Places to see and things to do in Kentucky…. an ever-growing list!
This page will be one that changes regularly, so I hope you bookmark it and check in from time to time. I’ll do my level best to keep it up-to-the-minute and current – after all, certain attractions are fluid, they change periodically.
“Level best”… the Kentuckian was just dripping off that phrase, wasn’t it?
Below is just the beginning, this page is a work in progress. The “things to do in Kentucky” listed below are in absolutely no particular order – not alphabetically, not in order of favored or in order of importance. Heck, I’m nearly not that organized.
One final word – always have your camera ready. You never know what magic might be about to happen.
- The Nature Station (Land Between the Lakes). The Nature Station is just one of the wonderful attractions in the LBL (Land Between the Lakes. See Nature Station for more information. In addition to rare and uncommonly beautiful red wolves, The Nature Station also has a lot of other wonderful animals and birds. Just look at the gorgeous bobcat above. I’m pretty sure she enjoys having her picture taken. Animal lovers and bird lovers will never want to leave the Nature Station- trust me, I speak from experience. The love and respect these workers have for their animals never ceases to leave an impression on me.
- The Homeplace, Land Between the Lakes. The Homeplace is a wonderful, magical even, step back in time. A time when everything was simpler, less chaotic, and completely “unwired” – as in NO technology to speak of! The workers at The Homeplace are dressed in 1850’s clothing and go about their daily chores – they’ll even answer your questions and love interacting with their “guests.” The best way to learn more about the Homeplace (aside from going!) is to read my article, Top 10 Things I Love About the Homeplace in the Land Between the Lakes.
- Downtown Paducah. If a city’s downtown strikes you as a strange thing to see on a things to do in Kentucky list, that just tells me you haven’t spent much time in downtown Paducah. This city’s downtown is artsy, eclectic, vibrant, and alive. Very, very alive. There’s a wonderful vibe to downtown Paducah and you can feel it in the air. There are endless shops to visit, a wonderful coffee shop, and some amazing restaurants. The best way (I’d go so far as to say the only real way) to enjoy downtown Paducah is on foot – so park your car, put on your comfortable shoes, and enjoy every single square foot. Be sure to check out the riverfront area – it’s, literally, a work of art.
- Pine Mountain State Resort Park. There isn’t a State Park you shouldn’t see before the end of summer, because they’re each amazing in their own special way. Pine Mountain, with its setting in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, is what you could call MUST SEE. The beautiful views can’t possibly be described or even truly appreciated in pictures. It’s something you have to experience for yourself.
- Louisville Zoo. We have it good in Kentucky for many reasons but one that always comes to mind almost immediately when I think of the riches of the Bluegrass is the Louisville Zoo. It isn’t just special, it’s extra special and every Kentuckian should be downright proud of it. This zoo has a lot of exhibits and animals you won’t find at other zoos. See Louisville Zoo for hours, directions, and tons of information about their beautiful animals.
- Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll kick yourself for not visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum sooner. Before you even step outside, the trip’s already worth it when you see the biggest bat in the world. Out front is a 6-story high replica of Babe Ruth’s bat! See Louisville Slugger Museum for hours, tour information, and to find out how you can get a free mini bat. Plan your trip just right and you can enjoy Numbers 4, 5, and 6 (below) all in one epic day or weekend.
- See a Louisville Bats Game! The Bats are the triple-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The stadium in downtown Louisville is worth seeing, itself, but add in a great baseball game with future MLB stars and it’s a night (or afternoon) you’ll never forget. We were season ticket holders for years when we lived in the Louisville area – before they became Cincy affiliates and even before they moved to the new gorgeous stadium downtown. We’ve always been extra proud of the fact that we were there when the new stadium opened. Heck, we pretty much lived there every summer for years. And loved every minute of it.
- Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. I’ve grouped these two together because they’re so close to one another, making a special trip to see one without seeing the other would be nuts. Be sure you visit both Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and Lake Barkley State Resort Park – maybe you could enjoy lunch at one and supper at the other, with hours of sight-seeing and picture-taking in between.
- Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Grand Rivers is the beautiful village located right between the two lakes named above. Grand Rivers has something for everyone and I mean everyone. Kids, adults, and seniors will fall in love with everything about this little town that redefines “charming.” From the Fudge Factory (can you say delicious homemade candy?!) to Grand Rivers Variety and from Green Turtle Bay to Patti’s 1880 Settlement (one of the most famous restaurants in Kentucky), Grand Rivers fits more fun into their small area than a lot of big cities do that are 10 times the size. Located right between the lakes and just minutes from the Land Between the Lakes, it’s a wonder “Grand Rivers” isn’t at the very top of everyone’s summer vacation list. It should be. See a list of my Grand Rivers Variety shows at the bottom of the page.
- The Elk and Bison Prairie (Land Between the Lakes) – There just isn’t anyplace else that’s quite like this 700 acre, enclosed prairie. It’s phenomenal! You can drive through this beautiful prairie as many times as you want, looking for elk, bison, turkeys, eagles, and countless other animals and birds that call this beautiful place home. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. See Elk and Bison Prairie for more information.
- Take a Boat Tour on Rough River Lake – Beautiful Rough River Lake is a gorgeous place to spend the afternoon. We love to spend hours at Rough River Dam State Resort Park – especially when it includes one of their fun, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable boat tours. Call (270) 257-2311 for information and/or visit Rough River Dam State Resort Park.
- Take Tours of an Entirely Different Nature with Cave Tours – Visit Carter Caves for fascinating tours the whole family will be talking about for years. This is a gorgeous part of Kentucky with scenery that’s synonymous with Kentucky Beauty.
- Visit the BBQ Capital of the World – Owensboro, Kentucky. We have more than just delicious barbecue here in Owensboro, we have a renovated Riverfront that we’re awfully proud of. There are still some renovations being done downtown (two more hotels are being built on the riverfront) but Smother’s Park on the River is really something to see. Kids will enjoy a playground that pretty much trumps all other playgrounds and adults won’t be able to get enough of the relaxing beauty of the river. It’s a great place to spend time before AND after enjoying a great meal at Old Hickory, Ole South, or Moonlite. When you visit Old Hickory, be sure to try their “Sweet Heat” sauce. It’ll blow your mind.
- See The Stephen Foster Story in Bardstown. If you’ve never seen this wonderful musical, you have to make sure you do so this summer. If you HAVE seen it…. go again! Visit The Stephen Foster Story online for shows and ticket information.
- Two words: Mammoth Cave. I think it’d be pretty interesting to know the number of Kentuckians who’ve never been to world famous National Park in our own backyard. Make this the year you see what all the fuss is about. See Mammoth Cave for more information. Read facts about Mammoth Cave for more information about this legendary Kentucky attraction.
- Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park. President Lincoln isn’t just the best known and most loved Kentuckian of all time, he’s arguably one of the best known and most loved people of all time. There’s something positively magical about walking where he once walked and the feeling isn’t just limited to history buffs like myself. This is an extra special – remarkable, even – place and if you haven’t been in a while, isn’t it time you went back? If you’ve NEVER been… then it’s way past time for you to do so!
- Play Disc Golf at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. There isn’t even a fee! This is one of Kentucky’s most beautiful state parks and the only one with a Disc Golf Course. See Disc Golf at Lake Cumberland for more information.
- Go Take a Hike! Kentucky offers endless opportunities for great hiking and you’ll find some of our best trails at our Kentucky State Parks. Find out which are the best hiking trails in Kentucky by clicking the link.
- If You’re a Kentuckian…… Your Hometown! One of the most memorable places you can visit is your childhood. If you grew up in a Kentucky town different from the one you currently live it, do yourself a favor and go “home” this summer. Write down places you want to see (elementary school, city park, library, middle school, high school, old neighborhoods, grocery stores, favorite restaurants…) the night before, then make a day of it. There’s really no place quite like a trip down memory lane.
Keep an eye on the Kentucky Events page to see what cool things are coming up, then plan your trip accordingly.
Grand Rivers Variety! Reviews & News on Genuine Kentucky:
- The Outlaws of Country Music at Grand Rivers Variety
- The Sweethearts of Country Music at Grand Rivers Variety
- Red, White, and Tuna: You’ll Laugh Until You Cry!
- Always, Patsy Cline: Back By Popular Demand
- Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical at Grand Rivers Variety
- Variety! Music, Memories, and More Christmas Spectacular Review
- The Fabulous 50’s Show at Grand Rivers Variety
- The Big Band Show at Grand Rivers Variety
- Greater Tuna is Back in Grand Rivers and All Is Right in My World
- It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Grand Rivers Variety
- A Tuna Christmas in Grand Rivers: Sign Me Up!
Also See: Check out pictures of the Elk & Bison Prairie in our photo albums.