The Bluegrass State is home to some of the most adorable picturesque small towns in the U.S. We have our share of big cities too, but the smaller communities offer a unique environment you won’t find in most of the Northern part of the U.S. Our people are known for their southern hospitality, and what better place to find it than one of the many small towns in Kentucky?
This beautiful well preserved community is a sleepy little town. The downtown area is rich in history and even has a trolley car track running along the street. It is a peaceful community, surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. It is truly a breathtaking place.
The renowned Thomas D Clark called the beautiful town of Augusta one of Kentucky’s greatest 11 treasures. It was one of the Ohio River’s busiest port towns after being founded in 1797. Skeletal remains have proven the area was once a huge Native settlement, but today it is home to around 1,000 people. Riverside Drive is a perfect spot to visit, as it offers a gorgeous view of the river valley and remaining 18th and 19th century architecture. They also have an annual Art in the Garden Festival that is very entertaining.
This great town in our state is one of only six certified Kentucky Cultural Districts. Danville was the first on many fronts including the first post office built west of Alleghany Mountains, and the first physician, Ephraim McDowell, to perform abdominal surgery successfully. The Main Street won the Great American Main Street award in 2001, via the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
This town full of good hearted folks was voted the friendliest small town in American via Rand McNally, USA Today Best of the Road series in 2013. It is a beautiful drive to the nearby Kentucky Lake and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. It is a small town, but full of culture, such as the Clara M Eagle Art Gallery at Murray State University. It is also home to the Playhouse in the Park, which is a community based theater in a historic train depot.
This beautiful little town is on the outskirts of the renowned Daniel Boone National Forest. It is snuggled against the Appalachian Mountain foothills, which just adds to the charm. The history is rich, starting with the 1887 Morehead University and continuing to the abundance of antique stores and the CCC Trail Vineyard and Winery. It is also home to the breathtaking Cave Run Lakes, and the entertaining Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival.
This friendly little small town has been voted as one of the best 15 places to live in Kentucky via Movato. It was founded in 1799. If you are wondering how it got its name, it was a heavily Scottish populace in the beginning, with many coming from the sister city in Scotland, thus the name. It is home to an abundance of caves and lakes.
This sweet little community is the perfect example of small town America. It was founded in 1799 amidst the gorgeous rolling hills and lush forests of our state. The seat of the town is in the renowned Muhlenberg County. The town’s court house is a beautifully preserved Beaux Art style architecture, which is home to the state’s second largest bell tower and dome, built in 1907. It also has some unique festivals like the Fall Festival and the Squash and Gobble Arts Bazaar.
This community is known as the oldest town in the state, dating back to 1774. It is home to the historical Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, America’s largest restored Shaker settlement. The Dedman Drugstore opened in 1865 and the original soda fountain still exists, alongside the Kentucky Fudge Company. Visitors can also ride an authentic paddle steamer boat deemed the Dixie Belle.
This artistic community is located just south of Lexington, so the countryside itself is quite lovely. The community of Berea is a college tow that is a famed breeding ground for artists and art festivals, such as the Berea Craft Festival and the Berea Celtic Festival. The Berea College was founded in 1855 and was the first interracial and coeducational institute in the south. It is also home to the renowned and historically recognized Boone Tavern.
This town is known as Quilt City, USA, and was designated the UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2013. It is home to the annual Quilt Week festival and the National Quilt Museum. Quilts may not sound that exciting other than for warmth, but some of these are vintage works of art. Paducah is also home to over 20 blocks of a picturesque historic downtown district.
This historic town just keeps winning awards for its beauty, bourbon, historic preservation and events. It is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Tour, and has a beautiful downtown overflowing with history, right down to the giant floral clock, which is well maintained.
For those that love the charm of small towns in Kentucky, each of these places is worth the trip. You will quickly see why our state is known for southern hospitality, natural beauty and historic preservation. What is your favorite small town in Kentucky?