There are many things to do in Paducah, Kentucky, whether visitors are interested in art or history, looking for educational activities, or simply want to enjoy a cup of coffee. Visitors and locals alike can immerse themselves in the heritage and history of America and discover the city’s distinctively creative culture in this UNESCO Creative City. Whether guests are in town for the weekend or attending an event or festival, they’ll find plenty to keep them busy.
1. Dry Ground Brewing Company
© Dry Ground Brewing Company
Dry Ground Brewing Company features 28 craft beers on tap, which include more than ten beers brewed in-house. The brewing company gets its name from the site on which they chose to open the first craft brewery in Paducah. In 1937, Paducah, as well as the Coca-Cola bottling plant owned by Luther Carson, were submerged by the flooding of the Ohio River. Floating to safety in a syrup keg, Carson stated “If I ever reach DRY GROUND, it is there that I will build my new bottling plant.” The dry ground where he was off-loaded is now the site of the brewery.
3121 Broadway St, Paducah, KY 24001, Phone: 270-201-2096
2. Etcetera Coffee House, Paducah, Kentucky
© Etcetera Coffee House
The Etcetera Coffee House first opened its doors to the public in 2006. Owned and operated by Allan and Johanna Rhodes, the coffeehouse has grown from just a little coffee shop into a neighborhood staple. There are now actually two coffee shops owned by the couple, the Etcetera Coffee House on North 6th Street and Etcetera Squared in downtown Paducah on 2nd Street. Etcetera was founded upon the principles of great coffee, responsible business practices, and community involvement. The coffee shop is the place for fair-trade and organic brews in Paducah. The shop also offers bubble tea in addition to its range of coffees.
320 North 6th St, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-443-7760
3. Fort Massac State Park, Paducah, Kentucky
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Visitors to Paducah can explore a bit more out of town and discover Fort Massac State Park for themselves in southern Illinois. The park spans almost 1,500 acres and is great for hiking, picnics, disc golf, fishing, camping, and boating as well as seasonal hunting programs. Fort Massac today is a fascinating reminder of the past, an interesting journey through American history, and an ideal place to simply relax surrounded by nature. The park is also the first state park of Illinois and has been maintained and preserved since the year 1908.
1308 E 5th St, Metropolis, IL 62960, Phone: 615-524-4712
4. Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum
© Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum
The Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum is housed within the former home of General Lloyd Tilghman, a railroad worker turned general of the Confederate army. Built in the year 1852, the house is now a museum that is focused on “The War Between the States.” The museum provides a more Confederate version of Civil War history, as would probably be expected as it is owned by the Paducah chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It does, however, include some information about the destruction caused by the Confederate army, such as General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid on Paducah in 1864.
631 Kentucky Ave, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-575-5477
5. National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY
© National Quilt Museum
More than 150,000 art and quilt enthusiasts visit the National Quilt Museum every year to tour the exhibits and facility. The museum serves as a global destination that welcomes visitors from across the United States as well as from more than 40 other countries every year. Three galleries of remarkable fiber and quilt art rotate around seven or eight times per year, offering visitors something new to see with every visit. The museum also provides touring exhibits that can be seen in galleries and museums across the country.
215 Jefferson St, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-442-8856
6. Paducah Railroad Museum, Paducah, Kentucky
© Paducah Railroad Museum
The Paducah Railroad Museum was established as a project of the National Railway Historical Society’s local chapter in Paducah. The museum displays memorabilia and equipment of days gone by, specifically from the railroad era of America. It highlights the importance and impact of trains in the region’s development as well as in the development of the United States as a whole. A new simulator at the museum offers visitors the chance to experience a ride in one of the locomotive cabs. Memorabilia and artifacts include photographs, maps, tools, books, signals, lights, vintage telephone and telegraph equipment, lanterns, and a hand pump car.
200 Washington St, Paducah, KY 42003, Phone: 270-908-6451
7. Paducah Wall to Wall, Paducah, Kentucky
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The rich heritage of western Kentucky comes to life at Paducah Wall to Wall through the floodwall murals created by Robert Dafford over five seasons of painting. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the site’s floodwall to take in the history of Paducah through pictures. There are interpretive panels present in front of every mural describing the painting. Guided tours of Paducah Wall to Wall are available upon request. The floodwall overlooks the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers and attracts both locals and tourists alike, who come to marvel at the detail and style demonstrated by Dafford in the murals.
200 South Water St, Paducah, KY 42003, Phone: 270-519-1321
8. Purple Toad Winery, Paducah, Kentucky
© Purple Toad Winery
Visitors can take a stroll through the vines of the vineyard at Purple Toad Winery and experience what is not only Paducah’s first winery but also its only winery. Situated on the edge of the town of Paducah, the winery was established on the first of July in 2009. The tasting room at the winery offers visitors a chance to try several of the wines produced at Purple Toad. The winery uses Kentucky grapes to create award-winning wines, from dry to sweet, including fruit wines made from strawberries and blackberries. Tours of the winery are offered free of charge and last around 20 minutes.
4275 Old US Highway 45, Paducah, KY 42003, Phone: 270-554-0010
9. River Discovery Center, Paducah, Kentucky
© River Discovery Center
Situated in the historic downtown area of Paducah, the River Discovery Center is located along the riverfront, overlooking the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers. The center strives to educate the public about the important roles the rivers play in the environment through its interactive exhibits. Among the many water-filled exhibits is a state-of-the-art boat simulator, the only one of its kind in Kentucky. Other interactive activities highlight subjects such as the natural environment, history, economy, and culture of the country’s rivers. The museum shop at the River Discovery Center offers nautical-themed gifts, books, toys, and educational games.
117 S. Water St, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-575-9958
10. Silent Brigade Distillery, Paducah, KY
© Silent Brigade Distillery
Silent Brigade Distillery was founded by John Brown and Keith Bundy in 2014 from a shared passion to create smooth traditionally crafted bourbon. The life’s blood of the distillery is quality, which is why the copper pots used at Silent Brigade were specially designed and constructed in order to produce the highest quality of hand-crafted bourbon. A number of different flavored moonshine is offered by the distillery, including peach, apple pie, piña colada, and blackberry. Visitors can try tastings of these Kentucky moonshines as well as specialty cocktails at the distillery.
426 Broadway St, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-709-3242
11. Troutt Old Time General Store
© Troutt Old Time General Store
The Troutt Old Time General Store and Market offers customers an old-fashioned shopping experience. The store has a broad variety of items for sale, from vintage and antique objects to old-time favorite foods. Troutt Old Time offers two coffee blends from local roasters as well as a non-profit coffee blend from Mississippi that gives the proceeds from the coffee back to the growers of the coffee beans. The store is also Kentucky’s exclusive retailer for Blessing Baskets as well as a retailer for Sweet Grass Farms, Troyer Cheese Company, Swan Creek Candles, products from Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, and several other products.
433 N. 4th St, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-443-0858
12. Whitehaven Welcome Center, Paducah, Kentucky
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The Whitehaven Welcome Center is an antebellum home built during the 1860s. The grand local landmark in Paducah acts as the Welcome Center for Kentucky and is the only historical home in the United States to be restored and used as a Welcome Center for tourists along the interstate. Inside the historical house are beautiful antiques, including furniture and memorabilia once belonging to Alben Barkley, who served as vice president under President Harry Truman. Free tours are offered, and the lobby is open 24 hours a day for visitors, with the Welcome Center serving as a gateway to the South in Kentucky.
1845 Lone Oak Rd, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-554-2077
13. William Clark Market House Museum
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Paducah, Kentucky, has long been home to people with several unique and individual talents, in addition to several important industries and businesses. This fascinating history of Paducah comes to life through the exhibits, artifacts, and photographs at the William Clark Market House Museum. More than 4,000 square feet at the museum today house displays and rotating exhibitions, providing visitors with a chance to learn more about the town’s past. New artifacts are being continuously added to the museum’s collection in order to develop its offering and continue serving the local community.
121 S. 2nd St, Paducah, KY 42001, Phone: 270-443-7759
14. Atomic City Family Fun Center
© Atomic City Family Fun Center
Atomic City Family Fun Center is a little unique in that it was specially designed as an entertainment center where adults could let their hair down and enjoy some stress-relieving fun. However, there is also plenty to do for children, which makes this center great for the whole family. The Go Karts are particularly popular (height restrictions apply) and you can choose from 4 different speeds according to your ability. After the race you can make your way to the games arcade where you will find more than 55 games waiting for you. Other fun activities include Laser Tag, Mini Glow Golf and the Flip Zone. There is a special Toddler Area where young visitors can have fun.
3801 Hinkleville Road, Paducah, KY 42001, 270 558 4868
15. Bob Noble Park
Covering 135 acres, Bob Noble Park is a much-loved outdoor recreational area on Park Avenue. At the heart of the park there is a 5-acre lake with a fishing pier, bridge and gazebo. Other facilities in the park include a well-maintained walking path, access to the Greenway hiking trail, and a swimming pool. You can also enjoy a game of volley ball, basket ball or tennis or take the children to have fun at the two children’s playgrounds. Skating enthusiasts will love the skate park while everyone can enjoy the Music Garden, on the west side of the lake. There are also restrooms and picnic shelters.
2801 Park Ave, Paducah, KY 42001, 270 444 8508
16. Talon Falls Escape
© LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/stock.adobe.com
Providing avid escapees with multiple chances to pit their wits against the clock, Talon Falls Escape rooms are a popular Paducah attraction. The There are four cleverly-designed escape rooms to choose from including the Jail Bus, Escape Back to the Future, The Spell and The Antidote. Each room can accommodate up to 8 players. Your group will need to work as a team to unravel all the clues and puzzles if you want to break the code and escape your room within the allotted 60 minutes. Escape rooms are perfect for parties, family groups or even for an unusual date night experience.
451 Jordan Drive, Paducah, KY 42001, 270 674 5690
17. The Freight House
© Freight House
Headed up by Chef Sara Bradley, the Freight House endeavors to feed the community and their visitors only the finest Kentucky cuisine using sustainably sourced seasonal produce. Every dish on their menu is inspired by whatever local produce is at its peak of seasonal perfection. They work hand in hand with local farmers to ensure that the food on your plate is as good as it gets. The menu changes regularly but a few of the flavorsome dishes you can anticipate include a variety of sharable snacks and dips with bread or crackers and an extensive menu of starters and entrée. Vegetarians are well catered for but carnivores will also find plenty of dishes to love. More KY weekend getaways
330 S. 3rd Street, Paducah, KY 42003, 270 908 0006
18. Flamingo Row
© Flamingo Row
Bringing the fresh and vibrant flavors and aromas of the Caribbean to the heart of Kentucky, Flamingo Row is a popular indoor/outdoor eatery much loved by Paducah locals. You will find all your favorite Caribbean-style dishes on the menu as well as burgers, sandwiches, steaks, salads, seafood, fish and shrimp. If you are yearning for a delicious steaming bowl of spicy shrimp and rice, Flamingo Row is the place to go. They are also rumored to serve the best Margarita’s in Kentucky (along with a long list of other decadent cocktails). You can round off your meal the Caribbean way with a slice of delicious Key Lime Pound Cake.
2640 Perkins Creek Drive, Paducah, KY 42001, 270 442 0460
Attraction Spotlight: River Discovery Center, Paducah, KY
The River Discovery Center in Paducah, Kentucky is an educational institution with the primary purpose of stimulating an interest in the rivers of America and educating visitors about their importance in the development of the United States. The center has a particular focus on the Four Rivers Region, and features many different exhibits associated with rivers and their uses. The River Discovery Center highlights every aspect of the rivers, such as economic, cultural, and environmental benefits. Exhibits visitors will find at the center include 24 Hours on the River, River Habitats, the Boat Simulator, and many more.
24 Hours on the River allows visitors to have their own turn at the wheel, and experience what it is like to pilot a boat along a river. This exhibit shows how busy traffic has been on the river over the previous twenty-four hours, or up to a week in the past. Guests can see where the Tennessee River and the Ohio River meet at Owen Island from the River Discovery Center thanks to the camera situated on the rooftop of the museum. Visitors can also see how much traffic there is on the rivers during the middle of the night.
River Habitats at the River Discovery Center offers a look at several different habitats that can be found along the rivers of America. The Habitat Corner share information about the River Floodplain and the variety of wildlife found there, as well as wetlands. Wetlands feature standing water throughout the majority of the year and many year-round. The swampy, damp area provides a habitat to many different water-loving animals and plants. Wetlands provide more animals and plants life than any other of the earth’s ecosystems. The Ohio River’s wetlands are an important area for migrating waterfowl, as well as other species of birds.
The Aquatic Habitat within the River Habitats exhibit features displays of habitat from the Ohio River Bottom. Much of this area consists of gravel bars and shifting sand. Near the river’s shorelines, silt collects, and snags and stumps rise out of the water, providing an ideal habitat for various species of fish. This results in the Ohio River supporting around two hundred different species of fish native to the area. Fishing is a popular hobby along the river as well as a result. Also living within the aquatic habitat are mussel and various turtle species, including the map turtle and the alligator snapping turtle.
The River Discovery Center’s Boat Simulator allows visitors to “captain” their own speed boat, Coast Guard vessel, or towboat in a state-of-the-art visual audio experience through various scenarios. The Boat Simulator is the first simulator of its kind to be available to the public, offering visitors a one-of-a-kind experience at the center. Guests can take a vessel for a leisurely ride, or go full throttle for a bit of a more exciting boating experience. The equipment of the simulator is quite realistic, letting visitors feel vibrations from the boat running, as well as experiencing sounds similar to the boat they choose in real life.
117 South Water Street, Paducah, Kentucky, Phone: 270-575-9958
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