Paducah is at the center of it all. You just didn't know it.
We sit at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. We are mere miles away from Kentucky Lake and 15 minutes from Illinois. In fact, a two-hour drive can get you to five—count 'em FIVE—states. Sure, we don't have the ocean but who needs it when Superman lives just over the bridge!
So, I'm going to cheat just a bit and break down the Top 5 categories of day trips, instead of specific locations.
The City Museum. Image via Delta Sky Magazine.
1. Big Cities.
Nashville and St. Louis are easy day trips for families aching to get out of town and stare at some skyscrapers. Both cities are great destinations for kids. Nashville has an amazing zoo, and St. Louis's City Museum, which describes itself as an "eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel," is one of the best, most unique children's attractions in the nation.
Mammoth Cave. Image via National Geographic.
2. Outdoor Recreation.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is only about thirty minutes away and boasts miles of hiking, camping, and fishing area. Above ground recreation isn't your thing? Kentucky also has the world's largest known cave system - appropriately called Mammoth Cave. The Shawnee National Forest and Garden of the Gods are also less than an hour away.
3. Roadside Attractions.
Y'all, Superman is totally my neighbor. Metropolis, IL, is only about 15 minutes away and the Superman statue alone is worth a visit. Up for other wacky locales? How about where Corvettes are made? You could even go to Paris...
4. Cultural Experiences.
Kentucky has one of the fastest growing Amish populations in the nation. Seeing the horse and buggies never gets old. Neither does their amazing food or craftsmanship.
5. History at your back door.
Some of the most famous names in American history lived and died in this area. From Abraham Lincoln to Davy Crockett, this area was the wild, wild west for a significant portion of our country's history and has plenty of amazing stories to tell.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland