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Louisville & Nashville Tourist Attractions, Kentucky & Tennessee Vacation Spots

Things to do / Travel Guide

Nashville and Tennessee Tourist Attractions

It's the self-proclaimed "Capital of the World." The world of country music, bluegrass, thoroughbred horse racing, and bourbon, that is. It's a mostly rural area featuring rolling farmlands and plantations. No one really knows what Tennessee means in Cherokee, but many people cheat the state out of one of its 4 E's by misspelling it Tennesee.

Wherever you get your Nashville driving directions from, music lovers will be drawn to the Nashville, Tennessee tourist attractions and beyond.

One of the most popular tourist attractions you'll find in the ol' frontier is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Did you know that Kentucky is responsible for producing 95% of the world's bourbon? Visit the area and you'll get to learn the ins and outs of bourbon production—you'll probably even get to taste a julep or two! There are a number of bourbon distilleries in and around Louisville and around Lexington-Fayette. Not to be missed: Maker's Mark Bourbon, the Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, and others. Head about 40 miles south of Louisville to Bardstown—here you'll find a nice historic downtown area as well as enough bourbon to create a large ocean. For a truly indulgent tour, throw in a few wineries too—there are two good one's located just south of Lexington-Fayette, the Talon Winery and Chrisman Mill Winery. In Kentucky, bourbon isn't just a drink; it's a lifestyle! So consider your trek from source to source as a true embrace of Kentucky culture! Don't miss the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in September!

Another of Kentucky's claims to fame is the Kentucky Derby, the most anticipated horse race of the year. The Derby is a two week festival that takes place in Kentucky every May. The first Kentucky Derby was held almost 150 years ago. Today this 1.25 mile race has become known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” The internationally acclaimed event takes place at the Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Race Track in Louisville, Kentucky—whether the races are on or off during your visit, the historic arena is still worth a visit!

Another Kentucky icon is the Louisville Slugger—the official bat of major league baseball. Visit the Louisville Slugger Factory or the Louisville Slugger Museum and learn about this integral piece of baseball history.

Kentucky Tourist Attractions

Kentucky has a rich history that stretches back to Colonial American times and then moves forward through the American Revolution, the Civil War, up through today. While there are tourist attractions that reflect Kentucky's history—Cavehill Cemetery, Locust Grove, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Park, and the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site—there's also an endless number of attractions that are dedicated to Kentucky's modern state. As such, Kentucky has more than its fair share of theme parks, art museums, botanical gardens, golf courses, spas, and children's activities. Looking for the Blue Ridge Mountains tourist attractions? Head east to Virginia and make a left turn heading north or a right turn heading south for North Carolina Tourist Attractions.

Tennessee Vacation Spots

Tennessee's history is equally as rich and so offers visitors with that same juxtaposition of old and new, historic and modern, when it comes to its growing list of vacation spots. History buffs will enjoy looking back at Fort Nashborough, Stones River National Cemetery, and Fort Negley and Nashville Battlefield. Looking forward will be equally delightful as the state is brimming with parks, zoos, shopping malls, and family-friendly attractions.

And if history is not your thing, check out the fishing spots in Tennessee.

Louisville & Nashville Vacation Spots

Louisville is the largest metropolitan area in Kentucky and Nashville is the largest in Tennessee, so it's no wonder that each of these large cities serves as the cultural center for its state.

Louisville culture seekers will find some interesting museums in the metro area, including the Speed Art Museum and Callahan Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind. There's also a printing press for the blind that you can visit.

Louisville is located on the Ohio River, so offers visitors now only a beautiful cityscape, but a lovely view of the river as well. Its prime geographic location also makes it an easy drive from nearby cities Cincinnati to the north, Lexington to the east, and Nashville to the south. Completing the circle and heading westward, road trippers and other tourists will find the prime vacation spot when it comes to beauty and tranquility, the Hoosier National Forest.

Nashville's culture is also evident by the abundance of museums and historic sites in the center of town. The Tennessee State Museum, the Nashville Toy Museum (great for kids!), and the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art are a few that you'll find there. And, by the way, it may be news to non-country music fans, but its not Nashville, Kentucky. Nashville is in Tennessee.

Kentucky Vacation Spots

Spend a few days exploring the region at a slow pace with the radio tuned to Nashville's country music hits. Find romantic accommodations in Central Kentucky.

Take the interstate that connects Tennessee's Nashville and Kentucky's Louisville (I-65) and do some exploring during your Nashville to Louisville road trip. After you cross the border into Kentucky, continue north past Bowling Green. Soon you'll hit Cave City, where you'll find the magnificent Mammoth Cave, one of the longest caves in the world with some of the most interesting features. Spend an afternoon on your knees crawling through part of the 360 mile system. Enjoy the limestone labyrinth! (While you're in Cave City, you may want to stop by the Guntown Mountain Amusement Park, another fun excursion.)

Make sure to get your hands on a good map of Tennessee and Kentucky Vacation Spots and explore the back roads. If you are heading north to Niagara Falls (about a 9 hour trip), make sure to stop and enjoy the Pittsburgh Tourist Attractions, especially if you are interested in architecture and museums.

Tourist Attractions and Highlights in Nashville, TN, Louisville and Lexington, KY area

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