I can’t really start this without wondering how Owensboro riverside didn’t make the list we’re going to discuss, but since it’s been determined by readers all over the country, I guess I can see why major metropolitan areas occupied the overall Top Ten.
Of course, it’s not like our beloved Smothers Park/Lazy Dayz Playground has gone unnoticed; The Landscape Architects Network named it the world’s best playground in 2015.
But in the river walk category (non-playground division), Kentucky is represented – and quite well, I might add.
LOUISVILLE WATERFRONT PARK
If you’ve ever visited Louisville’s beautiful Waterfront Park, you won’t be surprised at the praise it might receive.
One such recognition is a top five ranking in a “reader’s choice” list of the nation’s top waterfront parks by USA Today. Louisville’s Waterfront Park comes in fourth.
WATERFRONT PARK HAS A BUSY SCHEDULE
Although Waterfront Park is a great place to relax, take a relaxing walk or bike ride, or enjoy a picnic, it also hosts many events when the warm weather arrives. Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the waterfront is a two-day event every Thursday and Friday; it kinda reminds me of Owensboro’s Friday After 5. But Waterfront Park’s calendar is always packed with plenty of other fun events.
Here are some more impressive shots of Waterfront Park – an “Uncommon Commons” as they call it.
THE THREE BEST RIVERS IN THE UNITED STATES
In case you were wondering about the only three that have dominated Louisville’s Waterfront Park, the Wilmington Riverwalk along the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC came in third.
Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati finished second.
And it was the Detroit International Riverwalk which, for the second year in a row, won the USA Today readers’ trophy.
I love this discovery. When I visit major cities on rivers or bodies of water, I will have to google their river walks, lake walks, ocean walks, or whatever they might be called.
It’s always a good idea to have TOO much to do rather than too little.
LOOK: Here are the best lakeside towns to live in
Many of the towns included jump out at the casual observer as popular summer rental spots – Branson of the Ozarks, Missouri or Lake Havasu in Arizona – it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality of life offerings at beyond the beach and vacation homes. You’ll likely learn about a wide range of Americana: one of the last 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that began as a retirement area for Civil War veterans; an island teeming with some of the nation’s best public schools and revenue streams smack dab in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing more than the prison blues of Johnny Cash.
The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest
WATCH: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America
Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.