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Daniel Boone who played an important role in Kentucky's early history once said - ‘I can't say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days'. Today, Kentucky is a pleasant place in which to get "bewildered" for a number of days. Some people know Kentucky only as a stop-over on their way south along busy Interstate 75. Others remember only that the name evokes memories of mountains, coal, horses and bourbon. A few can't remember where it lies on the U.S. map. Bordered as it is by six other states the Commonwealth of Kentucky has a distinct advantage in attracting tourists. Regardless of age or interest, the state presents a wide spectrum of attractions that will certainly please and entertain even the most jaundiced traveler.
Part of Kentucky's secret is friendly folk who make a visit an enjoyable and relaxing event. Their off-handed charm and wry sense of humour is easy to take. Whether visiting the mountainous east or the plains of the Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers in the west one can spend days happily exploring highways and byways. From friendly Appalachia to the sophistication of mid-state Blue Grass country; from small village charm in the Knobs to wonderful Louisville hospitality; from Covington's small city bustle to Paducah's rich river heritage, Kentucky aims to please.
Because the state recognizes that tourism is important as a saleable commodity, an emphasis is placed on making one's visit a pleasurable experience. Restoration of main streets is taking place through aggressive renaissance programs. Villages, towns and cities beckon with well run and unique special events. Festivals salute mushrooms, woolly worms, gingerbread, honey, coal, poke sallet, chicken, pioneers, cultural heritage, the laurel, Appalachian heritage, arts & crafts, Swappin', Meetin' and Tradin' days, string beans, feuds, ice cream, clay and apples. Industrial heritage is emphasized state-wide. Kentucky is the place to be for great country and Blue Grass music.
There is a wide range of accommodation to choose from statewide. Kentucky State Resort Parks are a great way to take in the natural beauty while enjoying good accommodation and tasty meals. Campgrounds are found throughout the state. Restaurants range from reasonably priced "good eats" places such as the Hometown Cafeteria in Berea through up-scale establishments like Jonathan in Gratz Park Inn, Lexington. State specialities include Hot Brown, Burgoo, Biscuit n' Gravy and bourbon.
What does Kentucky offer in way of attractions? Recommendations include Kentucky Horse Park and Keeneland near Lexington, a tour of the Toyota plant at Georgetown, a tour of the G.M. corvette assembly line and museum in Bowling Green, the Clement Mineral Collection in Marion, a cruise on the Tidewater River in Dawson Springs, Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Penns General Store in Gravel Switch, Rabbit Hash General Store in the village of the same name, the Science Center & IMAX in Louisville, Museum of the American Quilt and Yeister Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, the Newport Aquarium in Covington. For a more comprehensive list you might want to refer to other articles on this web site that pertain to the state.
Of course, let's not forget caves. If you enjoy caving, Kentucky's offerings are among the best in North America and include Cascade and Bat Caves in Carter Cave State Resort Park, Lost River Cave in Bowling Green and the wonderful Mammoth Cave System.
Kentucky Department of Travel provides a comprehensive package of information for complete vacation planning. You should also contact those Counties and cities that you have chosen to visit for further information. Remember that it is a good idea to make accommodation reservations well in advance of any visit.
Highways and byways are easy to drive. Kentucky drivers usually show courtesy toward out-of-state cars. Highway and attractions signage is excellent. An interesting point for those who like to have a drink, or two - Kentucky is 75% dry. Don't expect to order wine with your meal, or belly-up-to-the-bar for a nightcap in some locations. Remember too that Kentucky is divided by two time zones - Eastern and Western Central. Have a great trip!
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