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The great state of Kentucky provides plenty of opportunities to see and experience great attractions and get close to nature. Being from the Bluegrass State myself and living here for over 35 years, I can say that Kentucky has something to enjoy for people of all ages.
If you travel in an RV or are interested in camping and spending time in the great outdoors, Kentucky has lots to offer for you. Whether you are into outdoor adventures or sightseeing tours, there is a rich history here and it has a reputation for being an outdoor lover’s paradise.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel to many different parts of the state throughout my life and have enjoyed my experiences. I am the type who likes to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and escape to the untouched natural world. Kentucky has plenty of wilderness and outdoor camping locations that RVers will fall in love with.
If you are interested in heading to Kentucky for an RV adventure, you will not want to miss out on some of the places listed below. These are places that I have personally visited and determined that they are worth the trip for anyone who has the time and wherewithal to take them.
Some of them you may already know about but living in the state for 35 years has allowed me to find some hidden gems along the way that you may be unaware of. The first ten places I’ll discuss are among some of the popular attractions throughout the state. However, the last ten are places that may be a little more obscure, especially to those from out of state.
I hope this article will help you to see how great Kentucky is and what it has to offer. It’s more than just bourbon and horses in Kentucky, it’s a world for nature lovers and city dwellers alike.
1) Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave is among the many great National Parks in the United States. These parks are the best America has to offer and Mammoth Cave is one of the few National Parks located in the eastern United States.
As the name implies, Mammoth Cave is a cave system and visitors can take underground tours of some fascinating caves. It is said to be the longest cave system in the world. Growing up in Kentucky, this was a standard field trip location for us kids and it is every bit as fascinating now as it was then.
Besides the caves that you can tour, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails. More adventurous people will enjoy the 84 miles of backcountry trails that take you far away from the crowds.
Mammoth cave is great for RVers as there are many different campgrounds and RV parks located in the area.
Best RV parks near Mammoth Cave National Park
|Mammoth Cave Campground||Mammoth Cave National Park||270-758-2424|
|Mammoth Cave Maple Springs Campground||Mammoth Cave National Park||270-758-2180|
|Diamond Caverns RV Resort & Golf||Park City, KY||888-481-6348|
|Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Mammoth Cave||Cave City, KY||270-773-3840|
|Singing Hills RV Park & Campground||Cave City, KY||270-773-3789|
2) Red River Gorge
Red River Gorge is a rock climbers paradise! This large canyon lies within the Daniel Boone National Forest and offers endless fun for outdoor lovers.
Red River Gorge is home to over 60 miles of hiking trails. You will find some of the most iconic natural arches in the state including the Sky Bridge.
This area may take multiple days to explore but it is one of the most beautiful locations in the state. There are several nearby campgrounds where you will be able to stay.
Best RV parks near Red River Gorge
3) Bourbon Trail
The Bourbon Trail is a route that travelers can take that allows them to get close and personal with some of the world’s best bourbon. Kentucky is known for its bourbon and the Bourbon Trail allows one to visit various distilleries that produce some of Kentucky’s finest Bourbons.
It’s one of the top things to do in Kentucky and provides an educational but fun way to experience Kentucky culture and history. For adults, the Bourbon Trail is a great way to taste bourbons that have been distilled and aged right here in the Bluegrass state.
Some of the well-known distilleries along the way that you can visit include the following:
- Jim Beam
- Makers Mark
- Buffalo Trace
- Heaven Hill
- Four Roses
- Woodford Reserve
- Wild Turkey
- Evan Williams
- And many others
Best RV parks along the Bourbon Trail
|My Old Kentucky Home Campground||Bardstown, KY||502-348-3502||Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark|
|Louisville South KOA||Shepherdsville, KY||502-543-2041||Old Forester, Evan Williams, Michters|
|Kentucky Horsepark Campground||Lexington, KY||888-459-7275||Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Four Roses|
|Taylorsville Lake State Park||Mount Eden, Kentucky||502-477-0086||Bulleit, Jim Beam, Four Roses|
|Diamond Lake Resort||Owensboro, KY||270-229-4900||O.Z. Tyler|
|Chimney Rock RV Park||Harrodsburg, KY||859-748-5252||Wilderness Trail|
4) Cumberland Falls
Cumberland Falls is known as Little Niagara and is the largest waterfall by volume in the Eastern United States and south of Niagara Falls. This iconic waterfall is a popular tourist attraction in Kentucky and is great for those traveling in an RV.
With campgrounds located nearby, it is easy to plan your trip and stay overnight and enjoy all that this park has to offer.
Besides the beautiful waterfall that is front and center, there are hiking trails as well as not-so-popular waterfalls that are also worth exploring in the area. I prefer to hike on the trails within the park to some of these other waterfalls. You can enjoy nature, get away from the crowds and see other waterfalls that many tourists never experience.
Among these waterfalls are Eagle Falls and Dog Slaughter Falls. These both require a bit of strenuous hiking to reach but are both worth the trip.
If you are lucky enough to be here at certain times of the year, you can experience a moonbow. Cumberland Falls is the only place in the Western Hemisphere that you can experience such a phenomenon on a regular basis.
Best Campgrounds near Cumberland Falls
|Cumberland Falls Campground||Williamsburg, KY||606-528-4121|
|Falls Creek Cabins and Campgrounds||Corbin, KY||800-541-7238|
5) Cumberland Gap
Located in Eastern Kentucky, the Cumberland Gap is a pass-through within the Appalachian Mountains. This passageway played a large part in American history and allowed pioneers to explore new frontiers.
The beauty of this place is spectacular and in the early morning, the fog can be seen like a blanket covering the distant mountains. It’s a sight to behold and among one of the most unforgettable views in Kentucky.
The trip to Cumberland Gap is worth the trip for photographers or those who love to see the beauty of nature.
Best RV parks near Cumberland Gap
6) Land Between The Lakes
Many great memories of childhood come to mind when I think about the Land Between The Lakes. Located in Western Kentucky, this piece of land lies between two lakes; Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. There’s nothing like spending the day on the lake whether it’s out in a boat or on the banks.
You’ll find a variety of activities to do including all kinds of watersports, hiking, fishing and more. There are also OHV trails for those who like to take their vehicle or ATV off-roading.
With plenty of places to park your RV, you won’t have to search very far to enjoy all that this area has to offer.
Best RV parks at Land Between The Lakes
|Energy Lake Campground||Golden Pond, KY||270-924-2270|
|Kentucky Lakes / Prizer Point KOA||Cadiz, KY||270-522-3762|
7) Corvette Museum & Factory
Bowling Green Kentucky is known for the Corvette factory as well as the National Corvette Museum. This is the only place where Corvettes are manufactured and are an important part of Bowling Green’s economy. Whether you are into cars or not, the Corvette Museum and factory are worth adding to your list of places to visit on your tour of Kentucky.
You will be able to see the history of the Corvette as well as watch an entire Corvette being made in the factory. This is an exciting and educational experience that you have to see to believe.
The Corvette Museum and factory are both located in North Bowling Green and both offer tours. There are plenty of RV parks in the area for you to stay.
Best RV Parks Near The Corvette Museum
|Beech Bend Campground||Bowling Green, KY||270-781-7634|
|Bowling Green KOA||Bowling Green, KY||270-843-1919|
8) Bernheim Forest
If you are looking to walk amongst giants, Bernheim Forest will be a treat for you. This arboretum offers 15,625 acres of forest and nature to explore. It is also home to forest giants that have been built along a trail that makes for a fun hike.
It is a great place for kids and adults alike and offers a great way to get outdoors. Hikes are easy and you can be rewarded with scenic views and friendly people.
It is also along the Bourbon trail so you may be able to do both of these during your travels.
Be sure to visit My Old Kentucky Home while in the area. This is a 1300 acre plantation with a mansion that was built in 1818. There is an excellent campground on the premises that will allow you to enjoy the home and is only about 16 miles from Bernheim Forest.
Best RV Parks Near Bernheim Forest
|My Old Kentucky Home Campground||Bardstown, KY||502-348-3502|
|Louisville South KOA||Shepherdsville, KY||502-543-2041|
9) Churchill Downs
Perhaps one of the best-known tourist attractions in Kentucky, Churchill Downs is home to the Kentucky Derby and is a popular place for visiting. Located in Louisville, you will not want to miss a stop at this famous race track.
Whether you are a horse racing fan or not, the history of this track is undeniable and something to see.
Best RV parks near Churchill Downs
|Derby Park RV & Campground||Louisville, KY||502-636-3532|
|Louisville South KOA||Shepherdsville, KY||502-543-2041|
10) Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace
History buffs will love visiting the birthplace of the 16th President of the United States; Abraham Lincoln. Located in Hodgenville, this is a must-stop if you are on your way through Kentucky.
You will be able to see a replica cabin that Abe was born and grew up in. Visit the Sinking Spring farm where Mr. Lincoln spent his childhood. You can also meander through the memorial building and see various artifacts from the president and his family.
Best RV parks near Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace
The next 10 locations are places that you may not have heard of unless you live in the Bluegrass State. These are interesting places that will make for a great stop along your way through Kentucky.
11) Lost River Cave
Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Lost River Cave is a hidden gem (literally). This is cave country and this seven-mile cave has a river that runs through it. You’ll be able to take a guided boat tour that travels along Lost River through the cave while learning some history of the cave.
Local legend claims the cave was a hiding spot for famed outlaw Jesse James. Whether it’s true or not, it’s a story you’ll want to hear and imagine as you are making your way through the cave.
There are many other activities to do including hiking among the two miles of trails, seeing remains from old stone buildings and also a butterfly pavilion. Lost River cave provides activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Best RV parks near Lost River Cave
|Beech Bend Campground||Bowling Green, KY||270-781-7634|
|Bowling Green KOA||Bowling Green, KY||270-843-1919|
12) Barren River Lake State Resort Park
Spend some time at the lake or play golf at this state resort park. Barren River Lake is a 10,000-acre lake located in Lucas, Kentucky. Besides living the lake life, you can also hike on the many trails or spend time on the beach in the summer months. If you are a golfer, you’ll enjoy the 18 hole golf course located in the resort.
There is an excellent 2.5-mile paved trail that is great for walking dogs, jogging or just enjoying an easy walk for yourself. I have walked this trail many times with my dog and it has always been a favorite of ours.
Stay the night at the campground located in the park for a quiet night in nature. This well-dispersed campground features 99 sites and is a great place to stay the night.
Best RV park near Barren River Lake State Resort Park
13) Berea Pinnacles
If you are looking for a great hike and some great views, the pinnacles at Berea will give you all that you want. Located in Berea, KY, it is a great place to get outdoors and experience the beauty of the Bluegrass state. With multiple trails to choose from, anyone can enjoy the day while getting a little exercise in and a whole lot of fresh air.
Enjoy the views of the rolling hills as you look from the pinnacles above.
Pets are welcomed so RVers who travel with dogs can enjoy a nice hike with them. Whether you choose an easy or a difficult trail, you are sure to come away recharged.
Best RV park near Berea Pinnacles
14) Mantle Rock, Smithland
Located on the Western side of Kentucky in Smithland, the Mantle Rock Preserve is another place to enjoy nature at its finest. The preserve features a large natural sandstone bridge and you can enjoy hiking an easy loop trail that will get you up close and personal with this historical area.
Enjoy the wildflowers in the spring but don’t expect to do any biking, climbing or camping here. For the protection of the preserve, these activities are prohibited but that’s a good thing. It means that you can visit an untouched place that will allow you to enjoy nature as it should be.
Best RV parks near Mantle Rock
|Cypress Lakes RV Park||Calvert City, KY||270-395-4267|
|Paducah / I-24 KOA||Calvert City, KY||800-562-8540|
|Campground on the lower Cumberland River||Tiline, KY||270-519-1744|
15) Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington
If you want to experience Kentucky horse culture, Kentucky Horse Park is a great stop on your way through the state. This park is an educational horse farm where you can learn everything you want to know about horses. Walk around the park and enjoy the sights or take pictures with some of the sculptures around the park.
Kentucky is known for bourbon and horses and this place gives you the opportunity to learn all about horses while traveling through in your RV. The park is pet-friendly so you’ll be able to walk your dog through the park with you.
There is an excellent RV park located on the premises and can be accessed conveniently across the road from the main Horse Park.
Best RV park near Kentucky Horse Park
16) The Great American Dollhouse Museum
Located in Danville, KY, the Great American Dollhouse Museum houses a large collection of miniature dollhouses, cities, and other community structures. It’s a great place for children to enjoy as well as adults. It’s a fun, family-friendly stop along your way through Kentucky.
You’ll be fascinated as you meander through the museum’s timeline of history. It’s a unique place to visit and not something that you might consider but once you go inside, you’ll be glad you decided to stop.
If you are looking for a place to stay while visiting, this location is a member of Harvest Hosts. You can stay the night in your RV on their property and then visit the museum while you are there.
If you are not a member of Harvest Hosts, you can receive 15% off your membership by using the link below.
17) Grave of Daniel Boone
Daniel Boone was an American Pioneer who led the exploration of Kentucky. Boone is recognized as a folk hero around Kentucky and is a household name that anyone in the state is likely to know about. You may see the name as you travel throughout the state and through the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Daniel Boone died in 1820 and his remains are located in the Frankfort Cemetery in a location that overlooks the Kentucky River. It’s a beautiful location and the state capitol building can be seen in the distance.
If you ever find yourself in the Frankfort area, you will want to stop by this historic site and pay respect to a true pioneer who paved the way for settlements in the Bluegrass State.
Best RV park near Daniel Boone Gravesite
18) Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Are you a baseball fan? If so, you probably are familiar with the Louisville Slugger name and you might already know that these bats are made in the factory in Louisville. This iconic baseball bat is the choice of players in the Major Leagues.
Take a tour of the museum and see some memorabilia from the past and present. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, you’ll enjoy the experience of just how important Louisville Slugger has been to the game of baseball over the years.
After the museum tour, take a walk through the factory and learn how bats are made. You’ll see them start as trees in the forest and then be turned into a fine tool that is ready for hitting a ball out of the park.
You’ll get up close and personal with the creation of baseball bats. You’ll smell the wood and see master crafters creating the world’s greatest baseball bats.
North Louisville is lacking in good quality RV parks or campgrounds. If you are going to stay in the area, I would suggest using Harvest Hosts. There are a few locations in the area that will give you a better experience. However, if you choose to stay in an RV park, I would suggest the following.
Best RV park near Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
19) Shaker Village At Pleasant Hill
Step back in time in Shaker Village as you take a tour of the way life was in a Shaker religious community. Located southwest of Lexington, Shaker Village is a unique place to visit and explore. You can explore the farm and historic center to learn more about the Shaker way of life.
There are hiking trails, dining, shopping and more to do and it makes a great place for a family outing. Shaker Village is a great way to explore a part of history that has been well preserved for future generations to learn about.
Best RV park near Shaker Village
20) The Jefferson Davis Monument
Not only was Abraham Lincoln born in Kentucky, but the Confederate President was also born in Kentucky and the Jefferson Davis monument honors his birthplace. Located in Fairview Kentucky, this monument is similar but a smaller version of the Washington monument and rises to a height of 351 feet tall.
There is an elevator inside that allows you to go to the top where you will be able to see views of the surrounding area.
There is a park included and many families use this park for family events and reunions. This park was a regular place that I would visit as a child and being able to ride an elevator to the top of the monument was a real treat.
There is a quiet campground located just up the road.
Best RV park near Jefferson Davis Monument
No matter what you are looking for, you are bound to find it in Kentucky. The state provides something for all types of people and those of all ages. You can enjoy the great outdoors or you can be a tourist and enjoy the attractions throughout the state.
If you find yourself fortunate enough to be traveling through Kentucky, hopefully, the list above will give you a few ideas of places to go. As an RVer who travels in a camper van, I have driven to many places throughout the state and am always amazed at what I find. There is a rich history and lots of fun activities to take part in.
When you travel through Kentucky, you’ll want to slow down a little bit and take it all in. Enjoy the sights of the rolling hills and fertile farmlands and take the time to get to know the friendly people along the way.