Lots of Stuff to Do in Kentucky
The first thing that people tend to think about in terms of Kentucky is horses. I grew up in the Bluegrass region and that is the center of horses in terms of horse farms.
Go to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington if you want to see horses. It is really fun to visit when something special is going on such as the World Three Day event where horses and their riders compete in dressage and cross country riding.
The Horse Park was created to give visitors to Kentucky an opportunity to learn about thoroughbreds and horse farms without visitors having to visit private farms. There is a lot of information but also a lot of gently rolling hills with white fences you can walk around or rent a horse and ride around.
Another really famous horse-related place to visit is Churchill Downs, the famous race track on which the Kentucky Derby takes place. Even if you don't make it for the Derby, you can still get that combination of excitement and good southern hospitality which characterizes Churchill Downs.
Further west than Louisville is Mammoth Cave. This is the world's largest cave system and some of these caves in western Kentucky are apparently linked to Carter Caves in eastern Kentucky. There are a number of different tours you can take and you can choose which one to take based on the length of time and how strenuous you want your tour to be.
It's great to go to the caves on one of those hot July days because the caves are a cool 54 degrees year round. It's also a good trip to make on wet days because, of course, a little rain doesn't change the experience of exploring a great cave.
There are some wonderful natural sights in Eastern Kentucky where the rolling hills begin to become small and then larger mountains. One place is Natural Bridge State Park. This kind of trip appeals to hikers and also rock climbers.
Natural Bridge features a natural rocky bridge that
you can walk over. It is surrounded by woods and has nice overnight accommodations of various types.
A similar place is Red River Gorge, which is also great for hikers and rock climbers.
Have you ever seen a moon bow? It's like a rain bow, but the colors are caused by the moon and not the sun. There are only two places in the world where you can see a moon bow. One is in Victoria Falls, Africa, and the other is Cumberland Falls in Kentucky! Like Natural Bridge State Park, the Cumberland Falls state park offers a range of recreational and overnight possibilities.
Along with beautiful natural areas, you can find places to explore Kentucky's rich history. Kentucky was the 15th state, so it has been part of the United States for a very long time. While it didn't secede during the Civil War (which is often called "The War" by native Kentuckians), Kentucky was a slave state and many families had members fighting for both sides.
Pertinent to the Civil War are a couple of Abraham Lincoln-related sites. One is Abraham Lincoln's birth site in Hodgenville, Kentucky.
Another is the house where Mary Todd Lincoln grew up; Mary Todd's house is on Main Street in Lexington. You might also catch a re-enactment of the battle of Perryville in Perryville.
Finally, no visit to Kentucky is complete without a trip to Shaker Village in Harrodsburg. The Shakers were a religious sect that believed in living a very simple life. The buildings of Shaker Village reflect these values.
Not only can you see a number of buildings and a lot of displays related to the Shakers, but they have people doing some of the traditional Shaker crafts that you can watch. The Shakers actually invented the standard straw broom and you can watch those being made.
Also, there is an Inn onsite with a great restaurant if you like Kentucky-style cooking. This just scratches the surface of Kentucky. There are so many interesting places to visit and people to meet.