Kentucky family road trip inspiration for vacations with kids Kentucky family road trip inspiration for vacations with kids

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Every Kentucky family road trip is packed with fun places to visit and completely boredom-free. It’s hard to believe they weren’t designed just for kids!

Whether you want to explore State Parks, have outdoor adventures, visit amusement parks or just go where the mood takes you, you’ll find a Kentucky family road trip to fit your dreams. Day drives couldn’t be easier. If you want to travel further, good value lodging, lovely towns and endless attractions make even a longer Kentucky family road trip effortless. And for families who like to mix it up, the state’s great cities are perfect bases for both short hop journeys and epic driving adventures. Take a look at some of the best Kentucky family road trips handpicked by Kentucky Tourism for kids of all ages.

An easy Kentucky family road trip through the heart of the state

Drive Interstate 65 north from Bowling Green to Louisville and you cover 134 miles of Kentucky family road trip magic that’s so full of exciting things to see and do kids probably won’t want the journey to end.

What not to miss on this Kentucky family road trip

  • Bowling Green’s National Corvette Museum lets you get behind the wheel of America’s Sports Car; test race simulators and try out go-kart racing for real. Don’t miss the Corvette Cave-In exhibit, it’s worth a visit to the museum all by itself.
  • Amusement Today regularly names Beech Bend Amusement  Park one of the Top 5 Friendliest Parks in the US, it's in Bowling Green, so go see for yourself.
  • Take a detour – or a few days – to explore Mammoth Cave National Park home to the longest recorded cave system in the world. Over 400 miles have been mapped and explored so far, but excellent kid-size tours start at just 30 minutes.
  • Only on a Kentucky family road trip can you drive from mammoth to even more mammoth in less than an hour. Dinosaur World in Cave City is a must-do for young paleontologists and kids who just like the idea of life-size dinosaurs and interactive adventures.
  • Add a little Australia into your Kentucky family road trip with a pitstop at Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo in Horse Cave.
  • Hodgenville is Lincoln territory and the place to see the original Lincoln Memorial at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park – the Lincoln Museum is in Hodgenville too.
  • The spectacular Bernheim Arboretum in Clermont is good for stretching your legs but kids will like it even better for its Forest Giants, tree canopy walk and amazing scent and sound mazes.
  • Roll into Louisville and change the pace of your Kentucky family road trip with a leisurely cruise on the Ohio River aboard the magnificent Belle of Louisville: the oldest Mississippi-style riverboat in the world.

Find more interstate inspiration for a Kentucky family road trip

A western Kentucky family road trip for outdoor loving kids

The 151 mile route from Henderson to Grand Rivers is the western Kentucky family road trip to fill an entire vacation – and more. If you love the great outdoors there’s plenty of it to explore on this journey. And it’s also perfect for getting to know some of the famous Trail Towns which play a big part in making Kentucky road trips such easy and enjoyable experiences.

What not to miss on this Kentucky family road trip

  • Visit Henderson in June for the family-friendly and free W. C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival.
  • Explore John James Audubon State Park, visit the Audubon Museum or even stay overnight in one of the park’s quaint little cottages. Ornithologist and painter, Audubon, lived in Henderson with his family from 1810-1819.
  • Make a stop in Cartwright Grove and let the faithfully reproduced Wild West Town sweep you and the kids back to early 19th century Kentucky.
  • Get off the road and into canoeing, mountain biking, kayaking and hiking at Dawson Springs – the first ever certified Kentucky Trail Town.
  • Make time in your Kentucky family road trip for the City of Princeton where you can do anything from touring elegant mansions to exploring wildlife refuges and swimming in local lakes.
  • End your road trip at Grand Rivers for watersports, family restaurants, shops and great views of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Known as ‘the village between the lakes’, Grand Rivers is also the northern gateway to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

Find more adventurous ideas for a Kentucky family road trip

Kentucky family road trip Ark Encounter Williamstown

A fun Kentucky family road trip filled with legends

You might want to take your time on the 192 mile journey from Newport to the Cumberland foothills. There’s a lot to see along the way. The countryside is spectacular. And if you like legends, this Kentucky family road trip is stuffed with them from the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame to a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark.

What not to miss on this Kentucky family road trip

  • One of the best in the US, Newport Aquarium is famous for its morning Penguin Parade, Stingray Hideaway, hands-on experiences, dive shows and ‘meet the biologist’ sessions.
  • Ever wondered what Noah’s Ark looked like? Ark Encounter in Williamstown has the answer in the form of a full-size replica of the legendary vessel built to exact biblical dimensions.
  • Lexington is known for horses, but the city was also the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln’s future wife. Make time to visit the Mary Todd Lincoln House and find out about her life before she became a First Lady.
  • Stop in Richmond and let the living history experience of Fort Boonesborough State Park whisk you all back to the days of Daniel Boone and Kentucky’s early pioneers.
  • For more recent history, don’t miss the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Renfro Valley.
  • Stop off in London for some aerial excitement at Treetop Adventure in the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park.
  • Corbin is the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken and to try it at it’s original ‘finger-lickin’ finest have lunch at The Harland Sanders Café and Museum.
  • Visit the ‘Niagara of the South’ at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. The spectacular falls are one of only two place in the world where you can see a ‘moonbow’ – look out for guided full-moon tours throughout the year.

Find more fun ideas for a Kentucky family road trip

Ready to take your own Kentucky family road trip? Visit Kentucky Tourism for everything you need to help plan your perfect family vacation in the Bluegrass State.