Kentucky is a mideastern state of the United States. Its state capital is Frankfort. Attractions include horse racing and beautiful lakes. Kentucky is also culturally part of the American South. It is home to famous food, (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and music, (bluegrass) traditions.
I-71 and I-75 both enter the state from the north at Cincinnati. The two roads split in the Kentucky suburbs, with I-71 going to its southern end in Louisville and I-75 to Lexington, continuing past Richmond, Berea, and London.
I-64 runs from Ashland in the east to Louisville in the west, passing by Lexington and Frankfort on the way.
In addition, two more interstates are slated to go through Kentucky in the future. I-66, not connected to the existing highway of that number in Virginia, is proposed to be routed through the southern half of the state. The currently existing I-69 will be extended through Kentucky.
The state is also served by major controlled-access roads called "Parkways" administered by the state. These roads were all built as toll roads but have since become freeways, although the portions of these roads that will become part of the new I-66 and I-69 may become tolled again in the future. Nine roads make up the parkway system. All except the Audubon officially bear the names of Kentucky:politicians, but the full names are listed here because Kentuckians generally do not use the politicians' names to describe the roads or give directions.
The Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway runs from I-65 on the north side of Elizabethtown to Versailles, just west of Lexington.
The Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway runs along the southern tier of the state from I-65 east of Bowling Green to Somerset, near the Lake Cumberland resort region. It has been designated as part of the future I-66.
The Hal Rogers Parkway (formerly the Daniel Boone Parkway), mainly a two-lane road with frequent passing lanes for heavy trucks, connects London with Hazard in the eastern third of the state. The future I-66 will parallel this road, although on a mostly new route. Unlike most of the parkways, this one is referred to in normal conversation with the politician's name.
The Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway connects I-64 in Winchester to eastern Kentucky near Prestonsburg. Note that the eastern half of this road, past Campton, is two lanes.
The William H. Natcher Parkway (formerly the Green River Parkway) connects Owensboro with Bowling Green. The southern half of the highway (Bowling Green to the Western Kentucky Parkway) has also been designated as part of the future I-66. This is the other parkway generally referred to by the politician's name.
The Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway runs from Henderson to Hopkinsville. The section from Henderson to the Western Kentucky Parkway has been designated as part of the future I-69.
The Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway runs diagonally through the Jackson Purchase region (the region west of the Tennessee River), starting at the Tennessee state line in Fulton and ending at I-24 at Calvert City near Kentucky Lake. It will also be part of the future I-69.
The Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkway, the longest road in the system, runs from I-65 on the south side of Elizabethtown to I-24 near Eddyville and Lake Barkley. Between Eddyville and the Pennyrile Parkway, this road will be part of both I-66 and I-69; from the Pennyrile to the Natcher, it will be part of I-66.
There are three large airports in the state. Louisville International Airport is served by several major airlines, including Southwest, Frontier, Delta/Delta Connection, US Express, United Express, American Airlines/American Eagle, Continental Express, and Midwest Connect. Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, located off of I-275 near Hebron, is a major hub for Delta, and is also served by American Eagle, United Express, US Airways Express, Continental Connection/Continental Express, Comair, Delta Connection, and USA 3000. Lexington'sBlue Grass Field offers flights to several cities in the mid western and eastern parts of the country via American Eagle, US Express, United Express, Delta Connection, and Continental Connection/Express. The two smaller commercial airports in Kentucky are Barkley Regional (serving Paducah), served by Delta Connection, and Owensboro-Daviess County Airport, served by Great Lakes Aviation. The Ashland area is served by Tri-State Airport near Huntington, West Virginia. There are many other smaller, general aviation airports throughout the state.
Along with the interstates and parkways, Kentucky is served by many state and US routes:
KY 80 crosses the southern part of the state, linking Mayfield, Hopkinsville, Bowling Green, London and Pikeville.
US 27 runs from Covington south to Somerset.
US 127, also from Covington, runs through Frankfort, Danville and the Lake Cumberland area.
US 150 offers a connection between Louisville and I-75 between Lexington and Tennessee.
US 23 (Country Music Highway) connects Ashland with Virginia south of Pikeville.
US 60 bisects the state from the Mississippi River to Ashland, passing through Paducah, Henderson, Owensboro and Louisville before following I-64 the rest of its route.
US 68 runs mostly east-to-west, starting just to the east of Paducah and passing through Hopkinsville, Bowling Green, Harrodsburg, and Lexington.
See and Do
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My Old Kentucky Home State Park: Completed in 1818, the home is furnished with heirlooms and old portraits. It is belived that Stephen Foster wrote "My Old Kentucky Home" here while visiting in 1852. Tours are conducted by guides daily. Located in Bardstown on US 150.
General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant: Located in Bowling Green off of I-65 exit 28 at Louisville Rd. and Corvette Dr. Bowling Green is the only production site for the clasic American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette and the two-seat Cadillac XLR. Every Corvette produced since 1982 was manufactured at the Bowling Green plant. The plant offers a 1 hour guided walking tours of portions of the assembly area.
National Corvette Museum: Located in Bowling Green off of I-65 exit 28 across from the GM Assembly Plant. The museum houses more than 75 Corvettes including one of the original 1953 Corvettes, the only 1983 Corvette in existence, the millionth Corvette produced and many other rare 'Vettes. Also displayed are photographs, advertisments, television commercials, and Corvette memorabilia.
Lost River Cave & Valley: Located in Bowling Green at jct. US 31W and Dishman Ln. The Lost River Cave & Valley offers a 45-minute underground boat and walking tour of a cave discovered by Indians 10,000 years ago. The cave, which is a constant 56 F, was a shelter for Indians, the site of a 19th-century water-powered mill, a campsite used by both sides during the Civil War, a hiding place for the outlaw Jesse James, and a popular 1930s night club. During the summer a butterfly exhibit can be viewed.
Crystal Onyx Cave: Located in Cave City, off of I-65 exit 53 then 2 mi. e. on SR 90 to 363 Prewitts Knob Rd. This cave contains rare onyx formations, a lake and cave dwelling wildlife. An Indian burial site dated back to 680 B.C. may also be viewed. Guided 1 hour tours are conducted daily.
Mammoth Cave National Park: Located Northeast of Bowling Green, Northwest of Park City, and 10 miles west of Cave City. Mammoth Cave National Park occupies 52,830 acres. Within the park is Mammoth Cave, which is the worlds longest known cave system. It contains 365 miles of underground passages charted on five levels. Guided tours that range from 1.25 to 6 hours and vary in degree of difficulty are conducted daily.
Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia: Located in Elizabethtown at 1030 N. Mulberry St. The museum displays more than 1,000 items of Coca-Cola memorabilia, including trays, calendars, vending machines, coolers, soda fountains, and promotional items.
Swope's Cars of Yesteryear Museum: Located in Elizabethtown at 1100 N. Dixie Ave. Among the restored vintage automobiles displayed in the museum are such luxury cars from the 1920s and '30s as Packards, Pierce Arrows, Hupmobiles and a 1939 Rolls Royce. Cars on display from later decades include several '60s Chevrolet Impalas, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, and a 1961 Metropolitan. Also this museum is free.
Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor: Located on Fort Knox army base the museum is named for WWII General George Patton. Displays include German and Japanese war artifacts, an extensive collection of US and foreign tanks and weapons, and mementos of Patton's military career, including his wartime caravan truck and the sedan in which he was fatally injured in 1945.
US Bullion Depository: The 100-square-foot, 1937 treasure house is bombproof; its walls and roof are faced with huge granite blocks. At different times the vault has also held the British Crown Jewels, the Magna Carta, the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The depository is closed to the public but can be viewed when driving on US 31W.
Maker's Mark Distillery: Located in Loretto off of SR 52. The distillery began operations in 1805. The former master distiller's home, built in the 1840s, is now the visitor center and the starting point for the 50 minute guided tour. Highlights of the tour include the still house, the fermenting room, warehouses, and the bottling house.
Jim Beam's American Outpost: Located in Clermont about 2 miles east of I-65 on SR 245. A film about the burbon making process is shown in the tourist center, a replica of an old tobacco barn. The historic Beam family home and rackhouses where the bourbon is aged in oak barrels also can be seen.
Churchill Downs: Located in Louisville on 700 Central Ave., is the historic racetrack where the Kentucky Derby is run. Racing seasons aer late April through early July and late October to November. A 30 minute guided tour is available through the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Kentucky Derby Museum: Located adjacent to Gate 1 of Churchill Downs. The museum showcases the Thoroughbred industry and the Kentucky Derby. Two floors of racing artifacts, interactive exhibits, and fine art relate the tradition of Derby Day.
Louisville Slugger Museum: Located in downtown Louisville on the corner of 8th and Main Sts. The entrance to the museum is distinguished by the 120 foot, 68,000 pound steel bat. Visitors can view collections of baseball memorabilia before moving on to the guided tour of the manufacturing facility where you can see the bats being made.
Kentucky is bordered by seven other states.
Missouri - To the west of Kentucky, Missouri can boast of having St Louis, home of the Gateway Arch and Union Station.
Illinois - Located to the northwest of Kentucky, Illinois is also the home of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield.
Indiana - Kentucky's northern neighbor, Indiana has several caves to visit and is rich in covered bridges.
Ohio - Another northern neighbor, an easy day-trip from Kentucky is the city of Cincinnati, home of Kings Island and the Bengals (NFL) and Reds (MLB).
West Virginia - Located east of Kentucky, West Virginia has the New River Gorge Bridge, one of the highest in the eastern US.