"Kentucky: My Parent's Home in Retirement" Top 5 Page for this destination Kentucky by deecat

Kentucky Travel Guide: 2,292 reviews and 5,907 photos

Special Memories of Kentucky Linger...

Located in east-central United States, Kentucky is where my parents lived after my father retired from Marathon Oil Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. They lived near Benton on Kentucky Lake. Because I often visited them, I grew to love this beautiful state. I have fond memories of fishing for hours with my Dad, checking out junkyards to find parts to fix his car, playing cards with Mom, and shopping with both of them.
The word "Kentucky" comes from the Wyandot Indian word "Kah-ten-tah-teh" which means "plain", an appropriate word for the grassy plains covering parts of the state.
Others say the word means, "Land of Tomorrow". But, most people identify Kentucky by its popular nickname, Bluegrass State, so named because Bluegrass grows in central Kentucky. The grass is really green, but blue buds grow on the grass in the spring, and these blue buds in the large fields look blue from a distance.
Once my parents moved to Kentucky, they acquired what we in Illinois call a Southern accent or "twang". I remember with a smile the many visions I have of my folks and their "Old Kentucky Home"!
So, won't you join me on this tour of the special state my parents called "home"---Kentucky.

State Symbols for Kentucky

Kentucky, like many other states, has the cardinal as its state bird. This lovely songbird makes music similar to a flute.
Although the Coffee Tree used to be the state tree, since 1976, the Tulip Tree has been the official state tree. This tree often lives to be 200 years old! These trees have been known to grow as tall as 150 feet in forests. The Tulip Tree is important to Kentucky's lumber industry.
I'm not too fond of Kentucky's state flower, the Golden Rod, a weedy herb, but bees use its nector to produce honey.
The state adopted the ever-popular gray squirrel as its wild animal, but Kentucky is better known for another state animal, the Thoroughbred horse. This horse was made popular by the annual Kentucky Derby.
These symbols and many others were mostly selected by the children of the state or by the legislature.

Famous People Associated With Kentucky

There are too many famous people to mention so I've selected the ones whom I know and enjoy or respect.

Daniel Boone is buried in Frankfort.

Muhammad Ali, famous boxer born in Louisville.

George Clooney, actor born in Lexington.

Duncan Hines, founded Duncan Hines Make Mix Co. from Bowling Green.

Abraham Lincoln, US president who lived in Hardin County.

Loretta Lynn, country singer from Paintsville.

Diane Sawyer, TV journalist from Glasgow.

Naomi & Wynonna Judd, famous mother/daughter singing team from Ashland.

Seabiscuit, one of the most successful racehorses of all time. Born in Paris. (Book and movie made about his life and career.)

Billy Ray Cyrus, singer/actor from Flatlands.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diverse regions, stunning landscapes, beautiful lakes & rivers, awesome Mountains, down-to-earth people.
  • Cons:Lack of fine restaurants in some of the rural areas
  • In a nutshell:Historic state with Southern charm, natural beauty, and great fishing!
  • Last visit to Kentucky: Jan 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (40)

Comments (38)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    This is another page of yours that I hadn't looked at for a long time, over 5 years in fact. As I said then, I did my army basic training and radio school at Fort Knox, so my time in Kentucky was not the best. I liked Louisville and Mammoth Cave, however.

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    did not know that Kentucky was so diverse. What a tribute to Kentucky, and what a tribute to your Mom and Dad. Kentucky certainly is a beautiful state & your tips attest to that.

  • Jun 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    aKenatucky certainly is a lovely state with plenty to do. Bittersweet but beautiful. Great history and terrific insights. Such wonderful travelogues and tributes to your parents. What a great presentation about Kentucky.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    I'm sure glad I decided to read your Kentucky page--it is brimming with great information. I had no idea that Kentucky had so much to offer. Terrific work, Dee!

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    As usual very detailed and vivid page! It was very interesting to read about the Mammoth Cave and Kentucky and Barkley artificial lakes. "Sixteen Tons" was one of our favorite songs in my childhood. Thanks Dee for the virtual tour!

  • Jun 29, 2007 at 1:51 PM

    Billy Ray Cyrus is actually from Flatwoods, not Flatlands. ;)

  • Ericasmurf99's Profile Photo
    May 7, 2007 at 2:37 PM

    That is so funny that you mention hollers on your Eastern KY tip. I am originally from E. KY, but now work in FL, working with people from CA and TX mostly. Anyway, I was trying to explain "hollers" to these people and they just didn't get it. Sigh.

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2007 at 7:14 PM

    After attending Churchill Downs this week, your derby pie mention had me salivating... I also did not know this was the home of the Corvette!

  • sabogg01's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2007 at 1:08 PM

    I live in Lexington, KY and have enjoyed reading about your life in kentucky as well. Kentucky seems to be a good centralized state to many larger cities like St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, etc. Hope you can come back and visit KY sometime soon!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2007 at 9:41 AM

    When we were first married we lived in Ft. Mitchell, Ky. The Kentucky Derby was one of the first events we experienced there--tons of people, exciting atmosphere and the sportiest outfits you'd ever want to see! Great page, Dee!


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