Attractions in Kentucky range from the magnificent natural scenery to the rich history and culture of the area. Whether travelers plan to explore the rivers, forests, lakes, and caves of Kentucky, or they want to visit such cultural attractions as the Kentucky Derby, Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, or the many museums, Kentucky sightseeing offers a wealth of interesting experiences.
One of the most popular Kentucky tourist attractions is the Mammoth Cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park. By far the longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave National Park is a must-see for Kentucky sightseeing. Designated as both a World Heritage Site and an international Biosphere Reserve, Mammoth Cave is located in the Green River valley and boasts extensive limestone caves as well as a wide diversity in wildlife. Many of the caves can be explored by visitors, with high-quality guided cave tours that take tourists to the illuminated main attractions of the caves. So-called wild tours are also available, where tourists can explore the muddier and dustier tunnels in the cave. Mammoth Cave National Park preserves both the cave system and the surrounding countryside in the Green River Valley, and tourists can also enjoy the unblemished wilderness above ground. Visitors can also camp in the campgrounds, in the backcountry, or along the river.
In addition to Mammoth Cave National Park, travelers who want to see more of Kentucky's great outdoors should visit one or more of the state parks, some of the prime attractions in Kentucky. Natural Bridge State Park, for example, preserves some interesting geological formations in the midst of the Daniel Boone National Forest, including its namesake, a naturally formed sandstone bridge.
Kentucky has a rich historical and cultural heritage, and some of the best attractions in Kentucky highlight this heritage. Among the most well-known Kentucky tourist attractions is the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, with exhibits about Kentucky and US military history, and a memorial to commemorate soldiers who have been killed in the twentieth-century wars. One of the best museums to learn about Kentucky's history is the Kentucky Museum, which claims to collect Kentucky, with exhibits and artifacts from various points in the state's history. Some of Kentucky's state parks also feature Kentucky history and are a great choice for Kentucky sightseeing—for instance, the My Old Kentucky Home state park preserves the nineteenth-century mansion that inspired Stephen Foster's ballad "My Old Kentucky Home," now the official state song. Those interested in US history might also enjoy the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park; here, tourists can glimpse a log cabin built to commemorate the birth of the sixteenth president.
A visit to Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky, is a must for any traveler to the area. One of the biggest Kentucky tourist attractions is the Kentucky Derby, which takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville in May, but the town is charming throughout the year. Louisville's public park system is renowned for its excellent design, and a visit to Cherokee Park, Iroquois Park, or Shawnee Park, the largest parks in the city, will not disappoint. Visitors can cycle, rollerblade, walk, or do other recreational activities on the parks' sightseeing routes. Sports fans may want to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, which features the World's Largest Baseball Bat as well as factory tours where tourists can watch the famous Louisville slugger baseball bats, the official bats of Major League baseball, being made.
Wherever you choose to travel in Kentucky, take some time to enjoy the friendliness and hospitality of the residents, and whether you're visiting the capital city of Frankfort or enjoying the things to do in Louisville, you're sure to have a memorable trip. While you're there, you might even make a stop for some fried chicken, possibly Kentucky's most famous product.