Kentucky, nicknamed the Bluegrass State, is home to the world’s first KFC, the Kentucky Derby, and a growing number of retirees! This state boasts more than its fair share of tourist attractions, including Mammoth Cave, Cumberland Falls, and the Louisville Slugger Museum.
The cost of living in Kentucky is low. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked Kentucky as the state with the the ninth-lowest cost of living! Of Kentucky’s 4 million residents, over one million are age 50 or over. So, what is it about Kentucky that beckons older adults? Is it the low cost of living? The scenic hills and forests? Or is it these great cities? Here are some of the best places in Kentucky for retirement!
Named America’s “Most Beautiful Small Town” by USA Today, Bardstown has a lot to offer. Theater buffs can enjoy the Broadway-style musical “The Stephen Foster Story” at the only amphitheater in town. Tours are available at several local distilleries and wineries. Bardstown also boasts many historic sites, including The General Hal Moore Military Museum and Wickland.
This charming town’s claim to fame is Campbellsville University, named one of America’s Best Colleges by Money Magazine and U.S. News and World Report. Nearby Green River Lake offers boating, hiking, and fishing tournaments. Downtown Campbellsville has restaurants, antique shops, and art galleries.
Time Magazine named Danville one of “Ten Best Small Towns in America.” The community is rich in both culture and history. Local attractions include the Great American Dollhouse Museum and Constitution Square, where Kentucky’s Constitution was signed in 1792. John Travolta and Lee Majors are just two of the famous actors who’ve graced the stage at Danville’s very own Pioneer Playhouse.
Glasgow is home to Mammoth Cave National Park. There’s also Dinosaur World, a fun and educational place for the whole family to visit. The International Highland Games takes place in May of every year. Over 20,000 people make their way to the festival to enjoy marching bagpipe bands, fun contests, and traditional highland games.
Scenic Madisonville is home to Mahr Park Arboretum, a 256-acre park with beautiful wildflowers, 9-hole disc golf course, and two large event barns. The Hopkin County Farmers’ Market takes place every Tuesday and Saturday in the summer. The Western Kentucky Speedway hosts racing every weekend from April through September.
This port city of around 8,000 is nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. Its downtown district is full of charming homes, shops, and restaurants. Washington Opera House hosted the red carpet premiere for George Clooney’s 2008 film “Leatherheads.” The picturesque Floodwall Murals is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Just minutes away from Maysville is the historic village of Old Washington and several of Kentucky’s famous covered bridges.
Home to Morehead State University, this town is sits on the edge of the eastern foothills of Kentucky. Cave Run Lake is famous for boating, tubing, and the best muskie fishing in the South. The Kentucky Folk Art Center showcases regional artwork, while the Honey & Bee Connection offers tours and a wide selection of local honey.
Picturesque Murray was named the number one retirement community in the United States in 1987. Even today, it’s a wonderful place to call home! Murray State University offers plenty in the way of entertainment, from concerts to football games to car shows. Downtown Murray has over 70 restaurants and plenty of local shops and boutiques.
This historical town boasts more than 100 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Daniel Boone actually settled in Richmond, and it was the site of a major Civil War skirmish. This college town offers a wide variety of fine dining, specialty shops, art galleries, and historic sites. Explore wine country at Chenault Vineyards or catch a performance at the EKU Center for the Arts.
This border town is home to Churchill Downs and the oldest Mississippi-style steamboat in existence. The famous Seelbach Hotel actually inspired elements of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel “The Great Gatsby.” Meanwhile, the Louisville Zoo and Kentucky Science Center provide entertainment for the whole family. For history buffs, there are walking tours through the Victorian Mansion district of old Louisville. Suburbs like Windy Hills, Hurstbourne, and Prospect are great towns for retirement living.
Lexington is one of Kentucky’s most populated cities, and it’s not hard to see why! Its low taxes, low cost of living, and affordable housing make it a great choice for any retiree, current or prospective. Mary Todd Lincoln was actually born and raised in Lexington. Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington is home to both the Kentucky Horse Park and Keeneland. The Waveland State Historic Site offers daily tours and a taste of Lexington’s rich history. Every June, Lexington hosts the famous Festival of the Bluegrass.
Riverford Crossing is the newest addition to the Lifestyle Communities family. Located in Frankfort, the community seamlessly blends the character of rustic Kentucky with the modern feel of a Lifestyle community. Planned amenities include workout facilities, dog park, and state-of-the-art community center. Located just off of I-64 in Frankfort, Riverford Crossing is central to all your needs.
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Robert FowlerContributing Writer
Robert Fowler is a retired blogger who lives with his wife, Mary Ann at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert was previously the President of Retirement Media Inc. He has visited numerous 55+ Active Adult Communities over the years, sharing his experiences along the way with readers. View more posts