Does everyone in Kentucky like horses are everyone in the eastern hillsides, a hillbilly, and do they all love college basketball.
Here we’re going to cover those things, and more so, get out your 1920s prohibition-style straight bourbon whiskey. We’re going to unbox the state of Kentucky, man; this is pretty.
This is the bluegrass area in Kentucky’s most well-known region. Still, Kentucky has many beautiful places in river gorges, mountain ranges, prairies, and farmland.
It’s one of the most ecologically diverse states in the region well. I should stop right where Kentucky isn’t a state. It’s a commonwealth. Let’s get that straight, and there’s a debate as to Kentucky’s a midwestern state or a southern state. Let’s set the record straight on that too; Kentucky is a southern state, pal; there’s no doubt about that. But it’s also kind of midwestern sort of many areas.
Now to get an in-depth understanding of the state of Kentucky. To know what each area is like and where the best and worst parts to live are, we should look at each region and this commonwealth this is Kentucky.
As you can tell, it’s all hillbillies and rednecks and bible thumpers.
Kentucky’s way more than just that. In fact, by the end of this video, you’re probably going to have your mind changed on how you think about Kentucky because there’s a lot more going on than you might have thought.
We begin our tour of Kentucky over here in eastern Kentucky. Now I just got through saying Kentucky’s all banjo playing barefoot hillbillies. Then I begin over in eastern Kentucky, which is a lot of banjo playing barefoot hillbillies. Well, some of them are anyways.
This is Appalachia boy. Home to lots of coal mining or was home to lots of excellent mining as America’s lessened its dependence on coal over time. These small towns tucked away back in the haulers in eastern Kentucky are shrinking. Because coal jobs are going away, The eastern part of the state has the poorest counties in the state and some of the highest poverty in the country.
Eastern Kentucky broadly begins anywhere east of i-75, but the impoverished areas are in the hillsides of the Appalachian mountains. You can see on this map which counties, in particular, have been hit hardest with poverty over the last 50 years.
It’s actually unfortunate nobody’s moving in out here, and as people die off, the towns get even smaller. You can buy a place to live out here for anywhere between 50 grand and 200 grand, depending on how much land you want. But it’s incredibly mountainous and rugged terrain to manage. There’s a stereotype that folks out here marry their cousins and drink mountain dew and take drugs.
If you look at this map, most of the meth use is on the state’s eastern side. So yes, meth is a big problem in these more impoverished communities now regarding the cousin-lover part.
Well, it’s a state law that you’re not supposed to marry your cousin, but I’m sure it happens out here. I mean, there’s a reason people say Kentucky has 4.5 million people and six last names.
Anyways just about everybody in this part of the state’s just regular people, just really poor.
Most folks here are very close-knit, and they love the locals. They typically don’t like many outsiders coming in and causing trouble.
Good for them. The wrong side is the poverty here goes hand in hand with bad lifestyle choices.
This map shows the highest cancer death rates in the nation. And look at eastern Kentucky. A lot of that has to do with obesity. And smoking rates in this part of the state. And the waters contaminated from coal mining.
So they say coal’s a big political divider in Kentucky .a a lot of people still support coal. The politicians suck up to the eastern Kentucky coal voters by blowing millions on a dying industry that continues to shrink year after year. And the people there don’t really want to change.
It’s the industry that’s supported their families. It’s hard to walk away from the sad truth that many people in eastern Kentucky find their purpose and their identity in coal. No matter how much it goes down, this region is also home to a distinct school of country music that combines old folk tunes, bluegrass, and other country styles.
Famous artists from eastern Kentucky include Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam, and Loretta Lynn, among others.
Good for you, eastern Kentucky. Besides, music moonshining still a thing out here.
Moonshine is basically unaged backyard brewed potent whiskey .it’s illegal, but when did that stop, anybody, before? We’ll talk more about whiskey varieties in this state a little later.
And finally, one more stereotype we have to address a lot of us associate Appalachia with dumb people without teeth, which means they’re not all like that in the state.
I mean, as a whole, Kentucky ranks 16th in the country for the quality of public schools, so that might be surprising to you. I’m telling you Kentucky’s got a lot to prove now.
Southeastern Kentucky is also very poor. Places like Hazard in Williamsburg and London, and Corbin are small towns with good people but not many opportunities.
But that didn’t stop colonel sanders. North Corbin is where the first-ever Kentucky fried chicken was started. Sanders began serving his uniques style of chicken in his filling station here, and it became trendy.
But the actual first franchise began in salt lake city, and it took off from there. So KFC did start in Kentucky but only as an idea more than anything else.
And there’s a stereotype that Kentuckians only eat KFC. that’s not true. Actually, if you ask around, chick-fil-a is more of the king of the south now.
Boy Kentucky cuisine is unique. They love .a dish called hot browns, an open-faced sandwich with ham and bacon covered in mornay sauce and cheese. They also eat burgu, a meaty stew with vegetables. The mountain folk put squirrel and rabbit in theirs there’s.
Also, an underrated barbecue scene here, especially in the western side of the state, utilizes a lot of mutton as opposed to beef or chicken, and there are quite a few popular drinks made famous in Kentucky.
ale8 and mint juleps are popular, and of course, bourbon whiskey brings us to central Kentucky.
Now, this is the bluegrass region of the state—possibly the most well-known region of Kentucky. You can roughly divide central Kentucky up into the Lexington metro area all the way down between i-65 and i-75.
The middle region of the state is known for rolling hills, horse farms, and bourbon.
It’s actually really pretty here. The first settlers who came here said it reminded them of Ireland. The bluegrass species of grass that grows here isn’t really blue per se. It’s green, but when it first pops up every spring, the buds have a blue hue.
This part of the state’s predominantly middle class, but the stretch here from Louisville to Lexington is probably the most upper-class part.
It’s a lot of horse farms and bourbon distilleries along this stretch. A lot of people who live here commute into Lexington or Louisville for work.
Frankfurt’s capital it’s a nice enough place. Boring. Georgetown is an upper-class community. So is Versailles. It looks like you’d call it Versailles, but they call it Versailles here.
Lexington has 300,000 people making it the state’s second-largest city.
It’s home to the University of Kentucky, which is beloved by just about everyone in this entire state.
Most of Lexington is an excellent place. It’s a college town, so it’s progressive. There’s a smallish tech scene emerging. Here the north side of Lexington is a terrible area. Though lots of crime in poverty and run-down neighborhoods.
The horse industry in the bluegrass region attracts a lot of tourism and brings in a lot of money to the state.
There are many celebrities and politicians from all over the world that have houses in central Kentucky, and they’ve invested significant amounts of money into horse farms.
Even the sheik of the united Arab emirates has a farm just outside of Lexington.
In case you didn’t know, Lexington’s the racing capital of the world. They know how to breed prize racehorses. Around here, hombre, it’s not uncommon for horses bred in Lexington to fetch millions of bucks.
Of course, everybody’s heard of the Kentucky Derby, which pretty much shuts this place down at the end of every April.
The Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The race comes with a bunch of hype, and people wear funny hats and drink fancy drinks. The whole race takes about two minutes, and then everybody goes back to their lives again.
Speaking of fancy drinks, this is an excellent time to talk about Kentucky bourbon. There are bourbon distilleries all over this part of the state. There are actually more bourbon barrels in this state than people.
95% of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky. as such, the bourbon industry here results in lots of tourism. There are all sorts of whiskey varieties, but bourbon is the only whisky variety where corn is at least half of the ingredients.
Evan Williams or early times or Kentucky gentlemen are cheap. Buffalo trace is excellent but affordable. But some limited batch bourbons like Elijah Craig or Woodford reserve can cost more than $200 a bottle.
Pappy Van Winkle is made in frankfurt, and a bottle of it can run as high as $5000, but that’s nothing compared to this bottle of Japanese whiskey that sells for five hundred and ten thousand dollars. What the? What the what is in this whiskey, and who can afford that?
South of Lexington, down to the Tennessee border, is a mix of smaller towns and countryside with lots of farms and rolling hills. There are also some nice areas down here; it’s spread out.
Hunting is a big deal in this part of the state. As far as the Kentucky guy thinks, it’s always deer season.
If you’re into exploring, the most extensive underground cave system in the world is here, located in mammoth caves national park. 500000 people go down there every year and well explore caves. There are eyeless fish and cave salamanders and cave shrimp down there.
Now north of Lexington is where Kentucky becomes much more suburban. From Lexington to Covington to the northern Louisville suburbs, this whole area is called the golden triangle.
It’s many middle-class suburbs, soccer moms, malls, parks, and sprawl, the kind of place where kids walk to school and neighbors have fourth of July parades and their cul-de-sacs.
This is a part of the state where most of the wealth and people are. It’s a significant economic engine for the state.
Here right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, is the city of Covington. Many people here and further from the Ohio river commute into Cincinnati every day. If you’re close enough, you can actually walk over the bridge into Cincinnati for work.
This part of the state has a very midwestern vibe. Many people here have a midwest twang in their accent, and it’s a lot less southern than the rest of the state.
Many transplants from Indiana and Ohio settle here for are latively low cost of living, more amenities, and less crime. so not everybody here identifies as a true blue Kentuckian.
This whole area from Covington to Florence, all the way down to Williamstown and Falmouth, can be considered northern Kentucky.
It’s growing super fast but still relatively affordable. You can get a great house in a nice neighborhood for under 300k. Many housing communities with all the track homes can fetch into the mid 400000 so what’s not affordable.
Though our pockets south as we get closer to the Louisville metro area, Oldham County is the wealthiest part of this entire state. This is where all the doctors and lawyers, and fancy horse breeders live. Homes here fetch about 350k each on average, but many are much, much more than that. Louisville is just south of that in Jefferson county.
Okay, and by the way, there’s an annoyance among folks here who want you and me to say the name of their city correctly. It’s not Louisville or Louisville. It’s Louisville. Say it with me, Louisville.
There are 770,000 people here, making this Kentucky’s largest city. in fact, about a quarter of the state’s whole population lives in the Louisville metro area.
Louisville feels very midwestern with a hint of southern it’s a pretty good mix of folks. White-collar professionals, college students, hipsters, hippies, rednecks, and inner-city gangsters.
This is the most diverse part of the state for sure. The west side of Louisville is the roughest part of this whole state. Outside of North Lexington to the west of the University of Louisville, to the Ohio River is an area that’s fallen way behind in terms of economic development and progress.
If there’s a shooting in Kentucky, it’s likely in west Louisville. That’s the main reason Louisville was just outside the top 10 when it came to the deadliest big cities in the country. not too long ago. At the same time, Louisville proper only has one-seventh of this state’s entire population; it has 40 percent of Kentucky’s murders.
Kentucky as a whole, though, is actually relatively safe. You may not know it, but Kentucky is the 10th safest state in the country. Take Louisville out of the equation, and this state would be the top five safest for sure. Because, for the most part, outside of Louisville, crimes are usually drug-related handled by pathetic lazy junkies.
This high crime and the political clout that Louisville holds over the rest of the state are the main reasons the rest of Kentucky doesn’t really care for Louisville that much.
The rest of Kentucky is very humble and welcoming and hardworking, and safe parts of Louisville are not that.
Mitch McConnell lives in Louisville, which is another reason people in Kentucky don’t like this city. He’s not much well-liked in the state. Still, according to Kentuckians, it really isn’t a better option, or at least nobody could gain enough traction to unseat him.
As one of the state senators politically, Louisville votes hard democrat, but the rest are very conservative. So Louisville doesn’t share the political or cultural values that much of the state does. Of course, there’s a ton of fun stuff to do in Louisville.
There are bars and restaurants all over and cultural things to do.
Baxter Avenue and Bardstown road both have long stretched entertainment options. Many stay open until 4 AM.
Now, as you go south out of Louisville, it gets country living really fast. About 10 minutes south of Louisville, you get pickup trucks, country music, and confederate flags.
While eastern Kentucky would be your stereotypical hillbillies, this is where the rednecks roam, and this is where we get to our last region to discuss.
Western Kentucky. This part of the state also has a midwestern vibe. The land is flat and relatively rural. There’s lots of farmland. They get tornadoes here, and between all the farms, there are decent decent-sized great places to raise kids.
This is a very distinctly different part of the state, tucked between Indiana and Tennessee. Agriculture and livestock are the primary economic drivers of most of western Kentucky. There’s a lot of tobacco grown in this part of the state.
It’s very religious too. In fact, this is the most religious part of this whole state. Most Kentuckians are protestants and baptists. Seeing as how about two-thirds of the state considers itself highly religious, Kentucky ranks as the 13th most religious of all states.
Here’s also pockets of Mennonites and Amish in this part of the state. We have to mention Kentucky’s snake-handling churches briefly. That’s where they use snakes to test your faith. If you get bit, you don’t have the valid spirit pal.
Notable cities in western Kentucky include Paducah, Owensboro, Murray Elizabethtown, and bowling green. All are very nice. They’re kind of the radar middle-class places with a decent amount of jobs and things to do.
Paducah is right along the Ohio River. It’s a nice place. They have an annual quilt show here where the population doubles from thirty thousand to sixty thousand people into quilts. If you’re not into quilts, you will not be liked in Paducah. Jk. You don’t have to quilt to live here.
Murray is a cute college town home to Murray state university.
Owensboro has 60000 people in a fantastic downtown area.
e-town has 30000 people and also has excellent schools. It could be considered a military town since it’s just south of Fort Knox, an army base.
Bowling green’s also a super lovely place to live. It’s also a college town home to western Kentucky university. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and it’s been called one of the top small towns in the country to raise a family.
It has a great small-town feel and excellent schools. There’s also a corvette factory here and a gm plant.
You may not know it, but Kentucky ranks third in the nation for automobile manufacturing. There’s also a big Ford plant in Louisville, and Georgetown has a Toyota plant. Kentucky is becoming a mini Detroit, aren’t they?
One final exciting thing of note here is that a bit of peninsula here called the Kentucky bend is not actually connected to Kentucky anymore because the Mississippi river changed course. To get there, you have to go through Tennessee.
Kentuckians are incredibly proud of their state. It’s perhaps one of the most culturally distinct regions in the country.
They’re friendly and hospitable religious with a strong sense of morals and values outside Louisville in its churches and potlucks and a friendly, safe atmosphere.
It’s still affordable here, and there’s breathtaking natural beauty all around. It’s a solid mix of culturally rich and modern cities, and plenty of wild countrysides are disappearing too.
Kentuckians are actually much more wealthy and intelligent than people think, although stereotypes of Kentucky being a poor, backward place are not valid for the most part.
There are large parts of the state that are up and coming and have a friendly middle-class lifestyle.
Okay, I think we did a pretty good job of looking at Kentucky from a higher level, didn’t we?
Yes, we did. We learned a lot about Kentucky; what it is not like. It’s not just bourbon and horseracing and dumb people. Is it no, no, it’s not? We could have gone on and on and talked about many things that made Kentucky great.
Like we didn’t even have time to talk about the baseball bats they make here. We didn’t talk about the complicated civil war history in Kentucky, nor did we have time to talk about the Hatfield McCoys.
How do we have no time to talk about them, but we have to go the Kentucky Derby is about to start, and I bet a bunch of money on a horse that’s about to finish last.
Just youTube you Kentucky if you move to a move to them, they’ll steal your heart.
Hey guys, great, if you learned something new about America or what it’s like to live in America. It would help if you thought about subscribing and turning on your notifications. You can also click one of these videos or playlists for more you can also now buy my songs on iTunes and other formats.
Click the link in the description. Thanks for watching, and remember, while we all might have different views, we should all be nice to each other and try to make the U.S. a better place in a positive way.