Only in Kentucky

More than bourbon and horses (but horses are good too)

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Yes, yes, yes, Kentucky is known for bluegrass, bourbon and horseracing, but there is so much more to this wonderful state.  While you are here, you need to participate in a little bit of everything, if you can. That way you leave with a reasonable overview of the Bluegrass State. So lets look at all the unique things that you can do here, Only in Kentucky.

The largest cities in Kentucky form what is known as the Golden Triangle, Louisville, Lexington and the Northern Kentucky region which includes Newport and Covington.  This triangle is home to the state’s largest concentration of population and it is where you will find all the amenities that come with a big city.  Yep, you can find all the chain restaurants and big box motels that you’d find anywhere else. But when you are here, why not indulge in things you can only find here?

Only in Kentucky: Outdoors and Nature

We have amazing outdoor recreation – did you know Kentucky is the Houseboat  Capital of the World?  Yes, the mighty Lake Cumberland is home to all those boats. We like to call it a lake but it is really the results of damming up the Cumberland River, which makes it really, really wide. Go there to do any water sport, and rent a houseboat while you’re there.  Any easy access point is Lake Cumberland State Resort Park but there are lots of marinas and resorts all along the lakes 1400 miles of shore line.   Another amazing feature of this river, is the phenomenal Cumberland Falls. This beautiful waterfall is easy to reach, and mesmerizing to watch.

Looking for some scenic beauty? Kentucky is the home of the Daniel Boone National Forest , spanning about 700,000 acres, it touches or goes thru 20 counties. You can hunt, fish, rock climb, hike, mountain bike and even zip line. Within the forest, about half way between Lexington and Morehead, you’ll find Natural Bridge State Resort Park.  This peaceful location is the perfect starting point to explore the beautiful rock formations and breathtaking vistas. Get there along manicured hiking trails or take the skylift all the way up.

In the southern part of the state find one of the country’s most hidden gems, but it’s only hidden because it is underground. Kentucky is home to Mammoth Cave National Park, and it ranks right up there with more famous parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Kentucky MammothCave
Photo by Garden State Hiker

Only in Kentucky: Arts

Berea, a tiny, but adorable, college town is home to many artists and creative types. So it is only fitting that it is home to the Berea Artisan Center, where you’ll find fabulous works by Kentucky artists. Pieces are for sale and on weekends they usually have artists demonstrating their craft.  Kentucky has some terrific performing arts venues too. At Louisville’s Actors Theatre you can watch never-before-seen plays and scenes, as well as full-scale theatrical productions. In the summer months you can enjoy plays and musicals under the stars at Bardstown’s My Old Kentucky Home State Park where they produce the beautiful musical The Stephen Foster Story each year.

Only in Kentucky: Cars

Kentucky might be known for horses but what visitors don’t know is that we make some fine cars here too. In Georgetown, just north of Lexington, take a tour of the Toyota plant, where you can watch Camry’s and other makes come down the assembly line.  Over on the outskirts of Bowling Green tour and visit the National Corvette Museum and bask in the glow that this is the only plant in the world making ‘vettes.

Only in Kentucky

Speaking of tours, if you haven’t tried Kentucky’s own soft drink, Ale 8-One, you are missing out. Tour the factory in Winchester if you want to learn more.  If you are a baseball fan, you might find it hard to believe that Kentucky is the maker of the bats. Yes, you can tour Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and see how it all came to be.  Sure Kentucky is known for Mint Julips and Fried Chicken, but have you ever had a Hot Brown? Find this delicious cheesy-turkey concoction on menus all over the state or order one where they were invented, Louisville’s Brown Hotel.

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