It’s a popular getaway for tourists and locals alike due to the picturesque setting and abundance of things to do in Somerset Kentucky. This dynamic city offers opportunities to find activities for a wide range of interests, from discovering natural beauty to embracing cultural events and enjoying regional cuisine.
Best Things to Do in Somerset Kentucky
Attractions in Somerset KY
Cumberland Falls often hailed as the “Niagara of the South,” is a majestic natural wonder nestled in Kentucky. Plunging 68 feet into the Cumberland River, this iconic waterfall spans 125 feet across, showcasing its sheer grandeur. Renowned for its mesmerizing moonbow phenomenon, a rare lunar rainbow visible on clear, full-moon nights, it draws visitors from far and wide. Situated within the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, this captivating cascade offers various viewpoints and hiking trails for exploration.
The misty veil cast by the falls adds to its allure, creating an enchanting atmosphere. Visitors can bask in the beauty of the falls during the day and, if lucky, witness the awe-inspiring moonbow, making Cumberland Falls a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.
For those who love the outdoors, Lake Cumberland in Kentucky is a tranquil sanctuary. Originated by the Cumberland River, this reservoir is more than 101 miles long and reaches a remarkable depth of almost 200 feet at its deepest point. It’s one of the biggest artificial lakes in the country, spanning 65,530 acres of surface area.
With its abundance of recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, and kayaking, and its scenic setting of rolling hills and lush forests, this lake attracts tourists year-round. With its crown jewel, the Cumberland Falls dubbed the “Niagara of the South,” captivating visitors with its majestic 125-foot height and captivating moonbow phenomenon, Lake Cumberland is an unmatched location for those seeking adventure and unspoiled natural beauty.
Mill Springs Battlefield
The Mill Springs Battlefield, situated near Nancy in Kentucky, holds historical significance as the site of a pivotal Civil War clash. Spanning over 500 acres, this landmark features preserved earthworks and markers, offering visitors an immersive journey into history. The battlefield showcases strategic heights and vantage points pivotal during the Battle of Mill Springs in 1862, involving forces led by Union Brigadier General George H. Thomas and Confederate Brigadier General Felix K. Zollicoffer.
The Mill Springs Battlefield includes rolling hills, woodlands, and the Cumberland River, creating a picturesque backdrop for understanding the intense battle maneuvers. Visitors can explore trails, interpretive signs, and the Zollicoffer Park Visitor Center to delve into the conflict’s details. This battlefield, at an elevation of around 800 feet, provides panoramic views, making it one of the best things to do in Somerset Kentucky for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
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Outdoor Things To Do In Somerset Kentucky
Daniel Boone National Forest For Hiking & Camping
Daniel Boone National Forest, spanning over 700,000 acres in Kentucky, entices adventurers with its diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity. This haven for nature enthusiasts boasts towering cliffs, lush forests, and over 600 miles of trails for hiking and exploration. Featuring the renowned Red River Gorge Geological Area, its sandstone arches and soaring rock formations awe visitors.
Cascading waterfalls, like the majestic Cumberland Falls, famously known as the “Niagara of the South,” stand at 68 feet tall and 125 feet wide, offering mesmerizing views and the occasional lunar rainbow, a rare lunar phenomenon. Abundant wildlife, including black bears and rare species, find refuge within this forest’s embrace, providing opportunities for wildlife watching and photography. Daniel Boone National Forest promises a captivating escape into nature’s wonders.
Lake Cumberland For Fishing & Boating
Lake Cumberland stands tall as an angler’s paradise and a haven for boating enthusiasts. this reservoir is renowned for its diverse fish population, including bass, crappie, and catfish, making it a prime spot for fishing adventures.
Boaters revel in its vast expanse, perfect for water skiing, tubing, and leisurely cruises. The marinas along its shores offer boat rentals, fishing gear, and expert guidance, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all skill levels.
General Burnside Island State Park For Golfing, Camping, and Boating
General Burnside Island State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Golf aficionados relish the challenging 18-hole golf course offering stunning lake views. Camping options abound with RV sites, tent spaces, and cabins, perfect for a serene overnight stay.
Boating enthusiasts find joy in the marina services available, providing easy access to Lake Cumberland’s waters for fishing, skiing, and leisurely cruises. Picnic areas and playgrounds cater to families seeking relaxation and recreation. This park’s allure lies in its diverse offerings an 18-hole golf course with panoramic vistas, camping facilities amidst nature’s embrace, and the opportunity to enjoy thrilling water activities.
Buck Creek Outfitters
Buck Creek Outfitters is your gateway to thrilling outdoor adventures. Specializing in kayak and canoe rentals, they offer an exhilarating experience along the scenic waterways of Lake Cumberland. With a fleet of well-maintained watercraft, including single and tandem options, adventurers of all skill levels can explore at their own pace.
The knowledgeable staff at Buck Creek provides safety instructions and insider tips, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable excursion. Additionally, they offer guided tours for those seeking a more structured adventure. Open seasonally from spring through fall, Buck Creek Outfitters is a must-visit place for nature enthusiasts, families, and friends who looking for things to do in Somerset Kentucky to create unforgettable memories amidst breathtaking landscapes.
Shark Aviation is a premier aviation company specializing in helicopter tours and charters, revolutionizing aerial experiences across breathtaking landscapes. With a fleet of state-of-the-art helicopters, they offer scenic tours over stunning locales, including coastlines, cityscapes, and natural wonders.
Their team comprises highly skilled pilots committed to safety and delivering unparalleled customer satisfaction. Shark Aviation prides itself on customized charter services, catering to individual preferences for corporate travel, aerial photography, and special events.
Passengers enjoy an immersive journey, accompanied by expert narration, unveiling hidden treasures and iconic landmarks from a unique vantage point. Shark Aviation stands out for its dedication to exceptional service, ensuring every flight is a memorable adventure.
Family-Friendly Things To Do In Somerset Kentucky
Pulaski County Park
An outdoor lover’s paradise is Pulaski County Park. This lovely park, which covers more than 100 acres, has a wide range of activities available for guests of all ages. It’s ideal for kayaking, boating, and fishing excursions because of its large lake. The park offers possibilities for nature hikes and beautiful vistas along its well-maintained hiking routes that meander through lush woodlands.
Playgrounds, covered picnic spots, and open places for leisure and recreation are available to families in the park. In addition to the baseball and soccer grounds, there are basketball and tennis facilities for the use of sports lovers. For those looking to spend more time in this peaceful natural location, there are cottages and RV camping spots available.
SomerSplash is the ultimate summer destination for aquatic enthusiasts. This water park boasts an array of thrilling water slides, a lazy river for relaxation, and a sparkling wave pool perfect for making a splash. With attractions tailored for all ages, kids can revel in the excitement of the splash pad while adults unwind in the soothing whirlpool.
The park ensures safety with trained lifeguards and maintains hygiene with clean facilities and ample seating areas. Admission prices are reasonable, offering value for a full day of aquatic fun. SomerSplash also caters to private events and birthday parties, making it an ideal spot for celebrations. Open during the summer season, this water park promises a refreshing escape for families and friends seeking thrilling things to do in Somerset Kentucky in summer.
The Center for Rural Development
The Rural Development Center fosters a creative culture across the region and through the Arts and Culture Focus Area, the Center acts as a hub of diverse activities. Visitors can expect to see performing arts series, special concerts, and events that enrich the imagination, entertain, and inspire people of all ages.
Somerset Peddlers Mall
Somerset Peddlers Mall beckons with a treasure trove of finds. This expansive marketplace spans over 50,000 square feet, offering a diverse array of goods from over 300 vendors. Explore aisles brimming with antiques, collectibles, handmade crafts, vintage items, furniture, clothing, and more. Whether seeking unique décor pieces or nostalgic memorabilia, this mall caters to every taste and preference.
Amidst its charming ambiance, visitors can wander through well-organized sections, each presenting a distinct collection. The mall’s friendly staff ensures a delightful shopping experience, while frequent arrivals of new items guarantee fresh discoveries on every visit. Conveniently located and open seven days a week, Somerset Peddlers Mall invites both locals and tourists alike to uncover hidden gems and one-of-a-kind treasures within its welcoming confines.
The Lake Cumberland Farmers Market
the Lake Cumberland Farmers Market in Somerset Kentucky, is a thriving center for delicious food that is supplied locally. This market, which is open every Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM, features a variety of freshly picked farm food, handcrafted items, and handmade crafts. Tourists enjoy perusing booths filled with locally baked goods, seasonal fruits, veggies, and herbs. Beyond mere fruit, the market encourages community involvement by letting customers talk to nearby farmers and craftspeople and discover sustainable farming methods and the backstories of each item.
Somerset’s devotion to authenticity and regional cuisines is embodied in the Lake Cumberland Farmers Market, which provides a lovely shopping experience via its attention to quality, freshness, and supporting local companies. Don’t pass up the opportunity to become fully immersed in this dynamic economy!
Dining at Local Restaurants
Somerset’s culinary scene offers a delectable adventure for every palate. Embracing a farm-to-table philosophy, local eateries tantalize taste buds with Southern comfort food and an array of international cuisines. From cozy diners to upscale restaurants, the city boasts diverse flavors crafted from locally sourced ingredients, showcasing its commitment to quality and authenticity.
Whether indulging in hearty comfort dishes or savoring gourmet creations, Somerset’s culinary landscape promises a delightful culinary journey where flavors intertwine with a vibrant community spirit.
Events and Festivals In Somerset Kentucky
Master Musicians Festival
Every year, Somerset Kentucky hosts the Master Musicians Festival, an enthralling celebration of music and artistic talent. Nestled in the heart of Kentucky, this two-day festival attracts music lovers from all across the state. With a diverse roster of exceptional musicians performing folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass, the festival provides a rich musical experience for all palates.
Enjoying mouthwatering local cuisine from food sellers, guests are treated to colorful entertainment set against the picturesque Somerset grounds. A memorable environment is created by the combination of the festival’s ambiance and the breathtaking natural surroundings.
In addition, the Master Musicians Festival celebrates community spirit in addition to music by holding family-friendly events, art exhibits, and seminars that promote unity and joy.
Somernites Cruise in Somerset is a car enthusiast’s haven, showcasing an impressive array of classic cars and hot rods. This monthly event, held on the 4th Saturday from April through October, transforms downtown Somerset into an automotive spectacle. Visitors can witness a stunning lineup of vintage vehicles, muscle cars, and custom rides, each boasting unique designs and meticulous craftsmanship.
The festivities include live music, food vendors, and a vibrant atmosphere perfect for families and car aficionados alike. Somernites Cruise celebrates automotive heritage, offering a platform for enthusiasts to gather, share stories, and revel in the nostalgia of these timeless automobiles. Whether you’re an enthusiast or simply curious about classic cars, this event promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Somerset.
There is a wide range of things to do in Somerset Kentucky suit a variety of interests. With everything from the peaceful embrace of nature to lively cultural events and delectable cuisine, this little city offers every visitor an unforgettable trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What makes Lake Cumberland a must-visit attraction in Somerset?
Lake Cumberland’s vast shoreline and diverse water activities make it a hotspot for recreational enthusiasts.
- Can visitors experience local cuisine in Somerset?
Absolutely! Somerset boasts diverse dining options, allowing visitors to savor local Southern delicacies and international cuisines.
- Are there accommodation options near Lake Cumberland?
Yes, visitors can find various accommodation options, including cabins and resorts, offering picturesque views of Lake Cumberland.
- When is the best time to visit Somerset for outdoor activities?
Spring and summer are ideal for outdoor adventures due to pleasant weather conditions and an array of outdoor events and festivals.
- What is Somerset Kentucky known for?
Somerset is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, particularly Lake Cumberland, which is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. The area is a hotspot for outdoor recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking, drawing visitors seeking natural beauty and adventure.
- What is the history of Somerset Kentucky?
Founded in 1798, Somerset, Kentucky, has a rich history deeply rooted in the American Civil War era. It was named after Somerset County, New Jersey, and played a significant role during the Civil War due to its strategic location and various skirmishes that occurred in the region.
- Is Kentucky a cheap place to travel?
Kentucky can be an affordable travel destination depending on preferences and planned activities. It offers a range of budget-friendly attractions such as free outdoor adventures, parks, and historical sites. However, costs for accommodations, dining, and entertainment may vary, so it’s advisable to plan and budget accordingly for a cost-effective trip.
- Are there kid-friendly things to do in Somerset Kentucky?
Yes, Somerset offers family-friendly events like the Somernites Cruise and educational experiences at Somerset Community College.