My husband and I have spent quite a bit of time in Kentucky. My husband has family that lives in the state that we enjoy visiting, and Kentucky is a beautiful state to road trip through. It’s like a win-win. Visit family and road trip.
I hope this Kentucky Bucket List gives you ideas and helps you plan your trip to the Bluegrass State.
I’m sharing a few of my favorite attractions in the state, as well as a few spots that I think should be on the bucket list that I purchased to share (make sure you print it out at the bottom of the page. Don’t worry, it’s free to you).
Use the Kentucky Bucket List to Plan Your Next Road Trip
There are so many fun things to do in Kentucky that you may not know where to start first. My recommendation? Start at Mammoth Cave National Park and book a stay in the nearby Historic Wigwam Village No. 2. You won’t be sorry!
Mammoth Cave National Park
Kentucky has six National Park Service sites but only one National Park. Mammoth Cave National Park has the longest-known cave system in the world. Cave tours range from wheelchair-accessible tours to full-blown spelunking by lantern light. If you have time, you may want to take more than one tour. Some overlap so you’ll want to read the descriptions of each before making your selection.
Our two favorite tours so far are the Frozen Niagara which allows you to see one of the most spectacular sections of Mammoth Cave on an easy tour with just a few stairs and the Historic Tour, which is a longer, bit more difficult tour but allows you to see some amazing features on a fun tour.
Tours may sell out in advance, especially during busy times of the year, so don’t forget to plan ahead! The first time we visited, we arrived early in the day only to find all tours had sold out. Talk about disappointment!
You’ll also want to note that Mammoth Cave is in CST so keep that in mind when booking your tickets.
National Corvette Museum
Since 1981, every Corvette that is on the road has been manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky. So, where else would you expect to find the National Corvette Museum? This museum is a must for car fans; check the calendar of events before you go, as there’s always something fun going on!
I’m not even a big car fan and I enjoyed visiting the National Corvette Museum and would like to visit again. Plus, plant tours have resumed and you can take a walk along the assembly line to see GM bring a Corvette to life.
Castle Post, aka Kentucky Castle
It’s only fitting that a town named Versailles would have a castle. The Kentucky Castle originally started as a private home, and after changing hands several times, it is now a resort and event space.
Book a room or just check out the spa, restaurant, and activities. They also offer fun glamping options during the warmer months that I would LOVE to check out.
Red River Gorge Geological Area
Red River Gorge encompasses nearly 30,000 acres within the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Wild and Scenic Red River has carved canyons, arches, bridges, and more! If you love hiking, camping, or canoeing, this should be on your Kentucky bucket list!
Arguably the most famous horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby is a huge party held on the first Saturday in May. It’s a great excuse to get out your fancy hats and seersucker suits and enjoy a mint julep!
At other times of the year, you can tour Churchill Downs and visit the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Kentucky is home to Bluegrass Music and there’s no better place for music fans than the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Besides tons of cool interactive exhibits, there are also live music performances throughout the year.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Baseball fans flock to this Louisville attraction, plus, the factory is home to the World’s Largest Baseball Bat that can be seen in front of the building. You know I couldn’t resist stopping by for that photo!
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a factory, museum, event space, and retail location all in one. See how the world-famous baseball bats are made and bring home your own for a souvenir!
Moonbow at Cumberland Falls
Cumberland Falls is the only known place in the Western Hemisphere where you can see a moonbow, so it’s worth planning your visit around a full moon. When the rays of the full moon hit the spray of the 125-foot wide falls, you get a moonbow. It’s safe to say this is an experience you can only have in Kentucky!
I’ve not managed to coordinate my travel schedule with a moonbow show, but the waterfall is worth seeing as well, as it’s often called the Niagara of the south.
Make sure you read our post on Things to do Near Cumberland Falls.
Places not on the Kentucky Bucket List Worth a Visit
The following locations aren’t on the bucket list, but in my humble opinion, they should be. I stop at each one every time I’m traveling through the state.
Big Bone Lick State Park
This is one of my favorite stops to stretch my legs when traveling through Northern Kentucky along I-77. Big Bone Lick State Park has a playground, picnic tables, visitor center, campground, and the park’s highlight, a herd of buffalo.
Rabbit Hash General Store
This general store sits on the banks of the Ohio River and has endured many hardships in the almost 200 years of its existence, including a devastating fire that pretty much leveled it in 2016.
Today, visiting the Rabbit Hash General Store is one of my favorite stops when road-tripping through Kentucky.
It’s common to find the mayor hanging out on the porch with his tail waggin’ to greet you while inside, you may be welcomed by a group of locals playing their banjo and other instruments if you’re lucky.
You’ll find a large selection of glass bottled soda, souvenirs, hand-crafted items from local artisans, and more inside.
Harland Sanders Museum
Lovers of KFC won’t miss the opportunity to stop for some Finger Licken’ Good Chicken at where it all began- Corbin, KY. Sanders Cafe & Museum is a fun stop to stretch your legs, learn a bit of history and fuel your belly.
The restaurant has undergone a renovation since my last visit, but you can read about my experience here: Harland Sanders Museum.
Download your FREE Kentucky Bucket List Printable
Follow this link to access your Kentucky Bucket List. You’ll find three different categories; things to see, do or taste. You’ll also find a blank copy so you can use ours as a starting point and add your own ideas.
Have you been to Kentucky? Is anything from our Kentucky Bucket List on your list of places to visit this year?