Paducah is a western Kentucky center of river commerce whose economic role has been shaped by its location along the banks of the Ohio River. Positioned at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers and close to the Mississippi and Cumberland Rivers, Paducah has become a hub for the inland waterways industry. More than 20 barge and towing companies are located there and can be seen chugging their cargo up and down the riverways.
At the River Discovery Center, housed in one of Paducah’s oldest buildings, you can feel what it’s like to pilot a tow boat and view a video capsule that shows 24 hours of traffic on this important juncture in the river. History, culture and music of the river are represented in exhibits that also include the river transportation industry. An expansion is planned over the next several years to accommodate more visitors.
Paducah has also emerged in recent years as a center of contemporary arts. The Lowertown Fine Arts District has lured potters, painters, jewelry makers, printmakers and other artists from around the country to settle in this revitalized historic neighborhood now home to dozens of studios and galleries. Meet the artists as they work and see their creative juices flowing.
Visit the National Quilt Museum, whose three galleries display more than 150 quilts. The museum highlights the diversity of quilts and quilt makers and features exhibits of new and antique quilts, educational programs and workshops and displays of special collections. Other museums in Paducah you’ll want to visit include the Yeiser Art Center, Paducah Railroad Museum, William Clark Market House and Tilghman Civil War Museum.
Tour downtown Paducah from a horse-drawn carriage and see the colorful “Portraits from Paducah’s Past,” nearly 50 murals that grace the city’s floodwall.
For more information, visit www.paducah.travel.