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Official Kentucky Tourism Website:
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What would you like to do?
Hike? We have lots of adventure trails. Swim or boat? We have thousands of miles of shoreline. Take in a museum? We have some of the best in the world. Watch horse racing? You bet! Shop? Till you drop! Relax? We have places that cater to your every whim.
The key is... you want it? We have it in Kentucky. Find your interest below and we'll show you where you can enjoy it and release your Unbridled Spirit.
Sites to See
This beautiful region may be all about horses, with racetracks, 450 thoroughbred farms and a world-class park to prove it, but it also reeks of history and culture. Daniel Boone founded a settlement here; Bourbon was invented here, and Berea is at the center of a rich folk art tradition that dates back several centuries.
Bluegrass, Blues & Barbecue
The musical styles of bluegrass and blues merge here, as the region was the birthplace of the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe (Rosine) and home for a while to the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy (Henderson.) And should you wonder about the third part of the region's equation - barbecue - you need look no further than the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, an Owensboro landmark.
Caves, Lakes, & Corvettes
This region sits atop a number of caves and caverns as well as the world's longest explored cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park. The Green and Nolin Rivers also reside here. Don’t forget to check out the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green and marvel at America's original sports car.
Daniel Boone Country
This is the home of The Daniel Boone National Forest. On the Virginia border, the Cumberland Gap remains as majestic as ever, as do the canyons of the Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge's sandstone arches. This is home to both the "Grand Canyon of the South," at Breaks Interstate Park and the "Grand Ole Opry of Kentucky," at Renfro Valley.
The Hatfields and McCoys may have once kept the area hopping during their legendary feud, but today all is quiet along the Appalachian front. This is the region where a brave pioneer woman, Jenny Wiley, gained icon status, and a pioneer of another kind, Loretta Lynn, started on her road to country music legend. A region whose beauty is as timeless as the mountains that define it.
Kentucky’s Derby Region
"The most exciting two minutes in sports," otherwise known as the Kentucky Derby; birthplace of the nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln; Kentucky's best bourbon distilleries and Fort Knox, the nation's gold depository; the commonwealth's largest urban area - dynamic Louisville.
Northern Kentucky River Region
Historically, this is one of Kentucky's most important areas. Located just south of the Ohio River, the actual dividing line between North and South, and the Mason-Dixon Line. The Northern Kentucky River Region was key in the movement of slaves to freedom in Ohio, and many of the region's towns were important stops on the Underground Railroad.
Skim over some of the most pristine lakes in the country (with 63,000 acres of water, it is easy to do) or take a train ride through spectacular gorges along the Big South Fork River. Finally, marvel at the cascading water at Cumberland Falls, and make sure you're there during a full moon to see the only moonbow in the Northern Hemisphere.
Kentucky's Western Waterlands region hosts two of the largest man-made lakes in the country. The lakes, coupled with the four rivers that flow here - the Ohio, Cumberland, Mississippi and Tennessee - makes the region a mecca for water sports of all kinds. And don’t forget about the 170,000-acre Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area.
Brochures & Maps
There are two ways in which you may obtain our guides and brochures. You may order them via mail direct to your doorstep, (allow 10-14 business days for delivery) or you may download them and view them from your computer.
Printed materials are available by mail only in the U.S. and Canada. International visitors are invited to download the Official Visitors Guide or any of the brochures offered on-line.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism will mail up to five individual brochure requests. Individual requests for more than five brochures will not be honored. If you need to place a request for bulk shipment of brochures please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the reason for your request.
Calendar of Events
Kentuckians have a boundless, unbridled spirit when it comes to having fun. They know that the beauty, history and heritage of the commonwealth give them a lot to celebrate. From world-class sporting events to regional festivals, the party never ends in Kentucky.
Kentucky has more than 700 festivals, both large (the week-long Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville) and small (the Mountain Herb Festival in the tiny Appalachian outpost of Confluence.) It has a festival celebrating barbecue (Henderson) and one celebrating bourbon (Bardstown.) Bluegrass Music is the honoree at festivals in Owensboro and Morehead, while the annual Fiddler's Festival draws crowds to Renfro Valley.
Kentucky's arts and crafts heritage is honored at festivals in Bardstown, Covington and Elkhorn City, and by all means, don't forget the food festivals: Maysville honors chocolate; Owensboro turns out for barbecue; Mays Lick loves asparagus; Monticello celebrates cornbread; Cadiz goes "whole hog" for ham, and London puts on the World Chicken Festival.
From apple blossoms to antique gas and steam engines, from classic dogs to Civil War battles, the commonwealth has a festival for everyone.
No other state in the Union has as visible a symbol as Kentucky and its horses. Here, we truly do enjoy a love affair with all things equine. After you have leaned against a rail at Keeneland on a spring day and looked on in awe as the horses fly by, or watched a frisky colt nuzzle its mother on a crisp Bluegrass morning, you'll understand and come to share our passion.
Kentucky's claim to being "Horse Capital of the World" is no idle boast. Since the 18th century, when it was discovered that the rich limestone deposits of the Bluegrass Region nourished fine thoroughbreds, the industry has flourished, with the Lexington area alone having 450 horse farms. Some of these farms are legendary - Calumet, Gainesway, Darby Dan, Three Chimneys, Ashford Stud, and Claiborne; some are open to the public. On these farms, the world's most famous thoroughbreds, including Man O' War, Nashua, Secretariat and Smarty Jones, have been born, bred or retired to stud.
Lexington is also the site of Keeneland Race Track, a National Historic Landmark, known not only for its premier race meets, but for the world's richest yearling sales; the Red Mile, the world's second oldest track for standardbred or harness racing, and the Kentucky Horse Park, the only park in the world dedicated exclusively to the horse. The park is home to such crowd-pleasers as the Hall of Champions, the Museum of the Horse and the American Saddlebred Museum, and it will raise its profile even higher when it hosts the 2010 FEI Games in Kentucky, marking the first time the Games have been held outside of Europe.
Nowhere does the Commonwealth's rich tradition of thoroughbred raising and racing come more alive than at Louisville's twin-spired Churchill Downs, site of the "most exciting two minutes in sports" - the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs - Louisville, Kentucky
Ellis Park - Henderson, Kentucky
Keeneland - Lexington, Kentucky
Kentucky Downs - Franklin, Kentucky
The Red Mile - Lexington, Kentucky
Turfway Park - Florence, Kentucky
Bed and Breakfast Resource Centre - Bed & Breakfast resource for those wanting to start their own business, free B&B checklist, list of other B&B Associations, B&B's, trade shows, software and much, much more.
If you would like to request a link to
our website, please contact us.