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State Bucket List: Kentucky

10. Mammoth Cave National Park

Edmonson County

In one of the most visited National Parks in the United States, visitors can explore portions of the world’s longest cave system. Many travelers come to Mammoth Cave National Park for a hike or a picnic while others enjoy guided tours of the caverns. There is also an abundance of wildlife, including multiple species of rare bats.

(image via allie_k, CC)


9. Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum

North Corbin

This famed restaurant was run by Colonel Sanders (yes, that Colonel Sanders) between 1940 and 1956. Beside the café and museum, there is a modern Kentucky Fried Chicken. Since 1990, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(image via Joel Kramer, CC)


8. Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Through the Kentucky Distillers' Association, visitors can sample the regional alcohol boasted by the state. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail takes patrons to nine different distilleries, including Jim Beam, Evan Williams, and Maker’s Mark, for hands-on demonstrations and taste-testing opportunities.

(image via valkyrieh116, CC)


7. Attend a UK Basketball Game


Many Kentuckians hold college basketball above anything else, and there's no better place to experience the full scope of that fanaticism than the University of Kentucky's Rupp Arena. Even if you aren’t big into sports, the energy of the fans will be enough to convert you. And if you'll only watch a single game of basketball all year, the UK-Louisville game is the pinnacle of sports rivalry.

(image via Rupp Arena)


6. Have a Slice of Transparent Pie


A mom-and-pop establishment in rural Kentucky, Magee’s Bakery has been home to a variety to Southern comfort foods such as cinnamon cake donuts and baked egg and cheddar biscuits. Their most popular menu item is the transparent pie, also called a chess pie. The treat is a known favorite of George Clooney.

(image via Magee's Bakery)


5. Corvette Museum

Bowling Green

Since its use in professional racing, the Chevrolet Corvette has become one of the most popular sports cars in the world. At the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, visitors can learn about the complex history of the car. The museum is only a quarter of a mile away from the plant where Corvettes are manufactured.

(image via jopoe, CC)


4. Listen to Live Music at Zanzabar


This historic venue has provided Louisville with a popular live music hangout for more than eight decades. Zanzabar is also a popular restaurant and has an extensive arcade filled with video games from the 1970s and 80s.

(image via hangstrom, CC)


3. Take a Ghost Tour at Waverly Hills Sanatorium


Constructed in 1910 to help treat the tuberculosis outbreak in the region, the hospital soon became known for strange occurrences. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium has been closed since the 1960s, but many believe it to be inhabited by the spirits of those who died there. It is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country and offers nightime paranomal tours, along with daytime historical ones.

(image via Aaron Vowels, CC)


2. Kentucky Artisan Center


If you love locally made crafts, jewelry, and food, then this American city stuck in the 1960s is the place for you. At the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, locals are able to display their talents in a popular market setting. The Café & Grill at the Center is one of the best-reviewed restaurants in the area.

(image via eschhousequilts)


1. Kentucky Horse Park


The Bluegrass State has a long history with horse racing. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is everything an equestrian could want with a functioning breeding facility and an informational tour. The park also hosts the International Museum of the Horse, which chronicles the history of man’s relationship with the animal.

(image via The Kentucky Horse Park)