Kentucky is a state known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, moonshine, coal, the "My Old Kentucky Home" historic national park, automobile manufacturing, tobacco, bluegrass music, college basketball, and Kentucky Fried Chicken - basically, a lot of great things.
Although that's a pretty long list, one thing that didn't make the cut are the surreal places found here and nowhere else in the entire US of A; and we're trying to change that. So spare us a moment of your time and get ready to have your mind blown away because you absolutely won't believe these places are right here in the one and only Bluegrass State.
Cumberland Falls State Park
Where: Cumberland Falls, Daniel Boone National Forrest, Williamsburg
You have heard of rainbows, but have you heard of moonbows - better yet, have you witnessed one? Here at Cumberland Falls State Park the shining moonlight often reflects on the water particles from the roaring falls, creating an enchanting sight of moonbows.
Wigwam Village #2
Where: 601 N Dixie Hwy, Cave City
This photo may look like it's part of a historic rendition of a Native American campsite, but it's actually a themed motel. A few of the wigwam motels located throughout the west have been around since the early-to-mid 1900's and still remain operational, like this one. Each wigwam in Cave City has a base diameter of 14 feet and stands 32 feet tall, and yes, they managed to fit a small bathroom in there. Will you be sleeping in a wigwam tonight?
Where: 101 Huckleberry Knob Rd, Cave City
Once a beloved Wild Western style amusement park for children, Funtown Mountain is now an urban explorers playground. After decades in operation, the park had to permanently close their doors in 2013 due to a decline in visitors. Many of the rides and decor have since been left abandoned and deteriorating. Admittedly it has an eerie charm about it, making for a pretty cool spot to take photos at.
The Kentucky Castle
Where: 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles
These photos weren't taken in Europe; this castle complete with watchtowers is fitting enough to be in fairytales - and located nowhere else than right here in Kentucky. The awe-inspiring castle-on-a-hill is actually an elite event hall and bed & breakfast, so next time you need a place to stay you should give yourself the royal treatment, you won't regret it.
Where: 112-118 Lynn Ave, Munfordville
Since we are on the topic of old-time Europe, there is a Stonehenge replica that you totally need to put on your local destination bucket list. While the origin of this stone formation is less of a mystery than the actual place, it is definitely still an impressive feat. I mean seriously with a replica this great who needs the expensive trip to England anyway?
Where: Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown
Most people know about the life-size replica of Noah's Ark, but they don't realize it is located right here in good ol' Kentucky. The massive ship was crafted to the exact measurements specified in the Book of Genesis; 510 feet long, 51 feet high, and 85 feet wide. Throughout the Ark, you will find model animal exhibits and explanations of how each animal would have fit into the ship, animatronics of Noah and his family, and plenty of information on the Biblical flood.
Vent Haven Museum
Where: 33 West Maple Avenue, Fort Mitchell
One man's nightmare is another man's heaven, and the Vent Haven Museum is definitely no exception. This museum celebrates the history of ventriloquism and features nearly one thousand dummies! Tons of people love this museum and even partake in their ventriloquist events, but this is one place you won't catch me at since R.L. Stine completely turned me off of these dolls many years ago.
Where: Mammoth Cave National Park, 1 Mammoth Cave Parkway, Mammoth Cave
In Mammoth Cave, named for the sheer size of it, there are over 400 miles of explored passageways - making it the world's longest known cave system. The Native Americans were the first to explore the cave 2-8,000 years ago, and today miles of this tourist destination it still remains explorable. Makes you wonder how much of it is still unexplored.
Where: 711 Mammoth Cave Road, Cave City
This prehistoric theme park is enjoyed by people of all ages and features a nice stroll through the woods with life-sized dinosaur statues scattered along the way. Each of the 'saurs has a little blurb written about them so no need to be that guy, you know who I'm talking about.
Apple Valley Hillbilly Garden and Toyland
Where: 9351 US HWY 68 W., Calvert City
Complete with an array of filthy toilets, thousands of toys, couches suspended in air, creepy clown murals, and dozens of other displays, this mainly-outdoor folk art garden is quite a sight to see. Good, bad, or ugly, the only thing we are sure about is that we are impressed with the creator's artistic "hillbilly" vision.
Where: Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Smithland
Historic, natural, amazing - all those words come to mind when you see the Mantle Rock formation along the Trail of Tears. This natural sandstone bridge spans 180 feet and is 30 feet high, making it a must-see landmark if you are ever in the area.
Where: 10021 Lower River Rd, Burlington
This town called Rabbit Hash is about as strange as the name. Life is done a little differently in this little municipality with an unknown official population; a dog was elected mayor, the place to be is the local general store called Rabbit Hash, most of the town's original history has been lost to time... The more you read into this place the more it sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone.
Pope Lick Train Trestle Bridge
Where: Pope Lick Trestle Bridge, Louisville
It is not so much the bridge that is unbelievable, it is the devilish legend behind it. Rumor has it there is a half-man-half-goat creature who lures thrill-seeking folklorists to their death by coaxing them into the path of a passing locomotive. While the legend is nothing more than that, there have been several deaths associated and documented on this train line. So is it just another wives tale or is something more sinister at work? We will leave you to decide.
DeHart's Bible and Tire
Where: US-60 and KY-174, Morehead
Who knew a set of tires went so well with a bible - or a new bible went so well with...Well, you get it. At DeHart's Bible and Tire they sell exactly what the name suggests, nothing more and nothing less. I guess that answers the question of what else do you need when you are on the road?
Colonel Sanders' Grave
Where: Camp Hill Cemetry, 1521-1599 Lexington Rd, Louisville
The man who put Kentucky Fried Chicken on the map was indeed real, and his grave still stands to prove it. People often bring their KFC chicken buckets to the site in honor of the great Colonel to this day, because, you know, 'Murica.
Where: Pine Mountain, Pineville
A rusty chain keeps a massive boulder from land sliding and destroying the entire town. Does that sound a little hard to believe? Well, that's because the chained rock was actually a publicity stunt by locals in search of creating the perfect a tourist attraction in the 1930's, and it worked! For nearly an entire century the chained rock has been a sightseeing destination and it does not appear the rock will be going anywhere anytime soon, so we assume it will continue to be well-visited.
You have heard about the infamous "blue" people, also known formally as the Fugate family who had settled into Troublesome Creek to raise their family. The blue appearance on the family member's skin was due to a rare genetic abnormality. Due to this, the Fugates were often repressed from having a normal life in society, leading to inbreeding and ultimately allowing the mutation to live on. To this day there are still reports of blue people living in Troublesome Creek.
Gallop to Glory
Where: 140 N Fourth St, Louisville
Tucked away in the Galt House Hotel is the "Hall of Fame" for jockeys and racehorses. Here you will find the cemented handprints of jockeys and a racehorse statue commemorating the derby winners throughout the years.
Old Fort Harrod State Park
Where: 100 S. College St., Harrodsburg
Who needs a time machine when you can visit this state park. The Old Fort Harrod State Park is a nearly exact replica of the original permanent Kentucky settlement in 1774. You get to experience life in the fort as it would have been over two centuries ago while still having access to all of your modern comforts, like a clean running-water bathroom and cellphone service.