The 14 Best Kentucky Day Trips

Need to take a road trip, but short on time? We’ve got you covered. Here are the 14 best places to take a day trip in Kentucky.

1. Natural Bridge

One of the most beautiful natural places in Kentucky, Natural Bridge in Red River Gorge is a must for all proud Kentuckians. Sure, it’s a bit of a hike, but once you get to the top, you’ll know it was all worth it. Plus, you definitely need to take a selfie up there.

Natural Bridge

2. Harland Sanders Café and Museum

It’s the birthplace of KFC, so it’s a no brainer that you should take a day trip to the Harland Sanders Café and Museum. Colonel Sanders was kind of a badass, serving people dinner at his own table before creating what’s now a museum. When you visit, you can see Colonel Sanders’ office, and the kitchen where he came up with the KFC formula.

Harland Sanders Café and Museum

Credit: robert_rex_jackson

3. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

We’re taking it old school with this one, way old school. If you didn’t go to Shaker Village for a field trip in elementary school, then it’s time to head there yourself. Find out how the Shakers live on a daily basis, taste their organic produce, and check out some of their amazing goods. Ahh, the simple life.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Credit: Otts World

4. Maker’s Mark Distillery Tour

What better way to show off how Kentucky you are than taking a tour at the Maker’s Mark Distillery? They’re open year-round for tours, and you don’t even need a reservation. It’s only $9 per person for the tour and bourbon tasting, and it’ll be the best $9 you’ve spent in a long time.

Maker's Mark


5. Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave is one of the most amazing things Kentucky has to offer. It’s the world’s longest known cave system, and if you haven’t seen it before, you need to. If you aren’t really into the idea of being cramped underground, there are plenty of walking tours in the wide open areas of the cave. But if you’re ready to try something that’ll get your adrenaline pumping, you might want to check out the Wild Cave Tour.

Mammoth Cave

6. Bardstown

Bardstown has been voted one of the best small towns in America, and it’s no secret why. They’ve got tons of eclectic shops, locally owned restaurants, and a lot of bourbon. Can you tell we like bourbon around here? Definitely a cool day trip to take.


7. The Cumberland Gap

Ok, so the whole Cumberland Gap isn’t in Kentucky, but a huge portion of it is. And all the rad explorers, like Daniel Boone, traveled through it. There are tons of place to hike, and a visitor center museum. Definitely worth the trip.

Cumberland Gap

Credit: LookPictures


8. Newport Aquarium

Aquariums rock. Seriously, seeing all those weird underwater animals is so fun. So why wouldn’t you take a trip up to Northern Kentucky and go to the Newport Aquarium? Plus, there’s plenty of interactive parts of the tour, including petting sharks. You must go.

Newport Aquarium

Credit: Philip Greenspun

9. Frankfort

You have to visit the capital of Kentucky at some point. It’s pretty much a requirement for being a citizen of our state. And it won’t be boring when you visit, because there are so many things to do, like visiting Daniel Boone’s grave, and the Buffalo Trace distillery. The Kentucky State Capitol building is pretty awesome, too. Yeah, our state capitol rocks.


Credit: My (anything under the sun) Blog

10. Kentucky Horse Park

Is there anything more Kentucky than horses? The only thing we can think of is bourbon, but it’s hard to say which one is more Kentucky… Anyways, you need to visit the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Interact with the horses, learn about the 55 million year history of horses, and even take a horse-drawn trolley tour.

Kentucky Horse Park

11. Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace

Abraham Lincoln was pretty much the best President we’ve ever had, so it’s no surprise that he was born in good old Kentucky. And you can see exactly where. The cabin Lincoln started his life in has been preserved so you can go visit. Plus, there’s hiking trails all over the national park.

Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace

12. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

If you’re looking for somewhere beautiful to hike, learn about growing your own food, or even enjoy art, you want to check out Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. They’ve got over 35 miles of hiking trails, and constantly have interesting programs. If you’re a nature lover, you definitely need to visit.

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Credit: Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

13. Kentucky Railway Museum

Kentucky has a lot of history when it comes to trains, so of course we dedicated an entire museum to them! The Kentucky Railway Museum has four steam locomotive, six diesel, and tons of other things to explore. Plus, there are a few different train events you can participate in, including a dinner train.

Kentucky Railway Museum

Credit: Shutter Priority

14. National Corvette Museum

OF COURSE YOU NEED TO VISIT THE NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM! Corvettes, Corvettes, and more Corvettes. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to spend a day looking at these beautiful, American-made cars?

National Corvette Museum

Credit: AutoBlog