Kentucky sits at a strategic position in the U.S. – a front porch to the south and a gateway to the Midwest. And it’s easier than ever to reach, thanks to direct British Airways flights to nearby Nashville.
It’s famous for bourbon, the Derby and fried chicken, but Kentucky has so much more to offer visitors.
In Central Kentucky are the rolling bluegrass, white fences and horse farms the state’s famous for, but in the west are the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, south are miles of lakes and waterways and travellers who head east will hit the Appalachian Mountains.
Add Kentucky to a southern states tour through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, soaking up blues, country, bluegrass and, of course, a little bourbon!
But there are some more unusual tours for visitors to Kentucky. In Bowling Green, just 1.5 hours from Nashville, visitors can soak in classic Americana at the National Corvette Musem – over 80 Corvettes ranging from mint classic to one-of-a-kind prototypes. Or suggest they head to north to Newport for a gangster tour to discover how this little town gave birth to modern day gaming.
Best for Bluegrass
The attractive river town of Owensboro is a centre for barbecue and bluegrass and, after a 15 million dollar upgrade, its Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is open. Expect rotating exhibits, a 450-seat theatre, an outside amphitheatre and an interactive ‘pickin’ room where visitors can try playing the instruments themselves.
Burgeoning creative centre
In western Kentucky, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and looking over to Illinois, is the old river town of Paducah. With the river’s use as a trade route dwindling, an innovative artist relocation incentive has reinvigorated downtown and earned Paducah UNESCO Creative City status. Head here for cool coffee shops, trendy restaurants, studios and galleries.
Urban bourbon or rural rye?
Visitors can have a bourbon experience all over the state, from rural towns such as Bardstwon and Georgetown to the B-Line in Northern Kentucky and the Urban Bourbon experience in Louisville. Here, head to Whiskey Row, a revitalized part of downtown home to historic bourbon brands and start-ups.