Lake Cumberland is the self-proclaimed houseboat capital of America. Clocking up a whopping 101 miles as it wiggles through the wooded hills of southern Kentucky, from Wolf Creek Dam to Burnside, it certainly has the space to host all those intriguing abodes on the water. This guide can help you pinpoint the top spot to go in search of your Lake Cumberland boat rentals, offering hot hints, budget-saving tips, and more along the way.
What type of Lake Cumberland houseboats are there?
Whether you're after a static vacation rental that sloshes with the ripples of Lake Cumberland or something for the whole family that will let you roam the riverways and beaches, the pointers below show that there's loads of houseboats to choose from in these parts.
The classic harbor cottage
From afar, you could be forgiven for thinking that Lake Cumberland's houseboat cottages were actually land-lubber homes. They look every inch the classic Kentucky bungalow, with white-picket porches and painted wood siding. Get closer, though, and you'll see they are moored to a jetty and set on a wide block on the water.
A moveable houseboat
Nothing says 'Lake Cumberland adventure' like a moveable houseboat. These are the vacation homes that you can untie and set sail with. They offer a unique experience that means doing away with foundations, drifting from inlet to inlet, marina to marina.
Family houseboats with multiple bedrooms
Summer in Lake Cumberland is doozy for family groups. There are whizzing tubing rivers, challenging hiking paths on the fringes of the Great Smoky Mountains, and buzzy boat towns with cafés and diners galore. You might need to find a family-sized houseboat for all that. They come with two, three, or even four bedrooms, along with larger living spaces and even the occasional pet-friendly policy.
The best places to find Lake Cumberland boat rentals
Lake Cumberland is the ninth-largest reservoir in the whole country, running for mile upon mile through the low hills of south-central Kentucky. That means it's got loads of docks and marina towns to explore, each with their own array of houseboats and attractions.
The marinas of Lee's Ford
Straddling a northern fork of Lake Cumberland, the ports of Lee's Ford are packed with Lake Cumberland boat rentals. Come summer, the jetties here become a vibrant mass of fishing folk, swimmers, and sunbathers. There are oodles of water sports outfitters in the town, offering water skiing and tubing. And the Pulaski County Park is just next door, home to empty beaches and nature trails.
Burnside – right by the peaks and forest
Burnside is perhaps the most popular of all Lake Cumberland's marina towns. It's certainly one of the biggest, capping off the lake at its eastern end. From large vessels to compact weekend boats, it's got all sorts of options bobbing by its quays. And it's the stepping stone into the vast Daniel Boone National Forest, where hikers and mountain bikers can explore the oak and hemlock groves that extend beyond Appalachia.
How to get bargain Lake Cumberland houseboat deals
There's no reason to break the bank on that quest for Lake Cumberland houseboats. Follow the tips below and you might just find that a Kentucky swimming and fishing jaunt doesn't cost loads, even during the popular summer season.
Booking early is key
There's always soaring demand for Lake Cumberland boat rentals in the warmer months of the year. To ensure you get the pick of the best-priced escapes before they get tagged by other travelers, it's a good idea to start that accommodation search as early as you can.
Spring and fall for Lake Cumberland houseboat bargains
Summer is, naturally, the time to be at Lake Cumberland boat rentals. The beaches get speckled with sunbathers and swimmers, the Daniel Boone National Forest fills with hikers, and the water-sports outfitters bring in crowds of SUP boarders and kayakers between June and July. However, the larger crowds typically mean larger prices, leaving the lower rates to months like May and September.
Be flexible with destination choice
The Lake Cumberland boat rentals that wait in the marinas of Lee's Ford and Burnside might be on the doorstep of the region's most alluring state parks and beaches, but they aren't the only options around. In fact, you can sometimes unearth a bargain if you're willing to stray to lesser-known corners of this great Kentucky water.