Letcher County, Kentucky was named one of the top trending destinations for 2019 and, given its incredible mountain views, it's no surprise. Kentucky is a state that offers plenty for tourists but it's not always one that's fully taken advantage of; from the food to the sights, and everything there is to do in between, this is one state that should be on everyone's radar this year.

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Outdoor recreation is a huge part of life in Kentucky, as is history. There's a culture of hospitality that exists in many of its most scenic mountain towns, as well, if only travelers spend a bit of time looking for it.

Harlan, Harlan County

Speaking of outdoor recreation, Harlan, located conveniently in Harlan County, seemingly has it all. From mountain views to plenty of trails for hiking and ATV rides, there's nothing not to love. It's also the home of Kentucky's highest peak which means that those bold enough to reach the summit will be rewarded with panoramic views of the fields and valleys below.

History buffs will be thrilled to engage in any number of discussions with staff at its most historical sites, including an unusual attraction in the form of a coal mine and an accompanying museum. Downtown Harlan gives way to plenty of restaurants that feature a little bit of old and new, and, of course, some of Kentucky's most beloved dishes.

Whitesburg, Letcher County

Those who prefer to spend their time on the water will be pleasantly surprised by the kayaking and canoeing in Whitesburg. Paddling down one of its many rivers or lakes will inevitably provide stunning views of the surroundings, especially during the summer and fall months.

Similar to Harlan, visitors can also take part in ATV riding through many of its trails, as well as horseback riding and fishing, both popular pastimes. For those eager to engage in Kentucky's foodie culture, moonshine tasting and scratch-made meals are definitely two things to indulge in here.

Prestonsburg, Floyd County

For an in-depth experience, Prestonsburg offers plenty of Appalachian adventures for those willing to take them. Floyd County is somewhat of a gateway to the Appalachian Mountains, and the culture surrounding them is worth learning about.

The town of Prestonsburg is surrounded by gorgeous woodlands and this mountainous region gives way to the lush greenery that must be explored to be truly experienced. It's a location that's a bit off the beaten path, but one that visitors will never forget. If nothing else, its views of the Appalachian country will make it a memorable experience.

Hazard, Perry County

In very much the same way, Hazard, located in Perry County, also lies at the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. The town of Hazard (despite its name) is full of friendly people who are happy to guide visitors in the direction of sights worth seeing. This town is also home to all manners of festivals during the summer and fall season so it's worth it to plan a trip around its social calendar.

Perry County Park gives way to several hiking trails, many of which were finally completed in recent years. Kayaking is another popular way to explore the Appalachian mountain valleys, with dynamic views that visitors can expect each time they venture out.

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