Growing up in Kentucky, sometimes we didn’t appreciate the amazing state we live in. Hollywood seemed to glorify places like California or Hawaii, and make our home in the hills seem simple. As we grow into adulthood, the simpler, more traditional life style that Kentucky provides becomes more appealing. We grow to appreciate the Bluegrass State. Those who move away often miss the charm they left behind. The mind may wonder as we age, but the heart stays in Kentucky, or at least a portion of it.
13. Fresh cut hay
There is just something soothing about the smell of fresh cut hay. If you are not allergic, jumping on the hay piles can be a blast too. Just make sure ALL the equipment has been safely set aside.
12. Beer Cheese
Winchester is the Eden of Beer Cheese, but you can find it all across the state. It is most often used as a dip for hot pretzels, bread, or crackers, but is also delicious as a sandwich spread. During travels, we’ve found Beer Cheese to be quite elusive in other states.
You can buy barbecue sauce at your local grocery and most states have their own style of barbecue restaurants, but it just isn’t the same. Kentucky barbecue is made with love and has a very different taste in different parts of the state. I have yet to have barbecue like home anywhere else… unless I made it myself.
10. Country air
The country air around places like Harrodsburg, Columbia and the more rural areas almost has a sweet scent. Towns that exclude big factories and embrace the simpler times tend to have a much lower pollution index, and air that is a pleasure to breathe. This excludes cities like Louisville and areas near a pig farm.
There is serenity in Kentucky’s forests that you will not find anywhere. The woodlands can help us escape into a world where traffic and sirens don’t exist. You can camp, hike, stroll or just find a spot to sit and forget about life for a while.
We have some beautiful lakes with some of the best fishing in the U.S. Kentucky is blessed with Laurel River Lake, Lake Barkley, Kentucky Lake, Nolin River Lake, Paintsville, Lake Cumberland and the entire Land Between the Lakes area. Some of my fondest childhood memories are about going to the lake with my family.
Kentucky has a very diverse wildlife and a large deer population. We have bear, wolves, coyotes, several breed of deer, raccoon, Opossum, and an incredible array of gorgeous animals, including reptiles. We also have an incredible variety of birds, some migratory, others stationary.
Kentucky has more miles of navigable water than any state other than Alaska and Hawaii. We are bordered by the mighty Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, where trade along the rivers was once the primary source of exchanging goods. You won’t drive more than 50 miles without passing a body of water somewhere in this state, including underwater springs. Those babbling brooks really are a peaceful spot to sit and think.
The forests of Kentucky are like a thick blanket of trees and plants covering our hills and fields. When the fall season comes, the flowers and bright shades of green evolve into gold, brown, red, orange and yellows. The autumn change is so breathtaking we’ve had family members that would travel from Florida and Alabama to drive through the park during the season’s change.
Mother Nature is waking up after a long nap in our beautiful state, and beautiful can be an understatement. The forests, fields, parks and personal yards come to life with life itself. Flowers, trees, chirping baby birds and newborn wildlife welcomes in the season of new beginnings. It is a beautiful time to be in Kentucky, other than allergies.
3. Farm fresh
Farm land is abundant in Kentucky, making fresh fruits and vegetables relatively easy to find. We can grow just about anything here. Growing up, we’d run out to the garden to pick fresh vegetables for dinner. Once you experience fresh vegetables, eggs and organically raised meat, nothing will ever taste the same.
2. Family and friends
If you grew up in Kentucky, you might have family or friends that still live in the state. That is a perfect excuse to return, as we are often drawn back to our roots.
1. Night sounds
With the darkness comes sound, especially if you live near some woods. There is nothing better than being lulled to sleep at night via the sound of tree frogs, crickets, raccoon, coyotes singing, and the wind rustling through the trees.
It seems no matter where we move a piece of our heart stays in Kentucky. It has been said the Bluegrass State is actually a vortex that just calls its people back home. Some resist, some don’t. These are just a few of the reason Kentucky compels me to stay. What is it about the Bluegrass State that keeps you here, or coming back?