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Top 10 Places to Visit in Kentucky

Mammoth Cave National Park

#1 Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the worlds longest known cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park features over 50,000 acres of rolling hills and lush valleys. The park offers several cave tours throughout the year. Self-guided trail include heritage trail, sand cave trail, and sloan's crossing pond trail. Recreation activities include camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, boating, and horseback riding.

Photograph by Aroun Kesavaraj, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 Louisville

Louisville named after King Louis XVI is the largest city of Kentucky. The city is known for Kentucky Derby horse race held annually. Louisville is home of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), University of Louisville, and boxer Muhammad Ali. The Old Louisville is known for the largest historic district featuring Victorian style homes and buildings. Kentucky Derby Festival with the largest annual fireworks display attracts thousands of visitors to the city. Places to visit and family fun things to do include Churchill Downs Racetrack, Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville Zoo, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville Mega Cavern, Muhammad Ali Center, and Waterfront Park.

Photograph by Jason Phillips, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 Lexington

Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington is the 2nd largest city of Kentucky. The city is home to the University of Kentucky and race courses. The cultural city is known for celebration of the Festival of the Bluegrass. Lexington has many historical places as well as family fun places to visit. Area attractions include Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile and Keeneland race courses, Fort Boonesborough State Park, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Mary Todd Lincoln House, and University of Kentucky Art Museum.

Photograph by Kaplansa, via Wikimedia Commons

#4 Frankfort

Frankfort is the capital city of the Kentucky. The city located along the Kentucky River is known for it's historic homes and buildings. Places to visit and attractions include Kentucky State Capitol, Old State Capitol Building, Liberty Hall, Fort Hill, Frankfort Cemetery, and Governor's Mansion.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Photograph by J654567, via Wikimedia Commons

#5 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is known for Cumberland Gap pass within the Appalachian Mountains. It is located at the junction of the U.S. states of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. The park offers over 80 miles of hiking trails and includes many historic sites. Park attractions include Pinnacle Overlook, Sand Cave, Gap Cave Tours, and Hensley Settlement Tours. Recreation activities include hiking, camping, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing.

Photograph by Lanskeith17, via Wikimedia Commons

#6 Newport

Newport on Ohio River is known as Northern Kentucky. The city is connected to downtown Cincinnati, Ohio by bridge. The Purple People Bridge connecting both state offers views of downtown Cincinnati and the Ohio River. Newport on the Levee is a prime attraction of the city located adjacent to the Purple People Bridge along the Ohio River. Family fun things to do and places to visit in Newport and Cincinnati area include Newport Aquarium, Taft Museum of Art, John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, Cincinnati Art Museum, Eden Park, and Smale Riverfront Park.

Bowling Green
Photograph by OPMaster, via Wikimedia Commons

#7 Bowling Green

Bowling Green is the 4th largest city of Kentucky and home to the Western Kentucky University. The historic city has many museums on Kentucky history and heritage such as Kentucky Museum and Library, National Corvette Museum, Historic Railpark and Train Museum, and Riverview at Hobson Grove. The city is also home to many sports venues. Bowling Green family fun things to do and attractions include National Corvette Museum, Lost River Cave, Beech Bend Park, Historic RailPark & Train Museum, and Fountain Square Park.

Daniel Boone National Forest
Photograph by Mzzl, via Wikimedia Commons

#8 Daniel Boone National Forest

Daniel Boone National Forest named after the explorer Daniel Boone features rugged terrain west of the Appalachian Mountains. The forest is popular for recreational activities. It includes three large lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Daniel Boone National Forest offers 600 miles of trails. Red River Gorge located withing the forest is also popular among tourist. Park activities include hiking, boating, hunting, horse riding, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park
Photograph by Ken Thomas, via Wikimedia Commons

#9 Natural Bridge State Resort Park

Natural Bridge State Resort Park surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest is known for its unique natural bridge. The 65 ft high natural sandstone ache is prime attraction of the park. Balanced Rock balanced on the edge of a cliff near the bridge and other unique sandstone rock formations attracts visitors throughout year. The state park also hosts traditional Appalachian style dances on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer. Park activities include hiking the scenic trail, camping, canoeing, fishing, picnicking, and bird watching.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
Photograph by Jamie, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park preserve sites where Abraham Lincoln was born and lived early in his childhood. Located near Hodgenville, Sinking Spring site and Knob Creek Farm are known for early life of 16th president. The park's visitor center and cabin where Lincoln was born is located at the Sinking Spring site. Memorial Building for the birthplace site has 56 steps represtenting years he lived. The Knob Creek site is where he lived until the age of seven before moving to Indiana.

Best State Parks to Visit in Kentucky