Big Bear Resorts, Inc.

Established in 1948 as TVA's FIRST Kentucky Lake Resort, Big Bear began as Big Bear Camp with 200 rental row boats stacked on shore nightly, wood cabins on stilts and a marina staff that slept in the marina so that boat rentals could start at 3 am!

For 46 of the 70 years, Big Bear has been owned by the Meier family, Rick Meier and his wife, Janet Caldemeyer.  Many families have passed through our doors camping, boating and staying in our cottages.  It is truly a gift to be able to see a member of the Big Bear family return with their children and grandchildren.

Today Big Bear Resort has a 130 slip marina with a fully stocked store and boat rentals, 24 cottages ranging from the original block cottages to Chalets, Townhouses and Villas, Private Condominium rentals and a 75 spot campground, all located on our 52 acres.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 36.899368 Longitude: -88.223975 Elevation: 384 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
janet caldemeyer

Lodging Style and Amenities

Our lodging includes 1 & 2 BR block cottages, 3 BR Marina Townhouses, 2 BR Villa, 3 BR Chalets and a 4 BR Executive Cottage.  We also rent Private Condos as part of our rental pool.  With so many options, Big Bear is able to cater to large family reunions with a wide range of prices.  In addition, we have a 75 spot campground.

Seasons Open

April 1 through October 31

Recreational Opportunities

Big Bear has 1 mile of shoreline located directly on Kentucky Lake's Big Bear Embayment.  Spring and Fall fishing are centered around our fabulous Crappie fishing.  When late Spring hits, we transition to Largemouth Bass  fishing.  Small mouth, White Bass or Stripes, Catfish and Sauger fishing make up the Summer fishing.

Kentucky Lake has 2300 miles of shoreline with 2/3 of it still wilderness areas managed by the US Forest Park Service or State and Local governments.  This makes the lake a truly unique environment for boaters and fisherman alike.  Many coves make for great anchor locations with the adjacent beaches becoming a day spot to make base.  With an average depth of 12', sailboats enjoy many regattas on the open lake. 

Rate Range

Campground is $30-$ and the units are $75-$400

Driving Directions

From Chicago
Take 90/94 south to I-57
Take I-57 south to I-24
Take I-24 south into Kentucky, past Paducah
Take the Fulton exit 25A (Purchase Parkway), before KY Dam, south to the Draffenville exit 47 
(look for lodging signs), which is Hwy 68E
Make a left at the end of this exit’s ramp
Proceed a short distance (about 3/4 mile) through this commercial part of town, staying toward the left when Hwy 68E forks
Travel about 3.5 miles to Big Bear HWY (look for waypoint signage on the right)
Turn left onto Big Bear HWY and go about 3.2 miles to resort’s entrance on the left

From St. Louis
Take I-64 east into Illinois to I-57
Take I-57 south to I-24
Take I-24 south into Kentucky, past Paducah
Take the Fulton exit 25A(Purchase Parkway), before KY Dam, south to the Draffenville exit 47(look for lodging signs), which is Hwy 68E
Make a left at the end of this exit’s ramp
Proceed a short distance (about 3/4 mile) through this commercial part of town, staying toward the left when Hwy 68E forks
Travel about 3.5 miles to Big Bear HWY (look for waypoint signage on the right)
Turn left onto Big Bear HWY and go about 3.2 miles to resort’s entrance on the left
From Indianapolis
Follow red line on the map


Take I 70 west toward Terre Haute and Hwy 41
Take Route 41 south to Pennyrile Parkway in Kentucky
Take Pennyrile Parkway south to Western Kentucky Parkway
Take Western Kentucky Parkway west to I-24 heading towards Paducah, KY
Take the Exit 25A (Purchase Parkway) south to the Draffenville exit #47
Make a left at the end of this exit’s ramp onto Hwy 68E
Proceed a short distance (about 3/4 mile) through this commercial part of town, staying toward the left when Hwy 68 forks
Travel about 3.5 miles to Big Bear HWY (look for waypoint signage on the right)
Turn left onto Big Bear HWY and go about 3.2 miles to resort’s entrance on the left

From Nashville
Take I-24 toward Paducah, Kentucky
Stay on I-24 until the Fulton exit #25A
Take the Fulton exit 25A (Purchase Parkway) south to the Draffenville exit #47
Make a left at the end of this exit’s ramp onto Hwy 68E
Proceed a short distance (about 3/4 mile) through this commercial part of town, staying toward the left when Route 68 forks
Travel about 3.5 miles to Big Bear HWY (look for waypoint signage on the right)
Turn left onto Big Bear HWY and go about 3.2 miles to resort’s entrance on the left

From Cincinnati
Take I-71 S towards Louisville to I-65
Take I-65 S towards Nashville until Western Kentucky Parkway
Take Western Kentucky Parkway west toward Paducah to I-24
Take the Fulton exit 25A (Purchase Parkway) south to the Draffenville exit 47 (look for lodging signs), which is Hwy 68E
Make a left at the end of this exit’s ramp
Proceed a short distance (about 3/4 mile) through this commercial part of town, staying toward the left when Hwy 68E forks
Travel about 3.5 miles to Big Bear HWY (look for waypoint signage on the right)
Turn left onto Big Bear HWY and go about 3.2 miles to resort’s entrance on the left

 

Eco-Friendly Notes

Big Bear Resorts, Inc. was the FIRST documented "Clean Marina" by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Locally or Family Owned Business Notes

Owned since 1971 by the Meier family.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are allowed in the CG and various designated units.

Comments

I have worked here 7 out of the last 8 summers doing maintenance and in the marina. Big Bear has been good to me and I look forward to this coming summer to meet the many returning guest. Get you reservations made while there are still choices.

Val Warner, 1/30/2018

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