Top 10 Tourist Destinations in Kentucky

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The Bluegrass State offers many different choices for travelers searching for unique and colorful destinations.  From the world-famous horse farms in the center of the state to the pristine natural habitats of the eastern and western parts, each of the 120 counties within Kentucky has a vibrant culture and rich history for tourists to explore.  Unfortunately, most people simply do not have the time to enjoy all that this amazing state has to offer.  The good news, however, is that it only takes a short trip to fully appreciate the splendid beauty and heritage found in Kentucky. To help you explore this great state here is a list of the top 10 Tourist Destinations In Kentucky.

1) Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave national photo

Photo by blmurch

Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world.  The network of caves is said to have been discovered by a hunter while tracking a wounded bear in the late 1790s.  In the mid twentieth century the cave entrance was transformed into a nightclub where young couples would come to dance to music and party into the late hours of the night.  Fortunately, the cave’s importance was eventually recognized by scientists, who worked to preserve it and eventually helped to form the National Park based around the cave.  Today, thousands of people each year tour the cave to experience the wondrous ecosystem filled with unique fauna that inhabit the many caverns inside.

2) Churchill Downs

churchill downs photo

Photo by Jeff Kubina

This racetrack hosts the most famous race in all of horse racing, the Kentucky Derby, which has been run every year at Churchill Downs since it first opened in 1875.  Churchill Downs has become an iconic Kentucky landmark and horse enthusiasts from around the country make the trek each year to visit the hallowed grounds where many of the sport’s best thoroughbreds won their races, including famous Triple Crown winners such as Secretariat and Seattle Slew.

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3)Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

 Louisville Slugger photo

Photo by Ka!zen

The slugger has a unique place in American sports history, having been the bat of choice for so many of the best hitters to ever play in the big leagues.  It isn’t any wonder then that so many baseball fans seek out this museum and factory where these bats are produced, lining up each day to take an interesting, one-of-a-kind guided tour of the facility.

4) Louisville Zoo

Louisville Zoo photo

Photo by amslerPIX

This zoo was founded in 1969 and soon grew to become one of the most important zoos in the region.  Today, it houses many unique exhibits including the 4-acre Gorilla Forest with its dozen or so lowland gorillas and countless other primates, and the Herpaquarium with hundreds of species of reptiles and amphibians, as well as one special resident, an albino alligator affectionately named King Louie.

5) Lake Cumberland

lake cumberland kentucky photo

Photo by NashvilleCorps

This lake is one of the largest manmade lakes in the world.  Located across various counties throughout south central Kentucky, Lake Cumberland was constructed in 1952 by the Army Corps of Engineers as a way to prevent flooding and provide electricity to rural households in the area.  Since then, this body of water, which is 102 square miles, has became a tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the country who enjoy the calming natural setting and activities available to them.

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