In the words of Irvin S. Cobb, a great native of Paducah: “To be born in Kentucky is a heritage; to brag about it is a habit; to appreciate it is a virtue.”

Travel time: 2 hours (136 miles) via I-24 W 

Paducah, KY, (originally known as Perkin) was established in the early 1800s and was an ideal settling spot due to its close proximity to waterways. It later became economically successful as a railway hub. Spots like the Paducah Railroad Museum, River Discovery Center, Tilghman Civil War Museum and William Clark Market House Museum tell the tales of and pay homage to the town’s great history.

Paducah isn’t just for history buffs, though. It also draws a large crowd of quilters for the American Quilter’s Society QuiltWeek, held each April, and art and music lovers for May’s Lower Town Arts & Music Festival and the dozens of galleries in town. And those who love beer and barbecue visit for Barbecue on the River, a grand event that takes place each September, or to stop into one of the two breweries in town: Paducah Beer Werks and Dry Ground Brewing Co. Paducah’s historic downtown and Lower Town Arts District are two hot spots in town, where shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities abound.

Stretch your legs on one of the walking trails, or stroll the riverfront for views of the Ohio River and a glimpse at the flood wall murals, which coat the concrete flood walls and depict Paducah’s history. If you are looking for something to eat, head into downtown for a variety of restaurants, many of which are housed in historic buildings dating back to the 19th century. Here are a few on our must-try list: Cynthia’s Ristorante, Kirchoff’s Bakery & Deli, Shandies, Max’s Brick Oven Cafe, Starnes Bar-B-Q, Cup of Pipers Tea and Coffee and Tribeca Restaurant.

By Alex Hendrickson, Style Blueprint

View this feature of Paducah here!