Kentucky – A native Kentuckian’s favorite spots

After having posted my travel logs for St. Louis, Missouri and New Harmony, Indiana, I realized that there is a good bit of interest in travel logs. It was not my initial intention to include travel logs for favorite locations within my own state, but after seeing how many of the visitors to this site are from areas far removed from Kentucky, I realized that I needed to rethink that idea. After all, perhaps some of you are planning a visit here. If so, I just want to say how glad we’ll be to have you visit!

I will provide individual travel logs for special sites (see links at bottom of this page), but begin with a narrative summary of all the places in Kentucky where I have lived. Born in 1960, I started my life in Okolona, Kentucky. I have, since that time, lived in many additional Kentucky locations:

*Louisville – Kentucky’s largest city, and home to the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Slugger and Muhammad Ali Museums, (not to even mention my parents, sister & her kids (some of the best people ever):

*Hodgenville – Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and the place where I spent most of my younger (formative) years. For more information, please visit my travel log about the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park (a link is provided at the bottom of this page);

*Magnolia – Site of my very first full-time job and even better, my first ever very own apartment! – it was tiny, it was furnished with 2nd hand items, and I adored every square inch of it;

*Rural Allen County – Actually located more in Tennessee territory than in Kentucky, I LOVED this location. It was unbelievably remote, which I found deeply appealing and so beautiful that I still feel a wrench in my gut when I remember the sights, smells, and sounds of that utopian location. My family worried about me living so far removed from humanity, but I always felt at home there. I still have deeply cherished, fond memories of walking about the hollows, gathering wild blackberries, wildflowers, and black walnuts. To this day, if I let my thoughts drift back in time, I can smell the earthy, wonderful smell of nature and remember what the soft breeze felt like as I walked those hills. I had two dogs at the time (Calvin and Hobbes), and they LOVED water . . . I still laugh when I remember how many times I struggled with their leashes as we got close to the creek. They managed to pull me into the creek with them more times than I can even count. I distinctly recall the uncomfortable afternoon when, after having been unceremoniously drug into the creek, I emerged (soaking wet and not in the best of moods) to the sour expression of a newly awakened water moccasin. My decision to respect its territory was immediate, and no doubt, fortunate. During another afternoon foray, a huge coyote crossed in front of us and stood unflinchingly staring at us for several seconds. Calvin and Hobbes (the “not-so-little” cowards) decided to slink behind me and wait it out. All turned out well, though, as the coyote seemed to have other things on his mind. Much to my despair, the house I was living in and had come to love, burned down and I had to leave. This house was over 100 years old, and I had told the landlord that I thought there were electrical problems, but he did not choose to get a “real” electrician, so I ended up losing everything I owned. Worst of all was the fact I had no insurance, as the house was in such a remote region that it was literally uninsurable. Even so, I miss that place SO very much!!

* Scottsville – It was really odd that I landed here because my Dad lived there many decades ago, and many of his people came from that region. I actually met many previously unknown relatives during my time there.

*Bowling Green – I loved living here. The corvette is built at only this location, and there is a nice Corvette Museum to visit. Also, I’m a fan of Ben Bailey (comic and host of “Cash Cab”) who was born here, as is evident if you ever talk to him . . . he has nice, polite southern manners;

*Lexington – When I first moved here, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. I generally prefer a smaller, more rural location. But, after having been in this town for over a decade, I have developed a very long list of “favorite places” and “favorite things to do” within this area. For one thing, a lot of rich people live here (even actors William Shatner and Steve Zahn have spreads here), and since I love to “treasure hunt” at yard sales and the local Goodwill stores, I have enjoyed an astounding degree of success in scooping up unbelievably cool stuff  that wealthy people have apparently grown tired of at totally awesome (as in cheap) prices . Trust me when I tell you that the “finds” that I have obtained here rival any I’ve ever previously encountered. My brother also LOVES to go to these places with me when he visits. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dave Shuffett, host of Kentucky Life, in my favorite Goodwill store. Apparently, he enjoys the treasure hunt just as much as I do! He was very pleasant, and I was delighted that I had the opportunity to thank him for the many hours of excellent programming that I have enjoyed.

Within Lexington, there are all sorts of fun things to do . . . museums, great restaurants, etc. but there are also a number of interesting sites that are in the immediately surrounding area. I could honestly fill pages & pages of text with ideas for you, and it would still be insufficient. And yes, if you are one of those people who are sports fanatics (NOT ME!), we have more U.K. Wildcats stuff going on, all the time, than could possibly be good for anyone. I avoid it as much as possible, but around here’s that’s awfully hard to do. It’s like a plague. For more detailed information about Lexington (including historic facts) please visit my Lexington, Kentucky travel log ( the link is provided at the bottom of this page)

I have always harbored a deep sense of love & appreciation for this historic, extravagantly beautiful state and as such, I have never been plagued by a desire to live elsewhere. There have been a couple of very, very close calls regarding possible moves (once to Montana, and once to West Virginia), but my life events evolved in such a way as to keep me here and I can’t say that I regret that outcome. The only thing that I find regrettable in regard to Kentucky, is that a completely false stereotypical view exists in the minds of some people that Kentuckians are “red necks” . . . are backward, dentally challenged, or stupid. In our most remote Appalachian regions, people do tend to have more pronounced accents, and they live in more singular lifestyles than in some areas . . . having said that, however, I can also tell you that some of the richest historic traditions, honorable morals, and steadfast loyalties exist within those regions. I cherish all aspects of my great state, and I salute each group of people who call Kentucky “home”.

During my favorite season (autumn), this state is ablaze with the vibrant colors of changing leaves, vivid wildflowers, pumpkins & gourds. Our springtime colors are completely different, with a lot of beautiful pinks, purples & white to be found, but I honestly think that season is almost as beautiful.

If you paid attention during your school years, you will know how very important this state is to the history of this country . . . it is, after all, Daniel Boone territory, Native American Territory, and a significant Battleground State. Very close to my childhood home were the birthplace farm AND the boyhood home (at Knob Creek, KY) of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. I spent a sizable amount of time romping around at both locations as a child. I can vividly recall, even all these years later, how much of the “old south” was in abundant visibility during those years . . . I didn’t think much of it until I grew up and realized how much significant history I had seen with my own eyes.

My goodness . . . I suppose my love for my home state has made me somewhat garrulous . . . perhaps it is time for me to start those Kentucky travel logs!

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace – Hodgenville, Kentucky

Berea, Kentucky

Danville, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Midway, Kentucky

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill – Harrodsburg, KY

Last modified on: November 2nd 2012.