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Best Places To Live in Kentucky

Moving to the Bluegrass State? These are the best places to live.

By Kevin Litwin on December 10, 2021

One of the most scenic states in America is Kentucky, and here are the best charming communities for residents of The Bluegrass State.

Covington KY
Covington / Michael Dominic Tedesco


Just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati is Covington, a city whose quality of life includes 16 parks and 19 distinct neighborhoods. The community is served by Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, and the largest employer is St. Elizabeth Healthcare with 6,300 employees. Outdoor amenities include Licking River Greenway.


Nicknamed “Barbecue Capital of the World,” Owensboro hosts the International Barbecue Festival every second weekend in May. The city is home to three colleges along with Owensboro Medical Health System Hospital, which has 3,300 employees. Excellent outdoor recreation opportunities are led by popular spots like Smothers Park.

Bowling Green KY
Bowling Green / iStock/Jacqueline Nix

Bowling Green

Home to Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green is designated a Tree City USA and ranked among the best places in America to retire. Quality of life attractions include historic districts, six golf courses and a regional airport, and all Chevrolet Corvettes have been built in Bowling Green since 1981.


With a motto of “The City That Works,” Richmond is situated among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and home to Eastern Kentucky University. The city serves as a regional hub for health care and shopping in south-central Kentucky, and residents have access to conveniences like Lake Reba and numerous parks.


Louisville is known for being the hometown of the Kentucky Derby and Bourbon. Lots of Bourbon. The city, which was once known as the “Wall Street of Whiskey,” now is home to 10 different distillers and an Urban Bourbon Trail that takes folks through the city’s best Bourbon bars and restaurants. There is always something going on here and the city has a rich cultural scene and residents can fill their days visiting museums, watching live theater or walking one of the many nearby parks and green spaces.


In southwest Kentucky is Hopkinsville, home to a variety of businesses and industries that include Fortune 500 companies. The city is historically an agricultural community that today still produces large yields of wheat, corn, soybeans and tobacco. Hopkinsville also manufactures 60 percent of the world’s bowling balls thanks to Ebonite International headquartered here.

Downtown Danville, KY
Danville / Clay Jackson


Centre College is located in Danville, a city that has received a Great American Main Street Award and twice hosted U.S. Vice-Presidential debates. Stuart Powell Field provides air transportation for residents, and tourists often visit Danville to see attractions like the Great American Dollhouse Museum and Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge.


Located along I-65 between Louisville and Nashville is Elizabethtown, home to two high-ranking school districts as well as Elizabethtown Regional Airport. The city serves as a bedroom community for workers at nearby Fort Knox Military Installation, and more than 12 religious denominations are represented by 100 churches in Elizabethtown.

Lexington, KY downtown aerial view


Lexington may be known for its bourbon or for being the Horse Capital of the World, but that’s not all this dynamic city has to offer. Entrepreneurs love Lexington. It’s a gigabit city with Internet faster than its racehorses and has an entrepreneurial ecosystem to help businesses succeed. Lexington is also home to the highly accomplished University of Kentucky basketball team and their loyal fan base is known as Big Blue Nation.


More than a dozen companies with at least 200 employees operate in Winchester, located in the eastern Appalachian Mountains. The city features a historic downtown district and several miles of rural biking trails, and quality of life conveniences include a Winchester campus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College.


Home to Murray State University, the city of Murray houses about 75 churches and features one of the lowest crime rates in America. The community hosts several annual festivals and has three city parks and Murray-Calloway County Airport. Nearby for residents is Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

Living in Paducah, KY
Paducah / Kevin Young


At the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers is Paducah, a city with a 20-block downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The community features several outdoor murals on buildings, and a top health care sector includes two hospitals. Students can attend Kentucky Community and Technical College.

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