We know Kentucky well, and want to share some of our favorite places. Some are well known, others not so much. We add to this list frequently, so be sure to check back to see the latest reasons we think Kentucky is so special.
December 4, 2012
They’re not reindeer, but close: Kentucky is home to the largest elk herd east of the Rockies. Can you guess what region they’re in?
Eastern Kentucky is home to more than 11,000 elk. Wildlife tours and many other outdoor activities are available in the region. Visit Kentucky Tourism for details.
November 28, 2012
If you were here, you might be able to see a special interaction between the mist from the base of the waterfall and the light from the full moon. Where am I and what would I see?
In special south-central Kentucky spot you might see a phenomenon that goes by several monikers: Moonbow, Lunar Rainbow, white rainbow or lunar bow. On nights of a full moon, Cumberland Falls is one of the very few places in the world you can witness a moonbow. Located in the Daniel Boone Forest close to Corbin, Cumberland Falls may be the second largest falls in the Eastern US. Amateur photographers may have trouble getting the perfect picture of a moonbow as it requires a tripod and very fast film, but seeing this amazing sight is an unforgettable experience that you can remember without a picture.
November 12, 2012
This obelisk commemorates Jefferson Davis in the Kentucky town of his birth. Where it?
Born on June 3, 1808, Jefferson Davis has a 351 foot obelisk that marks his birth site in the town of Fairview in western Kentucky. The Monument is the tallest concrete obelisk in the world and the 5th tallest monument in the US. Once inside the tower includes an elevator that rides you to the top to an observation platform . This State Historic Site sits on a 20 acre park with picnic sites, a playground, a Museum and shops. The museum has a video about Davis’s life and the construction of the monument. While the monument is open daily from May-October, the museum stays open all year as does the Kentucky Handcrafters Shop.
November 2, 2012
What special Kentucky byway has great vistas and puts Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to shame?
Kentucky’s southern and eastern regions, known for country cooking and great hospitality, are home to four scenic byways that lead to unique restaurants, dishes and treats. Locals have compiled a list of dishes they consider must-eat “Byway Bites” and a map of the area. For example, while on the Cumberland Cultural Highway, you can stop in Columbia and try Sand Pie at OK Country Cooking. Or, from the Wilderness Road Heritage Highway, stop in London and get the Chicken Philly at the Hanger Restaurant at the London-Corbin Airport. To get the Byway Bites, visit http://www.tourseky.com, then take your appetite on a drive.
Many people think of barbecue in conjunction with W. Kentucky, and there’s good reason for that. But, many others (us included), think of Patti’s 1880 Settlement restaurant in Grand Rivers, KY. On the northern most tip of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area, Grand Rivers is the jumping off point for a lot of seasonal fun and some great food. This popular tourism spot was eclectic in décor before that became widely popular. It’s “flower pot bread” and other unique offerings, as well as its generous portions keep people coming back. Don’t forget to leave room for, or plan to take home, a dessert or two—truly amazing.
Native Americans called Kentucky “happy hunting grounds,” and one reason for that is the attraction salt licks had to the wildlife. A significant lick in the northern part of the state lured Pleistocene mammals, whose bones provide evidence of their presence many years later. Explorers Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were quite familiar the area we know Big Bone Lick State Park. Literature about the park sates, “It was the origin of the greatest escape-from-Indian-captivity epic which ever took place.” If you’d like to know more, visit the park or read “The Frontiersmen,” which chronicles Simon Kenton’s life.
Newport, Ky. had its share of high rollers and low-lifers. With a foundation in bootlegging, Newport became the premier gaming destination in the US. Today walking tours take curious visitors past the buildings that housed casinos, brothels, and speakeasies. Newport has become a family destination with riverside shopping and dining, and the only sharks that can be found are in the Newport Aquarium. Opened in 1999, the aquarium has 70 exhibits and 14 galleries, including five seamless acrylic tunnels totaling over 200 feet (61 m) in length.
Located near Gravel Switch, Ky., Penn’s Store is the oldest country store in America run continuously by the same family. The Penn clan has operated it since 1850. It’s hidden away on a back road in the central region of Kentucky, known as the Knobs Region on the southern end of the outer Bluegrass. Penn’s Store has not been restored, so it shows its age, with the shelves around the single room looking much as they have for more than 160 years.
If you were to conjure up an image of people being escorted onto an island by law enforcement, you might think of a prison, such as Alcatraz Island. Things are a little different on Kentucky’s special island—it’s a summer camp for disadvantaged kids. Trooper Island Camp was developed by the Kentucky State Police as part of a long range program of public service to the youth of Kentucky: a place where the tensions and turmoil of everyday life can be forgotten; and for one week young people can be given a touch of hope and desire of a better tomorrow. It’s held in a secluded corner of Dale Hollow Lake near the Cumberland and Clinton County line, where an island was leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a non-profit charitable corporation was formed.
Railroad and food buffs may enjoy a stop in Glendale, KY. The most famous restaurant in town, The Whistle Stop, is located on the main street and next to the railroad. The restaurant began as a hardware store with 20 seats for lunch.
In far southeastern Kentucky, not far from Pikeville, is a wonderful park that shared with West Virginia, Breaks Interstate Park. We have to admit we’d like to rebrand the park because I always think of an interstate highway running through the hills rather than the wilderness that’s actually there. The park encompasses 4,600 acres, a 5-mile gorge that plunges 1,650 feet and is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of the South.” The views are amazing.
836 East Euclid Avenue
Lexington, Ky 40502
Phone: (859) 269-0123