To find out what Kentucky Lake area attractions are tops with teens, we went to the local experts. We surveyed the Livingston County High School Travel and Tourism class to get their feedback on fun area venues for teens.

One word that came up often in their comments: Explore! Livingston County teens likee to be on or around the water, be active, and they love to explore. If you’re a teen traveling to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley area with family, here is the list of the top seven attractions recommended for teens by teens.

1. Go to the Drive-in Movies

Our teens recommend a night of nostalgia at the original Calvert City Drive-In Movie Theater. The movie theater plays double features of first-run films, and the snack bar is famous for their burgers and pizzas. The students shared that it is a fun activity for families and for groups of friends. They like that it is very budget friendly, and they do love the snack bar.

2. Play Miniature Golf

Our teens enjoy miniature golf, and their favorite area course is Maggie’s Jungle Golf in Gilbertsville. Maggie’s includes A Miniature golf course and a Jungle Run area. The students picked it because it has animals in addition to the mini-golf, and you can ride a golf cart through the jungle run area. Also because it was budget friendly.

3. Spend time at the Water Park

Our students recommend you cool off and soak up the fun at Venture River Water Park in Eddyville, KY.  Venture River is the largest water park in western Kentucky. The Park features a large wave pool, seven water slides, a lazy river, the Pleasure Island Kiddie area, speed slides, and more.

4. Spend Time Outdoors: Land Between The Lakes / National Recreation Area

Our students like to get outside and explore the outdoors in this 170,000-acre National Recreation Area located between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. The teens mentioned lake time, camping, hiking and time outdoors as reasons to love Land Between The Lakes.

5. Hike to see historical Mantle Rock

Our students like the opportunity to hike and to explore history at Mantle Rock Nature Conservancy Preserve. The preserve is a certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, and it is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The National Historic Trail of Tears follows the route of the 1838-1839 forced migration of the Cherokee Nation. Mantle Rock is accessible by single track natural trail via hiking. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset.

6. Go to A Music Show

Our Livingston County teens like music, and their favorite area music theater is the Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers. The shows feature singers, dancers and live music. The Playhouse offers a variety of musical styles including the Fabulous 50’s Show, Super 60’s Show, Southern Gospel Show, Christmas Shows, and more.

7. Shop Dine and Play at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement, Grand Rivers

Patti’s is currently rebuilding the restaurant after a fire, but they are known for their award-winning food. Patti’s 1880’s Settlement also features a wide variety of family fun activities, including miniature golf, gold panning, remote control boats, beautiful gardens, eight gift shops in restored log cabins and the 1880’s old time photo studio.

8. Bonus: Rent a Boat 

We added a bonus as coming in at a close 8th (only 2 points behind The Badgett Playhouse and Patti’s), our students recommend visitors Rent a Boat at Green Turtle Bay Marina and Resort. To quote one of our students, “Going on a boat ride on the lake is the best part of summer. You can spend time with family and friends and have a lot of fun swimming and riding around. The lake is a fun place to make memories.” Green Turtle Bay Boat Rentals offers a fleet of Avalon luxury pontoons, tritoons, and double-decker pontoons with sliding board, as well as Alumacraft fishing boats.


While there may be no surprises on the list, I found many of the comments the students shared in the survey were very impressive. They were very conscious of costs, and their list includes affordable options to stretch travel budgets.

Our area is full of outdoor adventure, and it was challenging for many students to pick their top seven choices. For a list of all area adventures, make sure you check out our Attractions Page.

As an added Travel Tip from the Livingston County students- many recommended that if you are traveling with teens, stay at a hotel with a pool. Check out Livingston County Resorts, Hotels, and Camping options on our Lodging Page.

A BIG THANK YOU to Mrs. Ramage and the Travel and Tourism Class of Livingston County High School!