With the Appalachian Mountains and the almost endless pastures where the horses eat the legendary bluegrass, Kentucky is certainly one of the most picturesque states in the USA. In the regions west of the mountains, Indians once lived and vigorously opposed the white settlers. The state is still known for its horses today, but offers much more than just the world-famous Kentucky Derby in Louisville. Down-to-earth country music and the bluegrass that developed here – a musical ‘amalgam’ of Shetland fiddles, Eastern European polkas, Irish folk music, blues and jazz – belong to Kentucky just as much as the legendary bourbon. In addition, the state boasts one of the world’s largest cave systems, as well as an entire quilt museum. Outdoor fans will also get their money’s worth when climbing, hiking or fishing.
Attention horse fans
If you like horses, you will love Kentucky. Beautiful Lexington is considered the horse capital of the world. Visit Kentucky Horse Park for over 50 horse breeds and Keeneland Racetrack. Also worth seeing is Louisville – home of the famous Kentucky Derby. ‘The Fastest Two Minutes In Sport’ is held at Churchill Downs racecourse in May each year. Musical horse fans will find stud farms as far as the eye can see in Kentucky’s bluegrass region.
Musical Highlights: Bluegrass and Blues
According to travelationary, Kentucky is the birthplace of bluegrass. And Billy Monroe – the name of this music genre goes back to his band “Blue Grass Boys”, founded in 1938 – was born here. Also known as the Country Music Highway, Highway 23 runs through the state. It leads through places where many country greats like Billy Ray, Loretta Lynn or Ricky Skaggs were born. Also here in Henderson is the birthplace of WC Handy, the father of the blues. And where there is music, there is of course no lack of dancing. Therefore, dozens of festivals of different music genres offer an extremely varied sound experience in the summer months.
Culture with a difference Exotic thirst for knowledge is satisfied in Kentucky’s museums. One of the state’s top museums is the Quilt Museum in Paducah . Not far away in Bowling Green, the National Corvette Museum invites you to marvel and learn at the only production site of these sporty speedsters. In Louisville, boxing fans can learn more about the legendary fighter at the Muhammad Ali Center . And in terms of history, the state provides many exciting facts about Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, both of whom were born here. A tranquil open-air museum can be found in the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hillto visit. In the home of the third largest Shaker community in the USA, hotels and restaurants invite you to linger in an authentic ambience.
Bourbon & BBQ: Taste culture In Kentucky there is no shortage of enjoyment. 95 percent of bourbon production takes place in this state and can be experienced live here. Famous distilleries such as Jim Beam and Wild Turkey present themselves on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail . Bardstown is the bourbon capital of the world and home of the annual Bourbon Festival. An excellent barbecue helps against rising hunger – Kentucky’s culinary delights. At the Sanders Cafe in Corbin, Harland D. Sanders perfected his recipe for everyone’s favorite Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Experience wilderness: outdoor tours in Kentucky Mammoth Cave National Park is home to a 630-kilometer-long subterranean cave system and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981. This is the largest cave system in the world. Climbing friends experience the ultimate adrenaline rush on the rocks of the Red River Gorge . Water lovers can go on exciting boating or fishing trips in Kentucky’s “Southern Shorelines” around Lake Cumberland. The waterfalls of Cumberland Falls State Park are also an impressive natural spectacle . The so-called Moonbow is particularly spectacular here: On full moon nights, a beautiful rainbow is created here.
Location and size The state of Kentucky is generally regarded as a southern state of the USA. It is located right on the border with the southern states and is therefore often called “the gateway to the south”. It is north of Tennessee and south of Ohio.
In Kentucky, about 4.5 million people live on an area of 104,659 km². The capital is Frankfort with only about 25,000 inhabitants.
Time There are two time zones in Kentucky: Central Standard Time/CST – the time difference is 7 hours (minus) from CET – and Eastern Standard Time/EST – the time difference is 6 hours (minus) from CET. Daylight Saving Time (DST) applies from the 2nd Sunday in March to the 2nd Sunday in November.
Arriving by plane
Kentucky can be reached via several airports. There is a direct flight from Paris with Airfrance/KLM/Delta to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which is located approximately 17 km from Covington, directly across from Cincinnati. The cities of Louisville and Lexington are easily accessible with all American airlines and a connection on the east coast of the USA. It is also possible to start your round trip in Nashville, Tennessee. The easiest way to reach this airport is to change trains on the east coast.
Kentucky has a humid subtropical and temperate climate with cool winters and warm summers. The average temperatures vary between 30.9 °C in summer and -4.9 °C in winter. The average annual temperature is 14 °C.
|Average temperatures in Kentucky in °C|
The ideal travel time
is from March to October. In spring it can get warm early; Autumn impresses with its autumn colors and the warm temperatures during the day. There are also many festivals during this time, whether musical, cultural or culinary.
Round Trips An ideal round trip for Kentucky is in combination with the state of Tennessee . Here the journey can start in Music City Nashville and continue to the Home of the Blues in Memphis. From there you start to Kentucky through Paducah, Owensboro to Bowling Green, where you can admire the National Corvette Museum and the Mammoth Cave National Park. Continue north to Bardstown – Bourbon Capital of the World – and Louisville. Visit Churchill Down, home of “sport’s fastest two minutes”, the Muhammed Ali Center and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.
Through the bluesgrass region, past white fences and thoroughbred horses, it’s on to Lexington, the horse capital of the world. Here you visit the Race Track Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Park. One of the traditional distilleries in the area, as well as the Shakers Village of Pleasant Hill – the third largest Shaker community in the USA – should not be missing. Further north you then drive to Northern Kentucky on the Ohio River and learn more about the Mainstrasse Village in Covington. Or you can drive south to Cumberland Falls – the Niagara Falls of the south and enjoy the original Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin. From there you can drive back to Nashville via the Great Smoky Mountains and Knoxville in Tennessee.