Since my theme this month is "Friendship", I thought it would behoove me to write a post on some of the things I would suggest doing in the area when a friend comes to visit.
Somerset is quite close to several areas of Lake Cumberland, and there are a few business that will rent you anything from a 'personal watercraft' all the way up to a houseboat. There are even the occasional boat races on Lake Cumberland. In addition, marinas usually offer holdiay related events such as fireworks on July 4th and drive-through Christmas light displays at the end of the year. For lots of links and information, you can visit the Lake Cumberland Tourism site maintained by the Somerset/Pulaski County Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
If you have kids, there is always the Somersplash Water Park, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and the odd weekend before or after those days. Attractions include a wading pool for the wee ones amongst us, a lazy river perfect for relaxation, a wave pool and multiple body or tube slides (including a bowl slide and a speed slide) for those more adventurous than me!
If you are into fishing, there is plenty of opportunity for that too. (I don't usually go, but my husband and his father are avid fishers.)
2. Cumberland Falls
There are lots of hiking trails around the falls and several scenic lookout terraces. Probably the most popular time to go is on a night where there is a moonbow over the falls.
3. Historical Sites
There are several Civil War ear sites around here, but Mill Springs is arguably the most famous. They have a visitors' center and do re-enactments every so often, as well as some kid-friendly ghost-type activities around Halloween.
Ft. Boonesboro (of Daniel Boone fame) is a little farther away, but makes a nice day trip. You go into the fort, see a short multi-media presentation and then can walk around and see shops and cabins as they would have appeared in Boone's time. I liked seeing the progression of cabins (first where it is just a room really, with a dirt floor) showing how living quarters improved from just after move-in until after they had been there for a while and made improvements. My boys really liked the blacksmith. It is my understanding that several people/guides etc live there much as they did back in the day ... including having to make their own fire.
4. Festivals Etc.
Two things for which Somerset is probably most well-known is the Master Musicians' Festival and Somernites Cruise.
I did not know much about the MMF until my brother (who is in music at the University of Utah) mentioned it some years ago. Being that he thinks it's a big deal, it must be! Their site hasn't been updated for 2013 yet, but they do have a rather active Facebook page. And one year, MMF had Nuttin' But Stringz there, which is like one of my favorites. I'm going to try to embed a Youtube video:
Somernites Cruise is draws the biggest crowds to Somerset on the 4th weekend of each month, April through October. On Friday night there is a block party downtown for the cruise. On Saturday afternoon, people park their vintage vehicles along main street and people walk by and they all gab about cars for the entire afternoon. Parking can be a bear at times, but that's to be expected. There are food and craft, etc, vendors around as well. Then, Saturday night, the cars cruise up and down Highway 27.
People are setting up lawnchairs, blankets, coolers, etc etc up and down Highway 27 and setting up in front of the various businesses to get the best vantage point for see the cars cruising by. This usually starts early Saturday morning, but I've even seen folks out the night before!
Anyway, when folks come to visit, we can always find something to see or do, even if they want a true "vacation" and want to rest. But how often does that happen, really?