Pioneer Daniel Boone, who knew Kentucky about as well as anyone, is credited with saying, “Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” Let’s pray he’s right. There are so many reasons to love Kentucky that no list is ever complete. It’s a losing proposition.
In celebration of our 200th issue, we thought we’d give it a try. We compiled a list of 200 reasons, presented here in no particular order, and we reached out to some well-known friends of Kentucky Monthly asking them to sum up their love of the Commonwealth in 200 words. Of others, we asked for the things they love most about the 15th state.
We were flooded with responses. Many are contained here, and others will appear on our website or in future issues, so don’t be disappointed if yours isn’t included. Sit yourself down and write us a finely crafted letter, a well-reasoned treatise, or a witty email. We’ll comb through them and publish the worthy ones between now and our 300th issue in 2026.
“Love the two-finger wave on a country road, redbuds and dogwoods, woolly worms, moonshine and bourbon, horses, cows and buffalo that showcase Kentucky.
Eileen Cackowski, Kentucky Monthly reader
“ ‘I lift up my eyes to the hills!’ Kentucky hills—whether displaying bluegrass, red earth, gray rock or black coal—say welcome home! (Quote from Psalms 121:1)
Jerian Powers, Kentucky Monthly reader
“We love Kentucky’s flowing mountain streams, lovely lakes, beautiful forests, hallowed grounds of yesteryear and all her colorful characters of past and present.
“Beautiful seasons, spring buds, summer blossoms, fall harvesting, winter wonderland of snow. ’Tis said if you don’t like the season, stick around; changes come quickly!”
Linda J. Hawkins, author and book publisher, Morgantown
“Why do I love Kentucky? She is a state diverse—with divisions as different as countries, with speech colorful and wide-ranging (she has 27 distinct dialects), with people who are loving and direct. She is everything America represents and, as Jesse Stuart pointed out, “the heart” of this great continent both in actual physical position and in diversity.
“Kentucky is the place I was born. She is the place I stand and from which I attempt to understand all the rest. I love her deeply as, metaphorically, her waters are my blood, her trees my own limbs, her wind my breath, her soil, thorough her gardens and the food I consume, my very cells.
“Kentucky has always been important to me even as I grew up in the foothills of Greenup County and attempted to locate my own place in the universe. It is through her that I have come to know clearly where I stand. I have lived elsewhere in America, coast to coast—in New York, in Iowa, in California. I have traveled in all 50 states and 83 foreign countries. Yet always I have returned to Kentucky, and from her I stand secure on her solid ground.
Lee Pennington, former Kentucky poet laureate, Greenup County native now living in Louisville
“What I love about Kentucky is its resiliency. Kentucky is the scrappy, bruised prizefighter, who doesn’t stay down after a few rough rounds. A proud people living in places once boasting of swept city streets and gleaming downtown facades backed by industry employing thousands. Those same places today still excited about a new employer even if it brings just 10 new jobs. Those hopeful places charm me.
“Those are the spots in Kentucky ‘on the way to’ our photographed waterfalls, horses and bourbon houses. The margins between map dots that still mark themselves Commonwealth, from Madrid Bend to Martin County. A culture of hope that one day, the next new road or business coming through will this time mean lasting progress. That’s our real self.
“Any observer of our place looks past our May glitter or March madness and notes who we are when we’re down but not out. How we still have promise after floods, fires, mudslides, tornadoes and other acts of the same God who crafted champion Thoroughbreds. An ornery, stubborn sort who’ll never leave, even if the bluegrass would be greener at the newest interstate exit.
“Those are the people I love, and they are my Kentucky.”
Cory Ramsey, Bowling Green native and Kentucky travel writer
“The people and the hills. Prettiest state in our nation.”
Terri Skutchall, via Facebook
“My birthplace, my home, my playground, my nirvana is Kentucky. I spent one summer flying myself to various airports around the Commonwealth. I’d land, park and walk into the local FBO for a chat.
“I visited Barkley Regional, Hopkinsville, Falmouth, Lebanon/Springfield, Mt. Sterling, Rough River, Owensboro, Henderson and many more. Every person I encountered was polite, helpful, happy to talk about their corner of Kentucky.
“Our people are ambassadors, eager to show the world why Kentucky is heaven on earth.” — Terry Meiners, WHAS-84 radio personality in Louisville
“I love Kentucky because it truly is a place like no other.
“Kentucky is where Southern charm meets Midwest work ethic. It’s the Derby and Muhammad Ali, the coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains, and the distilleries in bourbon country.
“Kentucky is tobacco farmers and bluegrass music. It’s Mammoth Cave and a weekend at the lake. It’s the gently rolling hills, neat fences and palatial barns of horse country.
“Kentucky is Owensboro barbecue and a Duke of Paducah. It’s as audacious as the gold vault at Fort Knox and as quaint as Berea College and Shaker Village. It’s bass fishing and deer hunting. A Hot Brown. A mint julep. Kentucky is Loretta Lynn, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Stapleton and Diane Sawyer. It’s ‘The Colonel,’ and being a Kentucky Colonel. And it’s where people talk about college basketball 365 days per year.
“Kentucky is where you never meet a stranger. Most people are friendly, helpful and kind. And, man, they can cook! From the fabulous dishes in Louisville’s renowned restaurants to the fried green tomatoes and seasoned pole beans of a grandma’s kitchen in any of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
“I’m not a native, but after 36 years here, it’s easy to see why I love to call Kentucky home.”
Rick Redman, vice president of corporate communications for Louisville Slugger
“At home: country ham at New Year—pink sunsets over snowy field & frozen pond—smell of woodsmoke on cold air—spring lambs gamboling—return of Purple Martins—redbud, dogwood, asparagus—rivers Green and Barren—a frosty julep cup—fresh cut fields dotted with hay rolls—Barren County elders taking me catfish noodling—farm ponds—bullfrogs jug-a-rumming on hot nights—blackberries, moonflowers, morning glories—pickling okra like my Kentucky grandmothers—tobacco drying in barns—green, rolling hills & fall leaf splendor from our diverse hardwoods—Allen County sorghum & Jackson’s Orchard’s cider—walks in woods on crispy leaves—wild turkeys, deer, coyotes—Hilltoppers—Bowling Green’s vibrant international population.
“At large: woodsmoked barbecue!—pulled pork, mutton, & Monroe County style—burgoo—colorful place names like Black Gnat & Monkeys Eyebrow—ancient Appalachians—abundant streams, creeks, & rivers supporting a wealth of species—bluegrass & Newgrass—Muhammad Ali—limestone & world’s longest cave system—our agrarian heritage—country people & country cookin’—storytelling & distinctive dialects—in general, a good-humored people—the wisdom of Wendell Berry & our rich literary heritage—liquid corn medicine aged in oak barrels—the funky shape of our borders edged by the Ohio River.”
Wes Berry, author and English professor at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green
“I love Kentucky’s old rock fences bordering bluegrass meadows and country lanes; daffodils that return each spring to vanished home sites where stories were left untold.
“I love the cottonwood-shaded shoreline of the Mississippi River, where a young Samuel Clemens passed nearby on a steamboat before he was Mark Twain, and the few surviving yellow poplars in eastern Kentucky that were already here when Daniel Boone came.
“I love covered bridges, country stores, the ‘Used Cows for Sale’ sign in a farm field beside Interstate 65 in Hardin County, and the wonderful neon Sunset Motor Lodge sign on the outskirts of Stanford in Lincoln County.
“I love redbuds in bloom, Kentucky River’s palisades, the sight of bib overalls dancing with the summer breeze on a farm clothesline, children playing in a stream, honeysuckle on old fencerows, the smell of pennyroyal, and the sweet fragrance of new-mown hay.
“I love the fall migration of Monarch butterflies—fluttering southwestward across Kentucky to a mountain forest south of the border. I love to hear young quail just learning to whistle ‘Bob White,’ spring lambs calling to their mothers in distant pastures at dusk, and the music of chorus frogs and spring peepers at twilight.”
Byron Crawford, longtime Courier-Journal columnist who now writes for Kentucky Living and lives in Louisville
Spring peepers, bourbon, and Joe B. Hall
Turkeys in spring and whitetails in fall
Whippoorwills calling on distant ridge
Walking across the Maysville bridge
Stories of old from Simon and Boone
Rosemary Clooney belts out a tune
Cracklin’ cornbread, spoon bread and molasses
The change of the seasons while time slowly passes
Bluegrass echoes across the hills,
Then Dreamin’ and Bird Dog with Don and Phil
Bluegill, catfish, frog legs and bass
If that ain’t a fish fry … well, I won’t be crass
Old dogs and children and Tom T. Hall
Tygarts Creek and a moonbow fall
The sound of a brook and a red-tailed hawk
Old women snap beans on the porch while they talk
Keeneland, Churchill, and Denny Crum
Wherever you travel, they’ll know where you’re from
I could go on, but my time is near
I think that I’ve been abundantly clear
Aren’t you lucky …
To be from Kentucky?
Tim Farmer, host of Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen, who grew up in Mason and Carter counties and now lives in Frankfort
“Sometimes in my dreams, I am floating down a winding river, passing under heavy tree branches. I know it is a sunny day, because I can catch the warm feel of light on my face as it dances down through the treetops. The water is cold, with just a tint of clay from the banks. The twisting, narrow river always opens to reveal a beautiful, sparkling lake, and there is always a golden sandbar for me to float up to. This is the Kentucky of my dreams.
“My grandfather Champion was a Kentucky riverboat captain based in Paducah and my Grandfather Murphy always required one of Kentucky’s rivers to be no farther than his Frankfurt backyard. Of course, I spent time admiring the iconic blue-green fields of my home state. I walked those fields, mowed some and even baled a few; but like my grandfathers, it is the waters of the bluegrass that make me think of my birthplace.
“The most frequently offered vision of my home state is that of galloping horses to rose-covered reward or a mint leaf trapped in the icy prison of a silver cup. I enjoy both, to be sure, but Kentucky Monthly asked me what I love most about this state, and my dreams tell me this: I love an inner tube on our meandering rivers or a few houseboats tied together on one of our crystal lakes.
“I offer further proof of the draw of those waters by the occasional missed class while attending Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. I may have accompanied some of my classmates who would proudly ‘study at Keeneland,’ but a sunny and warm afternoon would more likely mean for me a quick trip up I-75 to a favorite rock along the Kentucky River. There, this student’s stress would truly be carried away with the currents.
“Writing these few words, my mind whispers it has been too long since I have floated in my home waters, but I do love them. And at the risk of preaching, I hope those clean waters will inspire the dreams of Kentucky boys and girls for a thousand more Derbys and warm, sunny days.”
Paducah native Sam Champion, managing editor of The Weather Channel
“For the 18 years when I was a kid growing up outside of Chicago back in the 1970s, there were only a few things I knew about Kentucky: the Kentucky Derby, Louisville Sluggers and Daniel Boone. Now in the 17 years I’ve been a Kentuckian, I’ve learned it’s so much more.
“When my family arrived in Kentucky back in 1999, our daughter, Olivia, was just a year and a half old. However, she was the driving force why we came to Kentucky, and more importantly, why we’ve stayed, even with chances to move on to bigger cities and more money. We were looking for a better place to raise our daughter. We found that place, and I can say with great pride that my daughter and my money now are both going to the University of Kentucky.
“Everything becomes an event when you’re in Kentucky. Keeneland may look like a horse track, but Keeneland is truly a month-long party that happens twice a year and coincidentally there happen to be some horses running around.
“Even more difficult to explain to my friends and family in other places is what a UK football game is like, and specifically the tailgate. We’ve been season-ticket holders for more than a decade now and it took me a couple of years to truly appreciate what happens outside of Commonwealth Stadium. From the young men in bow ties and Vineyard Vines to the girls dressed to the nines for a Caturday and the food and the tents and the TVs. It’s not what happens in other places! And I do get goosebumps when 60,000 strong rise and sing ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ during the pregame. (And we have faith in you, Coach Stoops, for 2016!)
“Bourbon has truly ruined all other whiskeys for me. Touring the distilleries is a walk through heaven and something uniquely Kentucky. I’m happy for them with all the success of late, but I also look forward to the day when you don’t have to ‘know a guy’ to get a bottle of good bourbon again (and luckily I do know a few guys!). It’s also the things you can make with bourbon, from the chocolates to the Keeneland bourbon glaze on bread pudding (which should be mandatory to try at least once) that makes it a Kentucky treasure.
“For most of my life, whenever someone asked where I was from, I’d say Chicago. It’s where I was born and raised. Now, whenever I’m asked where I’m from, I answer proudly, ‘I’m from Lexington, Kentucky.’ You can’t choose where your parents raise you, but I can choose where I live and where we raised our daughter. Plain and simple, and my closet full of blue clothes will testify to the fact, I’m a Kentuckian.”
Bill Meck, WLEX-18 chief meteorologist
“In my old Kentucky home, the old and the new make for a celebration of life that is a joy to be a part of each day. You will find an abundance of history in every corner and every county. From the small boyhood cabins of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis to the Georgian mansion of Gen. George Rogers Clark’s sister, Lucy Clark Croghan, and his brother-in-law, William Croghan. Then there is 21C boutique hotel and museum that takes new and creative to another level on museum row in downtown Louisville.
“Kentucky can boast of featuring the world’s largest known cave system in the world. With 400 miles of surveyed passage ways, Mammoth Cave is believed to have been discovered as long as 4,000 years ago by Native Americans, and it is still encouraging visitors to travel it trails today.
“When you talk about Kentucky, you must give some time and attention to horses and bourbon. For 141 years, the horses have been called to the post at historic Churchill Downs. For more than two decades, I have arrived in the early morning hours on Oaks and Derby days before the crowds to prepare for a long day of broadcasting, only to find myself teary eyed and grateful to experience such beauty and history.
“Then there is Kentucky bourbon. While bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it’s not worth the glass it’s placed in unless the label says ‘Made in Kentucky.’ Our history, pride and perfection of distilling this barrel-aged spirit surpasse all others. With that drink, you need a meal ,and you can find the best in the foodie town of Louisville. From comfort food to nuevo cuisine, I challenge New York, France and New Orleans to bring their best if they want to keep up with the heat in our kitchens. Louisville is the smallest big town you will ever find in the U.S. Kentucky offers a rich and diverse arts community, from small theaters to Broadway productions, each with something unique to boast about.
“Some of the top state parks in America call Kentucky home, each with its own unparalleled woodlands, caves, shorelines and wildlife.
“With all that I have mentioned, the best thing in this unbridled state is the spirit of the people. I have found that when someone is in need or the world is at its worst, Kentuckians come together to lift up the best that mankind has to offer—love. It’s amazing what I’ve seen happen in a matter of a few minutes or even more in a matter of days. With no idea how it would get done, I have requested ramps be built, playgrounds come to be, and children be fed, and without even a question, it was all done. It did take work, but as someone once said to me, ‘Many hands make a heavy load lighter.’
In Kentucky, we are all about jumping in to lift that heavy load, and that makes me proud. I have often said things on the air that were a burden for a family, and within minutes, the answer came from a source I would never imagine.
“The sun may shine bright on my old Kentucky home but nothing shines brighter than the spirit of its people.”
Dawne Gee, WAVE 3 television news anchor, Louisville
“Oh Kentucky, so much history and so many memories. It’s where my ancestors came through The Gap in the 1700s. Its where Henry Skaggs rescued Jenny Wiley in Johnson County. It’s where the Second Great Awakening started at Cane Ridge in Bourbon County in 1801. It’s where Bill Monroe and bluegrass music were born.
“I love this state, and I thank God for letting me be born there.”
country music star Ricky Skaggs, who was born in Cordell in Lawrence County
“Kentucky, I am proud to say, is my home. We are a diverse Commonwealth, from the cultural and geographical/regional areas, to our rolling hills of eastern Kentucky, to our flat lands of western Kentucky, to the beautiful horse farms of central Kentucky. My Kentucky has an abundance of some of the greatest lakes and natural resources in the country. There is an endless supply of wildlife from bears, to deer and elk and bobcats, and our Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats.
“The people of Kentucky are gracious, hardworking, and proud. They are kind and very giving and love their Commonwealth as much as I do. We have one of the most beautiful Capitols in the country. We are rich with heritage and shine on a national spotlight with our Kentucky Derby, the fastest two minutes in sports, to the charm of our Old Kentucky Home. We have one of the finest state park systems in the nation.
“Frankfort offers many historical buildings, such as Liberty Hall, Orlando Brown House, The Old State Capitol and Kentucky History Museum, to name a few. Also, the Frankfort Cemetery is the resting place of Daniel Boone, one of Kentucky’s greatest pioneers.
“This is why I call Kentucky my home.”
Pat Melton, Franklin County sheriff
“I recently ran my first half-marathon after drinking a six-months-expired Ale-8-One. I knew it was expired. I wiped the dust off its cap at the soda shop in Deep Ellum, Texas weeks before. I paid six dollars.
“As a Kentucky transplant, you take the Ale-8 you can.
“I’m writing this from a Dallas high-rise. And while I love breakfast tacos, bluebonnets and cowboy boots—it’s not Kentucky.
“I dream of lush, rolling horse country. I dream of leaves at the Henry Clay estate so yellow they glow. I dream about sinking into couches at Charlie Brown’s with friends I made when I had braces. I dream about the sweet, bready smell of bourbon distilleries. I dream about crowds flooding Main Street after the NCAA championship. I dream of Missy’s Mayday Pie. I dream of tulips and fireflies in my mom’s backyard. I dream of crullers right off the fryer at Donut Days. I dream about wearing denim Saturday nights, no questions asked.
“Strange things happen post-transplant. You badger bars to play the UK game. You order numerous shirts from Kentucky for Kentucky. You drink Ale-8 before the proudest moments of your life because your heritage keeps you strong.”
Lexington native Abi Grise, former Kentucky Monthly intern, now a copywriter with D Magazine in Dallas.
“Growing up in Kentucky is an experience all its own with the wonderful people, striking landscapes and all-around lovely seasons. You do not realize the distinct, special nature until you have traveled outside our fine Commonwealth. Then, you grasp the true beauty and rare community that we often take for granted. For me, the small-town nature of many of Kentucky’s wonderful areas were something I never truly appreciated until reaching adulthood. I am so glad to be raising my family here.
“I also never really opened my eyes to the fabulous area until I was put in the position to sell the Commonwealth to potential visitors. Being in tourism is a competitive market, but when you have a product like Kentucky to sell, the job becomes easier. Our state is blessed with amazingly kind people, beautiful horses and a nice little amber colored drink … what more could you ask for?
“We hope that everyone has the opportunity to visit Kentucky—Shelbyville and Simpsonville to be specific. If they do, they’re guaranteed to fall in love!”
Katie E. Fussenegger, executive director, ShelbyKY Tourism Commission & Visitors Bureau
“One of my favorite things is watching families take pictures with the kids among the tulips in front of the State Capitol, in early April.”
John Higginbotham, Frankfort-based telecommunications executive and member of the Kentucky Monthly board of directors
“I love the sound of Kentucky speech, not the homogenized TV speech that is pervasive nowadays, but the native accents and the colorful use of language that still exist around the state and in our literature. You find these especially in country speech and in Appalachia. The rhythm of the talk and the reach of imagination is a treasure, well documented in the works of some of our best writers and musicians. You hear it in the stories, poems and musical performances of our current poet laureate, George Ella Lyon, and in the works of contemporary writers such as Silas House, Crystal Wilkinson, and Maurice Manning.
“ ‘Get down from up off of that ladder!’ Extra words to ram the point home. Or matter-of-fact contractions: purt near, right smart, and maters and taters.
“ ‘I'll jerk a knot in your tail,’ my mother threatened. ‘Old squall-bag,’ she said if I cried.
“Toys were ‘play-pretties.’ Our furniture included a living room ‘suit.’ A ‘story’ meant a lie.
“Weather optimism: ‘It will fair off by tomorrow.’ The unique pronunciation of ‘fair’ and ‘hair’ cannot be written.
“Pronunciation is nimble. Shrivel became ‘swivel.’ The potatoes were swiveled. Borrow and tomorrow became ‘barr’ and ‘tomarr.’ Kind of was ‘kindly,’ ought to was ‘oughter,’ and sort of was ‘soughter.’ Wasp, asks, and ghosts were hard to say. Instead: ‘wasper,’ ‘axe,’ and ‘ghostes.’ Cory and Sary and Marthy were old as Methusalem. Their hide was yaller and speckledy.
“ ‘That old Bamoody (Bermuda) grass will take the place,’ declared my mother.
“She always said ‘vomick’ for vomit. I was delighted to learn that the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote vomick two centuries ago. ‘She's as broad as she’s long.’ Dorothy Wordsworth used this expression long before my mother did, and when Mama said ‘all around the country’ she meant the immediate region. So did Dorothy, long ago in England.
“ ‘Much obliged’ used to be said more than now. I like the expression and try to use it often, for it is usually true.”
noted novelist and Mayfield native Bobbie Ann Mason
“I love Kentucky for many reasons, but most of all, I love her because she is my home. Even as a small-town girl fishing on the banks of the Ohio River in Augusta, I felt a great sense of belonging to Kentucky. Perhaps, it has much to do with the fact that my fifth-great-grandfather, Capt. Phillip Buckner, founded the very town where I was born and raised, so, naturally, I would feel that sense of belonging.
“However, I feel it’s a bit more poetic, as if there is a familiar scent on the breeze or the warmth of her embrace when coming home from a long journey. I truly love Kentucky.
“I have such fond memories of hiking in her woods as a child and playing outside till sunset. I loved traveling the back roads with my family as we journeyed to sing at one of many church homecoming hymn sings, where there was preaching in the morning, eating in the afternoon and singing at night. Those days seemed to last forever and I cherish the memories she has given me.
“I have been so honored to represent Kentucky in many ways and to my very core I am a proud Kentucky woman. She is in my heart and she will forever be my home, for I belong to her and she belongs to me.”
Heather French Henry, 2000 Miss America
“Trying to decide what I love most about Kentucky is like trying to decide to have lunch at Wallace Station in Versailles, Stella’s in Lexington or The Glitz in Nonesuch. Or which slice of homemade pie to choose at Magee’s in Lexington.
“But life in the Bluegrass State has its own rhythm—a dance born from the hearts of our people and expressed on an eclectic Kentucky stage.
“It’s the rhythm of the Shakers when, in the spirit of ‘making us kindly welcome,’ they sang, “’Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free.” It’s the inspiration of Thomas Merton to love all, and that none are strangers.
“It’s the rhythm in the sprawling Appalachian Mountains beseeching us to explore their majesty. It’s the fiddle and the mandolin that dance through those mountains as their voice box, expressing the lives of those who create this unique art for the ears.
“It’s the rhythm of Cumberland Falls and Moonlite Bar-B-Q; the Pikeville Hillbilly Festival and the sophisticated St. James Art Fair. It’s the Indian legends and buffalo hunting grounds to the forging of Toyota steel.
“It’s the rhythm that prances across our gently rolling horse farms with our special brand of bluegrass that blankets from Maysville to Paducah, outlined with historic masonry fences.
“Above all, it is the rhythm of the place I’ve always called home.”
Kelly Thornberry Neumeyer, past editor of Kentucky Christian Magazine and a resident of Simpsonville
“My first encounter with Kentucky was less than auspicious. On a reconnaissance trip to Lexington, I spotted a pale looking rodent ceremoniously crossing Richmond Road. The Plaque by Albert Camus was a mandatory reading in Poland, and I was convinced I had just witnessed the largest rat ever. ‘I will never live in a place that has rats that size,’ I said.
“Never mind strong opinions. Since that incident 28 years ago, I have been a transplant to the Bluegrass, learning to salute and slow down for an opossum I mistook for a rat. The natural beauty of the Bluegrass has its challenges, but what’s there not to love?
“Every day, I make an 8-minute ride on Old Richmond Road, now on the National Register of Scenic Drives. It is tucked between rolling hills of horse and cow farms. Mares trot on the meadow beside the road, while a herd of black Angus stare pensively across. Plank fences stretch and curl four-tiered ribbon style. You cannot find this view anywhere else in the world. Even flying squirrels know it. They don’t fly anywhere else but in Kentucky forest.”
Kasia Pater, writer and poet who lives in Lexington
“One of the greatest things about Kentucky is the Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament. I have attended every year but one since 1965. This is a great event.”
Bill Grieme, Kentucky Monthly reader from Villa Hills
“I love Kentucky’s friendly people and consider them its greatest treasure. They lure the very best from each person and return it in full measure.”
Nina Lee, Kentucky Monthly reader from Bloomfield
“No one is supposed to like the city where they were born. Nazareth didn’t really “get” Jesus when he went home to visit, yet to be fair, chances are He was a little underwhelmed by them too. But I’ve always been an outlier, so why change now: I love Kentucky. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t think loving or not loving one’s home state makes one “cool” or “uncool.” I don’t even know what “cool” means or who decides. What I do know is: I love Kentucky and have since my earliest memories. I’ve never wanted to leave here.
“I love that we are known for horses: my father made his living working with them in the backs of racetracks, living in cleared-out tack rooms and old barns, and I couldn’t be prouder of that fact. I love that the eastern and western parts of the state [and I have lived in both] are nothing alike in some ways, yet [in all the ways that matter] possess that certain Kentucky feel, that thing that makes lifelong Kentuckians nod at each other quietly when they run across each other while traveling: ‘Yeah. I get it,’ that nod says. Kentucky. I get it.”
Lexington native Leif Erickson, author and associate professor of English at Bluegrass Community and Technical College
“Love the iconic 1867 Roebling suspension bridge across the Ohio at Covington. It is a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Historic Landmark.”
Kentucky Monthly reader Ralph G. Wolff of Edgewood
“I have lived in Kentucky all of my life except for a few years. I am amazed when I go to New York, California or any other area I visit and then fly back into the Bluegrass; the difference in the beauty of the Commonwealth versus the rest.
“Simply stated, there is no place that equates to Kentucky in its history, love of horses, manufacture of Bourbon or the pride of its people. From the majestic mountains of eastern Kentucky to the waterlands of western Kentucky, no state has what Kentucky has to offer. I have had many opportunities to live in a number of other places. Kentucky is heaven on earth and I would never want to live anywhere else.
“Congratulations to Kentucky Monthly on your 200th publication, and thank you for all you do to help promote our great state to all those who we hope will visit.”
Lexington businessman W. James Host
“What I love about Kentucky is the weather. We have amazing seasons. We have just enough snow in the winter and just enough hot sun in the summer. Spring in Kentucky is lovely with lots of color. Winter is beautiful with the snow, but not too much or too long. Summer is hot but not too much or too long. Fall is so colorful and especially with a drive on the mountain roads.
“As they say in Kentucky: ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.’ ”
“I love Kentucky. I love Kentucky Weather.”
Lexington resident and Kentucky Monthly reader Connie Combs Kincer