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Kentucky Tourism Promo Video
Kentucky Tourism Promo Video
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Heritage Spirits and Sports

Bourbon, “America’s native spirit,” is Kentucky’s most famous export, and Thoroughbred horse racing its most famous sporting event. The cultures surrounding them combine to create a unique and growing culinary heritage – from mint juleps served in silver cups on Kentucky Derby Day to bourbon pairings with great food. A typical Kentucky menu stems from centuries of influence by Native American, English, Irish, Scots-Irish, German and African-American cultures. Add a dash of Amish, Asian and Latin influence, and you’re left with a wonderful combination of food types and traditions to temp your palate and whet your appetite.

 

Trailblazing Fun

If you are looking for an escape, Kentucky’s the place to make one, with kilometers of wilderness to explore and rivers to canoe, kayak and raft, as well as the longest known cave system in the world. Kentucky is an angler’s paradise and home to Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, two of the largest man-made lakes in the country, with both offering plentiful fishing. These vast lakes are also a great spot for summer boating, skiing and tubing. Visitors can trek through the trails that spread across the state, including the Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail, the state’s longest, stretching over 418 kilometers through the Daniel Boone National Forest.

 

A People’s History of Kentucky

As the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali and the father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, Kentucky has played a big role in U.S. history (and, of course, Colonel Sanders perfected his secret recipe for fried chicken and launched his global KFC empire here). Visit the sites, museums and landmarks that capture the lives and stories of these influential Americans. Spend some time in a historic Bluegrass Region town, explore the larger cities’ thriving art districts or tour a farm in horse country to take in the state’s incredible scenery.

Kentucky Tourism Promo Video
Kentucky Tourism Promo Video
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Fun Fact

Train to Win exhibit at Muhammad Ali Center
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Home of legends: Kentucky is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali.

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

Layers of bourbon barrels aging in a rickhouse
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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Family touring historic Shaker building in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

The 34 historic Shaker-style buildings located along a 1.5-kilometer road here were constructed over a span of 105 years. Visit this unique village to tour the grounds, try your hand at heritage crafts in The Historic Centre, or hang out with the animals at The Farm. Visitors can hike The Preserve for a wide window into the prairies, woodlands and watersheds that supported this spiritual community for so long. Hay rides and a stable round out this working village, which also offers demonstrations and events.

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Corvette outside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green

National Corvette Museum

See the iconic car like never before, and get an education in sports car history while you’re at it. Bowling Green’s auto museum offers 80 Corvettes of all stripes to view, as well as Motorsports Park, where visitors can take a lap or just watch others tool around. A plant tour gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how these flashy cars are made.

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International Bluegrass Music Museum

Explore permanent and changing exhibits dedicated to showcasing Bluegrass culture past and present in this 2,044-square-meter museum. Tour the Hall of Fame to learn about bluegrass luminaries and introduce yourself to the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe. See historically significant instruments, follow the bluegrass history timeline or take part in an Open Jam session.

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