitley and Laurel counties.  The lake spans 5,600-acres.  There is not a lodge but they may have the most unique and coolest options for places to stay near the park.


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