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Discover the Top 12 Places to Live in Kentucky: From Tranquil Communities to Vibrant Cities

Kentucky, Capital Building

Embark on a captivating journey through the picturesque landscapes and thriving communities of the beautiful state of Kentucky. In this article, we invite you to discover the hidden gems that make Kentucky a truly exceptional place to call home. From tranquil neighborhoods to vibrant cities, each destination on our countdown reveals its own distinctive charm, enriched by a tapestry of cultural events, natural beauty, and modern conveniences. So, prepare to be enchanted as we count down from number 12 to the pinnacle of Kentucky's most sought-after locales, immersing ourselves in the allure of these remarkable destinations. Join us as we unveil the vibrant tapestry that defines the top 12 places to live in the Bluegrass State.

Henderson: A Tranquil Gem on the Banks of the Ohio River

Henderson, located on the banks of the Ohio River in western Kentucky, is a tranquil and beautiful community. This rustic neighborhood offers a great quality of life to its residents, combining the charm of small-town living with the convenience of nearby urban amenities. Henderson boasts a good quality public education system, a low cost of living, and a high employment rate. The city is surrounded by beautiful parks and green spaces, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Locals and tourists alike can enjoy a wide variety of cultural events, festivals, and exciting horse races throughout the year. Strolling along Henderson's beautiful Riverfront is a popular activity for residents and visitors alike. (Medium home price: $199,900)

Owensboro: A Culinary and Cultural Haven on the Ohio River

Owensboro, Kentucky, is a great place to live and visit, located just half an hour away from Henderson and Evansville in the same direction. The city is known as the "Barbecue Capital of the World" and offers a wide range of annual fairs, festivals, and sports events that contribute to its vibrant atmosphere. Owensboro boasts a beautiful riverfront along the Ohio, which is lined with hundreds of fantastic restaurants, stores, parks, and a spectacular arts and culture center. While the cuisine is a major attraction, visitors should also make time to visit the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The city is also home to a world-class art museum and a stunning botanical garden. (Medium home price: $249,900)

Richmond: Nature's Oasis in the Bluegrass Region

Richmond, Kentucky, is a great destination, particularly for nature enthusiasts, as it is located near several beautiful state parks and natural areas. As the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region after Lexington and Louisville, Richmond offers a youthful yet relaxed atmosphere, thanks to its proximity to Eastern Kentucky University. The city center is vibrant and filled with a variety of restaurants and stores, catering to the diverse student body. Eastern Kentucky University itself provides numerous first-rate recreational and leisure facilities. Visitors to Lake Reba Park can enjoy beautiful scenery and explore the well-preserved Civil War battlefield, while Fort Boonesborough offers a recreation of the historic fort for history enthusiasts. (Medium home price: $335,000)

Georgetown: A Quaint Suburb with Enduring Charm

Georgetown, a city-suburb located just to the north of Lexington, consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Kentucky. It offers a quieter and more peaceful environment compared to the bustling Horse Capital of the World, while still providing easy access to shops, restaurants, and tourist sites in nearby Frankfort and Louisville. Georgetown's population and popularity have grown significantly in recent decades, primarily due to its status as a major Toyota production hub. The city has a great small-town vibe, thanks to its abundance of family-owned businesses and the fertile farmland in the surrounding area. While most people commute to Lexington for shopping, dining, and nightlife, Georgetown itself offers a low crime rate, affordable housing, and an array of community-building festivals and activities. (Medium home price: $369,900)

Elizabethtown: An Attractive Hub with Rich History

Elizabethtown, located just 45 minutes south of Kentucky's main city Louisville, is an attractive and inexpensive town that serves as a hub for the surrounding area. With a population of approximately 30,000, Elizabethtown is home to families and young professionals. The town is well-connected, with easy access to several other communities in Kentucky and even Nashville, Tennessee. Elizabethtown's rich history is evident through its many beautiful ancient homes and mansions, including a downtown building that still bears a Confederate cannonball embedded in its side. The town's low cost of living, high quality of life, and abundance of stores and restaurants make it an attractive place to call home. (Medium home price: $340,500)

Bellevue: Embracing Serenity near the Vibrant Cincinnati

Bellevue, located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a beautiful city-suburb that is increasingly becoming a desirable place to live. Residents can enjoy a quieter environment away from the noise and bustle of the city center, while still being just a ten-minute drive away from Cincinnati's offerings. Bellevue has experienced significant growth and development in recent years, thanks to the abundance of job opportunities and leisure options the city provides. While the public schools in Bellevue may require some improvement, the suburb offers a low crime rate, affordable home prices, and a variety of community-building festivals and activities, making it a top choice for many families. (Medium home price: $317,500)

Louisville: The Thriving Metropolis of Kentucky

As the largest city in the state, Louisville is a popular destination for both residents and visitors. Derby City offers a wide range of communities to choose from, including desirable suburbs such as Indian Hills, Cherokee Gardens, and Hurstbourne Acres. Louisville is rich in art galleries, museums, parks, and architectural marvels, providing plenty of fascinating attractions beyond the tranquility of its outskirts. The city is renowned for hosting the thrilling Kentucky Derby horse race and being the birthplace of Muhammad Ali. Louisville also boasts numerous excellent whiskey distilleries, a bustling restaurant scene, and the warm friendliness typical of the South. (Medium home price: $254,900)

Berea: A Picturesque Haven for Art and Nature Lovers

If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and settle down in a tranquil, picturesque community, Berea could be the perfect destination for you. Located in the Appalachian foothills, Berea and its surrounding area offer a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, thanks to the abundance of forestland in Berea College Forest and Daniel Boone National Forest. Despite its relatively small size, Berea hosts several large annual events that highlight its thriving arts and crafts culture and showcase the town's historic architecture. While locals often travel to nearby Richmond or Lexington for nightlife and shopping, Berea's large college population gives the town a youthful energy of its own. (Medium home price: $257,400)

Edgewood: A Peaceful Suburb with Convenient Connectivity

Edgewood is a peaceful suburb located just fifteen minutes from downtown Cincinnati, offering its residents a slower pace of life while still providing easy access to the city's thriving retail, food, and entertainment scenes. With its tree-lined streets, well-kept parks, and scattered shops and eateries, Edgewood is a pleasant and low-key neighborhood popular among families and seniors. The suburb's excellent connections to major towns like Louisville, Lexington, and Indianapolis through Interstate 275, as well

Lexington: The Horse Capital with Timeless Elegance

As Kentucky's second-largest city, Lexington is often the first place that comes to mind after Louisville. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky, one of the largest employers and most significant universities in the area. The city boasts a rich history and architecture, with Victorian-era homes and stately plantations adorning its leafy boulevards. While horse breeding and racing are central to Lexington's identity, visitors can also explore attractions such as the world-famous Keeneland Race Course. Lexington's cultural scene, combined with its proximity to other major cities and its nickname as the "Athens of the West," offers a diverse and vibrant lifestyle. (Medium home price: $399,000)

Frankfort: Where History and Natural Beauty Converge

Frankfort, the state capital, is situated on both sides of the Kentucky River, between the larger cities of Lexington and Louisville. The city's historic downtown, with its antebellum-style buildings housing museums, government agencies, and hip eateries and distilleries, is complemented by beautiful waterfront areas and parks. While East and West Frankfort are primarily residential, the state capitol and several government offices are located downtown. In addition to its rich history, Frankfort offers a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The city's central location and reasonable cost of living make it an attractive choice for both families and professionals. (Medium home price: $299,500)

Fort Thomas: The Enchanting Gem of Northern Kentucky

Fort Thomas, a city-suburb in the Northern Ohio River Region, is the latest to win the hearts of both residents and visitors. Located just south of Bellevue and southeast of Cincinnati, this desirable area is praised for its welcoming neighborhood, reasonable housing prices, and high-quality public schools. Because of its convenient proximity to downtown Cincinnati, it has become a popular residential area for people of all ages and stages of life. The little town has a few breweries and distilleries scattered about, in addition to its safe parks and a long, gorgeous stretch of riverfront. (Medium home price: $549,900)


The top 12 places to live in Kentucky have revealed their individual allure, amenities, and sense of community. Whether you are in search of tranquility, vibrant culture, or access to natural beauty, Kentucky offers a diverse range of destinations to suit every preference and lifestyle. We encourage you to embark on your own exploration of these remarkable locales, discovering the one that resonates with your aspirations and desires. Kentucky beckons with open arms, ready to welcome you to its rich tapestry of vibrant communities and unique charms.


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