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Stomp into the heart of Kentucky’s bluegrass country. Billing itself as the “Horse Capital of the World,” the state’s second-largest metropolis is embraced by rolling hillsides where championship racehorses are bred. Here you’ll also find Kentucky’s “Bourbon Trail,” which winds past historic distilleries where you can tour and, more importantly, taste.

Time your trip for the Festival of the Bluegrass, a long-running musical celebration in mid-June, or a horse race at Keeneland Race Course during spring and fall. Open year-round, Kentucky Horse Park is a mammoth complex of museums, working farm exhibits and 1200 acres of green pastures where 50 breeds of horses graze. Historical landmarks, including the USA’s largest restored Shaker village, also keep sightseers busy. Head downtown for art galleries, shops, restaurants and bars.

Several prominent technology companies such as IBM and Lockheed-Martin bring in a business crowd. But the University of Kentucky campus, with its sociable student population, makes this tech-savvy city feel like a college town, especially when the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team plays at Rupp Arena.