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Kentucky Holidays

There’s a reason why locals will tell you “There’s Only One Kentucky.” The birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali, the Horse Capital of the World and the centre of America’s bourbon production, Kentucky has plenty to make it unique around the world and there’s a lot to explore here in the Bluegrass State with both urban and natural wonders to discover.

Virtually all of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky and the distilleries that are in Bourbon Country, including along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail all offer their own distinctive tastes and tours. Kentucky’s diverse culinary scene will tempt your taste buds with everything from Burgoo (a stew created in pioneer days) to sophisticated dishes cooked and paired with Bourbon. Bardstown, one of the most beautiful small towns in America, hosts the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, a multi-day celebration of all things Bourbon.

Then there’s the festivals. Kentucky celebrates the most exciting two minutes in sport with the fortnight long Kentucky Derby festival and numerous other races throughout the year. Derby Festival activities kick off with the largest fireworks display in North America, Thunder Over Louisville. Elsewhere you might like to see the Great Steamboat Race, featuring the 100-year old Belle of Louisville or the Pegasus Parade, held every year since 1935. Paducah, a UNESCO city of craft and folk arts, welcomes visitors from around the world for the AQS Quilt Week in April.

Exploring Kentucky is discovering all the things you know about, and all the things you don’t. It’s experiencing more than 500 horse farms, and touring the famous Bourbon Country distilleries. It’s viewing international museums and innovative art galleries. Visiting the state’s world-renowned natural attractions, like the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area and Breaks Interstate Park.

There’s only one Kentucky, and it’s waiting for you to discover!

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The largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Louisville was founded in 1778 and is named after King Louis XVI of France, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. The city is known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Slugger Museum and Factory and the Muhammad Ali Centre, a museum dedicated to the great boxer.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

In 1999, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association formed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour to give visitors a first-hand look at the art of crafting Bourbon, and to help them understand the rich history and proud tradition of Kentucky’s signature spirit. Just as the fine Kentucky Bourbon takes time to reach perfection, you’ll want to plan accordingly to truly appreciate your Kentucky Bourbon Trail journey.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Since 1816, visitors have toured the subterranean labyrinths of Mammoth Cave. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place," but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name - Mammoth.

National Corvette Museum

Dedicated to Kentucky’s official state car, this museum features more than 70 Corvettes. You'll see classics in mint condition, one-of-a-kind prototypes that never went into production, racetrack champions, and modern-day wonders of engineering and design. Interact with educational hands-on exhibits, enjoy a film in the theatre and see rare collectibles and memorabilia.

The Northern Kentucky River Region

Spectacular scenery and fascinating history await you in this exciting region of Kentucky. Visit Big Bone Lick State Park, where giant mammoths roamed and perished in the quagmire. Get revved up to take in Northern Kentucky's fastest attraction, Kentucky Speedway. For music lovers, see the hottest country stars live at the Country Stampede or listen to bluegrass music at a live entertainment venue.

Our Top Hotels in Kentucky

Hilton Lexington Suites

Hilton Lexington Suites


The Hilton Suites Lexington Green hotel is an all-suite hotel situated within a unique 40-acre retail development in Lexington Kentucky. Visit one of the most upscale hotels in Lexington.

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Louisville Marriott Downtown

Louisville Marriott Downtown


The Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel, connected via skywalk to the Kentucky International Convention Center, is ideally suited for social gatherings or weekend trips.

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The Holiday Inn Express Georgetown hotel

The Holiday Inn Express Georgetown hotel


Enjoy a Carefree Stay at this Georgetown, Kentucky Hotel. The Holiday Inn Express Georgetown hotel is the place to stay while visiting Georgetown. The perfect choice for visitors.

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Homewood Suites by Hilton Louisville-East

Homewood Suites by Hilton Louisville-East


Kentucky attractions such as Churchill Downs Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom the Louisville International Airport and Tom Sawyer Park are nearby the Homewood Suites by Hilton Louisville-East.

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The Holiday Inn Express Hotel Winchester

The Holiday Inn Express Hotel Winchester


Situated in the heart of the scenic bluegrass country, this Winchester hotel is located 19 miles from the University of Kentucky and three miles from historic downtown Winchester.

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Frankfort

Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Frankfort


The Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Frankfort is located just five minutes from the Kentucky state capital, this Frankfort hotel provides a great location and quality amenities for guests.

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Fly Drive Holiday: Kentucky Bourbon Trails

Nashville – Bardstown – Louisville – Lexington – Middlesboro – Bowling/Mammoth Cave – Nashville

Our suggested fly drive itinerary showcases some of Kentucky’s best attributes. Start in Nashville, Tennessee your gateway into Kentucky, with the first stop at Bardstown to discover where bourbon began. Carry on the bourbon trail to Louisville, home to Kentucky’s yearly Derby horse race, before driving through the emerald hills of Horse Country to Lexington, rich with championship thoroughbreds. Continue south to the source of the original Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin, then onwards to the mesmerising sights of the Appalachian Mountains from Middlesboro. Finally, end your journey exploring the fascinating cave systems at the Mammoth Cave National Park.

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Fly Drive Holiday: Southern Discovery Fly Drive

Atlanta – Chattanooga – Asheville/Smoky Mountains – Louisville – Nashville – Memphis - Birmingham

From the cosmopolitan city of Atlanta to the rich southern charms of Birmingham, our Southern Discovery fly-drive will take you through some of the South’s iconic towns and locations, showcasing the best in culture, music, food, history and outdoor vista’s that these states are renowned for. Discover where Scarlett O’Hara was brought to live in Atlanta; experience music mania in Nashville and Memphis – home to the Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll; explore the rugged beauty of the Smoky Mountains and learn about how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others raised awareness of the civil rights movement.

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Keeneland Race Track  
This race track includes the Keeneland Racecourse, a Thoroughbred horse racing facility, and a major sales complex. Keeneland was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Even on quiet day you can observe the horses training on the track.

Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill 
This is America's largest restored Shaker community. This 3000 acre National Historic Landmark near Pleasant Hill Kentucky features 34 original 19th-century buildings. Join a tour around the village to find more about its fascinating history and in the evening enjoy Shakers Village’s great restaurant, offering fresh, local produce.

Bardstown is strong in spirit. A Southern spirit that welcomes you to the Most Beautiful Small Town in America; a religious spirit that’s appropriate for the home of the first diocese of the West; and a little spirit called Bourbon. Come sample the spirits, sounds and flavours that are quintessentially Bardstown.

Cumberland Falls
Also called the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is a large waterfall on the Cumberland River. Under a full moon on clear nights, an elusive lunar rainbow or moonbow is sometimes formed by the mist emanating from the falls. This is one of the few places in the word you can view a moonbow. Cumberland Falls is located in Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, just southwest of Corbin.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site
Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, was the first president born west of the Appalachian Mountains. His birth in a log cabin at Sinking Springs Farm took place on February 12, 1809, when that part of Kentucky was still a rugged frontier. The story of Lincoln's journey from log cabin to the White House that began here has long been a powerful symbol of the unlimited possibilities of American life.

Time Difference:
GMT- 5 hours/6 hours (crosses Eastern and Central time zones)

Closest Airport:
Louisville International Airport (approx. 12 hours, indirect flight), Lexington Blue Grass Airport (approx.. 12 hours and 30 minutes, indirect flight).

Getting around:
There are two long-distance Amtrak rail lines going through the state or you can hire a car to explore from only £20 a day.

Insider Tip:
If you want to experience the Kentucky Derby but don’t have a ticket, there’s always the option of the Infield which you can get tickets for on the day. However, prepare for partying crowds and the possibility of mud!

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.


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