Plan Your Kentucky Road Trip
Kentucky is a dream for people who love road trips. There are miles of open road to enjoy, beautiful scenery, waterfalls, caves, wildlife, and more. You’ll also find cities with great food, museums, and attractions. Here’s a guide to planning your Kentucky road trip, beginning in Louisville and hitting some of the best attractions in the state.
Take a Break in Louisville
Kentucky’s largest city is a great place to begin your journey through the state. Since you’ve probably already driven from your home, this is a good spot to take a break. Check out the wide variety of hotels in Louisville, and book a room for a night or two. There’s plenty to explore around Louisville, including the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum, several beautiful parks where your kids can blow off steam, and the impressive Louisville Mega Cavern.
Look for Horses Around Lexington
From Louisville, take Interstate 64 east toward Lexington. Also known as the Horse Capital of the World, it’s Kentucky’s second-largest city. Watch for horse farms as you get close to the city, and if you have any horse lovers in the car, consider stopping to visit the Kentucky Horse Park. You can also book a horse farm tour.
The Niagara of the South
Head out of Lexington on Interstate 75, and drive south to the Daniel Boone National Forest. Take exit 25 toward Corbin, then take Kentucky Route 90 west to the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. This park is home to the 125-foot expanse of waterfall known as “The Niagara of the South.”
These majestic falls are always exciting to visit, and the park offers a beautiful rustic lodge, a restaurant, cabins, and more. If you can time your visit during a full moon, you’ll want to stay overnight at the falls so you can view the “moonbow.” Cumberland is the only place in the Western hemisphere to see this unusual phenomenon.
Play at Cave City
From Cumberland, you’ll head west, aiming to connect with Interstate 65. You’ll pass through Cave City, home of Mammoth Cave National Park. Cave City is touristy and campy and loads of fun, which makes it perfect for a road trip stop. Depending on your interest level, you can take a guided tour of the caves, ride a horse, paddle a canoe, or try zip lining.
The Land Between the Lakes
After Cave City, it’s only another 2 1/2 hours to reach the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area. This is a massive 170,000-acre natural area along the Tennessee border with over 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline. In this idyllic setting, you’ll find places to camp, lodges to stay in, bison and wildlife areas, and restaurants as well as fishing, hiking and all types of outdoor recreation to enjoy.
This whole trip represents just over seven hours of drive time, but you can spread it over several days or a week and take your time at each stop. Be sure to try the local barbecue, craft beer, bourbon, and fried catfish along the way.