Kentucky isn’t a state that many people have on their bucket list.
I was watching an episode of Skin Wars and a participant had the challenge of painting body paint that reflected the state of Kentucky. Everyone was so confused and had no clue what Kentucky was actually like. “What’s in Kentucky?” “Are there even beaches in Kentucky” “All I know is they have Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
If you aren’t from Kentucky or the surrounding states you probably don’t know very much about the bluegrass state. You know about the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Fried Chicken, but do you know what city life is like, if there’s any hiking or famous attractions in the state?
I’m a Kentucky girl, but I’ve lived in different states over the past few years and I’m here to tell you a little something about Kentucky. Specifically, I’m here to tell you 9 reasons why you should stay far away from the bluegrass state.
1. The Appalachian Mountains will take your breath away
The eastern part of the state is home to the Appalachian Mountains. Put away all of the negative things you have heard about Appalachia. Eastern Kentucky is home to countless attractions and outdoor adventures. The Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland Falls, The Breaks, Natural Bridge State Park, The National Corvette Museum, Land Between the Lakes, and the Red River Gorge.. to name a few. Whether you are hiking, rock climbing, or white water rafting, the Appalachian Mountains don’t disappoint.
2. You can have a blast at Newport On The Levee
In the northern part of the state is the city of Newport. Only a ten minute drive and a bridge over the Ohio River separates Newport from Cincinnati, Ohio. On the river you will find the perfect place to spend the day, Newport On The Levee. You can enjoy the world famous restaurant, Tom and Chee. They have been featured in countless places online as well as on Food Network. Take a walk along the water, visit the Newport Aquarium, or answer to your sweet tooth and one of their sweet shops. Newport On The Levee really has it all.
3. The hiking is incredible
If you enjoy hiking, you won’t have a hard time finding adventure in Kentucky. Two of the best places to hike in the state are in Natural Bridge State Park and The Breaks Interstate Park. As the name suggests, the Natural Bridge State Park is home to a breathtaking natural bridge formation. The 215 foot natural bridge is said to be at least a million years old. The park has numerous hikes all offering different lengths, levels of difficulty, and views.
The Breaks Interstate Park in home to the largest natural canyon this side of the Mississippi. Also called the Grand Canyon of the south, the breaks offers easy-difficult hikes, white water rafting, kayaking, fishing, and camping. Without a doubt, The Breaks has the most spectacular views in the whole state.
4. Kentucky has a whopping 73 licensed distilleries
Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon and the bourbon trail brings in over one million tourists every year. The state of exports over $450 million in bourbon each year and you can find it all over the world. The bourbon trail is perfect to put on your travel bucket list. Great for solo travelers and couples.
5. There are countless opportunities to go horseback riding
Everyone knows Kentucky is famous for their horses. If you love horses or are interested in riding one for the first time, you won’t be at a loss for options. There are riding stables and horse trails from east to west. Take a short ride to acquaint yourself or if you are feeling up for a challenge take an overnight trip on horseback.
6. Kentucky is home to the largest cave system in the world
The Mammoth Cave System is the known cave system in the world. The cave system is 400+ miles and some 10 miles are available for you to explore. This is the perfect attraction for any time of the year since the underground stays around the same temperature all the time. You can choose from a variety of tours ranging in difficulty and there are even camping, hiking, and horseback riding opportunities in the area.
7. The southern hospitality
A visit to Kentucky wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some of that world famous southern hospitality. If you don’t want to travel to a place where the local are inviting, warm, and generous, then stay far away from Kentucky.
8. Louisville is the perfect city vacation
Louisville is one of the oldest towns west of the Appalachians. Louisville is home to a leg of the Kentucky Derby, The Triple Crown. If you are looking for one town to stay in in the bluegrass state, I recommend Louisville. You can visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville Zoo, or the Louisville Mega Caverns. Take a walking tour of the town, make a stop along the bourbon trail, eat delicious foods, visit museums, and stay in world famous hotels all right there in Louisville, Kentucky.
9. The state is home to the Horse Capital of The World
The second biggest city in the state is Lexington, the horse capital of the world. The city is beautiful to walk through and has so much to offer locals and visitors. Visit one of their many museums and parks or take a day to explore downtown Lexington. Kentucky is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and the Mary Todd Lincoln home can be found in Lexington. You’ll also find a number of distilleries, historic sites, and outdoor walking trails in the city.
Do you know that Kentucky had all of this to offer its visitors? Have you ever visited Kentucky? Let me know in the comments below!
About the author
Samantha Roberts is travel blogger who is always gone to a new destination with her two young daughters. From Kentucky, she has since moved to Texas, then North Carolina. She aims to help other mothers get rid of their fears of traveling with young children, provide location guides, and give advice on how to make travel with kids easier. She is active on her website (www.gonewithmybabies.com) as well as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.