What to See When You RV - Kentucky Edition

Posted on April 18, 2018

There’s much more to Kentucky than horses, bluegrass music, and bourbon (but those are excellent reasons to go).

Along with some of America’s prettiest scenery, Kentucky boasts lively cities, historic battlefields and elite museums. If you want the kids to learn something — for instance, that Kentucky is one of four U.S. states that's technically a commonwealth — there’s no better place to take an RUV vacation. Load up the Class A Toy Hauler, Class C motorhome or Gas RV and head for the Appalachians.

Explore the Outdoors

Adventurers will find a lot to like about Mammoth Cave National Park. For much of the year, conditions are ideal for camping, hiking and horseback riding. The spelunking can’t be beat either. More than 400 miles of one of the longest cave systems in the world have been explored. Take a guided tour through its complex labyrinths.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park marks the junction of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The narrow gap was an important passageway for Native Americans and pioneers journeying west. In 1775, Daniel Boone led a team of frontiersmen to widen it. The resulting route for wagon traffic was dubbed Wilderness Road.

The park features 20,000 acres, 70 miles of hiking trails and numerous scenic overlooks.

Witness gorgeous sunrises and sunsets from just outside your motorhome or diesel RV at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Its many miles of hiking trails are adorned with wildflowers and native plants. Spend an exhilarating day mountain biking, rock climbing or whitewater rafting. The faint of heart might prefer a tour of the old mines in the Blue Heron Mining Community.

Explore History

Motorhomes and RVs can take you directly to historic destinations that aren’t easily accessible by air.

One such site is the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in LaRue County. A beaux-arts neoclassical building stands as a memorial, but a rustic log cabin on the property symbolically represents Lincoln’s birthplace in Sinking Spring.

Interestingly, Kentucky was neutral at the start of the Civil War. You can delve into its involvement in the conflict by visiting the sites of the battles at Richmond and Perryville. Follow the Civil War Heritage Trail system to see other battlegrounds, memorable cemeteries, and dramatic reenactments.

Explore the Cities

There’s a lot to see and do in Louisville, so allow extra time:

  • Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby thoroughbred race;
  • Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the birthplace of the most famous bats in American baseball;
  • The Kentucky Kingdom, featuring thrilling rides and a water park;
  • Muhammad Ali Center, a showcase for the Louisville-born boxing legend; and,
  • Belle of Louisville, a 157-foot steamboat built in 1914.

Sightseeing cruises are available on the Belle of Louisville.

Newport is another nice RV destination. The aquarium is world-class. The Krohn Conservatory, featuring botanical gardens and a famous butterfly house, is located just a mile north in Cincinnati, Ohio. Newport is also home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, an interactive museum documenting slavery in the U.S.

You may also be interested in touring the distilleries of Bourbon Country. Rumor has it that they give away free samples. If you’re a teetotaler, skip the distilleries. Just don’t leave the state without trying the barbecue. Buy extra to enjoy the next day on the road in your Class A motorhome.

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