Southern Kentucky is a unique and beautiful region with a lot to offer. The area is situated near the Tennessee border and boasts stunning natural scenery, interesting landmarks, and a variety of fun activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring Paducah, Kentucky Lake, or any of the nearby towns and cities, there’s always something new and exciting to discover. Here are some fun facts and recommendations for exploring southern Kentucky.

Paducah, KY

Located in McCracken County, Paducah is a charming riverfront city that is famous for its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and beautiful architecture. Here are some fun facts about Paducah:

  • Paducah was originally named “Pekin” by William Clark. The name was later changed to “Paducah” in honor of a local Native American tribe.
  • The city is home to the National Quilt Museum, which is dedicated to the art and craft of quilting. The museum features a collection of over 600 quilts and offers workshops and classes for aspiring quilters.
  • Paducah is also known for its vibrant arts community. The city hosts the annual Lower Town Arts and Music Festival, which features live music, art exhibits, and food vendors.
  • If you’re a barbecue fan, be sure to check out Starnes BBQ, a local favorite serving mouthwatering smoked meats since 1971.
  • For a unique dining experience, head to Freight House, a restaurant in a restored train depot serving delicious Southern-inspired dishes.

Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake is the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, and hiking. Here are some fun facts and recommendations for exploring Kentucky Lake:

  • Kentucky Lake was created in the 1930s as part of a project to control flooding along the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers.
  • The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, crappie, and catfish. If you’re an avid angler, be sure to book a guided fishing trip with one of the many local outfitters.
  • The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is located on the shores of Kentucky Lake and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and camping.
  • If you’re looking for a unique place to stay, check out the Kentucky Lake Floating Cabin. These floating cabins are located on the lake and offer stunning views of the water.
  • For a delicious meal with a view, head to Buzzard Rock Resort and Marina, a waterfront restaurant that serves up fresh seafood and other Southern-inspired dishes.


Southern Kentucky is home to a number of interesting landmarks that are worth exploring. Here are some fun facts and recommendations for checking out the area’s top landmarks:

  • The Historic Railpark and Train Museum in Bowling Green is home to a collection of restored railroad cars and offers guided tours that explore the history of the railroad industry in Kentucky.
  • Mammoth Cave National Park is located just a short drive from southern Kentucky and is home to the world’s longest known cave system. Visitors can explore the caves on a variety of guided tours.
  • The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and kayaking.
  • The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is a must-visit destination for car enthusiasts. The museum features a collection of over 80 Corvettes and offers interactive exhibits and guided tours.
  • The Land Between the Lakes Planetarium and Observatory is located in Golden Pond and offers stargazing opportunities and educational programs for visitors of all ages.

Towns and Cities

The surrounding towns and cities of southern Kentucky are also worth exploring. Just a short drive from Paducah, you can visit the charming town of Murray, home to Murray State University and a bustling downtown area with local shops and restaurants. The city of Hopkinsville, known for its solar eclipse viewing, is also a great destination to explore with attractions such as the Casey Jones Distillery and the historic Jefferson Davis State Historic Site.

Overall, southern Kentucky near the Tennessee border is a hidden gem full of fun facts, things to do, and delicious food and drink. Whether you’re exploring the historic sites of Paducah, taking in the beauty of Kentucky Lake, or savoring the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this unique and vibrant region.