Horse farm © Navin75
The state of Kentucky is nicknamed the 'Bluegrass State' for the variety of grass that covers much of its surface, producing a small blue flower in springtime. The grass provides good grazing for Kentucky's most treasured possessions: the thoroughbred horses that are bred on the rolling hills of this western frontier area.
Horses, fried chicken, bourbon and river steamers are what most people associate with Kentucky, but this largely rural part of the United States has plenty of other attractions too, many of them historical and a great deal of them natural. For instance, Thomas Edison lived in Louisville before he invented the light bulb, and the state contains the world's longest cave, Mammoth Cave, which is 350 miles (563km) long.
Kentucky is one of only four American states that is designated a commonwealth: back in 1792 when Kentucky was incorporated as the 15th State of the Union the people chose to be a commonwealth, governed on the common consent of the people. The state is governed from the capital, Frankfort, on the Kentucky River in central Kentucky, but the largest city in the state, and its commercial capital, is Louisville, a lively town on the Ohio River.
Kentucky, bordered by no less than seven other states, is easily accessible via several Interstate highways and the Louisville International Airport, making it a popular tourist destination with its 50 state parks and hundreds of recreational, natural, historic and cultural attractions. Tourism is the State's third largest revenue-producing industry and visitors are enthusiastically welcomed.