Kentucky is known for:
- Horse racing
- Famous bourbon distilleries
- Coal mining industry
- College basketball
- Kentucky Fried Chicken
Geography & Demographics
||Total (Land + Water): 40,409 sq miles; Land Only: 39,728 sq miles|
|Number of Counties
||Eastern Time Zone, Central Time Zone|
||Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia|
|Highest Point||Black Mountain, 4,145 feet|
|Tallest Building|| 400 West Market in Louisville, 549 feet |
|Largest Stadium||Kroger Field in Lexington, capacity 61,000 |
|National Parks||Mammoth Cave National Park|
|State Population (2020)||4,505,836|
|State Population Density||113.4 people / square mile|
||270, 364, 502, 606, 859|
|Top 5 Cities (2020 population)
Bowling Green (70,631)
Government & Legislature
|State Butterfly||Viceroy butterfly|
|State Fish||Kentucky spotted bass|
|State Gemstone||Freshwater pearl|
|State Horse||Thoroughbred horse|
||United we stand, divided we fall|
|State Music||Bluegrass music|
|State Musical Instrument||Appalachian dulcimer|
|State Rock||Kentucky agate|
|State Silverware Pattern||Old Kentucky Blue Grass, The Georgetown Pattern|
|State Soil||Crider soil series|
|State Wild Animal Game Species||Gray squirrel|
|| Table Tennis Club
|Lexington||Lexington Table Tennis Club|
Popular Tourist Attractions
- Beech Bend Park: Amusement park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
- Buffalo Trace Distillery: Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
- Churchill Downs: Horse racing course and home of the Kentucky Derby, located in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Creation Museum: Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
- Keeneland: Race course and sales complex in Lexington, Kentucky.
- Kentucky Horse Park: Horse farm and educational theme park in Lexington, Kentucky.
- Kentucky Kingdom: Amusement park in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Lake Cumberland: Reservoir in southern Kentucky.
- Land Between the Lakes: 170,000 acre of national recreation area in western Kentucky along the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
- Lost River Cave: Seven-mile cave system in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
- Louisville Slugger Museum: Museum and factory tour in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Louisville Zoo: Zoo in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Maker's Mark: Winery offering tours in Loretto, Kentucky.
- Mammoth Cave National Park: National park in central Kentucky.
- Muhammad Ali Center: Museum dedicated to the life of Muhammad Ali, located in Louisville, Kentucky.
- National Corvette Museum: Museum showcasing Chevrolet Corvettes, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
- Newport Aquarium: Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky.
- Red River Gorge: Canyon system on the Red River in east-central Kentucky.
- Waverly Hills Sanatorium: Haunted house in Louisville, Kentucky.
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Festivals and Events
Top festivals and events in Kentucky. They are listed in approximate order of when they take place during the year.
|Festival / Event
| Kentucky Derby Festival || April || Louisville |
| Great Balloonfest || April || Louisville |
| Owensboro International Bar-B-Q Festival || May || Owensboro |
| The Great American Brass Band Festival || June || Centre College, Danville |
| Berea Craft Festival || July || Indian Fort Theatre, Berea |
| Bourbon & Beyond || September || Highland Festival Grounds, Louisville |
| Festival of the Red || September || Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade |
| Festival of the Horse || September || Georgetown |
| Gaslight Festival Balloon Glow || September || Jeffersontown |
| Kentucky Bourbon Festival || September || Bardstown |
| World Chicken Festival || September || London |
| Kentucky Apple Festival || First Saturday In October || Paintsville |
Popular Iconic Kentucky Foods
Kentucky is famous for the following foods:
- Hot Brown
- Derby Pie
- Bourbon Balls
- Fried Chicken
- Henry Bain Sauce
- Ale-8-One Soda
- Beer Cheese
Famous People Born In Kentucky
Nobel Prize Winners
United States Presidents
- Abraham Lincoln (16th President)
Pro Football Hall Of Fame Members
- George McAfee (Halfback. Inducted in 1966)
- Paul Hornung (Halfback, Kicker. Inducted in 1986)
- Dermontti Dawson (Center. Inducted in 2012)
- Champ Bailey (Cornerback. Inducted in 2019)
Baseball Hall Of Fame Players
- Earle Combs (Center Fielder. Inducted in 1970)
- Pee Wee Reese (Shortstop. Inducted in 1984)
- Jim Bunning (Pitcher. Inducted in 1996)
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame Players
- Joe Fulks (Forward. Inducted in 1978)
- Cliff Hagan (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 1978)
- Frank Ramsey (Guard-Forward. Inducted in 1982)
- Wes Unseld (Center-Forward. Inducted in 1988)
- Dave Cowens (Center-Forward. Inducted in 1991)
- Arnie Risen (Center. Inducted in 1998)
Famous Actors And Actresses
- George Clooney
- Johnny Depp
- Jennifer Lawrence
- Patricia Neal
- Naomi Judd
- Loretta Lynn
- Joan Osborne
Kentucky Fun Facts
- The name "Kentucky" has an Indian origin. There are several sources:
- The Wyandots called it "Kah-ten-tah-teh," meaning "Fair Land of Tomorrow."
- The Shawnee name is "Kain-tuck-ee," meaning "At the Head Of The River."
- The Mohawks called it "Kentucke," meaning "Among the Meadows."
- The Delawares also called it "Kentucke," which means "Place of the Meadows."
- The Catawbas called it "Kentucke" as well, meaning, "The Prairie, or Barrens."
- Held every year since 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country.
- In 1774, Ford Harrod (now Harrodsburg) was established as the first permanent settlement in the Kentucky region. It was named after James Harrod, who led the construction efforts.
- Cumberland Falls in Kentucky is only place in Western Hemisphere to spot a moonbow on a regular basis (a moonbow is a rainbow made from light reflected off of the moon at night).
- Kentucky's officeholders and judges must swear an oath before taking office that they have neither fought a duel with deadly weapons nor aided or assisted any person fighting one.
- Kentucky is the only U.S. state to have a continuous border of rivers running along three of its sides-the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east.
- On January 30, 1900, Kentucky Governor William Goebel was assassinated in downtown Frankfort. Goebel is the only governor of a U.S. state to have been assassinated while in office.
- The song "Happy Birthday to You" was the creation of two Louisville sisters, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill, in 1893.
- Middlesboro is the only city in the United States built within a meteor crater.
- In Kentucky, throwing eggs at a public speaker may result in one year in prison.
This page was last updated on July 10, 2023.