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    It's no secret that when it comes to the 3 B’s, (Bourbon, Bluegrass, and Basketball), Kentucky can’t be matched. We know Louisville is a home for both foodies and the fastest minute in sports, Lexington is the horse capital of the world, Bowling Green is the only place on the planet where Vettes roll off an assembly line, and Bourbon is well Bourbon... Publications like Gear Patrol, Thrillist, Huffpost, and even this very site tell us these things year after year. But truly as I discovered when I started college here, Kentucky’s identity varies from county to county, it is a diverse state  of “unbridled spirit.”

    So how do you begin to dive into Kentucky beyond the status quo? I believe through home-brewed efforts like Kaintuckeean Map Dot KentuckyDrive Kentucky, & my own start up Explore Kentucky.  As a collective we generate & curate content that truly shows a holistic version of Kentucky. We encourage the Keeneland visits, swilling of bourbon, but we also appreciate the towns where a dog is the mayorhitting the trails, and acknowledging that Northern Kentucky is Kentucky.

    That said, here is 10 ( random) trip ideas from my personal Instagram, @GerrySeavo that I hope will wet your palate for a different Kentucky travel experience.

    1. Bust out your film camera head to a Kentucky State Park ( they happen to have the distinction of being the nation’s finest) like Green River State Park & document your adventure analog style, then develop your film  at  Murphy's, & make your hipster friends have FOMO that you don't just use your camera as a showpiece for your Instagram feed.

    Photo: Dave Martin, Mountain Leon

    2. ​Take your selfie game to the next level as you snap one with our nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, as he signs the Emancipation Proclamation at the Lincoln Museum in Hodgenville.

    3. Fill out this form & apply to visit Jefferson County's very own 62 foot  waterfall, Fairmount Falls.

    4. Cruise over to Marion County to visit Limestone Distillery, the only place on Earth where Moonpie Moonshine, Grand Daddy’s Revenge, & the Turtleman cross the same path.

    5. Once the weather gets warmer, slide onto Interstate 65, hop off at  Exit 91, ( slow it down ), & get on  KY 61. From there head to 5600 Hodgenville Road. Once there drop the top, spread a blanket, or clean your windshield, tune your radio to 101.3 FM and watch a drive -in movie at the historic Skyline Drive-In Theatre in Green County which opened in 1956.

    6. Though we are over 400  miles from the ocean, Kentucky holds the distinction of the having the most miles of shoreline in the USA, 55,000 to be exact. So why not rent a SUP from Canoe Kentucky & enjoy the unique geological beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades as you glide along the Dix River. Then towel off, & venture over to Danville for a round of pints and pizza from Bluegrass Pizza Pub.

    7. We all know the Outlets, Oxmoor Mall, Nulu are shopper’s paradise  but why not change it up and head to Campbellsville ( My alma mater’s town) and experience small town America. Head downtown & discover amazing places like Awaken Boutique, Harden Coffee, & Brothers Restaurant, that are not only locally owned but also operated out of historically renovated buildings. I almost forgot Campbellsville has the last remaining Druthers ( I have consumed many a bacon,egg, & cheese biscuit there) in the world.

    8. Scramble through the Daniel Boone National Forest on foot & come upon this oasis. ( I promise you this is no mirage)

    9. 99 cents is the price of heaven in a bottle aka Ale 8 One. Pop one open in its hometown of Winchester, Kentucky, visit the factory, & then stick around for a show at the historic Leeds Theater.

    10. Roam, climb, or hike around one of the world's top climbing spots, the Red River Gorge National Geological Area, Kentucky’s very own Natural Playground ( BTW it just got it’s own clothing line).  Looking for a unique accommodation experience while you visit? You have everything from staying in a tree house to a hostel that also serves as a bar, climbing store,  & guide service HQ.

    So there you have it, a few unique offbeat ideas! Be sure to follow @explorekentucky, @DriveKentucky, & @MapDotKentucky on Instagram and share your adventures using #ExploreKentucky, #DriveKentucky, #Kentuckytuff #MyKystory  or submit a piece about your adventures at

    Bonus round! Head to Kwik Louisville ( Explore Kentucky' first gear sponsor) & snag a smartphone lens kit. From there head to West Point, Kentucky & take a fish eye lens powered selfie while standing on top of a ( permanently stationary ) train car in the middle of downtown. Rebellious right?

    Gerry Seavo James's picture

    About Gerry Seavo James

    Gerry James is a visual story-teller, adventure photographer/ writer & is the founder of Explore Kentucky, a movement created to inspire nomadic exploration of Kentucky's wonderful land. Check out the adventures of Gerry and his team at &

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