9 Awesome Kentucky Destinations You Must See #IRL

 


We've become accustomed to beaches, theme parks, and large urban cities for family vacations. Sometimes we forget the incredible opportunities other areas have to offer. Time to switch things up: Welcome to Kentucky! 

We suggest you and the kids visit these outdoor adventures, cultural connections, and sporting experiences in the bluegrass state. By doing so, you and your family will experience nine awesome destinations you must see in Kentucky!

Outdoor Adventures

Daniel Boone Forest, London


Danial Boone holds a clear place in history as an American frontiersman. In Kentucky lies the federal forest named after him: Daniel Boone National Forest. The forest covers a lot of ground. It is a great place to go for any outdoor recreation. With miles of trails, it is great for hiking, backpacking, and biking. Pick your choice of outdoor activities based on the ages and interest of your kids. While in the park, you’ll see nature's beauty at its grandest under Kentucky blue skies.

Fairmount Falls, Louisville

Kentucky is known for caring for and protecting its natural resources. Fairmount Falls is an incredible 40-foot waterfall. It is considered a Kentucky landmark and is accessible by permit only to protect the natural landscape. Only three cars a day are allowed in the park that houses the waterfall. People come from all over to view this natural wonder. It is always worth the visit. But in spring or winter, the water flow at Fairmount Falls seems most massive and impressive. 

Kentucky River, Frankfort

Mississippi is not the only state with a beautiful river as its namesake. The Kentucky river spans over 250 miles and is a pride of Kentucky. Head to Frankfort, Kentucky, for free boat tours of the Kentucky River during summer and fall. If you can make the time to take this great opportunity, you will enjoy a scenic treat. The mountains and foliage surrounding the Kentucky River are gorgeous. 

Cultural Collections

Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green

Education and culture are front and center in Kentucky. At Western Kentucky University (WKU), you can tour the very pretty campus and learn its impressive history. With a stop in the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center, you can see excellent student artwork and outstanding theater performances. This charming campus is also home to a park where your little ones can run free. Hilltoppers (WKU students and alumni) retain a love of their school long after graduation. For example, area attorney Flora Stuart graduated from WKU and returned to serve as an instructor before heading to law school. Her love of the school and area led her to set up one of her many Kentucky law offices near the WKU campus. Hilltopper pride is alive and well for students, alumni, and visitors!

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, Mt. Vernon

The Renfro Valley Entertainment center is your stop for seeing some of the greatest southern gospel singers and bluegrass musicians in the country. Along with watching the fabulous musicians perform, there is shopping galore and additional family fun in the 90-acre area known as Kentucky's Country Music Capital. Of course, you’ll want to see bluegrass musicians in the Bluegrass State!

Abe Lincoln Trail, Lexington Area

Abe Lincoln was born in Kentucky! Therefore, visit Lincoln's birthplace and then childhood home. His connection to the state does not end with those stops. Your family can spend a day or more seeing all things Lincoln! The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail provides maps and information for you to see Abe Lincoln attractions. The trail includes civil war museums and sites, Lincoln statutes, and numerous places in the area impacted by the United States' 16th President. 

Spectacular Sporting Experiences

Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville


Louisville Slugger is not only a baseball bat but a museum and factory. Take in the sights of baseball history and exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages at the world-renowned location. In visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, you can also go behind the scenes and see how the bats are made. This stop gives your family a glimpse into so many aspects of America's pastime that you will never forget the experience.

The Ali Center, Louisville

The Ali Center is a great place for life-long learning. A boxer first self-proclaimed then affirmed by the masses as the greatest of all time, Muhammed Ali holds a place in history as a complex, talented, and renowned athlete. He is a homegrown hero for Kentuckians, and the Ali Center pays tribute to him. On your visit, your family will have the opportunity to participate in programming and view galleries, collections, and archives related to Ali and the sport of boxing. It includes things for even young children. You may be surprised by how relevant social justice, politics, and religion are to telling his story and the story of the sport of boxing.

Churchill Downs, South Louisville

You shouldn’t leave Kentucky without stopping by Churchill Downs. The famous Kentucky Derby, the longest continuously running sporting event in the country, is held at Churchill Downs. Located next to Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby Museum, built to help preserve the history and legacy of the Kentucky Derby. There are multiple exhibits geared to all ages and tour options. A guided walking tour of Churchill downs is provided as part of general admission to the museum. 

Geographically, Kentucky is a mixture of the midwest and the south. Whether traveling with little kids, grandparents, or less-than-enthusiastic teens, you are sure to find great things for all to see in Kentucky. It is a very family-friendly state that offers a variety of fun vacation experiences. Pack the minivan (or hop on the train or plane!) and head to Kentucky. Enjoy the hospitality, sights, and sounds throughout the state!


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