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Rich, fertile soil feeds the undulating green pastures whose grasses bloom blue buds in spring, making Kentucky the "Bluegrass" state. Bounded by the Ohio River to the north, surrounded by rugged mountains, lush forests and decorated in luscious green farmlands, Kentucky is a delightful mix of north and south, east and west. Widely known thoroughbred capital of the world, Lexington is a charming university town surrounded by first-class equestrian facilities. Laid-back Louisville is a fun town that never takes itself too seriously, despite being home to the Kentucky Derby — the world's most elite horse race where queens rub elbows with ...

Rich, fertile soil feeds the undulating green pastures whose grasses bloom blue buds in spring, making Kentucky the "Bluegrass" state. Bounded by the Ohio River to the north, surrounded by rugged mountains, lush forests and decorated in luscious green farmlands, Kentucky is a delightful mix of north and south, east and west. Widely known thoroughbred capital of the world, Lexington is a charming university town surrounded by first-class equestrian facilities. Laid-back Louisville is a fun town that never takes itself too seriously, despite being home to the Kentucky Derby — the world's most elite horse race where queens rub elbows with wealthy horse owners. The state is also the foremost purveyor of Bourbon and several working distilleries offer tours and tastes.

Outdoor enthusiasts have no shortage of options, with flowing rivers, mountains, lakes, the Daniel Boone National Forest and the wondrous Mammoth Cave National Park. Finally, toe-tappers can get their fill of Bluegrass music and a stop by the Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro is a must.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures because of the fertile soil.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall