From flourishing jungles to magnificent rivers to picturesque towns, Kentucky’s breathtaking beauty makes it one of the most impressive tourist destinations in America. From the Appalachian Mountains on its east side to its Horse Country, the world’s horse capital, the Bluegrass state is brimming with specular attractions.
Have a camera ready, take a trip to this state, and experience its majesty. Whether one is looking a natural scenery, an incredible city view, or historic settings, these 10 of the most beautiful spots to visit in Kentucky will leave every visitor in awe!
10 The Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area
This is a perfect spot for visitors looking for opportunities to connect with nature. Nestled in the northeastern side of the state, in the Cumberland Plateau, the Big South Fork National River, and Recreation Area comes several outdoor activities, including rock climbing, hiking, rafting, camping, and horseback riding.
Travelers are bound to find numerous natural bridges in this region and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding.
Covering 125, 000 of the Cumberland Plateau, the Big South Fork National River, and Recreation Area boasts several miles of breathtaking gorges and other rich historical features worth noticing.
9 Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Mounted between Kentucky and Tennessee, this spot was designated a national recreation area in 1963, and is never short of things to see and do.
From incredible hiking trails to scenic drives to fantastic wildlife, including bison and elk, there is something for everyone in this gorgeous region. The recreation area offers one of the eastern United States' largest blocks of rugged forest.
The family-friendly destination offers travelers incredible access to magnificent lakes, picnicking, fishing, water sports, and boating, among others.
8 Daniel Boone National Forest
Daniel Boone National Forest covers over 708, 000 acres running through Kentucky’s 21 counties. The park uniquely features beautiful gorges, cliffs, streams, and rivers that together make up its varied terrain.
The other notable feature in this park is the Natural Bridge, standing 65 ft high, and stretching 75 ft long.
The park offers several outdoor opportunities, including numerous miles of hiking trails, backpacking, and climbing. Stretching for 273 miles, Sheltowee Trace is the largest hiking trail in the park.
7 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
With some of the most beautiful vistas, incredible history, breathtaking scenery, spectacular caverns, and amazing wildlife, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is easily one of the most beautiful spots in Kentucky.
Offering more than 70 miles of hiking trails, visiting this park comes with plenty of opportunities for discovering the wild areas of the state.
The Wilderness Road Trail allows tourists to take in the history of Kentucky, as they walk in the footsteps of Native Americans, the first inhabitants of the place, and soldiers that fought in the civil war.
6 Cumberland Falls
Also known as the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is proof that Kentucky is one of America's most gorgeous states. Measuring 68 ft tall, this is probably the only place where travelers can easily spot moonbows on regularly.
The best time for seeing the Cumberland Waterfalls moonbows is between dusk and midnight. Part of the Cumberland Falls State Park, where several hiking trails and other waterfalls surrounding are nothing but a feast for the eyes.
5 Mammoth Cave
Mammoth Cave world’s longest recognized cave system. Having been wandered by travelers for more than 4,000 years, Mammoth Cave is easily one of North America’s oldest tourist attractions.
Within the cave, travelers will find some bats enjoying the darkness it offers. While the cave system is the Mammoth Cave National Park’s major draw, there are miles of beautiful trails in the region to explore.
This park is also a perfect place for wildlife viewing, and vacationers are likely to spot black bears and several species of birds.
4 Breaks Interstate Park
Also referred to as the Grand Canyon of the South, this park hosts the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi, Russel Fork Gorge, and the most convenient way to get there is by following Virginia State Route 80.
Lying both in Kentucky and Virginia, this place is an outdoor adventurers’ paradise, boasting 25 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and birding.
There is a zip line within the park offering breathtaking views of the gorge.
3 Kentucky State Capitol
Located in the city of Frankfort, Kentucky State Capitol is one of the most beautiful spots to visit in Kentucky, thanks to its outstanding architecture. It is the house of the three government branches, the executive, legislature, and judiciary.
Constructed in 1837, the building has served as the home of the state’s General Assembly from 1830 to 1910.
Featuring incredible decorative murals, the state's dignitaries' sculptures, and 70 iconic columns, the Kentucky State Capital is spectacular and shouldn't miss on a bucket list for exploring the state.
2 Louisville’s Olmsted Parks
Lying on the Ohio River's banks, Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and is known for hosting several beautiful parks.
When exploring the big city, travelers can always escape to Iroquois, Cherokee, Seneka, or Shawnee Parks, away from the hustle and bustle of the town. These parks offer a bunch of recreational activities for travelers to explore.
The Olmsted Parks Conversancy is responsible for improving, restoring, and preserving the designated Olmsted Parks.
1 Red River Gorge
Part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, Red River Gorge is known for its natural stone arches and for being a world-famous destination for rock climbing and hiking.
Because it hosts unique rock formations and sandstone cliffs, the Red River Gorge is a national geological area.
The gorge's natural beauty is spectacular, and is a perfect spot for a family getaway, thanks to the amazing recreation opportunities and incredible accommodation options between the woods.