The birthplace of bluegrass music and Western Kentucky BBQ, this rich region of Kentucky is best explored with open ears and an empty stomach.
Travel the roads of tradition in Kentucky’s Bluegrass, Blues & BBQ region, home to music legends and world-famous Kentucky cuisine. Visit The Father of Bluegrass, birthplace at Bill Monroe Homeplace then head over to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro to hear more about his indelible creation. Continue your musical journey at the Muhlenberg Music & History Museum to see rare Everly Brothers memorabilia and learn about other musicians that have roots in the region.
More Things to Do in the Bluegrass, Blues & BBQ Region
In all corners of the region, you will find distinctive museums, art galleries and unique boutiques, plus natural wonders like the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, the Dogwood Azalea Trail, eight Wildlife Management Areas, and three Kentucky State Parks. Enjoy music festivals, Civil War re-enactments, horse racing at Ellis Park Racetrack, Broadway shows and more, all right here! The region is also home to John James Audubon State Park Museum & Nature Center, in honor of the great naturalist who once lived in Henderson.
Let the region's musical heritage be your soundtrack for exploring one of Kentucky’s most satisfying signature foods: Western Kentucky barbecue. Follow the Western Kentucky BBQ Trail to sample pit-cooked goodness at legendary ’cue joints like Old Hickory Bar-B-Que and Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn to see why Owensboro holds the title of “Barbecue Capital of the World.” Cap things off with a tour and tasting at Green River Distillery, Western Kentucky’s largest bourbon distillery open to the public. Enjoy a distillery tour, book a ghost tour or hop on the River City Trolley to visit historic downtown.
Listen below to the podcast: Horses, Hats and Bourbon with Claudia Coffey
- Tourism Offices
- Featured Cities
- Road Trips
Just like Texas, Memphis or Kansas City, Western Kentucky has its own unique style of barbecue. Kentucky ’cue usually consists of mutton, chicken or pork, cooked pit-style over wood coals, then sliced paper thin and topped with a spiced vinegar “dip.”