Appalachian beauty and wild west adventure, Antebellum refinement and progressive urban innovation—these are among the many sides to a Kentucky luxury holiday. This state is often considered a part of the Deep South, though geographically it’s right in the middle of the United States. Historically Kentucky has been in the middle of industry too, supported by ample tobacco crops, coal mining, and automobile production. Across its cities and countryside visitors will always find a little of this and that, all of it effortlessly charming and welcoming.

Kentucky is nicknamed the “Bluegrass State” after the pastures of blue-tinted grasses that bloom each spring. This name also defines the distinct twang of Bluegrass, a genre of music combining elements of country, jazz, and gospel. The genre originated in the Appalachian hills, evolving from the folk songs of Scotch-Irish settlers who, historians estimate, were also kind enough to bless the world with the art of making bourbon. Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam are among the globally-recognized American bourbon distilleries native to Kentucky.

Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city, and arguably its most cosmopolitan. A flourishing hub of microbreweries, independent distilleries, inventive restaurants, and cutting-edge museums and galleries, Louisville’s landscape endlessly interesting.

Close to Louisville find the world-famous Churchill Downs Racetrack, home of the prestigious Kentucky Derby. Horse farms and training facilities dominate the surrounding countryside, and the Ker & Downey guides have access to the top stables where champions are born and reared. No Kentucky luxury holiday is complete without a foray into the horse-racing legacy of the state.

Outdoor adventurers can consider exploring Kentucky’s outstanding natural bridges, lakes, and cliffs throughout the Appalachian Mountains, Natural Bridge State Park, and the Daniel Boone National Forest. Southern Kentucky is known for Mammoth Cave, the longest mapped cave system in the world.

Head across the state border to Tennessee, where Memphis and Nashville dazzle with a sultry southern cocktail of American music and Tennessee whiskey. Contact your luxury travel consultant to begin crafting your own Kentucky luxury holiday.