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Deep South

Kentucky Holidays

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CAN-DO KENTUCKY

Kentucky is the front porch of the South, welcoming visitors with Southern hospitality. Nicknamed ‘the Bluegrass State’, Kentucky offers a lot more than its famous fried chicken. Thanks to its most famous export – bourbon whiskey – and its long history of horseracing, there’s a unique and evolving culture in Kentucky, most noticeable in the varied food and drink. On a Kentucky holiday, you’ll spot influences from Asia, England, Native and Latin America, putting Kentucky on the culinary map. And, if you’re into bourbon, there’s no better place to go. Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s bourbon, so a tour of one of the state’s many distilleries is a must.

A holiday to Kentucky also takes you to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali and Bill Munroe – the father of bluegrass music – and there are several sites and landmarks which capture the lives of these influential Americans. But make sure you also explore some of the smaller towns and cities, where fascinating museums will help you really understand the history.

if you’re eager to escape the cities and get out into the open, you’ll find endless wilderness to explore on a Kentucky holiday. Your first stop should be the worlds’ largest cave system, the Mammoth Caves. This place is offers thousands of years of history and diverse wildlife, earning its seal of approval as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kentucky is also home to two of the USA’s largest man-made lakes, where you can go fishing, sailing and even tubing.

And, of course, no trip to Kentucky would be complete without a visit to Harland Sanders Café and Museum – the first restaurant Colonel Sanders ever opened. It’s quite different to your normal FKC but, since this is where the famous Colonel developed his beloved recipe back in the Forties – it’s a must-do on any Kentucky holiday.

Louisville

Lexington

Covington & Newport

Best time to visit

Louisville

Louisville is best known for two things: the Kentucky Derby and Muhammad Ali, the most famous person from Kentucky. But the city – founded in 1778 and named after King Louis XVI of France – has many historic landmarks and figures. Literary giant F. Scott Fitzgerald often frequented the famous Seelbach Hotel, which features in The Great Gatsby. And Ali, the legendary boxer and activist, is immortalised at the Muhammad Ali Center. Want to learn more about this American hero? Check out the ‘Footsteps of Greatness tour’. Or, for a different kind of lesson, head to the Frazier History Museum.

As home of the Kentucky Derby, Louisville also has the Kentucky Derby Museum. And, if you’re able to plan your Kentucky holiday to coincide with the Derby, brace yourself for a party to remember. You can also enjoy the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival, which precedes the Derby and ends with Thunder Over Louisville – the largest annual fireworks display in North America. 

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Foodies will love Louisville, too. The city has an exciting dining scene with over 2,500 restaurants, many of which are award-winning. You’ll find all kinds of cuisines but, if you want to taste a regional specialty, try a Hot Brown Sandwich. Invented in 1926, this open sandwich is loaded with turkey, bacon and béchamel sauce before being grilled. Order it at Browns Hotel, where it was first made. And you must try another Louisville specialty, a bourbon old fashioned cocktail. If you’re after mouth-watering cocktails and culinary experiences, follow the Louisville Urban Bourbon trail to discover the city’s best bourbon bars, as well as number of distilleries along ‘Whiskey Row’.

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Show Less

Lexington

Head east of Louisville and you’ll find the vibrant, charming city of Lexington – boasting scenic beauty, Southern hospitality and a thriving urban core. Here, there are endless opportunities to discover authentic experiences, from horse farms and bourbon distilleries to brew pubs and music halls.

Here, the country blends into the city, giving you the best of both worlds. It’s the self-proclaimed ‘Horse Capital of the World’ – and with 450 horse farms, it’s hard to argue. You can see some of the best horses in the world, and even watch them in action at Kneeland Racecourse. For families, the best place to have a true equine experience is the Kentucky Horse Park, the only park in the world dedicated exclusively to the horse.

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Show Less

In Lexington, every bar is a bourbon bar. But the most interesting area is the Distillery District. Once an abandoned distillery area, this place has now been converted into a mishmash a selection of funky bars, breweries, distilleries and restaurants – the ideal place to get a real feel for the Lexington lifestyle. Take a break from bourbon tours and hop on the Brewgrass Trail instead to try all sorts of craft beers. You’ll often hear the locals say, “Respect the bourbon, drink the beer”.
If you’re after a bit of music to accompany your cocktails, you’ll be pleased to know that Lexington is the home of the Festival of Bluegrass. Live music can be found across the city and – although bluegrass is a favourite – local musicians are keen to showcase all genres, so there’s sure to be something you’ll like. 

Show More
Show Less

Covington & Newport

Northern Kentucky offers a sassy fusion of big-city fun & amenities, one-of-a-kind  attractions and an array of authentic experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, this area of Northern Kentucky is a firm favourite with families. Newport on the Levee is an entertainment complex which has something for everyone, day or night. Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat, drinks, some shopping, or even to check out the riverside aquarium, this place has it all.

Show More
Show Less

Another way to explore the Ohio River is by hiring a Cincy Red Bike. Or for something more laidback, you could hop between the riverside restaurants, or enjoy a sightseeing cruise. Looking for something a little different? Take the kids to see the Ark Encounter – an amazing life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. Whilst you’re there, the Creation Museum makes an interesting stop for those interested in Biblical and geological history .If you interested in more recent history – you can discover Northern Kentucky’s notorious bootlegging past on the Newport Gangster Tour, or visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to learn about slavery and the vital role this region played during the Civil War.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Kentucky

Kentucky enjoys mild summers and moderately cold winters because of its central U.S. location, so any month is a great month to travel to Kentucky. The state experiences all four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn are periods of pleasantly warm days and cool nights. Daytime temperatures during summer average 30°C, while winter is significantly colder with average lows of -5°C. Autumn tends to be the driest season. 

Show More
Show Less

If you want to experience the famous Kentucky Derby, though, you’ll need to travel in early May. You can certainly look forward to a fun and vibrant atmosphere in Louisville – but, be warned, it can get very busy.

Kentucky is divided into two time zones. Most of the north central and eastern portions of the state, including Louisville, Lexington and Covington, are on Eastern Time, while the southern and western portions are on Central Time. 

Show More
Show Less

Louisville

Louisville

Louisville is best known for two things: the Kentucky Derby and Muhammad Ali, the most famous person from Kentucky. But the city – founded in 1778 and named after King Louis XVI of France – has many historic landmarks and figures. Literary giant F. Scott Fitzgerald often frequented the famous Seelbach Hotel, which features in The Great Gatsby. And Ali, the legendary boxer and activist, is immortalised at the Muhammad Ali Center. Want to learn more about this American hero? Check out the ‘Footsteps of Greatness tour’. Or, for a different kind of lesson, head to the Frazier History Museum.

As home of the Kentucky Derby, Louisville also has the Kentucky Derby Museum. And, if you’re able to plan your Kentucky holiday to coincide with the Derby, brace yourself for a party to remember. You can also enjoy the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival, which precedes the Derby and ends with Thunder Over Louisville – the largest annual fireworks display in North America. 

Show More
Show Less

Foodies will love Louisville, too. The city has an exciting dining scene with over 2,500 restaurants, many of which are award-winning. You’ll find all kinds of cuisines but, if you want to taste a regional specialty, try a Hot Brown Sandwich. Invented in 1926, this open sandwich is loaded with turkey, bacon and béchamel sauce before being grilled. Order it at Browns Hotel, where it was first made. And you must try another Louisville specialty, a bourbon old fashioned cocktail. If you’re after mouth-watering cocktails and culinary experiences, follow the Louisville Urban Bourbon trail to discover the city’s best bourbon bars, as well as number of distilleries along ‘Whiskey Row’.

Show More
Show Less

Lexington

Lexington

Head east of Louisville and you’ll find the vibrant, charming city of Lexington – boasting scenic beauty, Southern hospitality and a thriving urban core. Here, there are endless opportunities to discover authentic experiences, from horse farms and bourbon distilleries to brew pubs and music halls.

Here, the country blends into the city, giving you the best of both worlds. It’s the self-proclaimed ‘Horse Capital of the World’ – and with 450 horse farms, it’s hard to argue. You can see some of the best horses in the world, and even watch them in action at Kneeland Racecourse. For families, the best place to have a true equine experience is the Kentucky Horse Park, the only park in the world dedicated exclusively to the horse.

Show More
Show Less

In Lexington, every bar is a bourbon bar. But the most interesting area is the Distillery District. Once an abandoned distillery area, this place has now been converted into a mishmash a selection of funky bars, breweries, distilleries and restaurants – the ideal place to get a real feel for the Lexington lifestyle. Take a break from bourbon tours and hop on the Brewgrass Trail instead to try all sorts of craft beers. You’ll often hear the locals say, “Respect the bourbon, drink the beer”.
If you’re after a bit of music to accompany your cocktails, you’ll be pleased to know that Lexington is the home of the Festival of Bluegrass. Live music can be found across the city and – although bluegrass is a favourite – local musicians are keen to showcase all genres, so there’s sure to be something you’ll like. 

Show More
Show Less

Covington & Newport

Covington & Newport

Northern Kentucky offers a sassy fusion of big-city fun & amenities, one-of-a-kind  attractions and an array of authentic experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, this area of Northern Kentucky is a firm favourite with families. Newport on the Levee is an entertainment complex which has something for everyone, day or night. Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat, drinks, some shopping, or even to check out the riverside aquarium, this place has it all.

Show More
Show Less

Another way to explore the Ohio River is by hiring a Cincy Red Bike. Or for something more laidback, you could hop between the riverside restaurants, or enjoy a sightseeing cruise. Looking for something a little different? Take the kids to see the Ark Encounter – an amazing life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark. Whilst you’re there, the Creation Museum makes an interesting stop for those interested in Biblical and geological history .If you interested in more recent history – you can discover Northern Kentucky’s notorious bootlegging past on the Newport Gangster Tour, or visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to learn about slavery and the vital role this region played during the Civil War.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit

Best time to visit Kentucky

Kentucky enjoys mild summers and moderately cold winters because of its central U.S. location, so any month is a great month to travel to Kentucky. The state experiences all four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn are periods of pleasantly warm days and cool nights. Daytime temperatures during summer average 30°C, while winter is significantly colder with average lows of -5°C. Autumn tends to be the driest season. 

Show More
Show Less

If you want to experience the famous Kentucky Derby, though, you’ll need to travel in early May. You can certainly look forward to a fun and vibrant atmosphere in Louisville – but, be warned, it can get very busy.

Kentucky is divided into two time zones. Most of the north central and eastern portions of the state, including Louisville, Lexington and Covington, are on Eastern Time, while the southern and western portions are on Central Time. 

Show More
Show Less

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