There Are Many Reasons for a Kentucky Heritage Tourism Experience

Kentucky was the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali, Bill Monroe and Loretta Lynn - just to mention a few, and that is just the beginning. Kentucky is culturally part of the upper South but also has close ties to the Midwest. The world's longest charted cave system, Mammoth Cave is in Kentucky as is the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. I hope you find this recent  website of Kentucky I created useful. Have you been there? When was your last visit? We lived in Louisville in the mid-1960s and have visited some since then.

A heritage tourism visit plan can start with any of the above items, your own personal family history, or just plain curiosity. Kentucky became a state, technically a Commonwealth, in 1792 as the 15th to join the Union. Daniel Boone  and others famously crossed the Cumberland Gap to begin white settlement - gradually replacing Shawnee from the north and Cherokees from the south, at minimum.

The Bluegrass State is perhaps best known to many for racing horses and college basketball. The  University of Louisville  and the University of Kentucky  provide high-level college basketball competition within the state as well as nationwide. Churchill Downs in Louisville is famous for the Kentucky Derby, but Lexington and Frankfort are the racing horse breeding and training hot beds. The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park near Hodgenville is a 'must-see' if you are in the area. Enjoy your visit!  😉


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The Ohio River forms the entire northern border of Kentucky. Kentucky can be seen as dividing into [five regions] : The Cumberland Plateau in the east, the north-central Bluegrass region, the south-central and western Pennyroyal Plateau, the Western Coal Fields, and the far-west Jackson Purchase. The Bluegrass region is commonly divided between the Inner Bluegrass (90 miles or so encircling Lexington and the Outer Bluegrass.

About TheHeritageTourist

Dr. Bill Smith is the author of The Heritage Tourist, a monthly column in The In-Depth Genealogist which focuses on the social context of travel and history when applied to our genealogy. He can be found blogging at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories. Dr. Smith is also author and creator of "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical family stories (currently four books) set in a rural community in the southern Missouri Ozarks, drawn from his family history and genealogy passions and life experiences.

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