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Somerset (Kentucky)

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Somerset is a city in Kentucky's Southern Lakes region. It is the main gateway to Lake Cumberland, a large man-made lake that is a major draw for water recreation of all types.

Get in[edit]

Somerset is accessible from two Interstate Highways; I-75 to the east and I-65 to the west.

  • I-75 northbound (from Tennessee and points south): Take the second London exit (exit 41) and head west on Kentucky Route 80 for about 25 miles. The highway runs right into Somerset.
  • I-75 southbound (from Lexington, Cincinnati, and points north): Take the Mount Vernon/Renfro Valley exit (exit 62) and head south on US 25. Slightly less than a mile from I-75, take Kentucky Route 461; stay on that road for about 18 miles until it dead-ends into Kentucky 80, and turn right. You'll reach the outskirts of Somerset about 6 miles later.
  • I-65 northbound (from Bowling Green, Nashville, and points south): Take the Cumberland Parkway exit (exit 43) and head east on the Cumberland Parkway for about 100 miles. The parkway, a four-lane controlled-access highway that was built as a toll road but is now free, ends in Somerset.
  • I-65 southbound (from points north of Louisville): Several routes are available, depending on your tolerance for rural roads. Probably the fastest, though not the shortest in mileage, is to take I-64 east out of Louisville, and then stay on I-75 after the 64/75 split in Lexington. Exit at Mount Vernon as above.

US 27 passes through Somerset, allowing easy access from Lexington, KY and Knoxville, TN (although most travelers from Lexington choose instead to take the I-75/KY 461 route).

Somerset is home to Lake Cumberland Regional Airport that has no scheduled air service, though charters are probably available [[1]].

Get around[edit]

Automobiles are the primary method of transportation in Somerset. Many of the businesses are located along US 27, which can lead to congestion, especially during rush hour. If you need to travel from the north side of the city to the south side and wish to avoid the traffic, the KY 914 bypass provides a much faster route. The downtown business district lies a few miles off US 27. It is easily accessible from Highway 80 and Monticello Street. US 27 is only road that connects Somerset and Burnside (Burnside is located on the lake and is home to many marinas, boat docks, etc.

Somerset has a small taxi service.

See[edit][add listing]

Located just minutes west of Somerset is the Mill Springs Battlefield in Nancy, KY. The Battlefield and Museum are both located off US 80. The Battle of Mill Springs was an important battle in the Civil War and home to several key historic places. The museum contains many pieces, including weapons, clothing, maps, photographs, and other supplies. The battlefield also hosts battle reenactments every year.

Do[edit][add listing]

Somerset's primary tourist attraction is Lake Cumblerland, the largest man-made lake by volume east of the Mississippi River. The lake is very popular among boaters, especially houseboat enthusiasts. Several rental services are offered in the area including speedboat, pontoon, jetski, and houseboat rentals. Fishing is also very popular. There are several private and public boat docks located throughout the area. These include:

  • General Burnside Island State Park (in Burnside, just south of Somerset on Highway 27)
  • Burnside Marina
  • Lee's Ford Marina (located off Highway 80 to the west of Somerset)
  • Waitsboro (southern Somerset)
  • Pulaski County Park (located off west 80)

General Burnside Island State Park is located on a small island in Burnside. It has camp grounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, a boat dock, playgrounds, and a golf course.

The area is home to other golf courses, including Eagle's Nest, Waitsboro Hills, and Woodson Bend.

The Master Musicians Festival is a three-day music festival held every summer is features a mix of nationally-famous and local bands. [Site]

The Center, a local venue often has theater productions and hosts concerts.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The Somerset Mall contains several stores. Also popular are local shops and flea markets.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The River House and The Harbor Restaurant both offer upper-scale, fine dining including a selection of fine wines.

Drink[edit][add listing]

In late June 2012, Somerset voted itself wet, allowing sales of alcoholic beverages both by the drink (in bars/restaurants) and packaged. Sales of beer began within a few weeks; sales of wine and spirits began in early 2013. Previously, the city had been "dry", prohibiting all sales of alcohol, a status it shared with surrounding Pulaski County. The city of Burnside, immediately to the south of Somerset on US 27, also allows the purchase of drinks with meals at restaurants, though not package sales. All restaurants in Burnside serve drinks, including The Pizza Pub, The River House, and Las Peñas.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Woodson Bend, Lee's Ford Resort, Connely Bottom Resort, and other local leasors all have cabins and suites available.

There are several hotels, including Comfort Inn, Best Western, Holiday Inn, Days Inn, and Hampton Inn.

Get out[edit]

Routes through Somerset
LexingtonNicholasville  N noframe S  Whitley CityHarriman-Rockwood


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!





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