There’s so much more to Kentucky than you could ever imagine. The state that is perhaps best known for one of the world’s most famous horse races, the Kentucky Derby has a number of amazing sites, tastes, and sounds to enjoy.

So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Kentucky is the perfect place to enjoy a little road trip. Meander from the cities, to the bluegrass and the foothills of the Appalachian while driving, and you’ll be sure to see some of the very best Kentucky has to offer.

Here’s one way to get started.

Start in Louisville

Louisville SkylineThe biggest city in Kentucky, Louisville, has something for everyone. One of the most unique experiences you can enjoy here is taking a ride along the Ohio River on the Belle of Louisville, one of the traditional steamboats.

If you’re a baseball fan, why not take a tour of the famous Louisville Slugger bat company. Located in the heart of “Museum Row” you’ll find ten different museums that celebrate the unique history of Louisville.

Horse Crazy in Lexington

Mare With Her Colt On Pastures Of Horse Farms.Though smaller than Louisville in size and population,the city of Lexington has it’s own claim to fame, being the so called “Horse Capital of the World.” Spending a day or two here in the rolling hills of horse country, will leave you convinced this might just be a wonderful way of life.

To learn about everything to do with horses, head to the Kentucky Horse Park, here you’ll find a huge collection of museums, galleries, and exhibits dedicated to these beautiful animals. If you want to get more up close and personal, check out some of the many Horse Farm Tours offered throughout the area.

Bourbon Country

Jim Beam Distillery

Jim Beam Distillery

Once you’ve had your fill of the city life, go west on Route 62 towards the center of Bourbon Country, Bardstown. Here, any bourbon lover will feel like they are in heaven, since the area has the most authentic bourbon experiences in the world.

You can start by following the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which can serve as the perfect guide to finding the very best from local distilleries like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Barton 1792, and Four Roses. In addition to tours and tastings, you can enjoy learning about the history of bourbon and even take a class or two if you’re up for it.

Enjoy Nature

Mammoth CaveYou might be surprised to find that Kentucky has some amazing National Parks, Forests, and Monuments within its state borders. One of the very best is Mammoth Cave National Park. To get there from the Bardstown area, pickup Highway 65 and head south towards Park City.

Mammoth Cave hides an incredible labyrinth of underground caves and tunnels that are unlike anywhere else in the world, it’s truly a spectacular site. The National Park and surrounding area also has plenty of options for camping, hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding.

If you follow a road trip through Kentucky like this one, you’ll be able to see and experience so many of the diverse activities and natural beauty of the state.

Have you taken your own Kentucky road trip? Let us know your favorite spots in the comments!