The pace of life is a little more leisurely in Albany, KY. Settled into the rolling hills in the southeastern part of the state, this community has seen its share of hardships during the Civil War.
But these days, Albany exudes a quiet, peaceful life, catering to family-friendly destinations, eateries, and activities. Let’s check out five ways you can explore this town like one of the locals.
About Albany, KY
Founded in 1838, Albany began life as a small, pleasant community. But by the Civil War, it landed smack dab in the middle of Confederate territory. Residents watched as most of the buildings downtown were burned to the ground. At least one of the locals evidently agreed with the confederates. In fact, Champ Ferguson was hanged for his atrocities after the war ended. A plaque in Albany labels him a “Civil War terrorist” and guerrilla leader.
The town built back and put the disaster behind it, recapturing its bucolic atmosphere. Today, it boasts a population of around 2,000. Although it sits off the beaten path, its location close to several major fishing lakes makes Albany, KY, a popular destination.
5 Ways to Experience Albany, KY, Like a Local
Spend a day or two in Albany, KY, and you may experience a sense of deja vu, harkening back to a simpler time, when life was sweet, you knew your neighbors, and all of the kids played kickball in the street together.
Here’s just a few activities that will take your stress away and replace it with relaxed satisfaction.
1. Have a Picnic at Mountain View Park
Address: Mountain View Park, Albany, KY 42602
With plenty of room to stretch out, Mountain View Park offers a large children’s playground, several sports fields, hiking paths, and several picnic areas with BBQ grills. Kids will enjoy the basketball court, baseball diamonds, and a great assortment of play equipment.
And adults can take a break in the shade in the safe environment of the park while their children play. Or they might walk on the fitness paths that have instructional stations along the way. But even a quick visit to Mountain View Park for a picnic is the perfect mid-day activity for those exploring Albany, KY, and the surrounding areas.
2. Check Out the Clinton County Fair
Address: 335 Fairgrounds Rd, Albany KY 42602
If traveling through Albany, KY, at the end of June or beginning of July, add a trip to the Clinton County Fair to your list of destinations. The activities skew toward typical small-town competitions that will captivate locals and visitors alike.
From “The Cutest Baby” show to a demolition derby, car show, beauty pageant, and rodeo, fair attendees might feel like they’ve ventured back in time when entertainment was charming and quaint and offered something for every member of the family. Don’t miss the lawnmower pull, wrestling matches, the “Muddy Mayhem Obstacle Run,” monster truck show, and fair-ending fireworks display if you want to reminisce about a perfect community get-together.
3. Go for a Swim at Seventy Six Falls
Address: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seventy Six Falls Recreation Area, Albany, KY 42602
About a 10-minute drive outside of Albany sits Seventy Six Falls. The falls are about 84 feet high and drop into a beautiful lake. Once, you could find several mills above the falls. Now, however, the Army Corps of Engineers, who manages Lake Cumberland, maintains a park there. This is a great local place to hike and enjoy the sights.
4. Take a Drive to the Wolf River Resort
Address: 6703 Wolf River Dock Rd, Albany, KY 42602
Southwest of Albany on Dale Hollow Lake lies Wolf River Resort, the number one spot in the region for a family fishing vacation. This destination actually falls on the Tennessee side of the line but still has the entire shoreline of both states as its playground for those casting a line. The resort has its own marina, where you can rent a fishing boat or pontoon.
With a store for supplies, you can load up on food and lure and take the family on a leisurely tour of this huge lake that was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority back in the 1930s. The more adventurous folks in your group will love to jump off the rocks into the lake. And everyone can cast their line from the boat. Once back on land, enjoy an evening meal at the Anchor Down Restaurant and watch the sunset over the water.
5. Pig Out on BBQ at Hunter’s
Address: 2636 U.S. 127, Albany, KY 42602
If you’ve worked up an appetite, satisfy it at Hunter’s Bar-B-Q just north of Albany. Open only on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, the restaurant turns out tasty ribs, chicken, brisket, and pulled pork sandwiches, complemented by lots of homemade side dishes. Load up on pigtails (fries), vinegar slaw, swamp cabbage, or BBQ eggs.
There are salads for the vegetarians, but beware! Hunter’s sells their meats by the pound, as well. Family meals that will feed all yer young ‘uns are available, as are hamburgers and hotdogs for those who don’t wish to partake of the BBQ offerings.
Traveler’s Tip: Just because you’re in the state of Kentucky doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ocean! Check out this million-gallon aquarium outside of Alexandria, KY.
Visit This Small Town on Your Next Roadtrip
A trip through Albany, KY, can be a highlight for travelers searching for small-town charm and gentile Southern hospitality. Why not put it on your destination list when headed through the Bluegrass State? Where would you stop first when visiting Albany? Are there any spots we missed?