The Bluegrass State

The events that shaped Kentucky date back to the Civil War and beyond. The following is a list of destinations that reveal the state's history of horse training, warfare and bluegrass music, and a site below the surface that took millions of years to create.
Equestrian Diversions

Kentucky Horse Center

Kentucky is racing country and the Kentucky Horse Center breeds some of the finest thoroughbreds on the professional racing circuit. Guided tours through the 100-year-old facility give visitors an inside look at the racing industry.

Keeneland Race Course

Just a few miles from the Kentucky Horse Center you can watch racing thoroughbreds in action at the Keeneland Race Course. The fall racing schedule runs Oct. 7 - 28 and daily training runs and workouts are open to the public from March to November.

Churchill Downs

Just south of downtown Louisville are the historic grounds of Churchill Downs, host of the most famous horse race in sports: the Kentucky Derby. The fall racing season begins Oct. 28 and runs for a month. In the off-season, the Kentucky Derby Museum offers two floors of interactive exhibits including a 360-degree television screen where past races can be viewed.

History and Pre-History

The Battle of Richmond Historic Site

One of the biggest Confederate victories of the Civil War, the Battle of Richmond was a two-day engagement that cost thousands of lives. Today, the site has been preserved and the Kentucky Tourist Commission has put together a two-hour, self-guided driving tour of the battleground that includes an audiotape and brochure.

Perryville Battlefield Historic Site

Part of the same Confederate advance into Kentucky that instigated the Battle of Richmond, the Battle at Perryville was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The site now houses the Perryville Battlefield Museum with interactive exhibits about the Civil War. Trails through the site lead to informative plaques and monuments honoring the bravery of the soldiers.

Mammoth Cave Ntional Park
Mammoth Cave

With more than 350 miles of caverns mapped and charted, Mammoth Cave National Park is the largest known cave system on earth. The park offers a dozen guided tours of the caves carved out by millions of years of water erosion.

Above ground, the park has more than 60 miles of backcountry trails used for hiking and horseback riding.

Bluegrass Music

Bluegrass, an offshoot of country music, has been a part of Kentucky culture for decades. To find bluegrass festivals in Kentucky and around the world, the International Bluegrass Music Association has links and ticket information for upcoming bluegrass events.

To learn more about the bluegrass music scene, try Cybergrass. It has audio samples, articles, album reviews, artist profiles and guide to bluegrass festivals and events.