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Marcy_Singer May 25th, 2011 09:11 AM

driving from chicago to kentucky have 7 days
2nd week in july we are driving from chicago to kentucky have 7 or eight days to explore, any help on how best to see the state in that time, how should we map out are route?

tomfuller May 25th, 2011 01:14 PM

The most memorable thing I remember from Kentucky is Mammoth Cave National Park.
Covering the state from west to east-Chicago to Paducah mostly on I-57 South-Paducah to Bowling Green to Mammoth Cave- Mammoth Cave to Lexington. Whether you want to go south or east of Lexington is up to you. Return to Chicago from Eastern KY by way of Cincinatti and Indianapolis.
What else do you want to see in Kentucky?
The route I outlined is roughly 1100 miles

Gretchen May 25th, 2011 04:22 PM

There are the covered bridges of Indiana. There is the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky. There is the horse country around Lexington.
You can 'be there" in literally hours. What are your plans--end point. I don't quite understand.

BetsyinKY May 25th, 2011 05:12 PM

It really depends on what your interests are. You could be in Louisville in about 6 hours from Chicago, so you need to think about what side of the state you want to start on and end on and what you would like to see in between. Kentucky has a lot to offer in terms of outdoor activity and somewhat less of city-type things. If you want to stay in or around cities, I would plan several days in Louisville and several in Lexington. If you want an overview of the entire state, then you could do the following:

If you came in through Louisville, you could spend some time there seeing the Louisville Slugger museum, Churchill Downs, etc ( Then you could take 65 on down to the Bowling Green area and visit the Corvette Museum and Mammoth Cave National Park. You could come back east along the Cumberland Parkway, stopping off at Jamestown or one of the other towns on Lake Cumberland, if you're in the mood for a day at the lake. Continue east through Somerset and down I-75 to Corbin and visit the first KFC. Go to Cumberland Falls State park ( and if it's the right time, you can see a moonbow. If you want to continue to see the mountains, follow 25E down to Middlesboro and see Cumberland Gap, where Daniel Boone came through to the "west". When you're tired of the mountains, follow 75 back up to Lexington ( and spend some time touring horse country, before you head back to Chicago.

You could do this entire circuit pretty easily in a week. The longest leg is the Chicago to Louisville one. The others are 3 hours or less in distance (Louisville to BG, BG to Somerset, Middlesboro to Lexington). If there are specific things you are interested in doing, you might want to spend more time in those areas and less in others.

Marcy_Singer May 26th, 2011 04:14 AM

thanks all, any recommendations for where to stay in Louisville and lexington, I want to hit the highlights of the state and I dont want to stay over in more than 3 places its a little hard with 2 mature women

Marcy_Singer May 26th, 2011 04:21 AM

I should tell you we are three women over the age of 50 we travel to a different state every summer we like to mix up nature and city sites and I dont know if we'd be able to do the caves we could raft and small hikes, I love horses and would not want to miss horse country the lake region sounds nice too and what is that shaker village about

Gretchen May 26th, 2011 04:41 AM

Pleasant Hill is a restored Shaker Village. Very lovely. I think they have a nice restaurant on the site or nearby.

Ozarksbill May 26th, 2011 05:20 AM

Years ago we toured Kentucky and camped here and there various times. Also took in outdoor theatres. What comes to mind are the wonderful state parks some with entertainment. So I think of My Old Ky Home St Pk at Bardstown with outdoor Stephen Foster Story and outdoor drama at Jenny Wiley St Pk and Pioneer Playhouse at Booneville and Pleasant Hill Singers at Shaker Village and Renfro Valley shows and more. There is a Daniel Boone drama too but can't think where and likely more. Ky state parks have good resort like accomodations.

Yes of course to horse farms and to Mammouth Cave. Didn't mention Louisville and Lexington etc.

Bill in Boston

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