Kentucky Tourism
Back to Cities & Towns


Region South Central Kentucky

Located in the geographic center of southern Kentucky, Monroe County offers the natural beauty of the Upper Cumberland hills, as well as the hospitality and slower paced lifestyle typical of rural Kentucky.

Monroe County is home to some 11,750 friendly people. Each of the four seasons here has its own distinctive attractions, although temperatures are moderate year-round. Tompkinsville, the county seat, is located near the center of the county. It was first settled about 1790 and now has a population of almost 2,700. Originally settled in the late 1700s and later named for a Biblical physician, Gamaliel, with a population of 450, is located near the headwaters of the Barren River, one mile from the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Settled about 1800, Fountain Run is the “crossroads of three counties”, located in westernmost Monroe County, near the borders of Barren and Allen counties.About 250 people live in Fountain Run.

Monroe County is also home to several Amish and Mennonite communities where their traditional way of life is still practiced. In most of these areas, crafts and home-grown produce are marketed on site. Monroe County’s rolling countryside provides acres of green pastureland for dairy and beef cattle, in addition to tree-covered hills that supply hardwood timber for local lumber and pallet industries. During your visit to Monroe County, be sure to sample our famous barbecue, also unique to this area, each restaurant with its own barbecue sauce recipe. Specialty restaurants, like our nationally famous Dovie’s, can be found throughout the county. We hope you enjoy your visit to our county, and invite you to come back whenever you can.