15 Unique Things to Do in Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah, Kentucky is an interesting city with plenty of attractions and unique destinations to offer visitors. From its beautiful riverfront location to its interesting history and delicious food, there’s something for everyone in Paducah.

If you’re looking for something different to do during your next trip, be sure to check out some of these places. Here are fifteen of the best things to do in Paducah, KY.

1. National Quilt Museum

The National Quilt Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum that we’re sure you’ll love. Even if you’re not a huge fan of fabrics and quilts, it’s still pretty amazing to see these quilt artworks up on display. They have several galleries and over 500 works in their collection that highlights the artistry in each piece.

Their exhibits are constantly changing so you’ll find something different in each visit. Aside from quilts, they also feature textiles and fiber art from local and international artists.

2. River Discovery Center

Another Paducah attraction that’s best for history buffs, this place will give you insight into the lifestyle along the Ohio River. Here, visitors can learn about Paducah’s river history through interactive exhibits.

You also might be able to catch one of the many special events held here throughout the year. They also have plenty of interactive displays where guests can learn more about the role of rivers and environmental effects.

3. Whitehaven Welcome Center

If after reading guide after guide on Paducah you still don’t know where to go, head to Whitehaven Welcome Center first. It’s a beautiful 19th century house in a Classical Revival style architecture. The inside of the house is also gorgeous with a grand staircase and Corinthian columns.

Aside from the aesthetics, the center primarily functions as an information center. Here you’ll find brochures on attractions in the city, information about accommodations and packages, and more.

4. Paducah Wall to Wall

The Paducah Wall to Wall Mural project is a great attraction for arts lovers.

The project started way back in 1996 with additional paintings done in 2010. The floodwall murals are these vibrant and colorful works of art that tell the story of Paducah. The mural project also doubles as a community outreach program where artists are invited to make their own contributions to the city’s art scene.

It’s a beautiful sight and stretches for more than 60 life-sized panoramic murals. It’s an iconic landmark in the city that you can’t miss out on. You’ll find the murals overlooking the Paducah waterfront at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers.

5. Historic Downtown

The historic downtown area offers visitors a glimpse into the past. You will find many different art galleries, museums and beautiful historic homes that you can tour. There are also many other interesting things to do here including visiting one of the local candy shops, checking out some iconic street murals or buying some locally made arts and crafts.

The historic downtown is one of our favorite destinations in Paducah. You can easily spend a whole day just roaming around here checking out the pretty buildings, murals and other attractions.

6. Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Paducah, then be sure to stop by the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. This scenic area offers visitors recreational opportunities on Kentucky’s northern section of land known as the “Land Between The Rivers” and Tennessee’s southern section.

It’s perfect for an outdoor adventure! Be sure to check out the visitor center where you will find nice exhibits about this region including one about its fascinating history. You can also hike, camp, go on a picnic, or visit the planetarium here.

7. Paducah Railroad Museum

The Paducah Railroad Museum is located in the old Illinois Central agent’s home. This museum is great for history lovers as it focuses on Paducah’s rail industry.

Visitors are able to see many different trains, rail cars, and trolleys that once played a major role in transporting goods and people around the region. They also have a nice collection of vintage tools and photos which go along with their theme.

8. Clyde F. Boyles Greenway Trail

The Clyde F. Boyce Greenway Trail is a great place to walk, bike, or even roller blade. It’s the perfect place for getting some exercise and enjoying nature at the same time. You not only get a beautiful view of the Ohio River, but you will also get to see many different plant species along the way including dogwood, redbud, and laurel blossoms just to name a few.

The trail is over 23 miles and has several segments and stops that you allow you to see the view.

9. Purple Toad Winery

If you’re into wine and are looking for things to do in Paducah, KY for couples, then definitely stop by Purple Toad Winery. This quaint winery is located on a beautiful farm and is the first and only winery in Paducah.

They offer visitors locally grown wines made from Kentucky grapes and free, guided tours of their winery. They also offer guests great views from their outdoor patio of the grounds.

While there, be sure to check out their wide selection of wines and crafts to bring home.

10. Shawnee National Forest

Shawnee National Forest is a very popular outdoor recreation destination. Visitors come to this section of land for many different activities such as camping, hunting, hiking, and even horseback riding. Whether you’re looking for a nice place to camp out or just a short hike on a nature trail, then you won’t be disappointed with what this national forest has to offer.

Some notable attractions near Paducah here include:

  • Garden of the Gods, perfect for hikers
  • Pomona Bridge, a natural land bridge
  • Cave-in-Rock, for the flora and fauna
  • Heron Pond

11. Lloyd Tilghman House and Civil War Museum

The Lloyd Tilghman House and Civil War Museum is located inside of a historic home which was built in 1861. The house is done in a Greek Revival style with the interiors looking like it did back in the day.

This museum tells visitors about Paducah’s role during the Civil War and also has some exhibits on Kentucky’s history. While there, you will be able to see the first Catholic Church west of the Allegheny Mountains as well as some artifacts from Paducah’s founder, General Lloyd Tilghman.

12. Fort Massac State Park

Fort Massac State Park is the perfect place for history lovers. It was established in the 1700s by France and named after a French army captain who was killed while fighting Indians.

It’s also known as one of the oldest standing forts in Kentucky. There are many different things to do at this historic site including touring an authentic fort, hiking nature trails, and visiting the nature center. There is also an 18-hole disc golf course, picnic areas, and water access.

13. Etcetera Coffee House

Etcetera Coffee House is a popular meeting place for local Paducah residents. It’s known for its welcoming environment and now has two locations in the city! Visitors say that they have the best coffee and baked goods in town.

If you’re planning on stopping by this coffee shop then be sure to check out their speciality drinks and beverages as well as their breakfast and lunch menus. They also do organic food and drinks, giving you more options.

You won’t miss this spot, just look for the red-brick building!

14. Bob Noble Park

Bob Noble Park is a beautiful 135-acre city park which has many different things to offer visitors of all ages.

If you’re up for some outdoor fun, then get on their challenging trails and go mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding. Or if you just want to get out and stretch your legs, then take a stroll on their walking paths or hike around the lake.

If you like the mix of music and nature, there’s also an outdoor amphitheater and interactive music garden here.

No matter what kind of adventure you choose, you will definitely have a good time in this family-friendly park!

15. Dry Ground Brewing Company

Dry Ground Brewing Company is a very unique looking building which used to be an auto parts warehouse. Now turned into a brewery and taproom, this little gem specializes in delicious craft beers. They have 28 craft beers on tap and hard ciders.

Unwind with a drink in hand in one of their outdoor seating with the occasional live music and special events.

Paducah is a charming city with plenty of interesting attractions for visitors. From the vibrant Wall to Wall murals to the beautiful Bob Noble Park, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this southern town. Be sure to check out some of the local restaurants and breweries while you’re there too. Make sure to take advantage of all the outdoor things to do near Paducah, KY!

Start planning your Paducah trip today! You won’t regret it!