Brown and white horses graze near a fence with bales of hay and green leafy trees in the background on a farm in Kentucky.

From Louisville to Lexington: Best Stops in Kentucky

Brown and white horses graze near a fence with bales of hay and green leafy trees in the background on a farm in Kentucky.

From Louisville to Lexington: Best Stops in Kentucky

There’s more to the Bluegrass State than its equestrian history. Take a scenic drive through Kentucky to get a much richer taste of its diverse culture.

As the horse capital of the world, the state of Kentucky offers a rich equestrian history that includes the birth of the famed Kentucky Derby. However, don’t be fooled into thinking the Bluegrass State doesn’t have anything to offer besides horses. Take a scenic drive through the state to get a richer taste of the area’s culture.

Explore Culture at the Muhammad Ali Center

In Louisville, the state’s largest city and home to a vibrant food scene, the award-winning Muhammad Ali Center is situated downtown along the Ohio River. Dedicated to Louisville native and boxer Muhammad Ali, the cultural center features an interactive nonprofit museum, educational programs, and community events throughout the year that attract both local and out-of-town visitors of all ages.

Revel in Baseball History at the Louisville Slugger Museum

If you’re traveling with kids or sports enthusiasts, the Louisville Slugger Museum is a must-see. Beginning with a 120-foot replica of Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger bat towering over the museum’s entrance, the tour — right down to the free souvenir mini bat — leaves quite an impression. Allow at least two hours to enjoy the museum, or extend your stay with the All-Star Experience, a customized behind-the-scenes package designed with baseball’s biggest fans in mind.

Visit a Bourbon Distillery — or All 10

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes a collection of 10 whiskey distilleries across the state. These interactive distilleries offer tours and tastings while detailing Kentucky’s bourbon history and explaining the distillation process for world-famous Kentucky bourbon. Louisville features three distilleries right in the city: the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Angel’s Envy, and Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, which specializes in high-rye bourbon whiskey. If you’re traveling in a group with diverse tastes, keep everyone happy by heading over to Lexington’s Town Branch, a bourbon distillery that also produces beer.

Hoping to hit all 10? Rent a car and find the rest in Bardstown, Lawrenceburg, Versailles, Loretto, and Clermont, home of the popular Jim Beam Distillery. As always, be sure to travel with a designated driver and drink responsibly.

Bourbon barrels lay on a rail beside an old stone building at a bourbon distillery in Kentucky.
Source: Shutterstock

Enjoy Natural Kentucky at Red River Gorge

With 49 state parks, Kentucky is home to 27,000 acres of beautiful nature preserves. One of the most beloved is Red River Gorge Geological Area, located within Daniel Boone National Forest in Winchester, Kentucky. A premier destination for rock climbing and hiking, the park is home to endangered species like the Indiana bat and the red-cockaded woodpecker, plus scores of other species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that nest among the rugged sandstone cliffs. In addition to popular activities like camping, fishing, swimming, and horseback riding, take a walk across the natural bridge spanning nearly 80 feet to enjoy some spectacular views.

A view of Red River Gorge with green leafy trees in the background on a bright, sunny day in Kentucky.
Source: Shutterstock

Play with Horses at Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky is home to the most exciting two minutes in sports, but it’s also a pinnacle destination for horse culture year-round. At Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park, you can tour a real working horse farm, visit the International Museum of the Horse, get up close and personal with horses during a walking barn tour, take in the Parade of Breeds, and discover Thoroughbred legends at the Hall of Champions. From mid-March through October, additional tickets are available for horseback trail and pony rides, two especially popular attractions for the park’s younger guests.

Whether you’re looking for big-city culture in first-class Louisville or you’re eager to unwind while exploring a park or farm, Kentucky offers a range of experiences to suit almost any traveler. Add Kentucky to your destination list, and share your favorite spots with us on Twitter.

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