Tucked away just south of the Cumberland River on Lake Barkley in Grand Rivers, Kentucky is Green Turtle Bay Resort & Marina. The marina is smack dab in the middle of both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, which surrounds a 170,000-acre playground called “Land Between the Lakes.” This National Recreation area is a perfect escape for camping, nature walks, bison and elk sightings, kayaking, birding and more!
Bill Gary III bought Green Turtle Bay Resort & Marina, previously named Port KenBar, in April 1984. Bill mapped out a long-range development plan that won the approval of the Corps of Engineers. The plan included a unique cabin/condo rental program. It was to their advantage that after the vision was crafted, the Tenn-Tom Waterway opened the next winter. In the fall of 1986, Green Turtle Bay had its first group of “southbounders” from the Great Lakes, which has drastically increased year after year.
Since 1996, Bill’s son, Bill Gary IV — who holds the title of both Vice President of Operations and Harbormaster, has run the marina facilities. Today, the resort has 85 units ranging from one- to four-bedroom condos. All units have private bathrooms for each bedroom — perfect for a family vacation. The marina has 500 slips and 200 dry stack storage slips, all while accommodating vessels up to 130 feet. Boat repairs are available on-site and the staff is well versed in both gas and diesel engines, along with electrical and hydraulic boat systems. Other amenities include water sport rentals (pontoons, paddle boards, kayaks), a ship store, a fitness center with indoor swimming pool, a weight and equipment room, sauna and showers.
Transient guests are welcome. The marina is a very popular stop for many boaters doing the Great Loop that pass through this area each fall. This past year, the marina had over 150 Great Loopers stop at the resort. “It’s all about location, location, location. Both Barkley and Kentucky Lakes are such a draw to our visiting boaters,” states Bill Gary IV.
When it is time for a bite to eat, stop in at the on-site Dockers Bayside Grille for a heart-healthy breakfast omelet or their famous “Turtle Burger” for lunch. For dinner, The Commonwealth Yacht Club offers a “Cheers-like” atmosphere serving up excellent cuisine. In the need of a spa day? On-site is Jade & Earth Spa offering everything from facials, manicures and massages to haircuts and styling.
This fall when cruising, be sure to stop in at Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina and experience its “water-way-of-life.”