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Discover the Museums of Kentucky
In an area increasingly known for its cultural, educational and historical contributions, it is no wonder that the countryside is dotted with compelling museums. In fact, there are more than 200 of them covering interests from aviation to quilting. You can learn more about the lives of prominent Kentuckians, as well as the major developments in their region, at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum in Winchester or see the extraordinary collection of decorative arts at the Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington. Enjoy the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Renfro Valley, explore stunning American Impressionism or Ethnographic Art at The University of Kentucky Art Museum, or see awe-inspiring quilting work at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. Not matter your interest, you will find preservation and celebration of it in Kentucky.
Aviation Museum of Kentucky
Local residents and visitors in Lexington, the second largest city in eastern Kentucky, have a wonderful selection of museums to tour. Schedule plenty of time to tour two of the more popular museums, the American Saddlebred Museum and the Aviation Museum of Kentucky. Located on the grounds of the Blue Grass Airport, the Aviation Museum not only showcases the history of Kentucky aviation, but promotes aviation as a respected career choice. It's a short drive from Georgetown.
Stroll through the 20,000 square foot museum to view the collection of aviation photos, documents and artifacts, as you make your way to the aircraft displays. View the U.S. Navy Blue Angels A-4 Skyhawk, the AH-1 Cobra helicopter, the U.S. Navy Grumman F-14B Tomcat and more more vintage aircraft. Before leaving the museum, view the inductees in the Hall of Fame.
Bluegrass Heritage Museum
Make the most of your next stay in Kentucky by exploring the very impressive Bluegrass Heritage Museum. Found in Winchester, not far east of Lexington in eastern Kentucky, the Bluegrass Heritage Museum highlights a wide range of historical eras and figures from the area and the state.
As you explore the Bluegrass Heritage Museum, be sure to check out artifacts from the old Pioneer Telephone Museum, or peruse the Bluegrass Heritage Bookstore. Don't pass on a chance to see the Quilt Room, the Guerrant Room, or the Agriculture Room.
Explorium of Lexington
Unleash your children's creativity in downtown Lexington. Plan for hours of hands-on fun at the Explorium of Lexington. This wonderful interactive educational museum, is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. As many as 85,000 people visit this incredible center each year. Drive in and explore from nearby eastern KY cities Paris or Georgetown.
Schedule plenty of time to explore the variety of exhibits, including Passport to the World, Building Better Bodies, Flight Simulator, The Bubble Zone, Wonder Woods, Brain Bike, Science Station X and Natural Wonders. The center also offers art classes and art camps through its Open Art Studio. Plan to attend the museum during one of the year-round special events, for even more fun.
Georgetown & Scott County Museum
There's no shortage of impressive and exciting attractions to explore during your next stay in Kentucky. When your travels have you in Georgetown, the charming eastern KY city just north of Lexington, be sure to spend an afternoon touring the noteworthy Georgetown & Scott County Museum.
This not-for-profit organization has been striving to preserve and display the rich and diverse history of Scott County for years. There are several different exhibits to see when you visit this museum – start off in the Parlor, a well-preserved room with loads of artifacts. Also be sure to see the Far Room, the Main Room, and the Basement Room.
Develop an appreciation for decorative art in the Bluegrass State. Spend a few hours at the Headley-Whitney Museum, the "Gem of the Bluegrass," located near Georgetown. This wonderful museum was established by George W. Headley in 1968. Stroll past the collection of exquisite hand-made Doll Houses and admire the pieces in the Jewel Room, including the Mask of Bacchus and Fish in Cave.
View the thousands of shells in the Shell Grotto and make your way to the Library, to see Headley's collection of 1,500 volumes, carved narwhal tusks and rhinoceros horns. Visit often to view the variety of exhibitions that rotate throughout the year. The museum also hosts private parties, workshops, weddings and lectures. Enjoy a taste of eastern Kentucky.
Highlands Museum & Discovery Center
Plan your next jaunt through Kentucky and checkout the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center. Found in Ashland, and one of eastern Kentucky's premier destinations for all ages, the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center blends the history of eastern Kentucky with a charming modernity worthy of a visit.
Established in 1984, this exceptional attraction was originally known as the Kentucky Highlands Museum, and was found in the old Mayo Mansion. In 1994, it was moved to the former C.H. Parsons Department Store Building due to a lack space. See some of the top attractions within, like Space Science Hall, and the Country Music Heritage Hall.
Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Located in Renfro Valley, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a premier attraction in the area. During a tour of the museum, visitors learn about Kentucky's music heritage and enjoy strolling through exhibits of instruments and artifacts. Pay homage to the songwriters, performers, publishers, managers and broadcasters who have contributed to the Kentucky music industry, on the Hall of Fame.
Visitors have the opportunity to listen and even perform in the functioning sound room located in the museum's instrument room. Eastern Kentucky travelers enjoy all the fun and history of Kentucky music. While in Richmond, visit the Eastern Kentucky University campus and Keeneland Horse Race Track for an afternoon of fun and excitement.
National Quilt Museum
Nestled against the banks of the Ohio River, the National Quilt Museum draws fans of the beloved art of quilting to the historic western Kentucky community of Paducah. Plan your next trip into western Kentucky and be sure to spend some quality time gazing at all the exceptional quilts.
Learn a bit about the history of quilts and how they pertain to western Kentucky, and be sure to check out the exhibit: A Tradition of Variations from the Pilgrim/Roy Collection. Opened in 1991, the National Quilt Museum has events like the African American Quilters Forum in 1993, and Museum Gatherings in 1995.
The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky
Connect with the cultural opportunities available in Lexington, the "Horse Capital of the World." Tour the University of Kentucky to see The Art Museum, located on campus. Tour this fine museum to view the current exhibitions, collections and displays of art. Schedule your visit during one of the many events hosted at the museum throughout the year, for a wonderful day at the museum.
The museum's permanent collections include American Impressionism, Regional Art, Photography, Ethnographic Art, Decorative Art, Abstract Expressionism, Italian Baroque, Outdoor Sculpture, Modern and Contemporary, Old Masters and Sculpture. It total, the museum showcases over 4,500 objects, prints, drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures. The Art Museum at UK is a short drive from Paris and Georgetown.