There’s a reason why locals will tell you “There’s Only One Kentucky.” The birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali, the Horse Capital of the World and the centre of America’s bourbon production, Kentucky has plenty to make it unique around the world and there’s a lot to explore here in the Bluegrass State with both urban and natural wonders to discover.
Virtually all of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky and the distilleries that are in Bourbon Country, including along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail all offer their own distinctive tastes and tours. Kentucky’s diverse culinary scene will tempt your taste buds with everything from Burgoo (a stew created in pioneer days) to sophisticated dishes cooked and paired with Bourbon. Bardstown, one of the most beautiful small towns in America, hosts the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, a multi-day celebration of all things Bourbon.
Then there’s the festivals. Kentucky celebrates the most exciting two minutes in sport with the fortnight long Kentucky Derby festival and numerous other races throughout the year. Derby Festival activities kick off with the largest fireworks display in North America, Thunder Over Louisville. Elsewhere you might like to see the Great Steamboat Race, featuring the 100-year old Belle of Louisville or the Pegasus Parade, held every year since 1935. Paducah, a UNESCO city of craft and folk arts, welcomes visitors from around the world for the AQS Quilt Week in April.
Exploring Kentucky is discovering all the things you know about, and all the things you don’t. It’s experiencing more than 500 horse farms, and touring the famous Bourbon Country distilleries. It’s viewing international museums and innovative art galleries. Visiting the state’s world-renowned natural attractions, like the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area and Breaks Interstate Park.
There’s only one Kentucky, and it’s waiting for you to discover!
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Kentucky Holiday Highlights
Kentucky Holiday Highlights
Kentucky Holiday Highlights
The largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Louisville was founded in 1778 and is named after King Louis XVI of France, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. The city is known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Slugger Museum and Factory and the Muhammad Ali Centre, a museum dedicated to the great boxer.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail
In 1999, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association formed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour to give visitors a first-hand look at the art of crafting Bourbon, and to help them understand the rich history and proud tradition of Kentucky’s signature spirit. Just as the fine Kentucky Bourbon takes time to reach perfection, you’ll want to plan accordingly to truly appreciate your Kentucky Bourbon Trail journey.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Since 1816, visitors have toured the subterranean labyrinths of Mammoth Cave. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place," but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name - Mammoth.
National Corvette Museum
Dedicated to Kentucky’s official state car, this museum features more than 70 Corvettes. You'll see classics in mint condition, one-of-a-kind prototypes that never went into production, racetrack champions, and modern-day wonders of engineering and design. Interact with educational hands-on exhibits, enjoy a film in the theatre and see rare collectibles and memorabilia.
The Northern Kentucky River Region
Spectacular scenery and fascinating history await you in this exciting region of Kentucky. Visit Big Bone Lick State Park, where giant mammoths roamed and perished in the quagmire. Get revved up to take in Northern Kentucky's fastest attraction, Kentucky Speedway. For music lovers, see the hottest country stars live at the Country Stampede or listen to bluegrass music at a live entertainment venue.
Keeneland Race Track
This race track includes the Keeneland Racecourse, a Thoroughbred horse racing facility, and a major sales complex. Keeneland was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Even on quiet day you can observe the horses training on the track.
Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
This is America's largest restored Shaker community. This 3000 acre National Historic Landmark near Pleasant Hill Kentucky features 34 original 19th-century buildings. Join a tour around the village to find more about its fascinating history and in the evening enjoy Shakers Village’s great restaurant, offering fresh, local produce.
Bardstown is strong in spirit. A Southern spirit that welcomes you to the Most Beautiful Small Town in America; a religious spirit that’s appropriate for the home of the first diocese of the West; and a little spirit called Bourbon. Come sample the spirits, sounds and flavours that are quintessentially Bardstown.
Also called the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is a large waterfall on the Cumberland River. Under a full moon on clear nights, an elusive lunar rainbow or moonbow is sometimes formed by the mist emanating from the falls. This is one of the few places in the word you can view a moonbow. Cumberland Falls is located in Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, just southwest of Corbin.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site
Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, was the first president born west of the Appalachian Mountains. His birth in a log cabin at Sinking Springs Farm took place on February 12, 1809, when that part of Kentucky was still a rugged frontier. The story of Lincoln's journey from log cabin to the White House that began here has long been a powerful symbol of the unlimited possibilities of American life.
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