Stretching for over 100 miles from end to end, Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland is one of the country’s largest dam reservoirs. The lake’s rugged beauty and bounty of surrounding green spaces help to attract millions of visitors each year, though this is a lake that’s also known for its trophy-sized fishing, thrilling water sports, and signature events like early August’s Lake Cumberland Raft Up and September’s Lake Cumberland Poker Run.

Houseboating on Lake Cumberland

Kentucky’s Southern Shoreline region is no stranger to houseboat rentals, though the fleet found at the Lake Cumberland State Dock Marina is described as the world’s largest. You won’t need anything special to take your pick from the choice of Lake Cumberland houseboats, either – just a driver’s license and a quick boating lesson and your sea legs will be ready to go.

Amenities included with Lake Cumberland houseboat rentals

The amenities included with your houseboat will vary depending on the size of the boat, though even small Lake Cumberland houseboats – those that accommodate around eight people – feature a rooftop deck with a waterslide, along with a kitchenette, gas grill, and air conditioning. For larger groups, luxury Lake Cumberland houseboat rentals accommodate up to 18 guests and come complete with a 12-person hot tub, multiple sundecks, and a two-story tube slide for the kids.

Best time to book Lake Cumberland houseboat vacations

Like other vacation home rentals in Kentucky, Lake Cumberland houseboat rental prices change depending on the season. The hot, sunny days with highs in the 80s, as served up in June, July, and August, make summer rentals an enduring choice but also the most expensive. It’s easy enough to slash the cost of your boat simply by splitting the price between a large group, though true budget-friendly breaks are perhaps best enjoyed in the spring months of March, April, and up to Memorial Day in May, as well as after Labor Day into October.

Where to rent houseboats on Lake Cumberland

The Lake Cumberland State Dock Marina may hold the record for being the home of the world’s largest fleet of houseboats, though it’s not the only place to rent houseboats on Lake Cumberland. You can also rent boats at the Beaver Creek and Jamestown Marinas, as well as the Burnside Marina at the lake’s eastern tip – this latter marina the perfect chance to squeeze in a side trip to General Burnside State Park, the Bluegrass State’s only island state park.

Things to do at Lake Cumberland

A houseboat vacation is your chance to go off-grid and enjoy a bit of quality time with family, friends, or both. Lake Cumberland is no exception, the lake’s more than 1,200 miles of wooded shoreline home to oodles of spots that make the perfect base camp. When you’ve picked your favorite, you can spend your days swimming, jet skiing, and soaking up the rays – and your nights grilling freshly caught fish, watching spectacular sunsets, and spotting shooting stars. And when it’s time to explore on land, you’ll find countless reasons why your vacation needn’t stop at the shoreline.

Visit Wolf Creek Dam and National Fish Hatchery

Closing only on Christmas Day, the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery is a working hatchery offering tours and trout fishing, as well as a theater, gift shop, and several meandering hiking and biking trails. A visit here tends to get a thumbs up from all ages, while also serving up a good chance to catch a glimpse of the Wolf Creek Dam.

Natural adventures in Daniel Boone National Forest

The landscape surrounding Lake Cumberland is by no means short of must-sees, though the Daniel Boone National Forest deserves a spot in the itinerary of any nature lover or adventure seeker. Packed with sandstone cliffs, narrow ravines, and forested slopes, it’s home to some of the wildest terrains west of the Appalachians.

Score a culture fix in Russell Springs

The veritable gateway to Lake Cumberland, a stop in Russell Springs is your chance to squeeze a bit of culture into your stay. Head to Main Street to catch a show at the 1940s-era Historical Star Theater, or to Lakeway Drive, where just a few bucks will buy you a ticket to a first run movie at the wonderfully retro Key Twin Cinema.