Thoroughbreds grazing in the pastoral countryside
Biking through the forest on a Barren River Lake trail
View of 'The Greatest' exhibit at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville
Light and shadow interplay in Mammoth Cave
Drawing the crowds at ROMP Music Festival
White-water rafting to the base of Cumberland Falls
Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville
Farm-fresh cuisine at Snug Hollow Bed & Breakfast in Irvine
Touring the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles
Having a blast on a houseboat on Lake Cumberland
- Bluegrass State
Amble down bourbon and horse trails to the tune of Bluegrass.
Heritage Spirits and Sports
Bourbon, “America’s native spirit,” is Kentucky’s most famous export, and Thoroughbred horse racing its most famous sporting event. The cultures surrounding them combine to create a unique and growing culinary heritage – from mint juleps served in silver cups on Kentucky Derby Day to bourbon pairings with great food. A typical Kentucky menu stems from centuries of influence by Native American, English, Irish, Scots-Irish, German and African-American cultures. Add a dash of Amish, Asian and Latin influence, and you’re left with a wonderful combination of food types and traditions to temp your palate and whet your appetite.
If you are looking for an escape, Kentucky’s the place to make one, with kilometers of wilderness to explore and rivers to canoe, kayak and raft, as well as the longest known cave system in the world. Kentucky is an angler’s paradise and home to Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, two of the largest man-made lakes in the country, with both offering plentiful fishing. These vast lakes are also a great spot for summer boating, skiing and tubing. Visitors can trek through the trails that spread across the state, including the Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail, the state’s longest, stretching over 418 kilometers through the Daniel Boone National Forest.
A People’s History of Kentucky
As the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali and the father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, Kentucky has played a big role in U.S. history (and, of course, Colonel Sanders perfected his secret recipe for fried chicken and launched his global KFC empire here). Visit the sites, museums and landmarks that capture the lives and stories of these influential Americans. Spend some time in a historic Bluegrass Region town, explore the larger cities’ thriving art districts or tour a farm in horse country to take in the state’s incredible scenery.