The Bluegrass State Offers Bourbon, Horse Racing, and Fun
Kentucky is home to the annual Derby, as well as other attractions for tourists.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has much to offer the would-be visitor. Rather than just the land of bluegrass music or undeveloped Appalachian land, Kentucky has places of interest for visitors looking to have a good time or learn a bit about history.
The Bourbon Trail
Home to bourbon, Kentucky has a Bourbon Trail of distilleries which allows visitors to follow the road signs to Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and more. At each of these distilleries, visitors get to learn how bourbon is made and how it differs from plant to plant. Interested – and over 21 – visitors also get to sample various bourbons. Though many people have tasted the basic bourbons, Kentucky’s distilleries along the Bourbon Trail offer up lesser-known blends.
Home to the famed Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs isn’t the only racetrack of note in the Bluegrass State. Keeneland, located just outside Lexington, is home to races and celebrity parties throughout the year. Located about an hour apart, Churchill Downs and Keeneland are in the heart of central Kentucky’s horse country. Betting is available at both racetracks, and there are horse races quite a few weekends out of the year.
Newport on the Levee
On the “other side” of the Ohio River from Cincinnati, the city of Newport’s leaders have made this little town the center of vibrant life along the riverfront. Newport on the Levee is the central location for Newport activity. This center has basic retail outlets, such as a GAP, and also has an IMAX Theater and other attractions. For the nightlife crowd, Jeff Ruby’s Tropicana is a great stopping place as are the other nightclubs at Newport on the Levee. The Newport Aquarium is located at the Levee as well and makes a great daytime spot for families.
For visitors not interested in the party scene, Ashland is a place to visit. The historical home of Henry Clay, the Ashland estate is a significant part of Kentucky history. Henry Clay is one of the lesser-known founders of the United States, but he was involved in the creation of a number of early American documents. In fact, Clay was called the “Great Compromiser” because he authored both the infamous Three-Fifths Compromise and the Missouri Compromise, both in an effort to keep slavery from dividing the nation.
Kentucky isn’t as cosmopolitan as other states and has less urban activity to offer, but the commonwealth is home to activities for all ages and groups.