I write about bucket lists all the time; our Tri-State Bucket List series is in year seven and going strong.

But I have a bucket list of my own. I think we all do, don't we? And mine runneth over. I have so many people, places, and things--you know, nouns--on that list, I don't know where to start.

That's the beauty of the bucket list; there is no order. And, with mine, there are categories. One of them is "Kentucky."

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For example, I have never been to the Newport Aquarium in Newport and I know I would absolutely love it.

I'm also pretty sure I would enjoy a couple of places members of my immediate family have been that I never have, and both are in eastern Kentucky.

Let's start with a beautiful natural formation that Mom, Dad, and my sister visited before I was born. That would be Natural Bridge State Park.

If you head east on I-64 out of Lexington, you'll come to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway. Head east on that old thing (seriously, that's a really old parkway) until you get to Slade, Kentucky. Then take a right onto Highway 11 and keep going until you get to the park, which will be on your right.

Funny...I'm giving you directions like I'VE been there. Seriously, it is gorgeous, from the pictures I've seen on our state parks website. There IS a natural bridge somewhere around southern Muhlenberg County. A friend of mine showed me back in 1994, but I do not remember how to get there and can't find it on a map. THIS one I can locate.

I can also locate Loretta Lynn's childhood home, but I've never been. My parents and aunt and uncle went and loved it. They said it was a lot bigger than they anticipated. Of course, it's in Butcher Hollow--or "Holler"--as Loretta sings it. And it's officially in the town of Van Lear--also mentioned in "Coal Miner's Daughter."

These are just two bucket list items of mine that are covered in the all-new 2021 edition of the Kentucky Tourism guide, available online or as a hard copy. And it's absolutely free.

And if your goal during the 2021 travel season was exploring the Bluegrass State, I'd say the new tourism guide is absolutely ESSENTIAL.

Cool and Unique Kentucky Museums

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