Paducah is a small city on the Ohio River in McCracken County, western Kentucky, about halfway between St. Louis, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee. Paducah has a booming riverfront restaurant trade and arts scene in part driven by the city's Artist relocation program which offers interest free housing loans, and other subsidies for established artists willing to relocate from New York, San Francisco, or elsewhere. Paducah is the hometown of humorist Irvin Cobb and former Vice President Alben Barkley (with President Harry S. Truman).
Restaurants and shops line both sides of the old Market House in downtown Paducah
Where the Tennessee River meets the Ohio River, just upstream from where the Ohio meets the Mississippi. River boats, like the Delta Queen(no longer in service), often stopped at the riverfront in Paducah.
Most visitors will arrive by car: Interstate Highway 24 describes a semi-circle around Paducah from the northwest where it crosses the Ohio River into Southern Illinois to the southeast where it meets the Purchase Parkway at Gilbertsville, near Kentucky Lake, and the the Western Kentucky Parkway at Eddyville, near Lake Barkley. You could also reach Paducah from the east or the west using U.S. Highway 60. Travelers coming from the south or southwest on the Purchase Parkway should take Exit 25 (U.S. Highway 45) on the north side of Mayfield and turn left (north on 45); from there, Paducah is about a half-hour drive.
There are a few commercial flights per day from the Barkley Regional Airport (PAH) 4 miles west of town to and from Chicago, Illinois, via United Express. Most locals however prefer to fly out of Nashville International Airport (BNA).
Market District. Revitalized starting in the early 1990s, Paducah's riverfront downtown boasts a charming restaurants, shops, museums and an active farmer's market. A particularly unique offering is that of the mural-covered Ohio River flood walls, which are well worth an afternoon of your time.
Lowertown Arts District. The centerpiece of Paducah's Artist Relocation Program, Lowertown plays host to a dozen or so art galleries of varying reputation, one of the most friendly coffee houses ever and a fine-dining fusion style restaurant. How could you go wrong? In general the feel of the neighborhood is reminiscent of New Orleans' Garden District, at least before Hurricane Katrina. If you make art yourself the city might even be willing to buy you a house here.
Quilt Show. APRIL: Visitors from around the world come to Paducah to see the AQS Quilt Show & Contest. And shop and visit with each other.
Dogwood Trail. APRIL: Usually around the same time as the Quilt Show, the city marks out a driving tour of the city, where the blooming dogwood trees are illuminated.
LowerTown Arts & Music Festival. MAY: May 15 & 16, 2015. Two day event, art, music, food vendors and dancing in the streets. Live jazz, blues, salsa & zydeco music. Around 7th & Monroe. http://www.lowertownamf.com
OMGCon. JUNE: June 8-10. Annual weekend long Anime and Manga Convention first held in 2006.
Summer Festival. JULY: July 26-29, 2006. 2005 was the first year for the Sand in the City sand "castle" building competition. Fireworks, hot air ballons, music, fun.
River's Edge Film Festival . AUGUST: First-class international film festival, held at Maiden Alley Cinema .
Barbeque on the River. SEPTEMBER: The downtown parking lot, between the Floodwall Murals and 2nd Street, is filled with vendors selling BBQ of course, but also cheesecake-on-a-stick, deep fried oreos, local treat Dippin' Dots, baked goods, and more. Live music on the stage at the floodwall. A friendly rivalry continues between many of the yearly competitors for the top prizes. A craft fair is usually held simultaneously along the edges of the Quilt Museum.
August 8th Black Family Celebration-August the 8th was the day that the word had reached Paducah Slaves that Slavery had been abolished by the signing of the Emanicipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Black people from around the country come to Paducah to celebrate this event which includes open markets/street vendors/good food/music/african dance and other events including your "neighborhood block party" at the Community Center on 7th Street.
Ephemera Paducah, 333 N. 9th Street (Corner of 9th & Madison), ☎ 270-443-0003, . Wed-Fri 10 - 5; Sat 10 - 2. Attracting national instructors and using great local talent, Ephemera Paducah hosts Art & Craft Workshops weekly. Everything from figure drawing to stained glass to mixed media collage, we are the place for the everyday artist. Our retail shop carries fun embroidery supplies, Stencil Girl stencils, Golden paints, Rubbermoon Stamps, Needlefelting supplies and, of course, Ephemera!edit
(NOTE: on the Second Saturday of every month, most lowertown galleries remain open until 8pm.)
520 Studio Gallery, 520 Madison, 270-575-4595. Tu-Sa 11-5.
Agape Sudio & Sign Art, 322 N. 8th Street, 270-443-6780.
AIR Studios, 621-629 Madison.
Aspire Arts, 611 N. 6th Street, 541-806-2506. Wed-Sun 12Pm 5Pm.
Blue Frog Designs, 270-442-4482, . Open by appointment only for graphic design, illustration, web design.
Brokenstone Press and Gallery, 612 N. 6th Street, 270-815-4538.
Cowango Studios, 517 N. 8th Street, 270-908-0755  Studios of Stefanie Graves (watercolor) and David Lucht (batik painting).
Dixie Leather Works, 306 N. 7th Street, 270-442-1058.
Gallery 5, 803 Madison, 270-444-2020, . Open Tu-Sa noon-5PM or by appointment.
Heart of Healing Gallery, 233 N. 7th Street, 270-442-2324.
Jefferson Street Studios, 1149 Jefferson Street. , 270-217-3976. Hand-Dye Fabric, Art Quilts, Original Beads. The Gallery, Studios and Home of Bob and Helene Davis. By Appointment.
Judeens Studio and Gallery, 720 Harrison Street, 270-444-9525.
Pinecone Gallery, 421 N. 7th Street, 270.443.1433. M,Th,F from 11AM-6PM; Sa,Su 10AM-5PM.
Stornoway House Gallery, 513 N. 6th Street, 270-444-9446.
Studio E, 415 N. 7th Street, 270.217.4748, . Offering physical therapy, Pilates and massage, by appointment.
Studio Mars, 418 N. 7th Street, 270-442-1087, . The working studio of Paul Lorenz. The studio is open Fridays and Sa 1PM to 5PM, and by appointment Sundays thru Thursday. The studio features oil paintings and Bauhaus inspired drawings.
Studio Miska, 627 Madison Street, 270-442-5266.
Working Artist Studio, 303 N. 8th Street, 270-441-7844. Tu-Sa 12PM-5PM.
(NOTE: Downtown After Dinner program runs Saturday nights April-October, and most businesses remain open late. Broadway is usually blocked off from the riverfront to 7th Street (cross streets remain open) to allow a street-fair like atmosphere complete with live musical performances. Antique cars are often displayed on Broadway between the riverfront and 2nd Street, and along 2nd Street.) 
Allen Music, 215 Kentucky, 270-442-8900.
BeBe's Artisan Market, 107 S. 2nd Street (Market House Square), 270-443-5848.
Kentucky Oaks Mall. Hinkleville Road (Hwy 60), at I-24 Exit 4. Just because Paducah is relatively small doesn't mean the shopping is small-time—this is the second-largest mall in the state by retail area. Department stores include Dillard's (two separate stores, one with women's and children's clothing and the other featuring men's clothing and home furnishings), Sears, JCPenney, and Elder-Beerman. Two "big box" retailers, Best Buy (electronics and appliances) and Dick's Sporting Goods, are also located in the mall. Open Mon-Sat 10-9, Sun noon-6.
Mall Area. There are many stores near the mall. Sam's Club, Hobby Lobby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, David's Bridal, Toys R Us, Jewelry & Handbag Warehouse, Shoe Carnival, and Gander Mountain (hunting, fishing, and outdoors supplies) are located on the same side of US 60 as the mall. On the other side of US 60 are Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Books A Million, PetSmart, Catherine's Plus Sizes, and TJ Maxx.
Olivet Church Road Crossing. New shopping area just past the mall on US 60. Includes Kohl's; Michael's Crafts; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Kirklands; and Sprint Nextel.
Southside. There are several shops near the southside Walmart, including Big Lots and Trees 'n' Trends.
Jeremiah's Restaurant & Brew Pub, 225 Broadway, 270-443-3991. Currently closed but should reopen soon under new management.
Kirchhoff's Bakery, Deli & Market, 116 Market House Square, 270-442-7117. If you've never been to Kirchhoff's, get a sandwich (and a cookie) -- just make sure to sample something from their bakery, which has been family owned since 1873.
KY Oaks Mall. Restaurants include Pasta House Factory, Chic-Fil-A, Dippin Dots, and an excellent soup,sub,and coffee shop call Tuscany - it has the best subs around.
Mall Area, Exit 4 off I-24. Numerous chain restaurants including Raffertys, O'Charleys, McDonald's, Bob Evans, Outback, Burger King, Applebees, Texas Roadhouse, Arby's, TGI Friday's, Hardee's, Taco Bell, Backyard Burgers, Steak N Shake, Wendy's, Chuck E Cheese, Logan's Steakhouse, Fazoli's, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Captain D's, Red Lobster, and Los Amigos (be sure to try the cheese dip).
Max's Brick Oven Café, 112 Market House Sq., 270-575-3473. Sometimes it can be hard to find good bread in small-town America. That's why it can be such a thrill to find a place like Max's.
Parcell's Deli & Grill, 2201 Broadway (In the Ritz), 270.575-3354.
Tribeca Mexican Cuisine, 127 S. 2nd Street (Market House Square), 270-444-3960.
Whaler's Catch, 123 N. 2nd Street, 270-444-7701. Seafood and cajun food. The Crow's Nest outdoor dining is available in the summer, and overlooks the riverfront. The French Quarter is part of Whaler's Catch, and is available for parties.
The Upper Crust, 2602 Jackson St., ☎ 270-441-PIES. 6:00am-6:00pm. A quaint coffee shop and bakery, specializing in home-made cakes, pies, and cookies. The smell will pull you in, the taste will keep you there, and the price will make you wanna come back. Some come for dessert, some for a delectible morning scone, and some order specialties for the occasion.$1.50-$50.00. edit
Backwoods BBQ, 5172 Hinkleville Rd, ☎ (270) 441-7427. Family restaurant with AWARD WINNING BBQ! Pork, Ribs, Chicken & Award Winning BBQ! Ribs, Pork, Custom Cooking & Catering, Chicken & More, Weddings, Special Occasions, Family Reunions, Company Picnics, Award Winning BBQ, Backwoods has it all. First, the pulled pork is prepared just right, not drowned in sauce to mask the flavor. It is slightly smokey, very tender, and juicy. The ribs are to die for. The meat literally falls off the bone, I would recommend ordering these if this is your first trip. They have a special dry rub that they use with the ribs and the flavor is just exceptional. One last thing I would recommend is to try the hashbrown casserole (side item), it's REALLY good! edit
Mother Duncan's, 225 Broadway, Formerly Jeremiah's Restaurant & Brew Pub now reopened with the famous Mother Duncan running the place as it should be run. Stop by and enjoy some good company and good drinks and maybe some great local music as well.
Peppermills. Market House Square. Coffee and teas.
Etcetera, 320 North 6th Street, ☎ +12704437760 (email@example.com). Sun-Thurs 8am -5:30pm, Fri - Sat 8am - 9:30pm. Real coffee and a nice place to study, read, etcetera in the Lower Town arts district.edit
Since February 2014, Paducah, as well as other parts of Kentucky previously served only by area code 270, has had mandatory 10-digit dialing, meaning that when making any call within that area, even a local one, you must dial all 10 digits. This followed the introduction of a second area code, 364, that covers the same area. There is no geographic area code split—any new phone in the region may theoretically be assigned a number in either 270 or 364.
Because of the relatively recent introduction of 10-digit dialing, you may see an older 7-digit number (YYY-ZZZZ) on some signs. If you see a 7-digit number on a sign, assume that this number is in area code 270.
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