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Not too late to take that Kentucky summer getaway

Beech Bend Park & Splash Lagoon in Bowling Green has 40 rides, go-karts and a water park.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2012) — The season may be drawing to a close, but it’s not too late for a fun-filled summer getaway in Kentucky that can bring families, friends and couples closer together. Labor Day weekend and September’s pleasant weather are still to come.

“From houseboating on Lake Cumberland to exploring the many fascinating exhibits along Louisville’s Museum Row, Kentucky is a fabulous place for people to bond while enjoying new and exciting experiences,” said Mike Mangeot, commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Travel and Tourism.

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A long weekend at one of Kentucky’s jewel-like lakes is a great way to refresh and rejuvenate in the cooling waters that abound throughout the state. For the adventurous, whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Russell Fork River near Elkhorn City is also a great option.

Caving is another way to cool off, as temperatures below ground hover in the mid-50s year-round. Visit Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest charted cave system, or any of a half-dozen other caves around the state that offer tours.

Venture to one of Kentucky’s 17 state resort parks with lodges, or “rough it” while camping at any of some 30 state parks with campgrounds.Most park campgrounds are equipped with RV hookups; at the resort parks, lodge rooms and cabin rentals are available if you’d rather get back to nature with more of the comforts of home. Backpacking, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing are just a few activities for which Kentucky’s parks are famous.

The Bluegrass State is the Horse Capital of the World, and one place to get close to horses is the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. With nearly 1 million visitors yearly, the Horse Park is the world’s only theme park dedicated solely to man’s relationship with the horse. Kids love to make the acquaintance of celebrated racehorses who now call the park home. And there’s always something new and interesting at the International Museum of the Horse.

In downtown Louisville, couples will enjoy the entertainment and nightlife of Fourth Street Live! Take a stroll along Museum Row near the riverfront. Here you’ll find the Frazier International History Museum, where the collection spans centuries starting with medieval England, and live interpreters demonstrate sword fights. Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, where workers craft the bats used by Major League players, and the history of “America’s pastime” comes alive. Youngsters and their parents will also enjoy the Muhammad Ali Center, where interactive exhibits in multiple languages pay tribute to the career and values of the former world champion boxer from Louisville.

Meanwhile, take the kids to Bowling Green in south central Kentucky for Beech Bend Park & Splash Lagoon, with 40 rides, go-karts and a water park. Drag racing and stock car racing provide excitement at Beech Bend Raceway. Auto enthusiasts, young and old, will enjoy theNational Corvette Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to America’s sports car. Right across the street, tour the GM Corvette Plant, the only place where Corvettes are made.

Make your plans now. Visit www.kytourism.com or call the Department of Travel and Tourism’s toll-free line, 1-800-225-8747.