An in-state vacation for a road-tripping family-fun time — the Kentucky Capitals Quest adventure

Summer road trip season is in full swing, and the new Kentucky Capitals Quest takes road trippers on adventures to some of the Bluegrass State’s more curious claims to fame.

This is your chance to take the family on an adventure in their homestate. Help them live in the moment by exploring the unique sites Kentucky has to offer — and help them learn a little history of the state along the way. This program sponsored by 11 quaint, lovely, and wonderful communities across Kentucky is your passport to a real downhome adventure.

The world’s largest wheat stalk; that elusive underwater predator, the musky; sinkholes and extraterrestrials: Experience these and other curiosities as you travel to these “capitals” on the Kentucky Capitals Quest passport program:

Bowling Green – Corvette Capital of the World

The Sinkhole That Swallowed Eight Corvettes

The National Corvette Museum marks the tenth anniversary of the sinkhole seen ‘round the world: The new exhibit, “Ground to Sky: The Sinkhole Reimagined,” recently opened to document the moments, memories and machines that made history when a cave-in claimed eight cars from the museum’s multimillion dollar collection and caused an international sensation.

Frankfort – Historic Heartbeat of Kentucky

The Enchanting Floral Clock is a Living Timepiece You Have to See to Believe

In the state Capitol, Kentucky’s beautiful floral clock. (Frankfort/Franklin County Tourism Commission)

Installed in 1961 and made up of thousands of plants and flowers, the Floral Clock is fully functional as a timekeeper. With a diameter of 34 feet and hands that are 15 and 20 feet long respectively, it makes for one quirky photo op stop.

Hopkinsville – Batter Capital of the World

Say Hello to Hopkinsville—Where Delicious Batter Meets Extraterrestrial Mystery

As if being known as the Batter Capital of the World isn’t strange enough, this charming town is also famous for one of history’s strangest UFO encounters: the 1955 Kelly Incident, replete with tales of goblin-like creatures visiting a local farmhouse. So otherworldly an incident, it inspired the 1982 movie, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Lexington – Horse Capital of the World

Lexington’s Bizarre Hidden Gem: A Horse Race Frozen in Time

Ever wonder what it would be like to freeze time in the middle of a horse race? At Thoroughbred Park, you can walk among 13 life-size bronze statues of horses and jockeys captured in mid-gallop.

London-Laurel Co. – Cycling Capital of Kentucky

Welcome to London: Where Epic Cycling Meets . . . Bizarre Chicken Festivities?

London pairs cycling with some of the quirkiest chicken-related experiences you can imagine, like Colonel Sanders lookalikes strolling the streets and the world’s largest stainless steel skillet cooking up thousands of pieces of fried chicken during the World Chicken Festival, held annually the last full weekend of September.

Morehead-Rowan Co. – Musky Capital of the South

Dive Into the Unusual in the Home of Muskies . . . and Mystery

Fish fear him. Anglers revere him. And Morehead has him in abundance at Cave Run Lake. Drop a line and reel in a musky—that is, if you can catch this elusive predator. Then, uncover the eerie secrets of specters of Morehead State University, whose campus is crawling with ghosts.

Oldham Co. – Farm Tour Capital of Kentucky

Dine Inside a Horse Stable While Sipping Bourbon

Dig into a farm-to-table meal and a guided bourbon tasting served inside a historic horse stable at Barn8 Restaurant on Hermitage Farm. It’s an equestrian-themed dining experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Owensboro – Bluegrass Music Capital of the World

There’s An Unexpected Gem in Owensboro — And It’s Not What You Think

It’s the heart and soul of Kentucky Bluegrass music—as well as home to the world’s largest sassafras tree. Standing over 100 feet tall, the 300-year-old botanical behemoth has been around since well before Bluegrass music took root in Kentucky back in the 1940s—a fun detour after a visit to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Somerset and Lake Cumberland – Houseboat Capital of the World

Meet the Henry Ford of the Houseboat Industry

Only one man can lay claim to creating the houseboat industry on Lake Cumberland—and he did it almost single-handedly. Inspiration struck Jim Sharpe while he was serving in the navy during the Korean War: Put a cabin on a boat for folks to spend their weekends and vacations on the lake. He built the first cabin in 1953, and the rest is history.

Winchester’s Beer Cheese Trail.

Winchester – Beer Cheese Capital of the World

Bite Into Beer Cheese at the Site of Daniel Boone’s Daughter’s Kidnapping

Stop by the Waterfront Grill on the Beer Cheese Trail for a Grilled Beer Cheese Melt prepared on its signature salt block. Munch on that as you consider this: Daniel Boone’s daughter Jemima was kidnapped in 1776 from this very location, along with two of her besties. (Don’t worry: Boone rescued them three days later.)

Paducah – Quilt Capital of the World

It’s A Jungle in There!

The National Quilt Museum is perfectly at home in Paducah, a UNESCO Creative City. With 650 pieces in its permanent collection, it is a showcase of the age-old tradition of quilting with a contemporary spin. And among those quilts? “Tiger, Tiger” by Kris Vierra, with no less than 16 tigers hidden throughout the piece. Can you find them all?

Kentucky Capitals Quest Passport to the Curious

Pick up a passport at any of the 11 visitor centers along the Kentucky Capitals Quest route as you road trip through the state and collect a sticker for each destination visited. Collect three custom stickers for an air freshener for your vehicle. Collect six stickers for a curated offer from the community you’re in for your sixth Quest stop. When you collect all eleven stickers, cozy up with a branded blanket—perfect for impromptu picnics, cool nights, etc.

For more information about the new Kentucky Capitals Quest passport program, visit

The Kentucky Capitals Quest, a multijurisdictional initiative featuring a passport program and earned rewards, was designed for curious travelers seeking to uncover the Commonwealth’s most unique and fascinating claims to fame.

Visitors embark on an unforgettable adventure with the Kentucky Capitals Quest and immerse themselves in the charm of 11 communities — Bowling Green, Frankfort, Hopkinsville, Lexington, London-Laurel Co., Morehead-Rowan Co., Oldham Co., Owensboro, Paducah, Somerset-Pulaski Co. and Winchester — to explore the hidden treasures that make Kentucky a must-visit destination.

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