We don’t talk about it nearly enough as we should but we are based out of the great state of Kentucky. There is so much to see and do and many amazing things are free! Take a look and let us know if we missed any of your favorite free, Kentucky activities.
97 Free Things to do in Kentucky:
Visit Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace.
Patriot Peace Memorial. – Pay your respect to those who fought for our freedom here.
Kentucky’s Folk Art Center. – The Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University is one of Kentucky’s special places. Located in the historic Union Grocery, the Center offers much more than a typical museum experience. KFAC houses a permanent collection of nearly 1,400 pieces of self-taught art.
State Capitol Building – There is something very interesting about a visit to a State’s Capitol, it is after all where the magic happens
Pay your respects to Daniel Boone at his gravesite.
Kingdom Come State Park – Check out the spectacular rock formations here!
Nolin Lake. – Fishing, boating or just plain relaxing can happen here!
Cumberland Falls State Park. Did you know that if you time your visit just right you can see a moonbow here?
Perryville Battlefield. – History buffs will love reliving historic battles here!
Natural Bridge – If you haven’t seen this stone bridge formation in person, you are really missing out!
Claiborne Farm. – Thoroughbred greats are born, raised and trained here.
Boone Station– Situated just 25 minutes southeast of Lexington, this nice historic site should make your list of historic destinations to visit in the region. Take a walking tour to experience the true value of this KY landmark.
Flood Wall Murals – Visit Paducah’s thriving riverfront and take a self-guided tour of portraits from Paducah’s past depicting Paducah’s rich history in more than 50 life-sized panoramic murals by renowned artist Robert Dafford and the Dafford Murals Team.
Kentucky Dam – Visit the inner workings of a dam. The Kentucky Dam is located at Kentucky Lake.
Historic Apple Valley Roadside Attraction. This quirky spot has quite a lot to see, from old toys to a lawnmower graveyard.
Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve. – As one of 13 large old-growth tracts remaining in the eastern United States, Blanton Forest is a diverse ecological treasure.
Purple People Bridge. The Newport Southbank Bridge — popularly known as the Purple People Bridge — is a pedestrian-only bridge that stretches 2,670 feet (one-half of a mile) across the Ohio River, connecting Newport, Ky. to downtown Cincinnati and to trails along the river in both states.
Old Fort Harrod – A full-scale replica of the fort built by James Harrod in 1774 is the centerpiece of Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg, KY.
Take in Kentucky’s Covered Bridges there is something enchanting about seeing covered bridges.
Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial overlooks the state Capitol and honors the 125,000 Kentuckians who served this nation so courageously and unselfishly during the Vietnam era
If you have yet to have a cold Ale 8, you don’t want to miss the Ale 8 One Plant.
Weisenberger Mill. If you haven’t had good grits, it is probably because you haven’t had Weisenberger Mill grits.
This 24 hour art gallery inside of a hotel is really something to see 21C Museum Art Gallery.
Louisville Nature Center – The Louisville Nature Center provides nature education and encourage stewardship in an urban forest.
Scott County Jail. – Scott County Jail Complex located in Georgetown, Kentucky served as the Scott County jail from 1892 until 1990. Currently, the building houses the Scott County Arts & Cultural Center.
Toyota Manufacturing Plant. Ever wonder how your favorite Toyota is made? Stop in for a tour of the plant and see for yourself.
Arboretum in Lexington. – The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky is a 100-acre greenspace located on the campus of the University of Kentucky in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky.
Daniel Boone National Forest. – The Daniel Boone National Forest embraces some of the most rugged terrain west of the Appalachian Mountains. Steep forested slopes, sandstone cliffs and narrow ravines characterize the land.
Dr. Thomas Walker Historic Site. – His expedition explored thousands of acres of land in the western wilderness of Kentucky decades before Lewis & Clark. Near the river, which he named the Cumberland, Walker built a cabin.
Kite Festival This colorful festival is fun for the whole family and best of all it is free!
Big Four Bridge stretch your legs and walk across a walking bridge from Downtown Louisville over to Jeffersonville Indiana.
In October, take a look at the trains at the Railroad & Bluegrass Festival
The Parklands. are a great place to explore nature. From hiking and biking to catching minnows in the streams there is something for everyone.
Marvel over the art found in the art galleries in Paducah.
Red River Gorge. If you love hiking and camping, you can’t miss this beautiful spot.
Bluegrass Scenic Railroad and Museum – The train lover in your live will absolutely enjoy their time at this museum!
Go for a drive along the country roads in Meade County and look at the quilts painted on barns.
There are more waterfalls than you would think in Kentucky
See the waterfall Cumberland Falls State Park is named for.
Find the hidden waterfalls of McCreary County
Tour the governors mansion in Frankfort.
RiverWalk in Bowling Green. – The Riverwalk has become a popular outdoor photography spot due to the dramatic look of the walking bridge, the beautiful landscaping, stone walls, and a balcony overlooking the river.
What can we say? We love a good park
Pull over and check out the monuments on the side of the road.
Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey. In Kentucky, we take our Whiskey very seriously.
Jerry’s Junk. – Jerry Lotz owns a corner house on Louisville’s east side. It’s a great location. It offers views into both its side and back yards — and Jerry wants people to look.
Colonel Sanders Grave. – Pay tribute to the king of chicken at the Colonel’s grave.
Vent Haven: Ventriloquist Museum. – This museum full of ventriloquist dolls is something that you have to truly see to believe.
Stop for pictures in front of the worlds largest bat.
Check out the 30 ft statue of David.
Gethsemani. – This monastery is a great place for reflection and meditation.
Bardstown Art Gallery and Thomas Merton Books Collection. – Take a look at the art created by local artisans and marvel at all of the Thomas Merton books!
Before I die…wall in NuLu. Writing your goals before you die is a surreal experience.
Go see the world peace bell.
Big South Fork National River. – This pristine natural setting offers panoramic views, hiking, fishing and white water rafting.
Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield. – Camp Wildcat Preservation Foundation works to preserve, protect and interpret this unique battlefield so that future generations can learn about the sacrifices made here.
John James Audubon Park. – Located in Henderson, the John James Audubon State Park was recognized in Kentucky Living magazine’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards!
Panther Creek Park. – The Panther Creek Park has plenty of trails, making it suited for both hikers and wildlife watchers. It also has picnic shelters, a butterfly garden and a 6 acre lake, among others. 87. Smothers Park. – Located in Owensboro, Kentucky this park has a playground that most kids dream about.
Jesus swingset sculpture. Commissioned by the family of a child taken too soon, this sculpture is truly something to see.
Berea Pinnacles. – The Pinnacles offer some great views of the local area and trails for those who are just beginning to hike or who hold a moderate passion for hiking!
Newport Levee. So close to Cincinnati, you can smell the Skyline Chili this area is a great place to sit and just watch people all day.
Kentucky Artisan Center. – In this 25,000 sq. foot Kentucky arts center you can shop for Kentucky Products; experience Kentucky hospitality; explore Kentucky crafts & arts through special exhibits and events; learn about Kentucky artist and artisans; enjoy Kentucky cuisine; learn about other must-see places
Duncan Tavern. – Duncan Tavern has always been a place where the American Spirit flourishes through an in-house museum and genealogical library.
Mother Goose. – If you are into unique roadside attractions, Mother Goose is just that. Stop for a quick photo opp.
Osborne Bend Trail. – This trail is located in Red River Gorge and has fantastic views!
Trail of Tears. – This historic park is one of the few documented sites of actual trail and campsites used during the forced removal of the Cherokee people to “Indian Territory”
Carrington Rock. – if you enjoy a challenge then it is worth the effort to take this adventure. The top of the rock has amazing views!
Tour a working farm set in the 1850’s.
Explore the Big Bone Lick discovery trail.
Share with us your favorite thing to do while you are in Kentucky. If you are in Louisville, be sure to check out our article about what to do while you are in town. You can see that here.