Whether you’re looking for a quiet trip exploring the beauty of nature, a fast-paced adventure full of music and art, or something in between, Kentucky has a town for you. This vibrant state offers more than just bluegrass and horse racing—although there’s plenty of that too! Here are some great areas to consider when you’re searching for the perfect Kentucky cabin rentals.

1. Natural Bridge

natural stone bridge

Natural Bridge State Park is one of the most beautiful areas in Kentucky. This resort park is noted for its unusual sandstone formations, including the rock arch that gives the park its name. It encompasses about 19 miles of trails, with acres of rivers and lakes to swim, fish, or paddle in. Daniel Boone National Forest and the Red River Gorge Geologic Area, which lie just outside the state park, provide even more opportunities for exploration. While the nearby city of Stanton offers plenty of vacation rentals, there are also log cabins and charming cottages scattered throughout the unincorporated areas just outside the park. If you stay around Natural Bridge during the summer, be sure to stop in at one of the traditional Appalachian square dances held most Friday and Saturday nights.

2. Williamstown

a street of Williamstown, Kentucky
Source: Flickr / w.marsh

The picturesque community of Williamstown has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, so it’s a lovely destination for history buffs. Visit the William Arnold Log House, a historical museum in an authentic 19th-century log cabin, or enjoy a tasting at the Brianza Gardens and Winery or the Redmans’ Farm and Winery. A major attraction is the Ark Encounter, a life-sized replica of the biblical Noah’s Ark. There are also a few ziplines and other adventurous attractions located nearby. The town is surrounded by numerous lakes and other waterways, so there’s plenty of space for fishing and kayaking.

3. Lexington

picture of downtown Lexington
Source: Flickr / Chris McFarland

If you’re a horse lover or a history enthusiast, Lexington is one of the best places to look for vacation rentals in Kentucky. It’s billed as the Horse Capital of the World and for good reason. The bluegrass hills surrounding Lexington are home to some of the finest horse-breeding farms in the world, and the city itself features the iconic Keeneland racetrack. It’s also home to the Kentucky Horse Park, which operates primarily as a museum about equestrian history, as well as serving as a retirement farm for famous horses. In addition to equestrian pursuits, Lexington boasts a vibrant music and arts scene, as well as historic sites, such as the Mary Todd Lincoln House.

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4. Mammoth Cave

cave with trees in the background
Source: Flickr / Garden State Hiker

It’s hard to imagine a more evocative name than Mammoth Cave, which immediately calls to mind deep, dark depths and huge underground spaces. It is the longest known cave system in the world, and the Mammoth Cave National Park was established to protect it and the pristine lands surrounding it. The initial cave chambers are highly accessible by tours and paths, so you don’t have to be an expert spelunker to enjoy this cave system. There are also more than 90 miles of trails in the parts of the park that lie aboveground, as well as two rivers to raft or kayak. The area surrounding the park tends to be fairly rustic, with plenty of old-fashioned wood cabins and scenic spots surrounded by trees.

5. Slade

gorge with sunset in the background
Source: Flickr / Steve Sellers

Between Natural Bridge State Park and the Red River Gorge lies the cute mountain town of Slade. Due to its central location, this town is a mecca for climbers seeking to scale the nearby cliffs. It is also a major starting point for people seeking to go whitewater rafting on the Red River itself. The rapids here tend to be fairly tame, so it’s a great area to learn the ropes or have an adventure with younger kids. There are also tourist attractions with reptile zoos, gem mining, and ziplines. Most vacation rental homes here are older and well-maintained, with a mix of wood cabins and brick cottages.

6. Louisville

skyline at night with river
Source: Flickr / The Pug Father

As the largest city in Kentucky, Louisville offers something for everyone. Sports fans of all stripes love it here. The city is home to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, and an associated museum. Baseball fans love touring the iconic Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. There is also a world-class golf course, Valhalla Golf Club, located in the city. Don’t forget to check out the several water parks and amusement parks, a vibrant downtown arts and music scene, and scenic strolls and cruises along the Ohio River. The hills surrounding the city offer great hiking and biking opportunities. Vacation rentals in Louisville range from old-fashioned wood cottages to upscale modern condos, depending on which neighborhood you choose.

7. Petersburg

woman kayaking on lake

Petersburg is a small quirky town surrounded by beautiful scenery. The major attraction in this town is the ruins of the USS Sachem, a vessel that was initially launched as a private luxury yacht in 1902. It then went through a colorful life that included being commandeered by the U.S. Navy and reportedly used for experiments by Thomas Edison during the First World War, serving as a guard ship during the Second World War, and even appearing in one of Madonna’s music videos before finally being abandoned. Visitors can canoe or kayak out to its remains where they lie anchored on a tributary of the Ohio River. Petersburg is also home to the Creation Museum, which depicts a biblical account of creationism complete with life-sized exhibits and interactive displays.

 
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