In simple words: if you love horses you’ll love Kentucky!
Horses in Kentucky are as important as kangaroos in Australia, pandas in China, or giant tortoises in the Galapagos.
Their importance is such that the main influx of tourism in Kentucky has to do with horses and the most famous and prestigious horse race in the world: the Kentucky Derby.
When there are no races, Churchill Downs still has thousands of visitors coming year-round to see the Kentucky Derby Museum (see photo).
This state-of-the-art museum offers a historical tour of the famous race as well as the horses and jockeys that became legends.
Some of the highlights are a 360 degrees movie theater, interactive games and panels, a display of the jockey’s silks, and a hall honoring the Kentucky Derby winning horses.
About one hour away from Louisville is the city of Lexington, also known as “The Horse Capital of the World,” where you can find the very impressive Kentucky Horse Park.
At the Kentucky Horse Park you can see many breeds of horses, including Arabian, Thoroughbred, Marwari, Pinto, English Shire, and Mustang.
These horses show us just how graceful they can be during a colorful performance (see photo).
Around this park there are plaques and monuments honoring horse legends such as Man O’ War, War Admiral, and Secretariat. The last two horses made history by winning the Triple Crown, a feat last accomplished by Affirmed in 1978.
On the outskirts of Lexington you’ll notice immense horse farms owned by celebrities, politicians, and businessmen, where they raise and train their horses to either compete in the races or sell them at the horse auctions.
Now, if you love steel horses, then you should visit the city of Bowling Green to check out one of America’s most famous icons: the Corvette.
Bowling Green is the only place where the Corvette is produced and home to the National Corvette Museum.
This unique gallery is a living chronicle of this sports car exhibiting all the Corvette models since its beginning in 1953 to futuristic-looking concept Corvettes.
Other great activities
Kentucky is also internationally known for its Bourbon Whiskey and you can tour famous distilleries such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, and Wild Turkey. It is the whiskey of this region that gives life to the Mint Julip, the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby.
If you love history, you will enjoy visiting the Ashland Mansion in Lexington (see photo).
This house belonged to Henry Clay, a prominent US politician from Kentucky.
Today, the Ashland Mansion is a history museum that tells the story of the architecture, the life of Henry Clay, and holds an important collection of paintings and historical artifacts.
Another historic town is Shelbyville, located between Louisville and Lexington. The town is known for its fine antique galleries selling elegant European furniture, classy paintings and stylish sterling silver from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Last but not least, another ultra famous landmark is Coronel Harland Sander’s first restaurant: the Sander’s Café, better known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Located in the town of Corbin, about an hour south-east of Lexington, the first KFC restaurant still operates under its original façade (see photo).
And best of all, it keeps attracting thousands of visitors from all over who want to see the origin of the most celebrated fried chicken on the planet.
Whether you are visiting Kentucky for its horses, its rich historical past, or its fried chicken, Kentucky does have plenty of surprises for everyone’s delight.