Skip to main content
Kentucky Travel & Tourism
Kentucky Travel & Tourism
View More

The words “horses” and “Kentucky” go together almost as readily as sunshine and blue skies. Bourbon, “America’s native spirit,” is Kentucky’s most famous export to the world. Come see for yourself how these two iconic products epitomize Kentucky’s unbridled spirit: and how the cultures surrounding these icons combine to influence our growing culinary heritage. From mint juleps served in silver cups on Derby Day to bourbon pairings with great food, the passion for excellence shines through. Kentucky’s menu has formed from a variety of cultures and traditions that have been here for centuries including Native American, English, Irish, Scots-Irish, German and African-American. Add to that Amish, Asian, and Latin cultures and you’re left with a wonderful combination of food types and traditions to temp your palate and whet your appetite.

Our urban centers of Louisville, Lexington and the Northern Kentucky area south of Cincinnati offer a varied selection of great food and world renowned entertainment such as: the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Louisville’s Actors Theatre; Lexington’s Brewmaster Trail; or Northern Kentucky’s Houfbraus House and Newport on the Levee. All three areas are served by major airports and offer the urban amenities you may be seeking.

If you are looking for more of an escape, Kentucky is the place to do it. Whether you are looking to make a splash with boating on your next family trip, or guide your way through a trailblazing adventure, there is an experience waiting for you. Canoeing, kayaking and rafting opportunities are available at any level and the beautiful scenery displays the wonders of Kentucky. For those eager to cast a line while on the water, fishing opportunities are bountiful throughout the state. Kentucky is an angler’s paradise with lake and river fishing options that hold a wide variety of species to pursue. Two of the largest man-made lakes in the country, Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, offer a great destination for the eager fisherman. These vast lakes are also a great spot for summer boating, skiing and tubing - the ideal summer vacation! Interested in getting back your land legs? Trek through the trails that spread across the state, including the Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail, which is the state’s longest trail and stretches over 260 miles through the Daniel Boone National Forest. Horse trails are also available – after all, you are in Kentucky!

Kentucky is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali and, the father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe. And, of course, Colonel Sanders perfected his secret recipe for fried chicken and launched his global empire in the southeastern Kentucky town of Corbin. Visit the sites and museums dedicated to these influential Americans.

There’s only one Kentucky, and it’s waiting for you to discover!

Kentucky Travel & Tourism
Kentucky Travel & Tourism
View More

Fun Fact

Train to Win exhibit at Muhammad Ali Center
View More

Home of legends: Kentucky is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali.

The Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe
View More

The father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, was also born in Kentucky.

Layers of bourbon barrels aging in a rickhouse
View More

Kentucky makes 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, which equals 1.5 barrels of bourbon for every resident of the state.

Must see places

Crowds watching a race at Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Racetrack

Famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby, the stately Thoroughbred racetrack at expansive Churchill Downs is a quintessential Kentucky experience. Attend a race if you can, or take a tour of this prestigious institution to learn about its history. Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum on site and sit in on “The Greatest Race,” a 360-degree sound and visual experience. Take a historic walking tour around the track and mingle with the resident Thoroughbred and miniature horse.

Learn more

Train to Win exhibit at Muhammad Ali Center

Muhammad Ali Center

Dedicated to preserving the story of the prominent professional boxer through its award-winning museum, this multicultural center in downtown Louisville has a lot to explore. A variety of permanent and changing exhibits focus on racial history and civil rights through interactive displays, artwork, artifacts and multimedia presentations.

Learn more

The starting gate at Keeneland

Keeneland

This center for all-things equestrian highlights Kentucky’s famous horse culture. Tour the Thoroughbred auction house, explore the graciously-sized grounds on your own, or take a guided walking tour to learn about the facility’s operations from the perspective of the Paddock and Grandstand. Watch a race, talk to jockeys or take part in a Paddock saddling demonstration.

Learn more

A ranger leads a group through Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave National Park

The longest recorded cave system in the world with more than 643 kilometers explored and mapped is a subterranean wilderness. Take a ranger-led tour through the limestone labyrinths and chambers; some treks are well-lit and some have visitors carrying their own lamps (“wild” tours through more hidden areas are available, too). Spot bats, crickets and salamanders thriving in this peculiar habitat.

Learn more

Catching a moonbow at Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Often called the “Niagara of the South,” this state park’s 125-meter screen of water features a visible “moonbow” (or nighttime rainbow) on full moon nights. With kilometers of trails, horseback riding, fishing and gem mining available, the falls offers much to do. Kayak or raft the Cumberland River on one of several routes.

Learn more

A couple take in the Roebling Bridge from the deck of a BB Riverboat

BB Riverboats

Newport’s throwback riverboats, the Belle of Cincinnati and the River Queen, navigate the Ohio River and offer all manner of cruises, from historic to seasonal to kid-themed. The evening sojourns, where dinner, jazz, bourbon and barbecue are served up alongside the stunning scenery, are not to be missed.

Learn more

Group tour of Woodford Reserve Distillery

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Sample “America’s Native Spirit” on this road trip, which stops at nine of the most renowned distilleries such as Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve. Watch as bourbon is distilled, tour the facilities and enjoy after-tour tastings, leaving with a cocktail recipe or two.

Learn more

Explore Kentucky destinations

The Ace Hotel Rooftop in Downtown Los Angeles, California
View More

Explore Kentucky destinations

Hot Air Balloon flying over Asheville, North California
View More

Experience Kentucky

Explore more

Sunrise at Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion
View More

Destination

Savannah