If you’re booking a flight to Kentucky for the “most exciting two minutes in sports” then get excited. Held in Louisville at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby is the first Saturday in May and is the finale to the Kentucky Derby Festival. Visitors booking Kentucky flights and hotel rooms during the Derby should come prepared to take part in the Derby traditions: big hats, seersucker suits and mint juleps are just part of the fun. 

There are many reasons to book flights to Kentucky that don’t include horses or jockeys. Sports fans hop a flight to Kentucky to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, where you can watch the famous bats and mitts being crafted. If you need something to sip on your flight to Kentucky, it's worth noting that some of the best whiskey comes out of Kentucky. Grab a bottle to before boarding your Kentucky flight back home and store it for a special occasion.

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Kentucky climate

Kentucky has a moderate climate with warm, humid conditions. Summers are warm with temperatures reaching the mid-80s (F), and winters mildly cold with temperatures in 30s and 40s. Spring is the rainy season, with most of the rain in the southern part of the state. Kentucky is on a storm path, and most storms occur between March and September.

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Best Time to Fly to Kentucky

Peak Season:

With its mild climate, Kentucky has visitors year round, although summer (May to September) is the peak season.

Spring means the Kentucky Derby, so budget-conscious travelers will have a hard time finding cheap Kentucky flights and accommodations. The race is held the first Saturday in May, and there are two weeks of festivals and entertainment before the race.

Fall is also popular, particularly in the Kentucky Highlands during the Fall Festivals.

Off Season:

Spring is a bit slower in Kentucky, as long as you stay away from Louisville. Keep in mind, though, that Churchill Downs is open other times of the year when it is not nearly as crowded.

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Getting around Kentucky

There are two airports offering flights within Kentucky, and some bus service south of Louisville and Lexington. Trail riding is available, and cycling is a popular mode of transport with cycling clubs and routes throughout Kentucky. A beautiful state to drive through, one of the best ways to explore Kentucky and see the sights is with a car.

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Kentucky Travel Information

  • Kentucky is the home of bourbon, and many of the distilleries are open for visiting (and for some tasting as well…) Travel the “Bourbon Trail”, in the hills around Lexington, and you can see where 95 percent of the world’s bourbon comes from. Famous names include Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark and Buffalo Trace.
  • The appropriately named Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest cave system. You can visit the surrounding park area for free, but there is a charge for a tour of the caves. It’s well worth taking a guide (rather than completing a self-guided tour) – the cost is a dollar more and you’ll find out all sorts of fascinating information along the way.
  • Frankfort is the capital of the state and houses many attractions, such as the Kentucky State Capitol and the Zeigler House. Also worth a visit is Daniel Boone’s grave, in the city’s cemetery. As well as seeing the grave itself, the view from the spot – overlooking the river and the Capitol – is stunning.
  • Thomas Edison lived in Louisville on Washington Street. His house is now the site of a museum in his honor.
  • Sanders’ Café in Corbin is the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Colonel Sanders operated a gas station here in the 1930s and served his fried chicken to passing travelers, from his own kitchen table. Today, the restaurant is still operating, and an attached museum tells you all you could ever want to know about the food.
  • If you’re interested in the state’s thoroughbred horses, visit the Kentucky Horse Park Home or the Thoroughbred Center, both in Lexington in the middle of the Bluegrass area. 
  • For more happenings in Kentucky, visit www.nkycvb.com

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    In-flight reading

    Daniel Boone: An American Life

    Michael A. LofaroExcellent biography of the frontiersman who settled Kentucky.

    Icy Sparks

    Gwyn Hyman RublioRecommended by Oprah’s Book Club, the novel tells of a girl’s difficult upbringing in rural Kentucky and her subsequent treatment for Tourette’s syndrome.

    Kentucky Blues

    Derek RobinsonThe story of a pioneering community from its foundation in the 1820s.

    Night Rider

    Robert Penn WarrenOne of the “Southern Classics Series”, the book is set during the tobacco wars in Kentucky and Tennessee and shows of one man’s fall from idealism in the surrounding violence.