Kentucky Guide

Kentucky is a beautiful state, home to many wonderful attractions, but also a state I have only just started to explore. I have spent some time in Southeastern Kentucky along the Cumberland Plateau where I have found many interesting small towns and the beautiful Big South Fork region.

FAST FACTS ABOUT KENTUCKY

Currency – $USD

Electricity – 110V – Type A & Type B Standard Plugs

Time Zone – Eastern Time Zone (GMT -5 hrs) & Central Time Zone (GMT -6 hrs)

Capital – Frankfurt

Geography – Located on the west side of the Appalachian Mountains, the state transforms from a mountainous region to relatively flat, open spaces all the way to the Mississippi River.

Trivia – Kentucky is technically a Commonwealth, it is the 37th largest state in land size, the state has more miles of running water than any other state except Alaska

Popular Tourism Seasons – Tourism peaks during the warmer summer months June – August, with May and September serving as shoulder seasons.

 

GETTING THERE & GETTING AROUND

Primary Airports – Covington (CVG), Lexington (LEX), Louisville (SDF), Owensboro (OWB), and Paducah (PAH)

Primary Train Stations – Ashland (AKY), Fulton (FTN), Maysville (MAY), and South Shore (SPM)

Major Highways – Interstates 75, 64, 65, 69, and 24 pass through the state.

Best Transportation – Get around by car. Trains won’t get you far across this expansive state, and airports will only get you halfway there. The best way to get around Kentucky is by car along the Interstates, or enjoy one of the scenic highways connecting all major cities.

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

Kentucky has much to offer in the world of tourism. National parks, beautiful small towns, vibrant cities, shopping, and more await just about every turn in the state. Here are a few suggested places to visit and things to do.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – The Big South Fork is an expansive national park territory in the Cumberland Plateau. This area is great for hiking, horseback riding, water activities, and camping.

 

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CHOOSE YOUR REGION

Cumberland Plateau – Eastern Region

This geologically uplifted region of Kentucky expands across the eastern portion of the state loosely bordered by the routes of I-75 and I-64. The eastern region is known for its outdoor recreation with large tracts of national park territory, state resort parks, and hiking trails along the Appalachian Mountains.

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area – The Big South Fork stretches across the plateau into Tennessee, providing dozens of opportunities for sight seeing, hiking, horseback riding, camping, and water activities.

Pine Mountain State Resort Park – Located in Pine Mountain, the unique attraction to the park is Chain Rock, a large boulder that was chained at one point in time to prevent it from ever slipping off the mountain and crushing the small town below.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park – Located in Corbin, this park is built around Cumberland Falls, also known as the “Niagara of the South” for it’s size and volume. The park also features a lodge, campground, and many hiking trails. The park is also known for the Moonbow event, a special event when the light of a full moon refracts through the mists of the falls creating a rainbow at night.

Stearns – This small town along scenic Highway 27 is right at the heart of the Big South Fork. A former coal town with railroad connections, today you can ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway to the Blue Heron Mining Camp to see how the coal industry operated at one time.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY MAP

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BLOG POSTS MAP

Scroll through the map and click on any marker to view travel stories I have written about that location.

 

RECENT POSTS

Here are a few of the most recent blog posts about Kentucky. Click here to view all posts about the state.

The Elk & Bison Prairie at the Land Between the Lakes

I came around a curve in the one-lane road and spotted a herd of massive American bison right in front of me. I slowed to a gentle crawl as the massive animals parted just in front of my van and casually walked around either side. One of them grunted at me as if to say […]

The Unique Antebellum Era Welcome Center in Paducah, Kentucky

As I exited I-24 and drove around the building to the front I was certain I was in the wrong place. I got out of the car and gazed at this gorgeous two-story Antebellum era house and told myself again I must have been in the wrong place. But just as soon as I walked […]

The Unexpected Kentucky Dam Visitor Center

I cautiously approached the top of the dam looking for signs warning me to turn around or not to enter, but I couldn’t find any. A few seconds later I was driving across the top of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kentucky Dam. At the other end I found a curving bridge descending to a parking […]