For one of a kind vacation experience, make Paducah your vacation destination.
Paducah is an intricate river town in Kentucky, right at the heart of America’s inland waterways.
Its abundance of cultural heritage and creativity is what you’ll find enthralling about this city.
Here, art goes way beyond acknowledgment. It is a way of life.
Amongst the several options, you’ll find pleasing about Paducah, a few will have you on your toes.
Whether it is exploring the National Quilt Museum or looking at Wall to Wall murals, they all turn out well.
Beneath, we have picked out some of the best activities to do and the most fun ways of exploring Paducah.
Use this list and explore the city.
Things To Do In Paducah, Kentucky
1. William Clark Market House Museum
History lovers and general lovers of historical buildings always fancy exploring a historic home.
Well, there’s just one in Paducah that’ll keep you occupied.
For something more history related, take a tour around the William Clark Market House Museum.
This edifice in Paducah is a local history museum showcasing a former 19th-century drugstore.
The home is the building of one of Paducah’s developers, the superintendent of Indian affairs, Williams Clark.
Visitors to this place will be able to take a brisk glimpse into Paducah’s historical past.
You’ll find this gigantic edifice between the Yeiser Art Center and Paducah’s Market House Theater.
Formerly, it was a popular public market of Paducah and according to history; it is over a hundred years old.
Here, visitors will find a lot of Paducah’s memorable artifacts telling their history.
There’s a replica of Henry Clay, one of the city’s attorneys and statesmen, and there’s even gingerbread woodwork of a drugstore.
At the Historical Archives Photo Gallery, visitors can find exhibits telling tales of Paducah’s past occupants.
Take a stroll through this museum, either on guided tours or lone tours.
It’s possible to immerse yourself in Paducah’s rich history and want more. You’ll find it here.
Address: 121 Market House Square, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
2. Paducah Wall to Wall Floodwall Murals
Just as every city has that particular symbol and creativity that helps them stand out, there’s one in Paducah too.
In fact, these murals intrigue thousands of travelers and draw the sort of attention you wouldn’t imagine.
The creative Paducah Wall to Wall Floodwall Murals is a must-see on a visit to Paducah.
This colorful mural, a work of the renowned Dafford Murals Team and Robert Dafford, sketches Paducah at the height of its Atom Age Fame days.
Initially, the project to capture Paducah’s rich history in paintings began in the spring of 1996.
Colorful mural showing the town at the height of its days of Atom Age fame.
Its creation continued for quite some time, with its first twenty-panel timeline duly completed in 2001.
For the finishing touches, the last three block session paintings were put up in 2010.
Here, you’ll see images depicting the rich and colorful history right on Paducah’s riverfront.
There are over 50 of these picturesque murals and if you take the time to see them, they might as well inspire you.
Besides, they are open all day long, so you get to see them whenever you desire.
Add to your itinerary of things to do in Paducah.
Address: 200-298 S Water St, Paducah, KY 42003, United States
3. Bob Noble Park, Paducah
Visiting Bob Noble Park is one of the amazing things to do around Paducah.
Bob Noble Park is a 145-acre park spotlighting a lake with fishing piers, a swimming pool, and sports facilities.
This 145-acre municipal park is one of Paducah’s largest parks, centrally in Midtown.
Outdoor fitness lovers and general outdoor explorers will find this park extremely valuable.
There are walking trails, tennis and basketball courts, and a skate park.
Anyone with preferences of basket balling can try a game of basketball alone or with friends on the court.
Trails here are also smooth and absolutely enticing, so you can opt for a fun alternative skating through the park.
If you get bored and need to rest, there are picnic shelters and spaces where you can enjoy a quiet session, either reading a book or playing some music.
Address: 2915 Park Ave. (U.S. Highway 60), Paducah, KY 42001, United States
4. The National Quilt Museum
Right in the attractive and artsy town of Paducah, you’ll find one of the rarest types of museums.
Yes, there’s actually a museum dedicated to quilts.
While you may want to snicker at the notion of visiting a quilt museum, rest assured this is one of the craziest places in Paducah to be in.
From its moniker, the National Quilt Museum is a large art museum in Paducah displaying fiber and quilt art.
In fact, this art museum is one of the world’s best quilt display areas.
It was founded in 1991 by Meredith Schroeder, the founder of the American Quilters Society.
Quilting is one of the top activities to do in Paducah, and the presence of this museum gave Paducah its defining feature as an artistic town.
Don’t go looking for something gigantic and luxurious because you would be disappointed.
However, though the museum is a moderately small area, there are large and well-detailed collections to engage you.
Even if you don’t like quilting or you are somewhat unfamiliar with it, there are explanation cards beside the pieces to help you.
Roam through the grounds of this museum going through collections of fiber arts and quilts.
Or you could just explore the gift shop.
There are a lot of souvenirs you’ll be able to pick up, and there’s just one to suit your needs.
Address: 215 Jefferson St, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
5. Historic Downtown Paducah
Visits to Historic Downtown Paducah are always engaging and can help you kill some time.
If you intend to look and go through so many attractions for a full day, then Historic Downtown Paducah is just the place.
Located in a vibrant region just along the river, Historic Downtown Paducah is an area offering scenic water views and a mural flood wall.
Over time, this area has made it to the list of one of America’s best and most beautiful main streets.
If there is something you can be sure of, it is the fact that you’ll be able to explore enough of Paducah’s creativity and cultural heritage.
Begin at the CULTURAL DISTRICT DISCOVERY where you’ll find several 19th-century preserved architecture frames.
Walk down further and you’ll be able to see the National Quilt Museum.
Just one block away, you’ll be able to see the Yeiser Art Gallery where you can explore visual artworks.
Would you prefer performing arts?
The Carson Center, Paducah’s largest performance venue, offers a melodious orchestra.
Hungry or willing to explore dishes?
Max’s Brick Oven and Grill 211 offer some of the best meals in downtown Paducah and is sure with an artful feel.
Craving sweets or coffee?
Grab a Peachy Keen and Coffee Addict from the Market House Square.
Etcetera also offers specialty coffee drinks and tea.
Strike nothing out of your list. Historic Downtown Paducah is sure to offer you all you desire.
Address: 27 The Foot of Broadway, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
6. River Discovery Center
Want to explore more of Paducah’s river history?
Take a tour through the River Discovery Center.
Visits to the River Discovery Center, a historical museum showcasing the ecology, history, and economic impact of the city’s inland waterways.
At this museum, you’ll experience the tales of Paducah’s rivers using interactive hands-on exhibits.
This museum seeks to present a distinctive learning environment that shows off the culture of the people of Paducah, including their four rivers.
Its building is the oldest building you’ll find standing downtown Paducah, and it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visitors to this center can explore this Victorian-styled edifice and even capture views of murals that are just opposite the center.
Roam through the museum learning about exhibits and discovering the city’s waterway history from placards.
Exhibits you’ll find in this center include Hidden Highways, Lock and Dan, Rain Table, and a boat stimulator.
After a tour through the museum, stop by the museum’s gift shop and pick souvenirs.
You’ll find book souvenirs, games, gifts, and toys.
You don’t have to fuss so much about the cost. It’s easily one of the cheapest and most fun things you can do in Paducah.
Address: 117 S Water St, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
7. Purple Toad Winery, Paducah
Wineries are the best part of a Paducah’s experience.
One of the top wineries you should look out for is the Purple Toad Winery.
The Purple Toad Winery is an initiative by Allen Dossey and one of the best wineries in Paducah.
In 1998, when June and Allen Dossey and their son Steven visited Napa Valley for a vacation, they decided to plant the company’s seeds.
Allen couldn’t help himself and soon fell in love with the valley after admiring its splendor for a few days.
After a slight shoulder operation that kept him from playing golf, he made the decision to grow grapevines on their former golf driving range.
This gave rise to the Purple Toad Winery, which grew and presently draws millions of wine lovers yearly.
Here, you’ll be able to find over 43 wines available.
There are Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Riesling.
They create premium wines to suit everyone’s tastes by combining contemporary winemaking methods with ancient wisdom.
Best part of the whole ordeal is the fact that they could create whichever wine you ask for.
Visit the Kentucky vineyard where award-winning wines are produced from Kentucky grapes.
After that, head on and indulge in wine and cheese in the tasting area.
Take a tour of the winery and watch the production processes.
Since they don’t cost much, you can do these tours and taste them easily.
Address: 4275 Old U.S. Hwy. 45, Paducah, KY 42003, United States
8. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
For a serene experience interacting with nature, explore Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a natural area covering over 170,000 acres of land in Paducah.
This gorgeous scenery is made up of wetlands, open lands, and undeveloped forests.
Each year, over a million visitors visit this place to explore the richness therein for themselves.
Outdoor lovers and explorers will find over 500 miles of trails and natural shorelines to explore.
While there are countless activities to engage in and try on its trails, there are also options for swimming, fishing, picnicking, and even boating.
For a start, pack a tent and go camping under the stars.
You won’t find anything unique as a quiet time with family or a partner gazing at the stars.
Since the camping zones here are clear of the rowdy noise of the outdoors, you can pitch a tent and be sure to enjoy a quiet evening.
Horse backing is another great activity you can try on its trails.
If you want, you can scour the trails and surrounding forest on foot, on an RV, or on a bike.
Backpacking can also turn out to be a good option if you want to explore the peninsula’s trail.
You’ll find distinct types of fauna and wildlife, squirrels scurrying and birds chirping.
Additionally, there are options for hunting around this recreation area.
Small game, turkeys, ducks, and waterfowl are some games you’re bound to find on a hunt.
However, the state’s rules and guidelines for licensing apply.
Some other things you can try include fishing, checking out the prairie, and planetarium.
Address: 238 Visitor Center Dr, Golden Pond, KY 42211, United States
9. Lloyd Tilghman House, Paducah
Soak in some of Paducah’s history as one way to explore the city.
The Lloyd Tilghman House is a historic house in the American city of Paducah.
Also known as the Tilghman-Woolfolk House, this home offers a broad history of the civil war.
Visitors to this home can learn about the broad history of the Civil War and CSA Gen. Lloyd Tilghman.
This house served as a residence following the war until 1906, when it underwent a number of commercial uses.
After a series of attempts to demolish the building and set it down, the house remains standing.
Today, it serves as a museum earmarked to the western theater of the Civil War.
Its initial grand reopening, on March 25, 2006, concentrated on Western Kentucky’s contribution to the conflict.
Truly, there isn’t so much you can do in this museum, but if you want to explore and learn about Kentucky’s role in the civil war, you just have to come.
Historians and general researchers will find a tour of this historic home useful and will enjoy looking through the exhibits.
Looking for something extremely knowledgeable to do?
Stalemate by this historic home.
Address: 631 Kentucky Ave, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
Want to explore more of Kentucky cities? See our list of the best and most fun things to do in Williamstown and things to do in Bowling Green and the Best Restaurants in Lexington!
10. Clyde F. Boyles Greenway Trail
Also known locally as “The Greenway,” this park is a 4.5-mile non-motorized path that connects Paducah’s homes, parks, and natural areas.
The route extends along the Ohio River waterfront and through the Perkins Creek Nature Preserve.
You can begin from the first one, which starts at Noble Park and travels past Bluegrass Downs before entering Stuart Nelson Park and ending at County Park Road.
For visitors, this 1.75-mile segment with a gravel surface offers a relaxing ride through the woods.
Different types of birds call the paths to this greenway trail home and you can find several chirping in the trees.
All year long, bird-watching enthusiasts and lovers from all over the world come to see birds and practice bird photography.
So, for something distinct, just hike through the woods and look at wildflowers.
Catch views of the creek and river and admire the fall colors.
Its wildlife is also fascinating, and you can check out them afterward.
Deer, rabbits, and skunks are common sightings.
Just sit in the scenery and watch birds jump from branch to branch and sing happily into the atmosphere.
Address: Greenway Trail. Paducah, KY 42002, United States
11. Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
The Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is one of the natural areas in Paducah where you’ll find a handful of activities to keep you busy.
This park is one of the grand parks you’ll see and find in the city.
You’ll find a ton of natural expanse and outdoor recreational activities ranging from golfing to swimming.
For a start, begin at the foyer and take in the expansive views as soon as you enter the foyer.
Each lodge has 72 rooms, each with a balcony or patio.
After that, go for a meal at the Harbor Lights Dining Room
While dining, take in the stunning lakeside scenery.
There you’ll be able to find local meats, Kentucky wine, and liquor.
You can also try fishing or boating on the 160,000 acres of Kentucky Lake.
Golf lovers can then proceed to play golf on 18 holes of championship golf.
Hike and bike more than 120 miles and then stay overnight and enjoy some of the best views of Kentucky Lake.
Additionally, the park offers one of the best venues for events and gatherings.
In a picturesque setting with entertaining activities for both adults and kids, you can host conferences, reunions, receptions, or meetings of any size.
Then, there is a paved, lit, 4,000-foot airstrip that will excite pilots.
It also offers overnight docking as well as ski, pontoon, and fishing boat rentals.
Eagle watching is another great activity to do on a self-guided stroll in the bird observation area.
Create your own eagle adventure and capture the sight of over 200 nesting pairs of American Bald Eagles.
Address: 113 Administration Dr., Calvert City, KY 42044, United States
12. Dry Ground Brewing Company
For a beer tasting and brewing experience, look in on the Dry Ground Brewing Company.
A well-known landmark in Paducah, The Coke Plant, houses the Dry Ground Brewing Company.
It is the first microbrewery in Paducah to offer unique craft brews as well as guest taps with traditional lagers and hard ciders.
Visitors to this brewery will be able to find a wide selection of craft tap beers, including house brews, all available in a sturdy, industrial setting.
You’ll be able to taste the Three Blonde Mice Blonde Ale, Cross Pollination Farmhouse Ale – Saison, and a Paducah Proud Blonde Ale.
There’s also the special Leonard The Beer Pale Ale – American, Preacher Pils Pilsner, The Dog Drank My Homework Porter, and Funland Red Ale.
Cobb Historical Beer and Della Barnes are also available.
With every gulp of these beers, you’ll find excellence and happiness.
In addition to the beers you’ll find here, the brewery regularly hosts festivals such as the Drink & Draw, Geeks Who Drink Trivia Thursdays, and beer release parties.
On special occasions, they host festivals and special nights out with live music.
Make it a thing to stop by this brewery when you have time.
Even if you don’t want to take beers, the serenity and aura are enough to satisfy you.
Address: 3121 Broadway St, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
13. Shawnee National Forest
If you’re looking for worthwhile experiences just outside Paducah, visit the Shawnee National Forest.
Just north of Paducah in southern Illinois, between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, is where you’ll find Shawnee National Forest.
This natural landmark has a peculiar topography that consists of lakes, hills, and woods.
Most of which include hiking trails, lakes, numerous state parks, and a wide range of waterfalls, creeks, and rivers.
Majority of tourists explore this space during the summer because of the pleasant weather, clear skies, and blossoming foliage.
Of all the earthly treasures you’ll find in this green space, The Shawnee National Forest’s Garden of the Gods is the most popular.
At this part of the forest, visitors will be welcomed by ancient sandstone cliffs and formations right in the wilderness area.
There are also numerous trails, such as the extensive River to River Trail and the escarpment-circling Rim Rock National Recreation Trail.
If you explore further, you’ll be able to see the almighty Jackson Falls.
Jackson Falls contains a waterfall and steep bluffs that always cling to the attention of visitors.
One other great activity to do here is hiking.
Hiking through the picturesque garden allows visitors to see wildlife and learn about local vegetation.
Feel like you have enough pressure and want to relax a little?
Try out some activities at the Shawnee National Forest.
Address: Herod, IL 62946, United States
14. Talon Falls Escape Room
Fun lovers and escape room experts will enjoy a visit to one of Paducah’s fun escape rooms.
The Talon Falls Escape Room is a fun, adventurous game room and center in one of the scenic riverfront areas of Paducah.
If there’s one thing you should be clear of, it’s the fact that you’re bound to find a brand-new type of pleasure and recreation.
With their fun games and activities, they intend to boost the minds of people of all ages, fostering relationships via teamwork, and, most importantly, having fun.
You can pick from four fantastic settings that are themed, each with its own special difficulties.
However, you must work together to collect clues, solve puzzles, and decipher riddles in each chamber with a number of players.
All these you must do in 60 minutes depending on the game.
Try the Time Travelers.
In this game, you’ll have to assist Professor Eugene in recovering his time machine, working as a team, and breaking several codes.
Then, there is the most enticing of them all, The Spell, one revolving around vampires and witches.
Finally, you just have to lay your hands on Antidote.
For this game, one of your team members has received a zombie bite.
Before the virus takes over a team member and the zombie horde resurfaces, you have to enter the facility and locate the cure.
A total immersion in fun activities is what they are known for, so be sure of getting just that.
Address: 451 Jordan Dr, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
15. Paducah Railroad Museum
The Paducah Railroad Museum is a local railroad museum with a simulator that tells the history of rail transport.
This museum, which is run by the Paducah Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, is one of Paducah’s treasures.
Using images, objects, and rail cars, this museum strives to describe the history of the railroads in western Kentucky.
It gives information about the history of trains and the individuals who built, operated, and rode them.
Visitors to this museum will be apt to find equipment and artifacts from the storied past of America’s railroads on display.
If you have a strong interest in transportation or trains generally, then it’s a great option.
You’ll be able to find a modicum of train exhibits and artifacts.
While here, visitors will also be able to envision themselves in the driver’s seat on model trains and a locomotive simulator.
Make sure to check out the train simulator, which simulates riding in a locomotive cab.
There are a ton of options that will keep you occupied and help you learn more about Paducah’s railway history.
Add to your itinerary of things to do around the city.
Address: Washington St & Marine Way, Washington St, Paducah, KY 42003, United States
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16. Fort Massac State Park
For a serene experience exploring one of Paducah’s state parks, stop by the Fort Massac State Park.
The Fort Massac State Park is 1500 acres in the southernmost part of Illinois, overlooking the Ohio River.
At Fort Massac State Park, visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of southern Illinois as well as a variety of outdoor activities and events that are connected to the area’s fascinating history.
This magnificent site, overlooking the powerful Ohio River, has been conserved and kept up since 1908 when it was designated as Illinois’ first state park.
Today, Fort Massac is a fascinating reminder of times past and a fascinating journey through all of American history.
If there’s one thing you’re sure to find here, is an abundance of outdoor recreational activities.
Visitors to the park can explore their picnicking options and enjoy picnics at serene spots.
Camping is another great activity you can do in this park.
There is yet an 18-hole disc golf course you can explore.
Fishing enthusiasts and learners can also lay their hands on several fishing opportunities in the park.
Additionally, Fort Massac State Park hosts exciting interpretive programs all year long, as well as noteworthy special events.
These events bring Colonial and early American history to life, such as the Fort Massac Encampment festival every October.
Take no chances; this park is the ideal location to unwind in a peaceful, natural setting.
Address: 1308 E 5th St, Metropolis, IL 62960, United States
17. Paducah Farmers’ Market
Pick out some of Paducah’s local treasures and browse through their market during your stay.
Visits to the Paducah Farmers’ Market are one of the promising things to do in the city on a vacation.
The farmers’ market is one of the latest shopping experiences you’ll find in Paducah.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy products, artisanal and baked goods, as well as tasty fare from nearby lunch vendors, are all available.
Majority of market sellers display their products on Saturdays, but the Midweek Market on Tuesdays and Thursdays will instantly brighten your adventure.
You’ll be able to find most of the city’s locally grown products and handmade crafts.
Funny enough, even the rarest of materials you won’t think of finding in the city are on display and you can get them for a fair price.
Trinkets, embroidery, and pottery are some other significant artworks you can purchase at this market.
To make the market experience much more fun, once in a while the market hosts celebrations to enable locals to jolly and enjoy the town.
One such festivities and celebration is Celebration Saturdays.
Celebration Saturdays, which take place once a month from May to October, include kid-friendly crafts, live music, and cooking demos.
Foreigners are welcome to take part in these experiences and try their hands out at some of the jolly activities in the city.
Don’t miss an opportunity to get oriented with Paducah locals.
Be sure to see this market.
Address: 306 N. 2nd Street, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, United States
18. Whitehaven Welcome Center
On a calm day, scour one of Kentucky’s most beautiful classical revival homes.
The Whitehaven Welcome Center, a 24-hour 1860s rest area and tourist information center in a traditional Southern home, remains one of the best places to explore in Paducah.
Since 1983, this historic home in Paducah, Kentucky, also known as the Anderson-Smith House, has served as the Kentucky welcome center.
In fact, it is the only historic home in the US that serves as a resting place.
On March 1, 1984, the residence was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
This southern estate that has been renovated displays antique furniture and artifacts of Paducah native Alben Barkley.
Visitors can take guided tours around the center and look through some of Paducah’s historical exhibits.
They are all self-explanatory and interactive. However, if you need guidance, there are officials to assist you.
Additionally, at the visitors’ center, you’ll find a butterfly garden, paved walking paths, and covered picnic tables.
Wander through the butterfly garden, net butterflies, and take in the scent of flowers.
Pack a blanket and go picnicking on the grasses or tables.
Be sure to visit while in Paducah, since it’s one of the cheapest things to do.
Address: 1845 Lone Oak Rd, Paducah, KY 42003, United States
19. Etcetera Coffee House
Coffee lovers and visitors willing to check out coffee shops should visit the Etcetera Coffee House.
This coffee house is one of the biggest names there is in Paducah.
High school teachers Johanna and Allan Rhodes set up this coffee shop in 2006 with the goal of selling a few cups of coffee and acting as the neighborhood’s hub.
Since that time, Etcetera has grown from a local store to a crucial part of Paducah’s landscape.
The cuisine keeps growing over time, and the addition of a labyrinth, an art walk, and mural walls now make it more spectacular.
Visitors to this coffee shop can enjoy any of the long-lasting flavors of coffee.
Here, you’ll find everything coffee related. They brew great coffee either by half a pound or a whole bean.
You’ll also find organic and sustainably grown coffee and bubbly tea.
At the corner, there is a gift shop where you can buy hoodies, t-shirts, hats, and baby wears.
Address: 320 N 6th Street, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
20. Flamingo Row, Paducah
Amidst your travel experience, it’s always great to try out two more of Paducah’s locally-made dishes.
There are a handful of restaurants offering delectable dishes that’ll tingle your taste bud, but none is like Flamingo Row.
Flamingo Row is a Caribbean restaurant with a large cuisine and a welcoming atmosphere decorated with a tropical theme.
This restaurant, the Flamingo Row, offers visitors and travelers to Paducah desirable, mouthwatering dishes.
Whether you decide to scuff on appetizers, gobble some lunch, or have supper, there are just enough tasty dishes to keep you craving more.
Here, visitors can feast on delicious appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, meatloaf, stuffed bread, spaghetti, veggies, fish, cocktails, shrimp, soups, drinks, and island rice dishes.
Try their famous Wicked Chicken & Waffles, which includes chicken breast coated in coconut batter and deep-fried.
You can choose between the regular or spicy hot chicken with 3 waffles and maple syrup.
Then, move along to pack a serving of their especially tasty Jumble Rice.
It is rice made with applewood bacon, green onions, and Roma tomatoes and comes with the Koji Secret Weapon Sauce.
You’ll also find Jamaican Jam, Amazon Meatloaf, Calypso Coconut Chicken, and many others.
If you have a ripe tooth and would like a few desserts, they also offer tasty cakes.
Order a serving of the Big Fat Chocolate Cake, a dark deep bittersweet chocolate cake.
After that, try the very special Key Lime Pound Cake, a Florida key lime pound cake.
Address: 2640 Perkins Creek Dr, Paducah, KY 42001, United States
Exploring new cities may not always turn out to be fun. However, this isn’t the case with Paducah.
You’ll find a lot of avenues to interest and sweeten your experience. All you have to do is expect it.
Open yourself up to new opportunities and explore the city to the brim.
Create memories as you move along and watch the days fade away slowly.