The city of Benton, Kentucky is the county seat of Marshall County and is located centrally in Marshall. It’s nestled in a line of hills, in an otherwise flat part of the state, and the Clarks River runs through it. There’s an abundance of trees in Marshall Co. that turn beautiful, vivid colors each fall, making it a nice place for a scenic drive.
Benton is known for it’s “Tater Day” celebration, which is a festival that began back in 1842! What started out as a day to distribute potato seedlings to boost local agriculture, has since grown into a long weekend springtime festival that draws people in from the whole area. Tater Day includes a carnival, a flea market, demolition derby and a parade— complete with a local beauty pageant. There’s a pancake breakfast, a gospel singing and plenty of vendors selling delicious fair food!
People flood the town to the well known festival every first Monday in April. Benton is also known for it’s “Big Singing” which is held the fourth Sunday of May at the Marshall County Courthouse, a local tradition since 1883.
A visiting Benton is like stepping into quintessential “small town America”, which makes it a wonderful place to live! There are beautiful subdivisions, and a couple of them are close to the Benton Country Club, which is a plus to those who enjoy golfing and other outdoor activities. There are some lovely, established neighborhoods near the city park, and in walking distance to the newly built library and the court square, as well.
A good way to get the feel for Benton is to peruse its charming court square that’s full of antique shops, clothing boutiques, salons, a jewelry store and more! In the summer, you will find a small Farmer’s Market set up on one of the corners where you can buy locally grown produce and fresh canned goods. In the winter, the court square holds the Dickens celebration, with it’s hot cocoa stations and bonfires to warm up while you wait for the Christmas parade to begin.
If you’re hungry for some homemade country cooking and BBQ, there are plenty of restaurants that serve of some delicious food. These restaurants are where you’ll likely find the locals catching up on the latest news. You can get a delicious BBQ sandwich served on toasted white bread slices with some of the best home-cooked sides at Hutchen’s BBQ, offering up hot, fresh food since 1947. If your taste is for something different, check out newer local favorite Café Celebre where homemade crepes are the served up daily!
Benton is in an area full of outdoor recreation! The choice of parks to enjoy in Marshall County are excellent. The H.H. Lovett Park is walkable for many who live in town, but Mike Miller Park is just a few minutes from Benton city limits off I-69, and is the one of the finest in the area! Some of the park’s best features include its shady walking trail along the perimeter, and the beautiful lake which is the jewel of the whole park. Complete with a pier to fish off of and park benches, this lake makes a serene spot to relax for a spell.
The park’s largest pavilion serves as an excellent place to have parties. Want an inside place to host your gathering? Mike Miller park has a building for that, too! Soccer and baseball fields, basketball and tennis courts, and a splash park are some of the other amenities to enjoy. This well-planned park is in an asset to the community!
Another place to enjoy the great outdoors near Benton is Kentucky Lake and Land Between the Lakes (LBL). Just a short drive away is the beauty and all the recreation that comes with lake life! The beautiful Kentucky Lake brings in people from all over the country to enjoy its fishing, water sports and hiking. The Golden Pond nature station in LBL isn’t far from Benton and has a Planetarium with daily showings and an LBL history exhibit.
On your way back into town you can stop at one of the catfish restaurants like The Pond or locally-famous Belew’s Dairy Bar which is a classic burger and shake drive-in complete with car hops. It’s the perfect place to grab a casual meal after being on the lake all day. This relaxed lake life feel is carried back into Benton.
To live in Benton is to be a part of an incredible community with people who are there for one another — where small businesses are the what make up the town and where nature and recreation is at your back door. Neighbors are there for one another and the sense of community is ever so strong!