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Kentucky Travel Notes

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Kentucky Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Discover the beauty and charm of Kentucky with our guide to its must-see destinations, including horse racing, bourbon distilleries, and natural wonders.

About Kentucky

Kentucky has a vibrant tourism industry, offering visitors various experiences such as bourbon tours, horse racing, outdoor activities and cultural attractions.

Kentucky is also known as the Bluegrass State, after early pioneers found bluish-purple buds growing on Kentucky's rich limestone soil and traders began asking for the seed of the 'blue grass from Kentucky'.

States neighbouring Kentucky: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.

Travel Map Mapping Kentucky

Map of Kentucky

Map of Kentucky

Kentucky is bordered by Illinois and Indiana to the north-west, Ohio to the north, West Virginia to the north-east, Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, and Missouri to the west.

The state capital of Kentucky is Frankfort., while its largest city is Louisville.

Kentucky Overview

Kentucky is a state located in the eastern south-central region of the United States.

Kentucky's blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and economic diversity, makes it a unique and vibrant state in America.

Cultural Heritage

Kentucky has a rich cultural heritage influenced by various traditions.

The state is known for its bluegrass music, a genre derived from Scottish and Irish folk music.

It has also produced notable individuals, including President Abraham Lincoln, writer Hunter S. Thompson, boxer Muhammad Ali, and actress Jennifer Lawrence.


Kentucky's economy is diverse, with significant contributions from various industries.

It has a strong agricultural sector, known for its tobacco, corn, soybeans, and horses.

The state is also a leader in automobile manufacturing, hosting several automotive plants.

Other important industries include healthcare, energy production (coal and natural gas), bourbon whiskey production, and tourism.


Kentucky is home to several respected educational institutions.

The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville are the state's flagship universities, known for their academic programs and athletic teams.


Kentucky is divided into five distinct regions: the Cumberland Plateau, the Bluegrass Region, the Pennyroyal Plateau, the Western Coal Fields, and the Eastern Coal Fields.

It is also home to the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio River, which form part of its borders.


Kentucky was originally part of Virginia and became the 15th state to join the Union on 1st June, 1792.

It played a significant role in the westward expansion of the United States, serving as a gateway to the frontier.

Horse Racing and Bourbon

The state is home to the Kentucky Derby, one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world, held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Kentucky is also famous for its bourbon whiskey production, with many distilleries located throughout the state.

Natural Beauty

Kentucky boasts beautiful natural landscapes and outdoor recreational opportunities.

The state is dotted with national parks, forests, and lakes, including the Daniel Boone National Forest, Mammoth Cave National Park (home to the world's longest known cave system), and Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

Visiting Kentucky

Kentucky offers a rich blend of natural beauty, historical sites, delicious cuisine, and vibrant culture.

Kentucky Highlights

Bourbon Trail

Kentucky is famous for its bourbon production.

Consider exploring the Bourbon Trail, which consists of several distilleries and offers guided tours and tastings.

Some notable distilleries include Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Known as the 'Niagara of the South', Cumberland Falls is a stunning waterfall that creates a magical sight, especially during a full moon when you can witness the moonbow phenomenon.

The park also offers hiking trails, fishing, and camping opportunities.

Daniel Boone National Forest

Covering over 700,000 acres, Daniel Boone National Forest provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping.

The forest is named after the legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone and offers beautiful scenery with rugged cliffs, lakes, and waterfalls.


Head to Lexington, often called the 'Horse Capital of the World'.

Here, you can visit horse farms and learn about the thoroughbred industry. Keeneland Race Course is a must-visit for horse racing enthusiasts.

The Mary Todd Lincoln House, childhood home of Abraham Lincoln's wife, is another interesting historical site in Lexington.


Start your journey in Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky.

It is renowned for the Kentucky Derby, the famous horse race held annually at Churchill Downs.

You can also explore the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, showcasing the history of baseball bats, or visit the Muhammad Ali Center, dedicated to the legendary boxer.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Located in central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave is the world's longest known cave system, offering guided tours and unique underground experiences.

You can explore the intricate cave formations and learn about the history and geology of the area.

Red River Gorge

If you enjoy outdoor activities, make sure to visit the Red River Gorge Geological Area.

It offers breathtaking natural beauty, including towering sandstone cliffs, arches, and numerous hiking trails.

Rock climbing, camping, and canoeing are popular activities in this area.


The settlement was originally called Frank's Ford in honour of Stephen Frank, a frontiersman killed in 1780 during a skirmish with Native Americans at a ford in the river.

The State Capitol is modelled after the United States Capitol.

Map of Frankfort

Map of Frankfort

The Kentucky Department of Tourism is located at 500 Mero St., Frankfort.


George Rogers Clark founded the first settlement here in 1778; an area once inhabited by the Shawnee people.

Originally located on Corn Island in the Ohio River, the settlement was moved to its present site in 1779, and named after Louis XVI of France; in gratitude for French assistance during the American War of Independence.

Go to Louisville

The largest collection of Victorian homes in the United States and the third largest historically preserved district in the United States is located in Old Louisville.

Kentuck Derby 

Churchill Downs, the world's most legendary racetrack, has conducted thoroughbred racing and presented America's greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875.

The Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May. Be sure to make reservations well in advance.

Louisville Slugger

The Slugger Museum, at 800 West Main Street, is a shrine to baseball's most famous bat.

Mammoth Cave National Park

The Mammoth Cave National Park, in south-western Kentucky, is home to the longest known cave system in the world.

Its series of limestone chambers and narrow passages on five separate levels are connected to two other nearby cave systems to form 560km of charted passageways.

The Wild Cave Tour takes six hours, although there are shorter cave tours available. It's cool down there, so bring something warm.

Around Kentucky

Kentucky gets its name from the Kentucky River and is famous for its bourbon and thoroughbred horses.

Kentucky is bounded by the Ohio River in the north and the Appalachian Mountains in the east. 

Abraham Lincoln was born near Hodgenville in Kentucky, so naturally the log cabin is a national historic site.

Kentucky Travel Guides

Kentucky off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series) Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide

Kentucky Travel Guides - Kentucky Maps.

About Kentucky - Kentucky Weather:
Find out more about Kentucky before you travel there.

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