- Northern Kentucky River Region
- Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone
- Daniel Boone Country
Highlights along this highway include Kentucky Horse Park, the original KFC and Cumberland Falls – but there are many more sights, sounds and local bites to savor along the way.
Intersecting Kentucky from north to south, Interstate 75 travels through the beautiful and famed bluegrass countryside to the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, passing by some of the best in horse farms, arts, music and natural beauty you’ll find in Kentucky.
Whether you’re enjoying the more well-known stops such as the Kentucky Horse Park, Ark Encounter and Cumberland Falls, or if you’re interested in getting off the beaten path for gems such as the Mary Todd Lincoln House or Levi Jackson Treetop Adventures, this road trip is a great way to discover Kentucky’s greatest hits.
1 Levee Way
Newport, KY 41011
Turfway Park Race Course
7500 Turfway Rd.
Florence, KY 41042
1 Ark Encounter Drive
Williamstown, KY 41097
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Tour
1001 Cherry Blossom Way
Georgetown, KY 40324
Kentucky Horse Park
4089 Iron Works Pkwy.
Lexington, KY 40511
1230 E New Circle Rd
Lexington, KY 40514
Ale-8-One Bottling Plant
25 Carol Rd.
Winchester, KY 40391
Fort Boonesborough State Park
4375 Boonesboro Rd.
Richmond, KY 40475
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
200 Artisan Way
Berea, KY 40403
Historic Boone Tavern Hotel/Restaurant
100 Main St
Berea, KY 40403
Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum
688 U S Hwy 25 W
Corbin, KY 40701
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
7351 Highway 90
Corbin, KY 40701
Located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Newport is one of the most vibrant cities in Kentucky, offering a distinctive dining scene and myriad attractions along the riverfront. If you’re traveling with kids (or even if you’re not), the Newport Aquarium is a fun and relaxing stop. Exhibits include rare shark rays and African penguins, as well as touch tanks and dive shows. Bonus: the aquarium is located at Newport on the Levee, a bustling dining, shopping and entertainment complex.
Just south of Newport, Turfway Park Race Course in the town of Florence offers a first taste for those new to Kentucky’s legendary horse racing scene. Experience live thoroughbred racing December through April and September through October, and simulcast racing all year round.
One of Kentucky’s most-visited attractions is the Ark Encounter, and one glimpse will explain why. A full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark, this inspiring sight is the largest freestanding timber frame structure in the world. Step inside to explore three levels of exhibits, then visit the animals in the Ararat Ridge Zoo.
As you approach the Lexington area, automotive enthusiasts are encouraged to stop and visit the world’s largest Toyota Motor Manufacturing facility, located in Georgetown. At this amazing plant, tram-driven tours give you an inside look at where – and how – vehicles such as the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350 are made. Best of all, it’s free!
The great city of Lexington, known as the Horse Capital of the World, is home to picturesque farms, bourbon distilleries, craft breweries and great restaurants. If your time is limited, put the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park at the top of your list. This equine theme park is a great place for all ages of travelers to see a variety of horse breeds, go for a trail ride, take in horse shows, and explore exhibits about Kentucky’s horse farming and racing legacy at three museums.
Make a pit stop at Parkette Drive-In, which was famously featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. This relic from the golden age of roadside diners has stood the test of time, and Kentuckians still flock here for double-stacked burgers, milkshakes and crispy fried chicken that is Guy Fieri-approved.
Lexington is a hub of Kentucky history, too. Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, grew up in Lexington, and you can visit her girlhood home, the Mary Todd Lincoln House, to learn more about her fascinating life.
You already know about Kentucky bourbon, but if you haven’t tried Kentucky’s other favorite beverage, Ale-8-One soda, you need to correct that immediately. There’s no better place than at the Ale-8-One Bottling Plant in Winchester, where you can take a tour (advance reservations required), taste the ginger-citrus soda right from the source, and shop original Ale-8-One merch.
Trip Idea: Get another taste of true Kentucky along Winchester’s Beer Cheese Trail.
Learn all about Kentucky’s pioneer days at Fort Boonesborough State Park, which recreates the fort established by frontiersman Daniel Boone in 1775. During its heyday, Fort Boonesborough was an important center of settlement, consisting of 26 log cabins and four blockhouses. Today, the site has been preserved into a living history park. Visit with resident artisans, take in craft demonstrations and camp out on the banks of the Kentucky River.
The town of Berea is one of Kentucky’s cultural gems for a variety of reasons. Known as the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky, Berea boasts a large community of artisans who sell their wares at studios and shops around town. Immerse yourself in creativity at the incredible Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, which showcases over 800 Kentucky artists.
Berea is also the home of Berea College, one of the nation’s only tuition-free colleges and the first coeducational, racially integrated college in the South. On the campus is the Historic Boone Tavern, one of the finest (and oldest) restaurants in Kentucky – a must-stop for a meal or an overnight stay.
Read More: 14 Reasons to Visit Berea, Kentucky
Just 14 miles south of Berea is Renfro Valley, which lives up to its nickname of Kentucky’s Country Music Capital. Fans of old-time country and bluegrass will flip for Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, one of Kentucky’s most iconic venues. This historic barn was home to the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, a stage and radio show that featured stars of early country music in the 1940s and ’50s; today, the venue hosts a star-studded lineup of national headliners. While you’re in Renfro Valley, visit the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum to learn about Kentucky’s rich musical heritage, from the 1700s to today.
Looking to get your adrenaline racing after a long stretch of driving? Stop at Treetop Adventure at Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, an aerial adventure park featuring a system of platforms and bridges through the treetops. These aerial “trails” range from easy to expert, so you don’t need experience to strap in and start climbing.
As you near the southern border of Kentucky, save some time – and appetite – for a few more adventures. Corbin is famous for being the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and you can see the original restaurant exactly as it was at the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum (not to mention tear into a bucket of the authentic finger-lickin’ fried chicken).
Walk off lunch on a hike to the “Niagara of the South” at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. In addition to nature trails which lead to this breathtaking site, you can camp, go fishing or rafting on the Cumberland River, and spend the night at the magnificent Dupont Lodge, one of Kentucky’s most distinguished accommodations.