Kentucky has a moderate climate with warm, humid conditions. Summers are warm with temperatures reaching the mid-20s (Celsius), and winters mildly cold with temperatures in the single digits. Spring is the rainy season, with most of the rain in the southern part of the state. Kentucky is on a storm path, and most storms occur between March and September.
When to fly to Kentucky
With its mild climate, Kentucky has visitors year round, although summer (from May to September) is the peak season for flights to Kentucky.
Spring means the Kentucky Derby, and Louisville is not the place for anyone on a budget. The race is held the first Saturday in May, and there are two weeks of festivals and entertainment.
Autumn is also popular, particularly in the Kentucky Highlands during the Fall Festivals.
Spring is a bit slower in Kentucky, as long as you stay away from Louisville. Keep in mind, though, that Churchill Downs is open other times of the year when it is not nearly as crowded.
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Getting around Kentucky
There are two airports offering flights within Kentucky, and some bus service south of Louisville and Lexington. Trail riding is available, and cycling is a popular mode of transport with cycling clubs and routes throughout Kentucky. A beautiful state to drive through, one of the best ways to explore Kentucky and see the sights is with a car.
Kentucky insider information
- Kentucky is the home of bourbon, and many of the distilleries are open for visiting (and for some tasting as well…) Travel the “Bourbon Trail”, in the hills around Lexington, and you can see where 95 per cent of the world’s bourbon comes from. Famous names include Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace.
- The appropriately named Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest cave system. You can visit the surrounding park area for free, but there is a charge for a tour of the caves. It’s well worth taking a guide (rather than completing a self-guided tour) – the cost is only a dollar more and you’ll find out all sorts of fascinating information along the way.
- Frankfort is the capital of the state and houses many attractions, such as the Kentucky State Capitol and the Zeigler House. Also worth a visit is Daniel Boone’s grave, in the city’s cemetery. As well as seeing the grave itself, the view from the spot – overlooking the river and the Capitol – is stunning.
- Thomas Edison lived in Louisville on Washington Street. His house is now the site of a museum in his honour.
- Sanders’ Café in Corbin is the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Colonel Sanders operated a gas station here in the 1930s and served his fried chicken to passing travellers, from his own kitchen table. Today, the restaurant is still operating, and an attached museum tells you all you could ever want to know about the food.
- If you’re interested in the state’s thoroughbred horses, visit the Kentucky Horse Park Home or the Thoroughbred Centre, both in Lexington in the middle of the Bluegrass area.