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Destinations for generations

Families that stay together, play together 

Parents, grandparents, children and other extended family members traveling together find lots of vacation options in Kentucky that accommodate all ages and interests, from houseboating trips to camp or “glampground” getaways to large cabins and vacation rentals with plenty of elbow room. 

Simmstown Manor, Springfield 

Several generations of the prominent John Simms family lived in the historic, circa 1842 Simmstown Manor, which Simms had purchased from the original owners following the Civil War. In 1983, Saddlebred horse trainer Larry Hodge bought the home from John Simms’ great-grandson and set about renovating it, maintaining as much of the home’s historical integrity as possible. 

Today Simmstown Manor, served by Salt River Electric, is a vacation rental, serving multigenerational families well with room for six in the main house and an additional six in the carriage house. Among guests’ favorite activities are exploring the grounds, visiting the retired horses that live on the land and spending time in one another’s company on the back patio. Options include adding swimming and fishing in the lake and booking a meal with the home’s former private chef. Additionally, Hodge will provide a tour of the home if requested. 

“Everyone loves hearing the story of the history of the home and the process of its restoration,” says Helen Hodge, Larry Hodge’s granddaughter. 

Kentucky State Parks 

Camping and lodging at a Kentucky state park is always a one-size-fits-all adventure, with a variety of activities for every member of the family, and for time spent together and apart. Depending on the park, boating, swimming, fishing, axe throwing (yes! axe throwing), golfing, hiking, strolling, biking and birding are among the possibilities, along with dining on dishes made with local ingredients and shopping for gifts created by Kentucky authors and artists. Of course, doing absolutely nothing on a shaded balcony while drinking in the views is also a top choice. 

Parks like Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park have the added allure of a museum where visitors can learn about area history by watching a video and exploring exhibits of Native American and pioneer artifacts as well as mastodon bones. For family reunion groups, the lodge offers two suites, and one can be used as a hospitality center. 

The Old Farmhouse at Cedars Hill, Booneville 

This three-bedroom, late 1800s farmhouse with rocking chair front porch and idyllic setting 35 minutes south of Red River Gorge has hosted families whose members ranged in age from 3 to 84. 

“Our old farmhouse is restored to the era with antiques and modern conveniences, which reminds older members of a family of days gone by,” says Stephen Gibson, who owns the home with his wife, Zina Gibson. “Young and older alike enjoy the quiet and restful 70-plus acres of a working forage farm with plenty of wooded areas for hiking and exploring.” 

The house, served by Jackson Energy, has a pavilion with a fire pit, grill, outdoor TV, large picnic table and outdoor games, surrounded by plenty of space for children to run and play. In season, a small vegetable garden is available for guest use. Nearby activities include golfing, ATV trails and access to the South Fork of the Kentucky River. Red River Gorge Geological Area is just 35 minutes north. 

Lee’s Ford Resort Marina, Nancy 

Not much pairs better for warm weather getaways than families and water-based activities. Lee’s Ford Resort Marina, located 4 miles from Somerset and served by South Kentucky RECC, puts all the fun right on the water with a fleet of 11 different harbor cottages and houseboats on beautiful Lake Cumberland, which bills itself as the houseboat capital of the world. 

With room for 10, the Grand Yurt at Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals is ideal for multigeneration family travelers. Photo: Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals

Several of the houseboats sleep up to 10 people and include kitchen, two baths and a variety of amenities: upper party deck, covered front porch, covered patio, grill, washer and dryer, multiple TVs and more. The full-service marina also has jet ski, speedboat and pontoon rentals. A Ship Store stocks everything from boating parts and bathing suits to sandwiches and soft serve ice cream. 

Benham Schoolhouse Inn, Benham 

School’s out, but history lessons are very much in at this former educational institution turned resort, where hallways were once crowded with students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Today, the fully refurbished inn in a scenic Appalachian Mountains setting features a variety of individually decorated guestrooms and historical artifacts throughout the building recalling its former school days, including lockers lining the hallways. 

Located in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, Benham Schoolhouse Inn gets an A+ as a getaway for families. Photo: Benham Schoolhouse Inn

Several nearby attractions give families the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Appalachia and Kentucky’s coal mining heritage, including the Portal 31 Underground Mine Tour and the Kentucky Coal Museum. Also part of the curriculum? Studying nature through the wildlife, hiking trails and fishing and pedal boat lake at Kingdom Come State Park. 

A getaway glimpse for generations 

Breathtaking—inside and out. That’s a good way to describe two disparate but equally charming rental homes that are perfect for multigenerational getaways: The rural Old Farmhouse at Cedars Hill and stately Simmstown Manor

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