Kentucky is blessed with beautiful scenery, a rich history and first-class sites that attract tourists from all over the world.
Many of sites are well-known—yet many other Kentucky attractions fly under the radar.
Thinking of visiting the Bluegrass state? If so, it’s worth your while to consider Kentucky attractions beyond the most well-known ones. Check out our list of Kentucky attractions and highlights to get a better idea of how to plan your trip.
Well-known Kentucky attractions and highlights
1. Horseracing. This one is not surprising considering that the world-famous Kentucky Derby takes place in Louisville each May. Churchill Downs is a major draw—but don’t forget about some of the lesser-known horse-themed Kentucky attractions like horse farms, museums and other exciting race tracks.
2. Bourbon. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail features seven signature distilleries celebrating “America’s Official Native Spirit.” Individual cities also celebrate the spirit in their own special way, so make sure to see what’s available where you’re visiting. (Just one is Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail.)
3. Bluegrass. Kentucky is considered the birthplace of this folk musical style, so check to see which venues or bluegrass festivals are in the city or town you’re visiting. Another option to learn more about this Kentucky music style is to visit the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro.
4. Great eats. Barbeque? Check. Derby pie? Check. Bourbon-infused sweets? Another big check. Kentucky has some seriously good eats that include twists on Southern staples and a few others you may not have heard of.
5. College basketball. It’s no secret that Kentuckians love the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball. Consider catching a home game if you want to learn what the Big Blue Nation is all about.
Lesser-known Kentucky attractions
1. Traditional folk arts. Traditional Appalachian arts and crafts are still made in Kentucky. One great place to discover unique pottery, furniture, quilts and more is the Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman.
2. Trail towns. Kentucky started to develop these special towns to meet the needs of adventure travelers looking to hike, bike, canoe and more. Trail towns feature options and assistance for visitors to take advantage of Kentucky’s extensive wilderness trails and many outdoor activities.
3. Quirky museums. In addition to the dozens of historical museums throughout the state, Kentucky is also home to the Mary Todd Lincoln House (the nation’s first site honoring a first lady), the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, the National Corvette Museum and the National Quilt Museum.
4. Breathtaking parks. Geographically speaking, Kentucky is beautiful. Two great places to experience the natural wonders of the state include Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and Daniel Boone National Forest.
5. Cool caves. Kentucky has many state parks where you can go underground and see some pretty amazing cave formations. Two worth visiting are the Louisville Mega Cavern and Mammoth Cave National Park.
There’s no doubt that Kentucky attractions are diverse and plenty. So enjoy your visit to a state that Erie Insurance is proud to serve.