Kentucky would be a great travel destination for you. There are many things to do in Kentucky and places to explore. You will love to explore the vibrant city of Louisville, the picturesque Bluegrass Region, and the horse capital of the world, Lexington. You can also explore the unique natural rock formations, enjoy the Kentucky Derby, adventure through wondrous caves, and visit the historical places and museums.
To make your trip to Kentucky memorable, here is a list of the 35 best things to do, attractions, and places to visit in Kentucky.
Table of Contents
- Best places to visit in Kentucky:
- 01. Explore the most extensive collection of quilt and fiber art at National Quilt Museum:
- 02. Enjoy the natural beauty of Natural Bridge State Resort Park:
- 03. Explore Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory:
- 04. Visit the stunning Smothers Park:
- 05. Explore the magical Daniel Boone National Forest:
- 06. Explore the National Corvette Museum:
- 07. Cumberland Gap National Park:
- 08. The Creation Museum:
- 09. Explore the nature’s wonders of CRYSTAL ONYX Cave:
- 10. Ark Encounter, life-size Noah’s Ark:
- 11. Enjoy various activities at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park:
- Fun things to do in Kentucky:
- 12. Enjoy various fun underground activities at Louisville Mega Cavern:
- 13. Visit the Newport Aquarium with your family:
- 14. Hidden River Cave & American Cave Museum:
- 15. Explore the world’s longest known cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park:
- 16. Enjoy a boat tour at Lost River Cave:
- Kentucky Attractions:
- 17. Keeneland, one of America’s most beautiful tracks:
- 18. Enjoy a scenic walk on the Big Four Bridge:
- 19. Enjoy a horse race at historic Churchill Downs:
- 20. Get inspiration from Muhammad Ali’s life at Muhammad Ali Center:
- 21. Learn The History Of The Kentucky Derby At The Kentucky Derby Museum:
- 22. Explore Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum, The Speed Art Museum:
- 23. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park:
- 24. Explore Kentucky Horse Park:
- 25. Enjoy various activities at Louisville Waterfront Park:
- 26. Mary Todd Lincoln House:
- 27. Enjoy hiking on various trails at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary:
- 28. Visit Kentucky’s first National Historic Landmark, Ashland – The Henry Clay Estate:
- 29. Visit the stunning historic architecture “Conrad-Caldwell House Museum”:
- 30. Visit Louisville Zoo with your family:
- 31. Visit Frazier History Museum to see collections of rare historic toy soldiers:
- 32. Explore the spectacular beauty of The Arboretum:
- 33. Visit the 1792 Georgian mansion, Historic Locust Grove:
- 34. Belle of Louisville:
- 35. Explore the stunning beauty of Cherokee Park:
Best places to visit in Kentucky:
01. Explore the most extensive collection of quilt and fiber art at National Quilt Museum:
The National Quilt Museum is located in Paducah, Kentucky. It is the world’s largest and most prestigious museum devoted to quilts and fiber art. The main gallery of the museum features a rotating selection from over 600 quilts collection.
National Quilt Museum also features rotating fiber art exhibits and workshops. The museum attracts art lovers from all 50 states and over 40 countries worldwide.
The 27,000 square foot facility of the museum includes three galleries featuring exhibits of the most expensive quilt and fiber art in the world. Exhibits are rotated 10 to 12 times per year, so there is always something new to see.
If you love art museums, you will love The National Quilt Museum. It is open from 10 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday and on Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm March through November.
National Quilt Museum is a must-see in Kentucky, especially for the art enthusiast. Visit the official website to check out the ongoing exhibition and to plan your visit.
Address: 215 Jefferson St, Paducah, KY 42001.
02. Enjoy the natural beauty of Natural Bridge State Resort Park:
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a Kentucky state park located in Powell and Wolfe Counties. It is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Kentucky. Natural Bridge park offers various recreational opportunities, including birding, hiking, skylift, kayaking, and canoeing are available for rental on Memorial Day through Labor Day.
You can explore the park in different ways. One of the unique ways is by skylift, which soars through forest canopies to the top of the ridge, affording complete views of the arch. You can also take a short trail from the sky lift drop-off to the base of Natural Bridge.
To enjoy hiking, you will find ten hiking trails ranging from one-half mile to seven-and-one-half miles. On your hike, you will get to see wondrous natural bridges, arches, and suspension bridges. If you plan to go hiking, bring close-toed shoes. You will find trail maps available at the Hemlock Lodge.
You can also go for a vacation as the park has a lodge and campgrounds amid some of the Bluegrass State’s prettiest settings. Visit the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park would be one of the best places to visit in Kentucky.
Address: 2135 Natural Bridge Rd, Slade, KY 40376.
03. Explore Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory:
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is located in Louisville, Kentucky. The museum showcases the story of Louisville Slugger baseball bats in Major League Baseball and American history. Outside the factory, you will see the world’s biggest bat, stretching 120 feet into the sky. You can also enjoy the award-winning factory tour of the world-famous Louisville Slugger bats.
Louisville Slugger Museum’s attractions include: “Batting Cages” where you can take some swings with a replica model of your hero’s bat, “Signature Wall” displaying signatures of every Louisville Slugger contract player, “Bat Vault” where you can see all the Louisville Slugger bat models, “Museum Gallery” features a variety of informative and interactive exhibits.
You will also enjoy the family-friendly guided factory tour, and at the end of the factory tour, you will get a free miniature souvenir bat.
The museum store has various Louisville Slugger items, historical memorabilia, and personalized bats. They also make excellent gifts for all kinds of special occasions.
An advance ticket is required. Visit the official website to plan your visit.
Visiting Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory would be one of the top things to do in Kentucky. It is one of the popular tourist attractions in Louisville, Ky.
Address: 800 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202.
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04. Visit the stunning Smothers Park:
Smothers Park is located right along the Ohio River in vibrant downtown Owensboro, Kentucky. The park features three signature fountains with a show every 15 minutes, a cascading waterfall, swinging metal benches, an open-air pavilion, restrooms, and a concession stand.
The park features the Lazy Dayz Children’s Playground and Spray Park. Smothers Park’s Lazy Dayz Playground has won many awards and has been named the top playground (2015) by Landscape Architect’s Network. Smothers Park’s playground is wheelchair accessible and is open from 7 am to 10 pm.
You will also see the Shelton Memorial, a beautiful tribute to MIA’s from all wars.
You can enjoy an afternoon walk along the river, enjoying the sights and sounds of the Riverfront and Smothers Park.
Smothers Park’s world-renowned children’s park makes it a must-see attraction in Owensboro, Kentucky. It would be a fun place to visit in Kentucky with your kids.
Address: 199 W Veterans Blvd, Owensboro, KY 42303.
05. Explore the magical Daniel Boone National Forest:
The Daniel Boone National Forest is an American gem located in Kentucky. This magical forest is named after the explorer Daniel Boone. Daniel Boone National Forest is a popular tourist destination for various recreational activities, including hiking, year-round biking, climbing galore, and various water activities.
The forest includes approximately 100 developed recreation areas and over 600 miles of trails. The trails are ideal for both day hiking, backpacking, and biking. Daniel Boone National Forest is enormous, and every time you visit, there will be new ways to enjoy the beauty of this magical place.
It is home to plenty of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and features over 850 wetlands that provide habitat for hundreds of plants and animals. You will find various water-based recreation, including boating, canoeing, scuba diving, tubing, and kayaking through an enchanted forest.
You will also love to hike on numerous trails and discover the beauty of this beautiful place. Visit the park website for more information and to plan your visit.
Daniel Boone National Forest would be one of the best places to go in Kentucky to enjoy various outdoor activities.
Address: 1700 Bypass Rd, London, KY 40744.
06. Explore the National Corvette Museum:
The National Corvette Museum was established as a not-for-profit foundation to showcase the Chevrolet Corvette, an American sports car that has been in production since 1953. The Museum was opened in 1994 to preserve and educate the public about Corvette.
The National Corvette Museum has an award-winning exterior architectural design. One of the most prominent exterior features of the museum and a landmark for the Bowling Green area is known as the “Skydome.” A large circular car salon encased by a beautiful yellow conical roof.
The large interior of the National Corvette Museum has a geometric design and full-scale diorama displays to tell the story of the Corvette. In the museum, you will see over 80 Corvettes from every era since 1953. You will get to see many preserved production models and many rare one-of-a-kind concept vehicles. The Exhibit Hall features special displays that change regularly.
The Museum also features an extensive collection of automotive memorabilia, informative films, educational exhibits, historical displays, a library and archives, and hands-on activities, the KidZone. At the Corvette Store, you will find apparel, collectibles, home, and gift items. Visit the official website to plan your visit.
The National Corvette Museum will be one of the unique places to visit in Kentucky for sports cars enthusiasts.
Address: 350 Corvette Dr, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
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07. Cumberland Gap National Park:
The Cumberland Gap National Park is located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The park’s visitor center is located in Middlesboro, Kentucky. Cumberland Gap National Park features the original trail marked out by Daniel Boone in 1775, underground caverns, dramatic vistas, unique geologic sandstone formations, diverse plant and animal life, and breathtaking scenery from the overlook.
The park is packed with history and has an extensive network of excellent hiking and backpacking trails. There are about 70 miles of hiking trails that provide numerous opportunities to explore and discover the magical beauty of this place.
You can start your adventure at the park’s visitor center. The visitor center features gift shops, a museum, and an auditorium, providing exhibits on the areas, culture, and natural history.
You can enjoy a tour to learn about Hensley Settlement and life in a 20th-century mountain community. You can also explore Gap Cave with a ranger and walk the Cumberland Gap Trail to stand in three states at once.
Exploring the Cumberland Gap National Park would be one of the best things to do in Kentucky. The park offers a diverse selection of sights and activities, and it would be a good idea to plan for a few days. Visit the park website for more information.
Location: Hwy. 25 E., Quarter-mile S. Middlesboro, KY 40965.
08. The Creation Museum:
The Creation Museum is a 75,000 square foot state-of-the-art museum located in Petersburg, Kentucky. It illustrates biblical history. The museum features a special effects theater, a planetarium, a full-size Allosaurus skeleton, and an insect collection.
You can enjoy impressive exhibits, dinosaur bones, fossils, botanical gardens, a zoo, and a zip line course. The State-of-the-Art Exhibits illustrate Garden of Eden, animatronic Noah, Flood dioramas, and stunning video displays.
You can also enjoy a show in the 4D Special Effects Theater, stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens, and soar across the lake on the zip lines. They also serve buffet food that you can take outside to their covered patio.
It would be a good idea to buy combo tickets to explore both Creation Museum and Ark Encounter. You can plan for a day or two to enjoy everything that these places have to offer.
Creation Museum would be one of the best places to visit in Kentucky for families.
Address: 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd, Petersburg, KY 41080.
09. Explore the nature’s wonders of CRYSTAL ONYX Cave:
CRYSTAL ONYX Cave is one of Kentucky’s spectacular show caves with beautiful formations. The cave steps, trails, handrails, lighting have recently been renovated. It is family-owned and offers 1-2 hour tours, where you can explore the beautiful formations of the cave. They also have a gift shop where you will find mineral specimens and collectibles.
The CRYSTAL ONYX Cave tour starts with a short walk to one of the many sinkholes and caves on their property. They offer both upper and lower tours, and each takes about an hour. You will walk through one half mile vast and diversified array of formations. They will turn off the lights to show the darkness. They also do a few cool things with a UV ray light. On your tour, you will stop in 3 to 4 major areas to enjoy nature’s wonders and learn about history.
The CRYSTAL ONYX Cave would be one of the best places to see in Kentucky with your family and friends. Visit the official website to see the opening hours and prices and to plan your visit.
Address: 425 Prewitts Knob Rd, Cave City, KY 42127.
10. Ark Encounter, life-size Noah’s Ark:
The Ark Encounter is a life-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. It is the largest timber-frame structure in the world. This 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high structure amazes visitors of all ages. The Ark has three decks filled with stunning exhibits. You will love exploring one of Kentucky’s most popular attractions with your family and friends.
You will experience what Noah’s life may have been. They have an immersive virtual reality experience at Ark Encounter. They also have shows about dinosaurs and the building of Noah’s Ark. There are plenty of activities for kids and adults. The kids will love the mini zoo and the fantastic playground.
There are motorized carts available for anyone with mobility issues at an additional cost. Try to plan for a full day to explore all the Ark offers. You can get a combo ticket, which will give you a one-day pass to the Ark Encounter and a one-day pass to the Creation Museum.
Ark Encounter is a must-see place in Kentucky with your family. Visit the official website to see the opening hours and prices and to plan your visit.
Address: 1 Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown, KY 41097.
11. Enjoy various activities at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park:
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, named after the waterfall known as the “Niagara of the South.” Cumberland Falls is a scenic waterfall on the Cumberland River in southeastern Kentucky. The 125-foot wide waterfall is spectacular, and during a full moon and clear night sky, you can see the moonbow. The park provides lodging, dining, and many recreational opportunities, make it a perfect vacation destination in Kentucky.
You can enjoy hiking, birding, rafting, swimming, horseback riding, gem mining, and camping. There are about 17 miles of hiking trails that wind through the park to scenic areas. Horseback riding would be a fun activity for your entire family. You can enjoy guided trail rides through the beautiful forest of Kentucky.
Guided rafting trips on the Cumberland River will also be a thrilling activity to enjoy with your family. You will also enjoy the experience of mining to find colorful gemstones at the flume mine.
The park visitor center features exhibits, a snack shop, and a gift shop featuring a large selection of Kentucky handcrafts. You can stay at the historic Dupont Lodge located in the park. Visit the park website for more information and to plan your visit.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park would be one of the fun places to go in Kentucky to enjoy various activities.
Location: 7351 Highway 90, Corbin, KY 40701.
Fun things to do in Kentucky:
12. Enjoy various fun underground activities at Louisville Mega Cavern:
Louisville Mega Cavern is a former limestone mine, over 17 miles of underground passageways located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Louisville, ky. Louisville Mega Cavern is home to the world’s only underground zip line adventure tour and underground rope challenge course. You can also enjoy underground tram-guided tours, walking tours, and bike tours.
The Louisville Mega Cavern features 6 ziplines, including a dual racing zip, two challenge bridges, balance, and mettle. Mega Cavern’s underground Zipline would be one of the fun things to do in Louisville Ky.
To enjoy family activities in Louisville, Ky. Louisville Mega Cavern offers an underground rope challenge course featuring two levels and 76 challenge elements, including mini zip lines and rope walls.
Louisville Mega Cavern also offers a Historic underground adventure Tram Tour. You can enjoy a 90-minute walking tour to explore the spectacular sites and to learn interesting historical facts. Also, you can enjoy a 1.5 hour guided bike tour of the Mega Cavern. Visit the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Louisville Mega Cavern is one of the most popular Kentucky attractions for families. You can have a great time with your family enjoying various activities.
Address: 1841 Taylor Ave, Louisville, KY 40213.
13. Visit the Newport Aquarium with your family:
The Newport Aquarium is a fun place to visit with family. It showcases thousands of aquatic animals from all over the world, including Sweet Pea, scooters, and rare shark rays. The aquarium features many exhibits, galleries, and seamless acrylic tunnels.
You can enjoy a special parade of playful penguins, meet rare white alligators, and be surrounded by sharks. You can touch cool critters like horseshoe crabs and sea urchins in Shore Gallery. In Shark Central, you can also touch Sharks for a thrilling experience.
Newport Aquarium also features thrilling adventures like the Shark Bridge, where you can cross a rope bridge inches above a tank full of sharks. You can walk through the surrounded by Sharks exhibit, where Sharks swim all around you. Visit the official website for more details and to plan your visit.
The Newport Aquarium would be a fun place to visit in Kentucky with your family.
Address: 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071.
14. Hidden River Cave & American Cave Museum:
Hidden River Cave offers family adventures through one of Kentucky’s largest historic cave entrances, where two subterranean rivers flow over 100 feet below ground. It is located right in the middle of the historic small town of Horse Cave. Hidden River Cave features the historic Sunset Dome and the world’s longest underground swinging bridge.
You can zip across the cave’s beautiful sinkhole entrance or rappel down the limestone face of the cave. Hidden River Cave offers a Wild-Cave Tour, where you will adventure through a muddy off-trail to have a close-up look at the wonders of the underground ecosystem. You can also enjoy a guided one-hour walking tour along an underground river.
American Cave Museum features Interactive exhibits. You can learn about the history and science of America’s natural caverns through educational and informative exhibitions. Check out the official website for booking and to plan your visit.
Address: 119 E Main St, Horse Cave, KY 42749.
15. Explore the world’s longest known cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park:
Mammoth Cave National Park is located in west-central Kentucky. It is home to the world’s longest known cave system, with over 400 miles of passageways.
The Park is home to thousands of years of human history, a rich diversity of plants, rolling hills, scenic river valleys, and abundant wildlife. Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the Mammoth Cave National Park, you can enjoy various underground tours, nature walks, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking down the Green and Nolin Rivers.
On the tours, you will get a glimpse of 350 million-year-old rocks and fascinating animals adapted to life in the dark. Some notable features of the Mammoth Cave include Grand Avenue, Frozen Niagara, and Fat Man’s Misery. The tours range from one to six hours. Also, there are several wild cave tours available to venture into muddy crawls and dusty tunnels.
The Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most popular Kentucky tourist attractions. You can explore this wondrous place with your family and friends. Visit the park website for more information and to plan your visit.
Location: One Mammoth Cave Pkwy. Mammoth Cave, KY 42259.
16. Enjoy a boat tour at Lost River Cave:
Lost River Cave is a 72-acre urban park that offers various activities. It is home to the only underground boat tour in the state of Kentucky. The park’s various features include the seven-mile cave system, a wooded valley with trails, a river, blue holes, sinking streams, and beautiful rock outcrops. At the Lost River Cave park, you will also find a seasonal butterfly habitat, a wetland system, a paved greenway trail, a visitor center, and a gift shop.
You can enjoy Lost River Cave’s historic underground boat tour, a great eco-adventure for all ages. The historic Lost River Cave provides unforgettable stories as an ancient native hunting ground, a Civil War campground, and a hideout for the infamous outlaw Jesse James.
At the park, you can also enjoy Squirrel Zipline and lightning bug Zipline. On the Squirrel Zipline, you will fly through the treetops and zip over the valley’s largest blue hole. The lightning bug Zipline is a mini zip course for children, which offers them to learn the ropes as they build confidence.
You can also hike on the two miles of nature trails or explore the lovely seasonal butterfly habitat.
Visit the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Address: 2818 Nashville Rd, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
17. Keeneland, one of America’s most beautiful tracks:
Keeneland is located in the Horse Capital of the World. Founded in 1936, this National Historic Landmark host a wide variety of horse-related events annually, including the Blue Grass Stakes and the Phoenix Handicap. Horse races are held Wednesday-Sunday from April-October. Also, Keeneland is the world’s largest and most prominent Thoroughbred auction house.
It is one of America’s most beautiful tracks, with its tranquil setting and lovely stone fences and buildings. The extensive grounds of Keeneland comprise meticulous landscape, the paddock, Keene’s mansion, a training center, a combination of dirt and turf race tracks, and a prep area where visitors can view horses up-close just before the race.
You can enjoy a tour of the track and get to see the behind-the-scenes. If you are planning to watch a race, spend extra money to sit up in the grandstand. Also, during weekends, Keeneland is packed with people. It would be a good idea to plan for weekdays. Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Watching a horse race at Keeneland would be one of the best things to see in Kentucky. It is one of the most popular Kentucky attractions.
Address: 4201 Versailles Rd, Lexington, KY 40510.
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18. Enjoy a scenic walk on the Big Four Bridge:
The Big Four Bridge is a six-span former railroad truss bridge that crosses the Ohio River, connecting Waterfront Park to Jeffersonville, Indiana. It’s a bicycle and pedestrian bridge and opened to the public in February 2013. The bridge is the perfect spot to watch the breathtaking sunset.
You can enjoy a two-mile round trip, and along the way, you will get spectacular views of the river, city, and Waterfront Park. Also, the seasonal lighting offer walkers scenic treks over the Ohio River.
At night, the bridge becomes colorful, as it has an LED lighting system with vibrant colors. You can also attend the Big Four Arts Festival, held every year on the weekend following Labor Day in Louisville at Waterfront Park on the Big Four Bridge Lawn. Visit the official website to check out the upcoming art festival.
The Big Four Bridge would be one of the best places to go in Kentucky. You can enjoy walking with your family and enjoy the breathtaking views from the bridge.
Address: 1101 River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202.
19. Enjoy a horse race at historic Churchill Downs:
Churchill Downs is a horse racetrack located in Louisville, Ky. Officially opened in 1875, both the first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks were held in the same year. Churchill Downs is most famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby. The capacity of Churchill Downs is over 160,000.
Churchill Downs is rich with history, as many races took place since the 1870s. Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is one of the oldest running sport in US history. As you walk into the area behind the grandstands, you will see plaques commemorating all the winners of the Kentucky Derby since the 1870s. You can also enjoy a guided walking tour.
You can also plan for the Kentucky Derby Museum. Plan for early morning, as then you will get to see the early morning horse workouts. Also, seeing a horse race at Churchill Downs will be a fun and exciting experience. Visit the official website to check out the upcoming events and to plan your visit.
A horse race at historic Churchill Downs would be one of the best things to see in Kentucky.
Address: 700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 40208.
20. Get inspiration from Muhammad Ali’s life at Muhammad Ali Center:
The Muhammad Ali Center is a multicultural center with an award-winning interactive museum located in the heart of downtown Louisville, Kentucky. It features 2 levels of award-winning exhibits, interactive boxing fun, a five-screen orientation theater film, two art galleries, children’s Hope and Dream wall, memorabilia, and historical video to capture the inspiration of Muhammad Ali’s legendary life.
In the visitor center, you will enjoy interactive and multimedia exhibits. The exhibits and galleries of the museum invite visitors to experience the history of the life of Muhammad Ali through six core values: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and spirituality.
The Muhammad Ali Center also offers various educational programs and hosts temporary exhibits. Check out the official website for upcoming events and to plan your visit.
You will have a wonderful time visiting the Muhammad Ali Center. It’s an inspirational place, and you can visit with your family.
Address: 144 N 6th St, Louisville, KY 40202.
21. Learn The History Of The Kentucky Derby At The Kentucky Derby Museum:
Kentucky Derby Museum is one of the most popular Louisville attractions. The museum first opened its doors to the public in 1985. It’s a thoroughbred horse racing museum located in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Kentucky Derby.
The museum comprises two floors featuring family-friendly interactive permanent and temporary exhibits and a 360-degree theater. Kentucky Derby Museum’s exhibits highlight the stories of owners, the importance of African American jockeys and trainers to the race, and the remarkable history of the race, dating back to the inaugural running in 1875 to the most recent Kentucky Derby champion. In the museum, you get to see so many artifacts and learn a lot about the history of the Kentucky Derby.
The 360-degree theater offers an immersive sound and visual experience, and you can watch any Kentucky Derby from 1918 to the present day.
You can also enjoy the Historic Walking Tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack. Also, the kids will love racing the horses in the arcade game. Visit the official website to check out the ongoing exhibits and to plan your visit.
Address: 704 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 40208.
22. Explore Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum, The Speed Art Museum:
The Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum. The museum features a collection of African art, ancient art, Native American art, American and European art, contemporary art from 1980 to the present, and Kentucky art collection from 1800 to1945.
Speed Art Museum also hosts international exhibitions, Speed Concert Series, Art Sparks Interactive Family Gallery, and the popular late-night event. Visit the official website to check out upcoming events, exhibits and to plan your visit.
You can explore the extensive collection of Speed Art Museum, spanning over 6,000 years of human creativity, culture, and experiences. You will get to see paintings by Rembrandt, Picasso, Rubens, and contemporary art exhibits. Also, there are paintings from the Netherlands, French and Italian artworks.
Speed Art Museum would be a wonderful place to go in Kentucky to explore arts.
Address: 2035 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40208.
23. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park:
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park was built in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. He was born in a small cabin in the Sinking Spring site, located south of Hodgenville. Inside the Memorial Building is a restored log cabin meant to represent the cabin Lincoln was born in.
The monument features 16 rosettes on the ceiling, 16 windows, 16 fence poles, and the 56 steps of the building represent President Lincoln’s age at the time of his assassination. You can also visit his childhood home, Knob Creek Farm, located 10 miles away from the Sinking Spring site and features a 19th-century log cabin and a historic tavern.
There is a lovely visitor center that has a gift shop, rangers, and an educational video. You can also enjoy the well-kept grounds and beautiful trails. Try not to plan for a day. One hour would be enough to explore this place. It’s well worth your time, especially if you are in this area.
Address: 2995 Lincoln Farm Rd, Hodgenville, KY 42748.
24. Explore Kentucky Horse Park:
Kentucky Horse Park comprises over 1,200 acres of the horse farm, educational theme park, featuring competition, education, and exhibition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. At the park, visitors can visit the museum, see dozens of breeds of horses, enjoy horse-drawn tours, fun horseback and pony rides, and various horse shows and special events throughout the year.
The park’s International Museum is the world’s largest equestrian museum. The museum features permanent and featured exhibits, Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries, equestrian memorabilia, and to learn about American Saddlebreds. For children, the museum offers an interactive multimedia experience.
During the Main Season, you can enjoy the Parade of Breeds, the Big Barn Stall-Side Chat, and the Hall of Champions, a family-friendly spectacle to see magnificent champion horses of the racetrack on display.
You can also enjoy horseback trail rides, and the kids can enjoy pony rides. The park also features a specious campground with fire rings and picnic tables. Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Try to visit during park season and check the schedule before making your plan.
Kentucky Horse Park would be one of the fun places to visit in Kentucky with your family.
Address: 4089 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, KY 40511.
25. Enjoy various activities at Louisville Waterfront Park:
Louisville Waterfront Park is an 85-acre park located next to the downtown of Louisville and the Ohio River. The park features linear fountains, expansive lawns, pedestrian walkways, picnic areas, a small series of docks for boats, children’s play areas, and the adventure playground. Louisville Waterfront Park also hosts Thunder over Louisville, a major firework exhibition. Visit the official website to check out upcoming events and to plan your visit.
At the park, you can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and rowing on the Ohio River. Visit River City Paddlesports website for more information on rentals and membership. Louisville Waterfront Park also features two sets of docks. Docking is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Waterfront Park’s picnic areas feature five spots with picnic tables and park grills. The park also has the Lincoln Memorial, which represents the 16th president’s Kentucky roots.
Visiting Louisville Waterfront Park would be one of the best free things to do in Kentucky.
Address: 129 River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202.
26. Mary Todd Lincoln House:
Mary Todd Lincoln House is an early nineteenth-century home located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. It is the first historic site restored in honor of a First Lady. Mary Todd Lincoln House is the girlhood home of Mary Todd, the first lady and the wife of the 16th President Abraham Lincoln. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of the house and the beautiful garden.
This beautifully restored house has fourteen-room containing furniture, artifacts, and portraits from the Todd and Lincoln families. The beautiful gardens in the back contain trees, plants, herbs, and shrubs. In the museum, you will learn about the life of one of America’s most fascinating first ladies.
Mary Todd Lincoln House also includes a small gift shop on the 2nd floor featuring books and other souvenirs for sale. A couple of free parking spots are located directly behind the house. You can also park in the church parking lot directly across the alley from the house.
Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Address: 578 W Main St, Lexington, KY 40507.
27. Enjoy hiking on various trails at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary:
Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is a 734-acre woodland preserve located in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful nature sanctuary features over 10 miles of hiking trails providing access to streams, meadows, forests, creeks, wildflowers, and historical and geological landmarks. You can enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, and visit historical sites. Raven Run would be one of the best places to enjoy various activities in Lexington, ky.
You will enjoy hiking on the various trails. Raven Run trails include Red Trail, Green Trail, Orange Trail, Blue Trails, Yellow Trail, White Trails, and Freedom Trail. The Red Trail will take you to through most of the park. On the Orange Trail, you can enjoy superb views from a high elevation. On the Green Trail, you can experience the meadows of Raven Run. The Yellow Trail offers incredible views of spring wildflowers during their peak blooming season of April to May.
To enjoy scenic views of the Kentucky River Palisades, you will find a 70 ft overlook. At the Raven Run, you will see a historic grist mill built by Peter Evans in 1833. You can also enjoy various events at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary. Visit the official website to check out ongoing programs and to plan your visit.
Address: 3885 Raven Run Way, Lexington, KY 40515.
28. Visit Kentucky’s first National Historic Landmark, Ashland – The Henry Clay Estate:
Ashland is Kentucky’s first National Historic Landmark. It’s an early 19th-century plantation home of U.S. statesman Henry Clay. This 17-acre National Historic Landmark once grew hemp, tobacco, and grain. Ashland now stands as a museum where you can enjoy a tour of the reconstructed 18-room mansion, grounds, and beautiful gardens.
Ashland is filled with family belongings and memorabilia from all five generations of the Clay family. You will enjoy a tour of the historic outbuildings, gardens, trees, and walking paths. Ashland also includes a Museum Store that features a great selection of books and gifts. Check out the official website to book tickets and to plan your visit.
You can also enjoy your lunch at the seasonally open Ginkgo Tree Cafe, which features a beautiful patio sitting area. It offers a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts.
Address: 120 Sycamore Rd, Lexington, KY 40502.
29. Visit the stunning historic architecture “Conrad-Caldwell House Museum”:
The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum is one of the finest examples of stunning Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Renowned local architect Arthur Loomis of Clarke and Loomis built this historic Victorian mansion in 1893.
Conrad-Caldwell House Museum has been lovingly restored to the Edwardian Age. The museum is surrounded by a beautiful courtyard neighborhood and houses a massive collection of period items, including many original pieces, and stands as evidence of the abundant lifestyle of the owners.
You will get to see its beautiful woodwork and parquet floors, interior plumbing, and electric lighting of its day. The beautiful exterior was designed with massive Bedford limestone covered with gargoyles. The interior design of Conrad-Caldwell House Museum is decorated with beautiful archways, incorporated various types of hardwoods, and magnificent stained-glass windows.
It is one of the most stunning homes in Old Louisville. Check out the official website to plan your visit.
The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum will be one of the best sites to see in Kentucky.
Address: 1402 St James Ct, Louisville, KY 40208.
30. Visit Louisville Zoo with your family:
Louisville Zoological Gardens, commonly known as the Louisville Zoo, was opened in 1969. It currently exhibits over 1,100 animals on 130 acres of natural settings featuring zoogeographical areas and specific habitats.
The Africa and Gorilla Forrest exhibits offer visitors to explore the lands of Africa. In this section, you will get to see the giraffe, elephants, a herd of Hartmann’s zebras, and the addax, one of the world’s rarest antelopes. In Gorilla Forrest exhibits, you will see gorillas, colobus, and Schmidt’s red-tailed monkeys.
The award-winning Glacier Run exhibits will take you to the arctic wilderness. In this exhibit, you will get to see polar and grizzly bears, seals and sea lions, and snow leopards. Australia exhibits zone have wallabies, wallaroos, and colorful lorikeets. You can enjoy feeding the lorikeets.
You will also love the award-winning and world’s first multi-species rotational Islands exhibit, which simulates the way these animals live in the wild. In the HerpAquarium exhibits zone, you will see rad reptiles, snakes, bewitching bats, frogs, Gila monsters, and enormous boa constrictors.
In the South American Zone, you will see jaguars, wolves, flamingos, and sloths.
The Louisville Zoo also has beautiful Wild Lights, where you can enjoy one of the largest lantern festivals. Check out the official website for events and to plan your visit.
Address: 1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville, KY 40213.
31. Visit Frazier History Museum to see collections of rare historic toy soldiers:
Frazier History Museum is located in the West Main District of downtown Louisville. The museum’s Stewart Collection is one of the largest collections of toy soldiers and historic miniatures on permanent public display in the world. Frazier History Museum also features the Lewis and Clark Expedition, historically significant artifacts, and a gallery of historical arms.
Some of the permanent firearms collections of the museum include South German snap matchlock target rifle, German sporting crossbow, Austrian wheel-lock rifle. In the museum, you will see a 1908 Holland & Holland Rifle that belonged to President Theodore Roosevelt.
You can enjoy the Lewis and Clark Experience with your family. It features a replica Sioux Tipi, several artifacts from the period, a Mandan earthen hut, and a 55-foot cutaway replica of Lewis and Clark’s keelboat.
Frazier History Museum also hosts various events and exhibitions. Visit the official website to check out ongoing and upcoming exhibits.
Address: 829 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202.
32. Explore the spectacular beauty of The Arboretum:
The Arboretum is Kentucky’s state botanical garden. Created in 1991, the 100 acres of stunning landscape feature gardens and natural areas. The Arboretum also features a “Walk Across Kentucky” section featuring plants and trees from Kentucky’s seven regions. It is a marvelous place where you can enjoy year-round activities with your entire family.
The beautiful gardens of the Arboretum include Home Demonstration Garden, all America Selection Trials Garden, the Rose Garden, horticulture display gardens, the Perennial Collection, the Fragrance Garden, Ground Cover Demonstration, Woody Plant Collection, and the Kentucky Children’s Garden.
The 2-acre Kentucky Children’s Garden encourages children to interact with many hands-on activities. It features small-sized representations of Kentucky’s landscapes. Also, the beautiful themed gardens include butterfly, vegetable, and transportation gardens.
The Arboretum would be a contemplative place to observe the natural environment. You will also find a memorial honoring the lives lost in the 2006 Flight 5191 crash. Check out the official website to plan your visit.
Children’s Garden hours: Wed.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm Admission: $3/person, and Admission is FREE to experience the grounds.
Visiting the Arboretum would be one of the best free things to do in Kentucky.
Address: University of Kentucky, 500 Alumni Dr, Lexington, KY 40503.
33. Visit the 1792 Georgian mansion, Historic Locust Grove:
Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark and a unique example of early Kentucky architecture, craftsmanship, and history. It’s a 55-acre 18th-century farm site and is a 1792 Georgian mansion that tells the story of its owners, William and Lucy Clark Croghan. Next to Locust Grove, you will see the Springfield, boyhood home of 12th US President Zachary Taylor.
Surrounding Locust Grove’s grounds, you will see several accessory structures, including a kitchen, springhouse, Log Cabin built around 1815 at the site, a woodworking shed, and a smokehouse, one of the original buildings at Locust Grove. There is a Visitor Center that houses a gift shop, museum, and meeting space.
You will love the house tour and learn more about life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Visit the official website to plan your visit.
Address: 561 Blankenbaker Ln, Louisville, KY 40207, United States.
34. Belle of Louisville:
Belle of Louisville is an over 100-year-old steamboat and a National Historic Landmark. The boat is steam-powered and paddlewheel-propelled and features a concession stand, outdoor observation decks, indoor, climate-controlled decks.
You can enjoy sightseeing on the Harbor History and Sunset Cruises. You will find food and snacks available for purchase from the Concessions stand.
Belle of Louisville also has sunset and moonlight cruises. On your ride, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the sunset and enjoy the beauty of moonlight night.
You can also plan for dinner. Belle of Louisville’s special evening aboard offers Captain’s dinner along with a chance to tour Belle’s authentic Engine and Boiler Rooms. You will get the most beautiful views of the river. Check out the official website for upcoming events and to plan your visit.
Enjoying the spectacular views of downtown Louisville from the Belle of Louisville would be one of the unique things to do in Kentucky.
Address: 401 W River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202.
35. Explore the stunning beauty of Cherokee Park:
Cherokee Park was designed in 1891 by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture. The park provides a pastoral setting amid rolling hills, open meadows, and woodlands of the Beargrass Creek valley. Cherokee Park’s main feature is the 2.4-mile Scenic Loop with separate lanes. One side of the road is for pedestrians and the other is for bicycles.
Cherokee Park’s amenities include impressive wooded hiking trails, Mountain Biking, fishing, golf, a bird sanctuary, Picnic Shelter and Picnic Table, Multi-purpose Field, Dog Run, and a spray ground.
It is a beautiful park to walk. You will enjoy the beautiful nature and vibrant fall leaves.
Cherokee Park would be a wonderful place to visit in Kentucky with your family and friends.
Address: 745 Cochran Hill Rd, Louisville, KY 40206.