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Visit Kentucky

The anti-slavery ballad “My Old Kentucky Home” was composed in 1853 by Stephen Foster and is today the official state song. Located in the southeast region of the U.S., Kentucky shares borders with Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, North and South Carolina, West Virginia, and Illinois. The state is home to the longest cave system in the world, as well as being known for its tobacco, automobile manufacturing, and horse racing. Frankfort is the state’s capital and was founded on the shores of the Kentucky River. Louisville and Lexington are two other major cities that sit in the Bluegrass Region, well known for being the first area to be settled in Kentucky.

Top things to do outdoors in Kentucky

The state’s nickname comes from its abundance of bluegrass fields and pastures, most prominent in its northern region. One of Kentucky’s wonders is Mammoth Cave National Park, which has more than 400 miles of explored cave passages, 10 miles of which are open to the public. Water lovers will find exciting activities at Grayson Lake; its serene waters are perfect for paddleboarding. Red River Gorge offers tons of outdoor activities like zip-lining and even walking on open-air bridges. There is plenty of adventure in the portion of the Appalachian Mountains where visitors can enjoy climbing, boating, fishing, and more.

History and culture of Kentucky

Kentucky has been influenced by Native American, English, African-American and even Asian cultures. The state played an undeniably big role in U.S. history. It is home to numerous Civil War forts and battlefields, including Fort Boonesborough and Perryville Battlefield. It also boasts African and Native American historic sites, such as the Little Mountain Indian Mound and the Trail of Tears where Cherokees camped on their long journey to Indian Territory.

Best time of year to visit Kentucky

The weather in Kentucky is usually mild due to its central location, and it experiences all four seasons. Although temperatures during the summer average 85° Fahrenheit and go down to 25° F during the winter, temperatures can vary from day to day, so visitors should always be prepared. Spring and fall are when temperatures are pleasant and colorful landscapes abound, making it the best seasons to explore the state.

National parks and national forests in Kentucky

Visitors can take part in wildlife tours and watch elk in their natural habitat, as well as grey squirrels (the state animal), beavers, mink, and foxes. There are 300 bird species that include blackbirds, cardinals, robins, and eagles, which are easily spotted during winter. Kentucky’s National Parks and Forests display a wide variety of oak trees, white pines, magnolias, and tulips, not to mention the famous bluegrass that color the fields in May.