When I was a kid, many of our free weekends in the summer were spent swimming at Kentucky Lake or Rough River Lake or (fill in the blank) Lake. We were like human divining rods, always finding the water.

And that's easy to do when Kentucky has so many beautiful lakes. It's hard to make the WRONG choice when selecting one for a getaway. But what about those lakes that may be lesser-known but still offer everything you'd want from a recreational swimming spot?

Here's a quartet worth investigating:

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

Located on 14,000 acres near Dawson Springs, this beautiful getaway spot is a short drive from just about anywhere in western Kentucky, but well worth the drive from anywhere in the Commonwealth.

Taylorsville Lake Cove

This artificial lake, or reservoir, in Taylorsville is situated mainly in Spencer County KY and is a short drive southeast out of Louisville. There's also a very nice marina. But there's a quaint little cove where folks take a pause AND a dip, from time to time.

FRP-LaGrange Quarry

Sounds serious, doesn't it? A quarry. But don't let THAT deter you. It doesn't deter anyone else from enjoying a full day of swimming, floating, and fishing.

Get our free mobile app

Grayson Lake State Park

I love this park. A long time ago, a friend of mine took me here a long time ago. Loved it. Pretty sure you will, too. And it's not very far off Interstate 64 in Olive Hill, so it's easy to get there. Also, plan to do more than swim, as you will see here:

Swimming season is about to kick into high gear, and plenty of public pools will be open and ready for action. And they are a blast, for sure. But for pure nostalgic fun, I'll take swimming in any of Kentucky's beautiful lakes any day.

Now where did I store those trunks?

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

More From WGBF-FM