Kentucky Tourist Attractions

By | January 3, 2023

Special churches, temples and monasteries

Cane Ridge Meeting House in Paris
The Cane Ridge Meeting House in the small town of Paris, approx. 30 km northeast of Lexington, is a historic church building that was built in 1791. It is one of the oldest church structures in all of Kentucky. The special thing about the Cane Ridge Meeting House is that it is made entirely of wood and has the shape of a log house. It is also considered the largest log home in the United States. However, in the 1930s, the Cane Ridge Meeting House was walled in. Don’t worry, a stone house was simply built around the log house to protect against wind and weather.

Contact 1655 Cane Ridge Road
Paris, Kentucky 40361

First African Baptist Church in Lexington
The First African Baptist Church in Lexington City is a historic church from 1856. The Italian-style church was the first, making it the oldest black Baptist church in Kentucky and the third oldest in the United States. In 1986 the church was added to the list of historic places.

Contact 272 E Short St
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption in the city of Louisville is the seat of the Archdiocese of Louisville. The church building dates from 1852 and has been on the list of Historic Places since 1977. The cathedral is in the style of the Gothic Revival and is probably the most prominent church building in the city.

Contact 433 South 5th Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Louisville Kentucky Temple
The Louisville Kentucky Temple is the 76th temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and is located in Crestwood, a suburb of Louisville. The temple was inaugurated in 2000. The temple was built from white marble and is dominated by a golden statue of the angel Moroni, with which the building reaches a height of approx. 22 m.

Contact 7116 West Highway 22
Crestwood, Kentucky

Southeast Christian Church in Louisville
The Southeast Christian Church in the city of Louisville is an evangelical church. More specifically, it is a so-called “megachurch”. This huge church was founded in 1962. Up to 20,000 worshipers attend church services on weekends.

Contact 920 Blankenbaker Pkwy
Louisville, Kentucky 4024

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous and important horse races in the USA. The Kentucky Derby, also known as the Run for the Roses, has been held in the city of Louisville since 1875. It is part of the Triple Crown context. The horses and their riders must cover a distance of 1.25 miles (2.012 km). The best time is from 1973 and is 1: 59.4 minutes. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II of England visited the Kentucky Derby.

Zoos and parks

Newport Aquarium in Newport
The Newport Aquarium in the city of Newport, which is located on the southern bank of the Ohio River and thus belongs to the state of Kentucky, is probably one of the best aquariums in the region. The Newport Aquarium, opened in 1999, offers its visitors a total of 70 exhibitions and 14 galleries. The Newport Aquarium offers a total of 5 acrylic tunnels with a total length of approx. 60 m. The animals in the aquarium come from all over the world, but the fauna of the Ohio River is also taken into account. However, the Newport Aquarium is particularly famous for the many sharks, the largest “collection” of sharks worldwide.

Contact 1 Aquarium Way
Newport, Kentucky 41071

University of Kentucky Arboretum in Lexington
The tree garden of the University of Kentucky, which is located on its campus, covers an area of ​​approximately 0.4 km² and is a must for visitors to the city, especially since the entry is free. It was established in 1991 and a visit on a sunny autumn day is highly recommended.

Contact 500 Alumni Drive
Lexington, Kentucky 40503

Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington
The Kentucky Horse Park has been a “horse farm” in the city of Lexington since 1978. The Kentucky Horse Park officially serves to understand people and horses. In addition to facilities for horse breeding and care, there are also two museums for visitors on the approx. 5 km² complex. Every year over 900,000 visitors take advantage of this offer. The museums are devoted to the history of horses, both natural history, biology and horse breeding. There are also several sculptures and stadiums on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park, where jumping competitions take place annually. There is also a parade with the most beautiful horses twice a day.

Contact 4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, Kentucky 40511

National parks

Mammoth Cave National Park
The only national park in the state is Mammoth Cave National Park. The largest cave in the world is located in the park with an extension of around 627 km.
The park was established on July 1, 1941. On October 27, 1981, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The park covers an area of ​​approximately 21,400 ha = 241 km². The Green River and Nolin River flow in the park, which flows into the Green River outside the park. The River Styx flows within the cave system.
It is interesting that the nitrate excretions of countless bats that had previously lived here were used to make gunpowder during the British-American War of 1812.
But it was not until 1840 and 1850 that the cave was systematically explored and professionally surveyed for the first time in 1908.

Nature reserves

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, a 122 km tributary of the Cumberland River, and the former Blue Heron coal mine. The area has a high density of rock gates (natural bridges). The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area covers an area of ​​approximately 507 km² and was established in 1974. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located in the US state of Tennessee and Kentucky. The reserve is administered by the National Park Service. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area attracts over 600,000 visitors annually, and the conservation area also includes the Yahoo Falls, which are the highest waterfalls in Kentucky at 34 m.


Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is located in northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky. The area has the status of a national recreation area. Here the Tennessee River and the Cumberland River run very close together and the island that forms between these two rivers is the protected area. Since the rivers have been dammed, the Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake reservoirs have been located here, which is why the area is called Land Between the Lakes. The area has been protected since 1963 and covers an area of ​​688 km².


Daniel Boone National Forest
The Daniel Boone National Forest is located in southern Kentucky and is the only national forest that is entirely in Kentucky. The Daniel Boone National Forest covers an area of ​​approximately 8,500 km² and was established in 1937, then under the name of the Cumberland National Forest. There are numerous natural attractions in the Daniel Boone National Forest, such as Red River Gorge, Natural Bridge State Park (Kentucky) and Cumberland Falls. There are also two nature reserves in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Clifty Wilderness and Beaver Creek Wilderness. A trip to the Daniel Boone National Forest offers excellent opportunities for hiking, climbing, fishing and many other activities.


Other natural beauties

Cumberland Falls
The Cumberland Falls are a large waterfall in southeast Kentucky. The Cumberland Falls have a total height of 40 m and a drop of approx. 21 m. The Cumberland Falls are the centerpiece of the Cumberland Falls State Park, which in turn is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest. A special highlight awaits visitors during full moon nights. Then a moon arch can form in the spray of the waterfall.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park
The Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a very popular State Park in the central eastern part of Kentucky near the village of Stanton. The State Park is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest and is particularly known for its natural sandstone arch, which forms a real bridge. The arch spans a ravine of 20 m depth over a length of approx. 24 m. In addition to the stone bridge, there are other unusual rock formations and rocky outcrops that provide excellent views. The park now covers a total area of ​​approx. 9.1 km² and was founded in 1896, but at that time it was still a “private company”. There are several hiking trails in the park with a total length of over 30 km.

Natural Bridge State Resort Park