Kentucky – An Outdoor Paradise filled with Sports and Fun
Kentucky, home to the world famous Kentucky Derby, enjoys its sports and among its favorites is horse racing, of course. With rustic charm, green, green lawns, colorful autumn foliage and even a dusting of winter snow, folks in Kentucky know how to roll. If you fall off a horse or out of a raft while shooting the rapids, you pick yourself up and start all over. It’s the kind of spirit that native sons, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis knew–both were born in Kentucky. Read more about Honest Abe in Kentucky
Kentucky, The Bluegrass State, includes the Cumberland Mountains, Cumberland Plateau in the southeast, the north-central Bluegrass region, the south-central and western Pennyrile with cities such as Elizabethtown and Bowling Green, the western coal-fields, and the far-west Jackson Purchase. The Commonwealth’s northern border is formed by the Ohio River, and the western border is formed by the Mississippi River. Other major rivers in Kentucky include the Kentucky River, Tennessee River, the Cumberland River, the Green River, and the Licking River.
Horse racing in Kentucky dates to 1783 when races were held on Market Street in the downtown Louisville. In 1789 the first race course was laid out in Lexington. 100 years later in 1875, Churchill Downs officially opened as “Home of the Kentucky Derby.” To fund the construction of the track, $32,000 was raised through 320 membership subscriptions to the track of $100 each.
The Kentucky Derby Museum is a tourist attraction featuring an award-winning Kentucky Derby film entitled “The Greatest Race”. Visitors can take guided walking tours of Churchill Downs and the Museum’s paddock area (weather permitting). The actual Finish Line pole used at Churchill Down for many years, as well as the grave sites of three famous Kentucky Derby winners, Carry Back (1961), Swaps (1955) and Brokers Tip (1933) are located outside on the museum grounds.
Located on the grounds of the Churchill Downs Racetrack at 700 Central Avenue, Gate #1, the museum is open seven days a week. The gift shop features Derby and Thoroughbred memorabilia and historical books. The Derby Café, located on the Museum grounds, is open for lunch on weekdays. Call 502.637.1111 or go to derbymuseum.org
The largest city in Kentucky is Louisville; second largest city is Lexington-Fayette. The two other fast growing urban areas in Kentucky are the Bowling Green area and the “Tri Cities Region” of southeastern Kentucky, comprised of Somerset, London, and Corbin.
International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky at RiverPark Center, displays the history of bluegrass music through interpretive exhibits, posters, costumes and instruments. International Bluegrass Music Museum is located at 117 Daviess Street, Owensboro, Kentucky 42303. Toll free: 888-MY BANJO
Kentucky’s Purple People Bridge is the longest pedestrian only bridge in the world. It connects Newport and Cincinnati. Big Four Bridge in Louisville will be converted into the world’s second longest pedestrian only bridge, making Kentucky home to the two longest pedestrian only bridges in the world and the only two in the United States connecting two states.
The Old Louisville neighborhood is the largest historic preservation district in the U.S., featuring Victorian architecture. It is also the fourth largest historic preservation district overall in the U.S.