If you've read anything I've written in the past, you've probably come across stories in which I mention my love for Kentucky's beautiful small towns. And a road trip is always a grand slam home run if I visit one I never have before.

The Most Beautiful Cities in Kentucky

But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the beauty of cities and towns with which we are ALL familiar. There's just as much beauty in the more heavily populated areas as there is where you don't find as many Kentuckians. WorldAtlas.com recognizes that. Actually, World Atlas recognizes a LOT and is a fascinating educational site that offers boundless information about continents, countries, regions, states, and, in this case, cities in Kentucky.

That's right, this comprehensive geography site--I might even go so far as to call it an invaluable learning tool--has stopped to smell the roses in the Bluegrass State and named what it believes are the eight most beautiful cities in the Commonwealth.

They are not numbered, so I'm gathering they aren't ranked. So here they are, in no particular order. And we'll begin with the largest city in Kentucky.

WBKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app


I don't think there's much to add once you've written the word "Louisville." Churchill Downs alone might've gotten onto this list, but Derby City is so much more than that.

But THIS is my favorite part of the city, along with the areas around Bardstown Road. Fortunately, St. James Court isn't that far away. Louisville's old, maintained neighborhoods are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.


Back in the day, when the speed limit was 55 MPH, it was a good three-hour drive to Lexington to visit my aunt and uncle. It's why we didn't go as much as we would have liked, but I do remember their neighborhoods and the ones we would drive through. Once you get off Lexington's main roads, the city really blooms. But it's also Lexington's history and, especially, the horse culture that seems to have gotten onto this list.

But the rest of Lexington metro is hardly shabby. Otherwise, it wouldn't have made this list. Let's take a good look from the air:


After the renaissance the Owensboro downtown area has experienced over the last 15 years, it absolutely should've been on this list, and it is. World Atlas seems to have combined the following factors to render its decision: the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, the RiverPar Center, Owensboro's many cultural events, and, yes--naturally--BARBECUE. This particular drone's-eye view will cover both the city AND the Daviess County countryside you'll encounter the second you leave the city limits.


History is a big reason most, if not all, of these cities, made this list. That, coupled with a very popular orchard, a massive distillery (it IS Kentucky), the Georgetown Scott County Museum, and a beautiful Japanese garden are why Georgetown is here.

And folks are catching on; since 1990, Georgetown has grown from a town of just over 10,000 to a city of close to 40,000. Very impressive.


You'd think I would have visited Frankfort KY more often, seeing as how it is our capital. But no. I've only been one time and was impressed by how the town is laid out. Moreover, the beautiful and historic cemetery is high on a ridge that overlooks the downtown area and the Kentucky River. And then there's the capital building and its mall which pretty much seals the deal.


I'm a big fan of Paducah. In fact, I've written about it, so there's no need to go any deeper. It always reminds me of a smaller Owensboro and its downtown area and that riverfront are great places to chill and explore on a nice day. I've done it multiple times.


I'm guessing you were wondering when you would get to Bardstown. Any list of Kentucky's beautiful cities must include this one. It's one of the oldest in the Commonwealth and actually IS the home of the oldest restaurant in the Bluegrass. Bardstown has long been a tourist destination, and its many distilleries are a big reason. And, naturally, there's a ton of rich history that got this unique central Kentucky town onto the World Atlas list.


When I first perused this list, I was looking for Bowling Green or one of the northern Kentucky cities that are in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. No dice...sort of. Those northern Kentucky cities I had in mind were Covington and Florence. They, however, did not make the cut. Edgewood KY--in Kenton County, which is part of the Cincy metro--DID make the cut. With a population of just over 8,000, it is the smallest city/town on the list. For its purposes regarding this list, World Atlas was impressed with Edgewood's unique restaurants, natural parks, and history--always a big selling point. (In my opinion, though, since Covington and Edgewood share a county, I'd imagine Covington still played a part in Edgewood's placement here.)

As we head into road trip season, maybe I've given you some weekend ideas. Or maybe just a day trip. Anyway, safe travels. I might see you on the road.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Kentucky

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Kentucky using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.


More From WBKR-FM