Home of Bourbon, Bluegrass, and Beauty
Horse Capital of the World
Get To Know Kentucky
Kentucky is known for many things. It’s the Bluegrass State, for starters. It’s also the Horse Capital of the World. And it’s by far one of the best places to enjoy some authentic bourbon. So where to begin if you’re booking a bus ticket to Kentucky? The options are seemingly endless. But if you love history, food, art, entertainment, and the great outdoors, you’ll find plenty to do in this beautiful state.
A Brief History of Kentucky
Although there’s much going on in Kentucky today, it boasts an equally rich and engaging history. Considered an agricultural hub until well into the 20th century, Kentucky’s economy thrives largely because of coal. It’s also home to two of the most prominent military bases in the country, Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. Perhaps most notably is its deep connection to horse racing. Racing tracks were built throughout the state beginning in the 18th century. Churchill Downs was founded in 1875, and since then has been home to the legendary Kentucky Derby. The state is also home to the late Bill Monroe, the “Father of Bluegrass Music,” whose tremendous influence in country music served as the foundation for the birth of the bluegrass genre.
There's no shortage of things to do in Kentucky.
A Look at Culture in Kentucky
Once you book your bus ticket to Kentucky, you have plenty in store, especially where the state’s diverse culture is concerned. It’s known primarily as a relaxed, laid-back, slow-paced state where hospitality and grace are key. At the heart of many of Kentucky’s most precious pastimes is pure tradition. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, for example, provides bourbon enthusiasts with a thorough look at the heritage of the famed beverage and its many decades of growth and craftsmanship in the state. Horse enthusiasts won’t have to look far, either. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is the perfect spot to learn about all things equine, while Churchill Downs in Louisville demands your attention come Kentucky Derby season.
There’s much to be said for the foodie culture in Kentucky, too. It’s safe to say that the region’s finest chefs know a thing or two about down-home, country-style cooking — and they’re often credited with preparing some of the best and most mouth-watering dishes in the South. Traditional Appalachian specialties are prepared using only the freshest ingredients, and there are plenty of options for even the most discerning diners.
If you happen to be in central Kentucky, you won’t miss the dramatic beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades. You’ll sail the Kentucky River surrounded by breathtaking cliffs amid dozens of mammals and reptiles. If you love wildlife, you won’t want to miss a visit to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Here, you’ll see everything from beautiful birds to majestic elk in their natural habitat.
And if you’re all about the music, you’re in the right place. There are hundreds of vibrant music venues, and they’re surprisingly eclectic. You’ll find plenty of bluegrass and country, of course, but there are also plenty of pubs and bars where folk and rock music reign. The majority of musical action happens in downtown Lexington, which is as popular with national acts as with up-and-coming locals. For theater buffs, it’s worth a visit to the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland. The Art Deco-style building dates from 1930 and continues to operate today.
Must See List
Top Cities To Visit in Kentucky
For sports lovers, there’s no place like Louisville. It’s home to the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, the legendary Louisville Slugger, and beautiful scenery and iconic attractions. While Churchill Downs should be on your list, make some room for a trip to the Louisville Zoo, a 134-acre property in the Poplar Level district. Kids will treasure every minute at the Kentucky Kingdom, a lively theme park that also offers deals for out-of-state visitors. Indulge your inner adventurer at the amazing Louisville Mega Cavern, then make some room for some mouth-watering barbecue and a mint julep to wash it down.
Bowling Green is a beautiful city known for its natural beauty and deep history. As the third-largest city in Kentucky, there’s a lot going on here. It’s home to the Corvette manufacturing plant. For history buffs, a walk along the Civil War Discovery Trail is a must. There are plenty of museums, too, including the National Corvette Museum, the Kentucky Museum, and the Historic RailPark & Train Museum. If you’re fascinated by old-world architecture, don’t miss the chance to visit the Riverview at Hobson Grove. Its circa-1850 construction was put on hold by the Civil War, and it played a major role in that battle.
As part of the Elizabethtown-Fort Knox metropolitan area, more commonly known as E-town, Sonora is truly an intimate city. Situated approximately an hour south of Louisville, the city is renowned for its rich concentration of major industries, ranging from automotive to machinery. Sonora Elizabethtown features several locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Among them is John D. Bland House, Bland-Overall House, Josiah Phillips House, John Raine House, and William Tichenor House. The latter is celebrated as a virtually unchanged version of a classic dogtrot log home.
If you love the great outdoors, you’ll appreciate all that London offers. The certified Kentucky Trail Town has lengthy mountain bike trails, along with access to the Laurel and Rockcastle Rivers. Breathe in the fresh air at Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, and spend some quality time exploring the quirky exhibits at Colonel Sanders Café and Museum. London’s Laurel County features noteworthy Civil War battlegrounds, including the Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield. Be sure to stop by the Laurel County History and Genealogy Center for an intimate peek at the area’s rich history.
Where to Go and Stay
Bowling Green is among the most vibrant and popular cities in the state. Not only is it home to several respected colleges, but there are also many museums to explore here. The Kentucky Museum and Library, the Historic Railpark and Train Museum, the Barren River Imaginative Museum of Science, and the National Corvette Museum are all situated here. If you’d prefer, take a walk downtown and explore Beech Bend Park or delve into history as you walk along the Civil War Discovery Trail.
If your bus comes into the Sonora Elizabethtown stop, you’ll quickly learn what makes Kentucky such a charming state. The community is quaint, open, and welcoming. The Elizabethtown Nature Park provides plenty of vast space to walk and breathe in the fresh air, while Freeman Lake Park is rife with old-world buildings and hiking trails.
You can further indulge your outdoor cravings in London, situated at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. Here, you can venture into Daniel Boone National Forest or go fishing at Laurel River Lake. You can even pay homage to the pioneers at Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. And don’t miss McHargue’s Mill, an actual mill designed to reflect the actual mill once situated along the Little Laurel River.