Take Your Pick
Bardstown, KY
As Seen on the Kentucky Quarter
My Old Kentucky Home State Park - My Old Kentucky Home State Park contains the Georgian-style Federal Hill Mansion which was the inspiration for Stephan Foster's 1853 song "My Old Kentucky Home". The song was adopted as the Kentucky's state song in 1928 and is played at the park as well as at state events like the Kentucky Derby. Tours of the house are available and will inspire you to sing "We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home, for the old Kentucky home far away."
Bowling Green, KY
The Vette Museum
National Corvette Museum - The National Corvette Museum houses nearly one hundred of the most famous and easily recognizable cars in America, the Chevrolet Corvette. Introduced in 1953, the Corvette's sales started out slowly, but with the introduction of a V-8 engine in 1955 and competition from Ford's new Thunderbird, sales accelerated as fast as the car itself. The museum is divided into several areas, the Skydome building, the Performance exhibit, the Design and Development display and my personal favorite the Nostalgia Area. This area contains some really fine looking first-generation Vettes that any sock monkey would be proud to own.
Corbin, KY
Finger Lickin' Good
Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum - Corbin Kentucky is home of the first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). The Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum is located on the spot of the original service station where Colonel Sanders first served his customers. Inside the museum is the kitchen where the Colonel mixed together his 11 herbs and spices and perfected his Original Recipe. The dining area is restored to its initial 1940s design and is filled with interesting facts and a life-sized statue of the Colonel himself.
Fairview, KY
Tallest Concrete Obelisk
Jefferson Davis Monument - The Jefferson Davis Monument was constructed to honor the first and only President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis (1808-1889). The Southern leader was born in Christian County (present day Todd County), went to West Point, became a US Senator and then was elected President of the Confederacy. The monument was erected near the leader's birthplace and stands 351 feet tall, making it the tallest concrete obelisk in the world. You can easily see the structure for miles in any direction. Construction of the monument itself was completed in 1924 and a visitor center was added to the site in 2001.
Fort Knox, KY
Silver Stars and Gold Depository
Patton Museum - George S Patton was a highly decorated WWI and WWII officer, ending his career as a Lieutenant General (3 star) in 1945. He successfully commanded an Army Corps in North Africa and the Seventh Army in Sicily during WWII. General Patton was nicknamed "Blood and Guts" and was immortalized with this interpreted quote " monkey ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb monkey die for his country." The Patton Museum displays dozens of armored tanks and pays tribute to this great and sometimes controversial general. And don't miss the Bullion Depository nearby, where a large portion of the US gold reserves are held.
Frankfort, KY
The Bluegrass State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building - Since Kentucky first became a state in 1792, they have had four statehouses. The current State Capitol Building or "new capitol" was constructed between 1905 and 1910. It is designed by Frank Mills Andrews in a Beaux-Arts neo-classical style (similar in design to several French structures). The interior with its elaborate marble staircase, beautifully sculpted columns and impressive statue of Abraham Lincoln located in the rotunda are all worth seeing. Guided and self-guided tours are available during regular hours.
Frankfort, KY
Daniel Boone's Grave?
Boone Monument - Daniel Boone is an American folk hero and noted explorer. Between 1769 and 1771 he set out from the original 13 colonies on an extended hunting and exploration trip to the area currently inside Kentucky. Then in 1775 he forged a trail through the Cumberland Gap, and settled Boonesborough, the first English speaking settlement west of the Appalachians. He is honored throughout Kentucky with a National Forest, county, town, historical sites and hundreds of buildings in his name. The one thing we aren't sure of is who is buried in Boone's Grave. Legend has it that he was transported here from his home in Marthasville, Missouri, but there is some dispute about that.
Golden Pond, KY
Museum on Land Between the Lakes
Land Between the Lakes - John F. Kennedy designated the peninsula between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake a National Recreation area in 1963. Today over 2 million people visit the Land between the Lakes (LBL) annually for camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing, or just getting away from it all. More than 170,000 acres make up this natural wonderland which is filled with an abundance of wildlife including hundreds of elk and bison. Through the center of the LBL is a 45 mile long highway called "The Trace". Nice stops along the way are The Great Western Iron Furnace (a former iron producer) and Homestead 1850 (a living history farm).
Harrodsburg, KY
Inside the Shaker Village
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill - In the late 1700s and early 1800s members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing established small communities throughout New England, Kentucky and Ohio. The communities were designed to be self-sufficient and were highly evangelistic. In fact, the name "Shakers" was coined because of the body shaking members exhibited during worship services. Today the village of Pleasant Hill contains 34 remarkably restored buildings on nearly 3,000 acres. When visiting you'll enjoy craft shops and stores, guided or self-guided tours, and some gorgeous Kentucky scenery. You can also stay at the Inn at Shaker Village to enjoy the village for several days.
Henderson, KY
John James Audubon Museum
Audubon State Park and Museum - John James Audubon (1785-1851) studied and painted wildlife, especially birds of North America, while living in Henderson Kentucky. The area where the Audubon State Park and Museum currently resides is an area Audubon frequently walked during his nine years here. The park is roughly 700 acres of unspoiled forest and wetland with nearly seven miles of hiking trails. The highlight of the park is the museum which contains the world's largest collection of Audubon's artwork and work related artifacts, including sketches and paintings.
Hodgenville, KY
Honest Abe's Birthplace
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site - The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site preserves the site where our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was born in 1809. A Memorial Building dedicated in 1911 houses the one room log cabin that symbolizes his birthplace cabin. Near the base of the Memorial is a Sinking Spring where it's said the Lincoln's gathered water. At the age of two, Abraham Lincoln and his family moved 10 miles northeast to the Knob Creek Farm, where the soil was better for farming. It was at this farm where young Abe had his first memories of planting seeds with his father. The Lincolns farmed this land for nearly 6 years and then headed north to Indiana.
Lexington, KY
They Have Real Horses Too
Horse Capital of the World - Lexington is known as the Horse Capital of the World for good reason - there are hundreds of farms throughout the area, each with horses merrily dancing in the Kentucky bluegrass. Drive in either direction on Hwy 68 from Lexington to enjoy these picture-perfect postcard farms. In the area are the Thoroughbred Center where you can see race horses in training; and the Kentucky Horse Park which contains the American Saddlebred Museum, the International Museum of the Horse and has daily shows and activities.
Loretto, KY
The Bourbon Trail
Maker's Mark Distillery - The Maker's Mark Distillery is Kentucky's oldest operating distillery on its original site and one of eight distilleries located on the "Bourbon Trail" (Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, and Tom Moore are the other seven). This quaint Victorian style distillery was originally home to a gristmill distillery that began operations in 1805. A tour of the facility lets you see up close how this famous hand-made whiskey is distilled. Then at the end of the tour you can hand-dip your bottle in Maker's Mark trademarked red wax.
Louisville, KY
I am the Greatest!!!
Muhammad Ali Center - The Muhammad Ali Center is dedicated to boxing great and Louisville native Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), the most entertaining three time heavy weight champion of the world. In the ring Ali would "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" and outside the ring he would taunt his opponents with phrases like "I'll beat him so bad he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on" and "when you are as great as I am it is hard to be humble". The three story center focuses on Muhammad Ali's boxing career as well as his personal and spiritual life through films, photographs and displays. Oh, there is a Frazier Museum down the street from the Ali Center, and although it is a nice museum, it isn't a tribute to Ali's "Thrilla in Manila" opponent Smokin' Joe Frazier.
Louisville, KY
One Big Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger Museum - Leaning against the outside wall of the Louisville Slugger Museum is the largest bat in the world, standing over 120 feet tall and weighing roughly 34 tons. Inside the museum are bats that were once held by Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Other highlights include a "Heart of the Game" film, a batting cage and a ball field where broadcasters announce some of the greatest plays. Also included with admission is a factory tour, where you can see how the Official Bat of Major League Baseball is made. At the end of the tour you receive a Socko sized Louisville Slugger bat as a souvenir.
Louisville, KY
The Run for the Roses
Churchill Downs - Churchill Downs is home of the Kentucky Derby, billed as "the most exciting two minutes in sports". The Downs has hosted the Kentucky Derby every year since 1875 and pulls in nearly 150,000 spectators annually. People come as much to see the race as to be seen. Elaborate hats and Mint Juleps are the rage in the stands and bikinis and Kentucky Whiskey dominate the infield (you don't see much of the race from the infield, but nobody seems to care). The Kentucky Derby Museum is also on site, with a 360 degree movie theater and optional "behind the scenes" tours.
Mammoth Cave, KY
Longest Cave in the World
Mammoth Cave National Park - Mammoth Cave National Park houses the longest known cave in the world with roughly 350 miles of mapped passageways. And there are hundreds of miles of unexplored areas. Tours have been operating since 1816 and today you can choose from over a dozen unique hikes varying in length from 30 minutes to 6 hours. The Violet City Lantern Tour is fun because you can see the cave as the first people did nearly 200 years ago, by lantern light. Of course there are many other great caves in Kentucky including, Diamond Cave, Lost River Cave, Onyx Cave and Outlaw Cave to name a few. So get spelunking cave monkey!!!
Middlesboro, KY
Corridor to the West
Cumberland Gap - The Appalachian Mountains stretch 1,500 miles from Canada to Alabama and were always a barrier between east and west. The Cumberland Gap located at the intersection of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee is a natural corridor and became the primary pass to the west. Originally just a foot path for elk and deer, and later used by American Indians for hunting, it was expanded by Daniel Boone. Just a few short years after Boone expanded the pass, hundreds of thousands of people flooded through. Eventually a highway was built carrying millions of people back and forth. In 1996 a tunnel was completed under the Gap and the highway torn up, restoring the pass to its original beauty.
Paducah, KY
Quilts of Kentucky
Museum of the American Quilters Society - The Museum of the American Quilters Society exhibits over 200 ever-changing new and antique quilts in its 27,000 square foot 3 gallery facility. The facility is the largest in the world, making Paducah the "Quilter Capital of the World". These aren't your run-of-the-mill quilts, but are intricately designed hand-woven masterpieces. Tours of the facility are offered year-round or you can also join a quilt making workshop to learn the craft for yourself.
Slade, KY
Waiting for the Sky-Lift
Natural Bridge State Resort Park - In the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest is the Natural Bridge State Resort Park. A 2,300 acre park filled with tree covered rolling hills, miles of hiking trails and the park's centerpiece, a 78 foot long and 65 foot high natural bridge. The best way to get to the natural bridge is to hop on the Sky-Lift and then walk the short 600 foot trail to the sandstone arch. The arch itself was formed naturally by the wind and rain over millions of years and is best viewed from Lookout Point. There are other geological formations such as Lover's Leap and Balanced Rock as well as man made such as miniature golf and hydrobikes in the area.