Just across the bay from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Kentucky Dam Village is a modern campground comprised of 210 campsites, each equipped with water and electricity hookups. There's a cluster of service buildings at the center of the campground that offer modern amenities, too, including showers, restrooms, three dump stations, and a grocery store.
The 17,000-acre recreation area near the campground is a popular spot for bird watching as well as canoeing and bass fishing at its two lakes, Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. More than 200 miles of hiking trails crisscross the peninsula, ranging from short walks to lengthier routes. You can hike shorter portions of the 58-mile North-South Trail, which spans the entire length of the Land Between the Lakes. While hiking, you may catch a glimpse of wildlife including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, foxes, and coyotes.
As the summer sun dips lazily into the horizon, the air fills with an orchestra of buzzing go-karts and humming ziplines punctuated by floods of laughter. The revelry lasts into the night only to start anew the next morning, a cycle that will continue until Labor Day’s arrival sends Kentucky Shores Family Fun Center’s attractions into hibernation. Guests of all ages romp around the park’s verdant grounds, orchestrating aquatic collisions in the bumper boats or hopping aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a trip back in time without the hassle of having to arm-wrestle your past self. The 36-hole mini golf course adds a touch of the majestic to putting outings thanks to its two waterfalls and stainless steel sculptures forged by renowned artist George Bandarra. Indoors, an arcade beckons guests to video games and rounds of skeeball, and a snack bar staves off hunger pangs with frozen treats and gooey pizzas.
In the summer of 1980, more than a foot of water flooded CJ's Willow Bowling Center, warping the floors and ruining the equipment. But faced with catastrophe, owners Charlie and Jean Rayburn used the incident as an opportunity to outfit the alley with 16 new lanes and revamped scoring systems. Today, a second generation of the family runs the business with the same resolve that has defined it since 1955. On weekends, bowlers pummel pins amid the fluorescence of cosmic bowling lights, or stop by the snack bar to fuel up with pizza. At the pro shop, patrons can renovate bowling balls with resurfacing, hole drilling, and initial engravings, saving them from the hassle of having to carve their faces into the sides.
Whether sinking a putt or demolishing a high score, Walther's Golf & Fun surrounds visitors with the trappings of the tropics. On the dual miniature golf courses, one indoor and one outdoor, waterfalls and banana trees give the feel of golfing through a vibrant jungle. The laser-tag course is similarly themed, with tangles of neon lights washing over palm trees and weathered ruins. Jungle-print carpet coats the floor of the fully stocked arcade, and golfers practicing on the driving range wait impatiently for one droopy toucan to collect and return their golf balls.
It's easy to get lost in Two Bit Bandit Family Fun Center's massive arcade, and even easier to spend the entire day aiming for the high score on everything from air hockey to Jurassic Park pinball. But do yourself a favor and save a few hours to explore the non-virtual fun zones, which include eight batting cages and four one-on-one basketball courts. The family fun center is a popular place to celebrate a birthday or office MVP award, as two-hour celebrations include a thematically decorated party room.
Hoof Beats Stable brings horses and riders together for hours of enjoyment during lessons, training sessions, and parties. At an indoor arena, riders mount powerful steeds to learn basic skills or sharpen their English- and Western-riding skills. Instructors teach students the techniques they want to learn, whether it's bareback riding or parallel parking. Parties at the stable bring party guests nose-to-muzzle with gentle horses.