If you’re looking to relocate your family, you’re likely on the lookout for a place that has the right set of values, opportunities, and amenities to keep all the members of your clan happy, safe, and thriving.
Kentucky, located in the heart of the American South, might not be the first state that springs to mind when you’re considering a move to a family-friendly location, but the truth is that Kentucky has many features and characteristics that make it ideal for families.
Are you curious about the best places to live in Kentucky for families? Let’s take a closer look!
Here’s a round-up of the 10 best places to live in Kentucky if you have a family.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Bowling Green
- 2. Lexington
- 3. Bellevue
- 4. Lawrenceburg
- 5. Fort Thomas
- 6. Anchorage
- 7. Owensboro
- 8. Elizabethtown
- 9. Wilmore
- 10. Mount Washington
- What Makes a Place Good for Families?
- Things to Consider About Living in Kentucky
- Frequently Asked Questions About Living in Kentucky
1. Bowling Green
Bowling Green has a tight-knit community of friendly, welcoming people. The city is home to Western Kentucky University, which brings a lively student atmosphere to the city.
Also, there are many festivals and events throughout the year that bring the community together, such as the famous “Beech Bend Raceway,” where families can enjoy car shows and drag races. The community life in Bowling Green is vibrant and exciting, and families can always find something to do.
Education is a top priority in Bowling Green, and it shows! The city has some of the best schools in the state, making it an ideal place for families with children of any age. Bowling Green Independent and Warren County Public Schools, along with Western Kentucky University, provide high-quality education opportunities to the community.
Bowling Green has a thriving economy, and it’s only getting better. The city is home to many large corporations, including General Motors, which has a major manufacturing plant in the area. Other significant employers in the area include Fruit of the Loom and Camping World.
Also, with the growth of the tourism industry, Bowling Green has created new jobs in hospitality and service. The city’s booming economy provides families with a stable job market and plenty of opportunities for growth.
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Lexington is home to some of the best schools in the state. Fayette County Public Schools has a graduation rate of 88%, regularly outperforming other districts in the area. Moreover, the schools are dedicated to STEM education, with an impressive number of schools offering programs that focus on the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Being a major economic center for Kentucky, the city has a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, horse racing, and technology, providing employment opportunities for people from different backgrounds.
Finally, Lexington is known for being an affordable city to live in, even despite all of its amenities. The cost of living in the city is lower than the national average, making it an ideal location for families looking to settle down. Housing is affordable, too, with a median home price of $275,000, and a good selection of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences.
Bellevue offers excellent education opportunities for its residents, with its public schools being top-rated in Kentucky.
Plus, Bellevue provides a warm and welcoming community that’s always ready to make newcomers feel at home. The town is tight-knit, with events and activities being hosted all year round.
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Lawrenceburg is a small town that is perfect for families looking to live a quieter life with easy access to big cities. The town offers plenty of amenities, outdoor recreational activities, affordable housing, and excellent schools.
One of the most significant advantages of living in Lawrenceburg is the affordable housing options. The average home price is much lower than the national average. You can find different styles of homes, from modern to traditional, that fit your needs and budget.
This affordability makes Lawrenceburg an excellent option for families just starting or those planning to upgrade their living space.
Lawrenceburg is surrounded by beautiful parks, lakes, and hiking trails. You can spend a weekend camping, boating, fishing, or just exploring. The town’s central location allows easy access to the Kentucky River and Lake Cumberland.
While Lawrenceburg is a small town, it is conveniently located near several larger cities. Louisville is only an hour away, and Lexington is 30 minutes away. These cities offer plenty of amenities like museums, theaters, and shopping centers. You can enjoy the benefits of the big city while still living in a beautiful small town.
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5. Fort Thomas
Fort Thomas is one of the best places you could choose from. The school district in Fort Thomas has been ranked as one of the best in the state of Kentucky.
Every year, students from Fort Thomas receive national recognition and top scores on standardized tests. The schools provide various programs that cater to different interests and talents in students, which means that you’ll surely find the right education track for your child!
Fort Thomas is also known for its diverse landscapes, which range from wooded areas, lush parks, and scenic hiking trails. This city is home to many parks that allow families to bask in nature’s beauty while spending quality time with each other and getting some much-needed exercise and fresh air.
Tower Park, Highland Hills Park, and A.J. Jolly Park is just a few of the many nearby places where you can visit and appreciate Fort Thomas’s scenic environment.
Most importantly, Fort Thomas is one of the safest cities in Kentucky, with a remarkably low crime rate.
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If you’re looking for an affordable place to settle down, then look no further than Anchorage. This cozy city offers many affordable housing options, including a range of homes to choose from, from cozy starter homes to luxurious mansions. The city offers an ideal combination of safety, amenities, and affordable living, which makes it a very attractive place for families.
With a population of fewer than 2,500 people, Anchorage creates a safe and secure environment for families. With low crime rates and a tight-knit community, families can feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods. Anchorage is also home to many parks, recreational activities, and charming eateries to enjoy with your family.
Finally, Anchorage is conveniently located near major highways, making access to larger cities like Louisville and Lexington easily accessible. Families can enjoy getting out of their urban oasis and can easily access all of the activities and events in larger cities.
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Owensboro is a city that knows how to have fun. It has many amenities that are perfect for children of all ages.
The Owensboro Museum of Science and History is a great place to learn and witness exciting exhibits, including the human body, natural history, and space science. The Smothers Park, on the banks of the Ohio River, is another popular spot where kids can splash around in the fountains, play in the playgrounds, and have picnics by the river.
For the little ones, the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden has a Children’s Garden, a miniature garden-themed playground with various activities, including learning stations, playhouses, and gardening activities.
While Owensboro is a city, it offers a small-town feel that is unique and charming. There is a strong sense of community where everyone knows each other, making it easier to develop friendships and connect with people.
Families, especially those relocating, feel comfortable and welcoming with the friendly and accommodating locals. Not to mention, the annual festivals – like the BBQ Festival, the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Festival, and the Owensboro Riverfront Fireworks Festival, are a great way to come together as a community and have fun.
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One of the biggest draws to Elizabethtown for families is the affordable housing market. The median home price in Elizabethtown is around $225,000, making it more affordable than you might expect. There is something for every budget and lifestyle.
Elizabethtown boasts a robust economy, with major employers such as Fort Knox, Hardin Memorial Hospital, and Bluegrass Cellular. The city’s unemployment rate is consistently lower than the national average, meaning there are plenty of job opportunities for those looking to make a move. The city also has a growing downtown area, with local businesses and restaurants popping up regularly.
And with three major parks and a variety of outdoor activities, Elizabethtown is the perfect place for families who enjoy spending time outdoors.
Freeman Lake Park offers multiple playgrounds, hiking trails, and even a fishing pier. The John Hardin High School Aquatic Center is a state-of-the-art facility perfect for swim lessons and exercise. And for those who love to bike or take a stroll, the trail at Panther Baseball Complex is the perfect place to do so.
As much as we all love the tranquility of small-town life, sometimes you just need to get your fix of city amenities. Luckily, Wilmore is just a 20-minute drive from Lexington, Kentucky’s second-largest city. You can catch a horse race at Keeneland or indulge in some retail therapy at Fayette Mall.
And when you’re ready to return to Wilmore, you can breathe easy knowing you’re coming home to a quieter, more peaceful community.
Yet small-town life in Wilmore doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do. In fact, the town is known for its lively calendar of community events, including an annual summer festival, farmer’s markets, and seasonal events like a Christmas parade and Easter egg hunt. Wilmore residents take pride in their community and are eager to welcome newcomers with open arms.
10. Mount Washington
Mount Washington boasts a high quality of life for residents of all ages. The city is known for its safe neighborhoods, top-notch schools, and ample green spaces.
In fact, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide range of programs and activities for families throughout the year, including youth sports leagues, summer camps, and community events like the Annual Spring Festival and Light Up Mount Washington Christmas Parade.
There are also plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options available in and around the city.
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What Makes a Place Good for Families?
Tired of living in a cramped apartment or house and looking for a better place to raise your family?
Moving somewhere new can be a daunting experience, especially if you have children. You want to make sure that the environment is one that is safe and nurturing, and that it encourages your children to thrive.
But what exactly makes one place better for families compared to another? Let’s take a closer look at all of the factors that will go into our ranking.
1. School Districts
Schools are often the top priority for families when choosing a new place to live. Kentucky is home to many great public school districts that are ranked among the best in the United States.
2. Home Affordability
The cost of living in Kentucky is relatively low compared to other states, making it an ideal place to settle down and start a family.
Housing expenses in towns in Kentucky are relatively affordable for families who are on the hunt for their first home, together with affordable rent for anyone who is considering renting a place.
With the average rent and house prices being way affordable, budgets for families may stretch further and provide more opportunities for fun and adventure.
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3. Access to Recreational Activities
Kentucky is home to diverse wildlife and has a phenomenal range of outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, biking, and more. The state boasts many state parks, such as Cumberland Falls and Mammoth Cave National Park, both popular destinations for families.
Kentucky’s rural areas offer countless recreational activities, such as horseback riding, canoeing, and hunting. In addition, there are several unique experiences that are popular with families, like Churchill Downs, the Muhammad Ali Center, and more.
4. Community Spirit
Finally, Kentuckians are known for their generosity, hospitality, and kind-heartedness. The state has a long tradition of tight-knit communities, lively festivals, and family-friendly events that bring people together to enjoy each other’s company.
Some of the most favorite annual events are the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, The Great Balloon Race at Anderson County, and The Kentucky Bourbon Festival. With such lively events, families can build lifetime memories that would last forever.
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Things to Consider About Living in Kentucky
Are you contemplating moving to a new state and haven’t considered Kentucky yet? Let me tell y’all, the bluegrass state has a lot to offer!
From college basketball fanaticism to music festivals and bourbon trails, there’s always something interesting going on here. But like any other state, it’s important to know what factors can affect your everyday life when living in Kentucky.
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Sports in Kentucky
Kentucky is home to some of the most passionate sports fans, especially when it comes to college basketball. If you’re a sports enthusiast, you’ll fit right in here. On the other hand, if sports aren’t your thing, you’ll still enjoy the lively atmosphere that comes with game-day celebrations. Pro tip: don’t wear red to a University of Kentucky basketball game!
2. Music and Entertainment
Kentucky boasts many music festivals throughout the year, the most prominent of which is the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. There are also multiple theater and music events every year. In addition, the state offers access to wonderful museums and art galleries, including the Muhammad Ali Center and the Speed Art Museum. Whether you love classical concerts or are a die-hard country fan, Kentucky has something for everyone.
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Kentucky is also a pet-friendly state. Many parks and trails welcome dogs, and there are plenty of pet-friendly restaurants and cafes throughout the state. Kentucky also has several animal shelters and rescue groups if you’re looking to adopt a new family member.
Unlike most states, traffic in Kentucky is not much of an issue. There’s no need to worry about sitting in traffic for hours on end with bad commutes. The cities are small enough to where you won’t spend an eternity in your car. Most major roads and highways are generally clear, safe, and easy to navigate.
5. Home Prices and Taxes
Kentucky’s home prices are among some of the lowest in the country. That means you can potentially buy a beautiful home without breaking the bank. Kentucky’s property taxes are also relatively low. With these savings, you will have more money to spend on the many enjoyable things you can do in Kentucky.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Living in Kentucky
1. What is the cost of living in Kentucky?
Kentucky’s cost of living is generally lower than the national average. However, the cost varies across the state, with bigger cities like Louisville and Lexington having higher living costs compared to rural areas.
The median home price in Kentucky is around $190,000, significantly lower than the national median home price. The state also offers favorable tax policies, including no tax on social security income and a flat 5% state income tax rate.
2. What is the weather like in Kentucky?
Kentucky has four distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. Summers can be humid with temperatures ranging from 80-90°F, while winters can be relatively mild, with occasional snow and temperatures averaging around 34°F. Spring and autumn are known for their pleasant weather and the vibrant display of colors across the landscape.
3. What is the cuisine like in Kentucky?
Kentucky is known for its iconic bourbon whiskey, and you can’t leave the state without tasting it. The state’s signature dish is the Kentucky Hot Brown, an open-faced sandwich covered in creamy Mornay sauce, turkey, bacon, and tomatoes.
The Kentucky Derby brings together a variety of culinary experiences, from BBQ pork to beer cheese dip. The state also prides itself on its farm-to-table food culture, with fresh produce and locally sourced meat being a common feature on menus.
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4. What activities and attractions does Kentucky offer?
Kentucky offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater to all interests. Horse racing enthusiasts can visit the Kentucky Horse Park or attend the Kentucky Derby, while nature lovers can explore the Mammoth Cave National Park or the Daniel Boone National Forest.
The Bourbon Trail takes you through the state’s bourbon distilleries, while historic sites like Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and the Muhammad Ali Center offer insights into the state’s cultural history. The state’s music scene features genres ranging from bluegrass to rock, with various music festivals and concerts held throughout the year.
No matter where you decide to move in Kentucky, we’re sure you’ll love your new home. With friendly people, great schools, and plenty of things to do, Kentucky is a great place to raise a family.
We hope this list of the best places to live in Kentucky for families has been helpful in your decision-making process. Happy house hunting!
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