Venturing across the Ohio River into Kentucky (go ahead and get any jokes out of the way now). If you love horses, cars, and nature then this is the State for you. Kentucky is famously home to both Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held each year, and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The horse park is jaw droppingly large and simply awesome!
Now that the obvious is out of the way…still fairly well known is Mammoth Cave. I went there when I was much younger so I remember that I was there but that’s about all I remember. It is a National Park and I hope to go back soon so that I can get a cancellation stamp for my passport book (click the link to learn more about the National Park passport program) and of course to also have a better memory of Mammoth.
If you are enjoying your time in nature, take a drive over to the eastern portion of Kentucky into Red River Gorge. Regretfully, I have not made it here myself yet but it is high on our list of places to take our next adventure. Hiking and camping are the primary activities here but as I understand this is also a great place for climbers. Soon you will hopefully see an update from me with a detailed account of my trip!
In the news not too long ago was the Corvette Museum down in Bowling Green. Corvettes are my favorite car! A ’56 would be my dream car. The sinkhole was a bitter pill for any Corvette lover to swallow. The displays are a combination of vehicles from the factory, owned by GM, and privately owned vehicles on loan from the owners so you won’t always see the exact same thing when you visit. Start to finish you can see the history of the car as well as a few concept models that never made it to the road.
You may want to find a designated driver for the next stop in Kentucky. It’s actually a multi-stop adventure. The Bourbon Trail! Obviously this isn’t for you if you don’t like Bourbon, although you could still go to see some beautiful scenery along the way and hopefully have fun with your family and friends who are Bourbon lovers. The great part is, you don’t have to hit every stop in one trip. You certainly can but you also can take a few weekends (depending on where you live of course) to accomplish the full trail. If you want to add to your collection of passports, the Bourbon Trail has it’s own passport book.
Being from Cincinnati, I also would like to give a little shout out to Covington and Newport. Both areas have done great things to help improve the activities along the water front and spurred Cincinnati to step up on the Ohio side too! Newport Aquarium is one of my favorite places to visit when I am in the area, and there are tons of great restaurant options. The first Hofbrauhaus outside of Germany was opened in Newport and is a great place to hang out with good German food and beer, especially during the warm months when the patio is open.
If you happen to know of any lesser known gems, please share!