Best Kentucky attraction? Readers vote National Corvette Museum!
Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm takes second place
Kentucky is perhaps best known for two things: bourbon and horses. And while these two industries certainly fuel the economy of the Bluegrass State, there's plenty more on offer beyond the rolling hills of horse country or the distilleries of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Outdoor enthusiasts find an extensive system of state and national parks, while regional culture shines in the state's cities and small towns.
Creation Museum (Petersburg)
The 75,000-square-foot Creation Museum takes visitors on a journey through Biblical history, from Adam and Eve's encounter with the serpent in the Garden of Eden through to the modern day discovery of Lucy and its implications for the discussion of evolution and creationism. Photo courtesy of Creation Museum
Newport Aquarium (Newport)
Encompassing a million gallons of water and thousands of animals from around the world, the Newport Aquarium operates the first shark ray breeding program in the world. The Amazon Tunnel allows visitors to walk along the floor of the Amazon River during its flooded season, while the Dangerous & Deadly exhibit showcases some of the world’s most lethal aquatic creatures. Eight species of crocodiles from four different continents can be seen at Gator Alley – one of the most diverse crocodilian collections in the country. Photo courtesy of Cincinnati USA
Mammoth Cave National Park (Mammoth Cave)
With more than 400 miles of explored passages, Mammoth Cave National Park protects the world's longest known cave system. Themed cave tours take visitors into various portions of the cave, some paved and easily navigated and others undeveloped and more challenging. Photo courtesy of NPS photo
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (Louisville)
Baseball is America's pastime, and this Louisville museum celebrates the past, present and future of the sport through the lens of one iconic piece of equipment, the Louisville Slugger. Visitors can tour the bat factory, see the bat that hit 21 of Babe Ruth's record setting 60 home runs in 1927 and try out the latest line of Louisville Slugger bats in Bud's Batting Cage. Photo courtesy of Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Kentucky Horse Park (Lexington)
Kentucky Horse Park, the Bluegrass State's largest state-owned tourist attraction, celebrates a love of horses through horse-drawn tours and rides, equine presentations, live shows and the world's largest horse museum, the Smithsonian-affiliated International Museum of the Horse. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Department of Travel
Churchill Downs & Kentucky Derby Museum (Louisville)
Home of the Kentucky Derby – the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports – Churchill Downs was founded in 1874 as a thoroughbred racing venue for some of the world's biggest purses. Even when the track is quiet, Churchill Downs is also home to the Kentucky Derby Museum, complete with its collection of colorful and creative hats. Photo courtesy of Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
National Quilt Museum (Paducah)
The National Quilt Museum, the largest museum devoted to quilts and fiber arts in the world, maintains three galleries showcasing a colorful collection of exquisite fiber arts that's rotated several times throughout the year, so there's always something new to see. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Department of Travel
Louisville Mega Cavern (Louisville)
For four decades during the twentieth century, miners blasted out a huge limestone quarry today known as the Louisville Mega Cavern. But this isn't any ordinary mine tour; visitors to the Mega Cavern can take a tram tour along the 17 miles of corridors beneath Louisville, race along six subterranean zip lines (the world's only fully underground zip line course), navigate an underground aerial ropes course or practice tricks at the first and only underground bike park (and the largest indoor bike park on the planet). Photo courtesy of Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm (Georgetown)
Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm provides a sanctuary for retired thoroughbreds after their racing and breeding careers have come to an end. Visitors to this equine retirement community meet the residents while learning about their lives and careers. Photo courtesy of Laura Battles
National Corvette Museum (Bowling Green)
The Corvette, America's legendary sports car, is manufactured only in Bowling Green, and the city also plays host to the National Corvette Museum. Here automobile enthusiasts will find a collection of more than 80 Corvettes in period settings alongside numerous interactive exhibits. Visitors can even snap a selfie behind the wheel of a 2015 Stingray. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Department of Travel
We asked a panel of Kentucky travel writers and photographers to nominate their favorite state attractions, and for the past four weeks 10Best readers have been voting for their favorites.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Kentucky Attraction are as follows:
- National Corvette Museum - Bowling Green
- Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm - Georgetown
- Louisville Mega Cavern - Louisville
- National Quilt Museum - Paducah
- Churchill Downs & Kentucky Derby Museum - Louisville
- Kentucky Horse Park - Lexington
- Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory - Louisville
- Mammoth Cave National Park - Mammoth Cave
- Newport Aquarium - Newport
- Creation Museum - Petersburg
A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Kirby Adams (Courier Journal), Steve Coomes and Dana McMahan (bodybybourbon.com) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Kentucky.
Congratulations to all these winning attractions.