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Top 15 Best Things to do in Ashland KY

Top 15 Best Things to do in Ashland KY

Nestled along the picturesque Ohio River, Ashland, Kentucky, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Steeped in history, this charming city offers a delightful blend of cultural attractions, outdoor adventures, and scenic beauty. In this guide, we’ll unveil the top 15 best things to do in Ashland KY, ensuring you make the most of your visit while experiencing the city’s unique charm.

Let’s Check Out Things To Do in Ashland KY

1. Downtown Stroll: Where Past Meets Present

  • Begin your Ashland adventure with a stroll through the historic downtown district.
  • Marvel at well-preserved 19th-century architecture while exploring unique boutiques and local eateries.

2. Central Park: A Green Oasis in the Heart of Ashland KY

  • Seek tranquility in Central Park, a lush green space offering a peaceful escape.
  • Discover the park’s historical significance, including ancient Adena Indian mounds and the Poage family log cabin.

3. Paramount Arts Center: A Stage for Entertainment

  • Catch a live performance at the Paramount Arts Center, Ashland’s premier venue.
  • Enjoy a diverse range of shows in this beautifully restored historic theater, from Broadway musicals to rock concerts.

4. Highlands Museum & Discovery Center: Uncover Local History

  • Dive into Ashland’s rich history at the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center.
  • Explore engaging exhibits on everything from Native American heritage to the impact of the World Wars.
Things to do in Ashland KY

Also Read – Exploring The Rich History And Beauty Of Governor’s Island

5. Port of Ashland: Riverside Bliss

  • Spend a relaxing afternoon by the Ohio River at the Port of Ashland.
  • Admire stunning Spanish artist Ginés Serrán-Pagán sculptures as you take in the serene waterscape.

6. Historic Walking Tour: Step Back in Time

  • Embark on a self-guided Historic Walking Tour encompassing 30 fascinating stops.
  • Immerse yourself in the city’s history, passing 19th-century homes and turn-of-the-century buildings along Winchester Avenue.

7. Poage Landing Days: A Homecoming Celebration

  • Plan your visit around September to join the annual Poage Landing Days festival.
  • Experience live music, delectable cuisine, antique car parades, carnival rides, and more on Winchester Avenue.

8. Camayo Arcade: Time-Tested Elegance

  • Step into the Camayo Arcade, Kentucky’s first indoor shopping mall, a true architectural gem.
  • Marvel at its Art Deco charm, including terrazzo flooring and Art Deco guardrails and lighting.
Things to do in Ashland KY

9. Ashland Town Center: Retail Therapy

  • Indulge in retail therapy at the Ashland Town Center, a spacious indoor mall.
  • Explore various stores, from major brands to unique specialty shops.

10. Charles and Betty Russell Park Hiking Trail: Nature’s Retreat

  • Embark on a serene hiking expedition along the Charles and Betty Russell Park trails.
  • Explore shaded paths during the summer and revel in panoramic winter vistas from the wooded ridge.

11. Malibu Jack’s Ashland: Family Fun Zone

  • For family-friendly fun, head to Malibu Jack’s Ashland.
  • Enjoy indoor and outdoor attractions, including go-karts, laser tag, mini-golf, and arcade games.

12. Summer Motion: A Summer Extravaganza

  • Take advantage of the multi-day Summer Motion festival, a lively summer tradition culminating on July 4th.
  • Experience live music, delectable food, a vibrant atmosphere, and a dazzling fireworks display.
Things to do in Ashland KY

13. Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area: Nature’s Playground

  • Cross to Ohio and explore the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area in Wayne National Forest.
  • Whether swimming, kayaking, picnicking, or hiking, this natural haven offers endless outdoor possibilities.

14. Festival of Trees and Trains: Holiday Magic

  • Get into the holiday spirit at the Festival of Trees and Trains, a 10-day event at the Paramount Arts Center.
  • Admire beautifully decorated Christmas trees, partake in children’s activities, and savor festive treats.

15. Tri-State Escape: Unleash Your Inner Detective

  • Challenge your problem-solving skills at Tri-State Escape, Eastern Kentucky’s largest escape room attraction.
  • Immerse yourself in captivating themed adventures, from unraveling mysteries in haunted mansions to embarking on archaeological quests.
Things to do in Ashland KY

Also Read – Amazing Things To Do In Colonial Beach, Virginia

Best Time to Visit Ashland, KY

The best time to visit Ashland, KY, is during the spring and fall, offering comfortable temperatures and enjoyable outdoor experiences.

Spring (March to May):

  • Spring in Ashland brings mild temperatures and blooming landscapes, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities.
  • This season is perfect for exploring Central Park and enjoying the downtown area without the summer crowds.
  • Make sure to attend cultural events and festivals during this vibrant season.

Fall (September to November):

  • Fall offers pleasant weather with cooler temperatures, creating a comfortable atmosphere for exploring Ashland.
  • Film festivals and Halloween events are highlighted during the fall months, providing unique entertainment options.

Summer (June to August):

  • The warm summer months are perfect for enjoying Ashland’s outdoor attractions, including the Port of Ashland and hiking trails.
  • Many outdoor events and beach activities are in full swing during this season.
  • Keep in mind that summer tends to be the busiest time, so plan accordingly.

Winter (December to February):

  • While winters in Ashland are mild, occasional rainfall is expected.
  • Explore indoor attractions and museums like the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center.
  • Lower crowd levels make it an ideal time for a quiet and peaceful visit.

Staying Options in Ashland, KY

If you are looking for accommodation in Ashland, KY, here are some options that provide a comfortable stay within a reasonable distance:

Luxury Hotels & Resorts:

  • Ashland boasts high-end accommodations like The Ashland Plaza Hotel and The Lodge at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park.
  • These options offer luxurious amenities and comfortable stays.

Boutique Hotels:

  • Experience personalized stays at boutique hotels in areas like Westwood and Catlettsburg.
  • These intimate and stylish hotels provide a unique atmosphere.

Budget-Friendly Hotels:

  • Travelers on a tighter budget can find affordable lodging options throughout the city.
  • Explore economical hotels that offer comfort without breaking the bank.

Vacation Rentals:

  • For flexible stays, consider apartments, condos, and houses available for rent through platforms like Airbnb.


  • Popular neighborhoods and areas often feature communal living spaces with shared facilities, ideal for budget-conscious travelers.

Extended Stay Hotels:

  • Hotels with kitchenettes and laundry facilities are ideal for extended stays or business travelers.

Pet-Friendly Options:

  • Accommodations in Ashland that welcome pets allow you to travel with your furry companions.

Iconic Hollywood Hotels:

  • Historic hotels near Hollywood’s attractions provide an immersive Ashland experience.

Food Options in Ashland, KY

Ashland, KY, extends an invitation to relish its abundant history by experiencing its diverse culinary and beverage selections.

Local Cuisine:

  • Discover Ashland’s culinary scene by trying local favorites like Kentucky hot brown, country ham, and burgoo.
  • Dine at local restaurants to savor the region’s unique flavors.

Farmers’ Markets:

  • Explore farmers’ markets to sample fresh produce and artisanal goods.
  • Enjoy the experience of buying directly from local producers.

International Cuisine:

  • Ashland offers a diverse range of international cuisine, from Italian to Mexican.
  • Explore different cultures through their culinary delights.

Fine Dining:

  • Treat yourself to fine dining experiences at upscale restaurants in Ashland.
  • Enjoy exquisite dishes and impeccable service in an elegant setting.

Food Festivals:

  • Plan your visit around food festivals like the Poage Landing Days to taste Ashland’s best dishes.
  • Experience the city’s culinary creativity at these events.

Ways to Reach Ashland, KY

Ways to reach Ashland KY are as follows:

By Car:

  • Ashland is easily accessible by car, with major highways like I-64 providing convenient routes.
  • Driving to Ashland allows flexibility in exploring the surrounding areas.

By Air:

  • Tri-State Airport (HTS) in Huntington, West Virginia, is the nearest major airport to Ashland.
  • From there, it’s a short drive to Ashland, making it a convenient option for air travelers.

By Bus:

  • Greyhound and other bus services provide transportation to Ashland.
  • Bus terminals are located downtown for easy access to the city.

By Train:

  • While Ashland doesn’t have its train station, Amtrak services are available in nearby cities like Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia.
  • You can reach Ashland from these stations by car or bus.

By River:

  • Ashland’s location along the Ohio River makes it accessible by riverboat or private watercraft.
  • The city has docking facilities for those arriving by boat.


What is Ashland, Kentucky, known for?

Ashland, Kentucky, is known for several things:

Ashland Inc.: The city’s name is closely associated with Ashland Inc., a multinational chemical and petroleum company founded in Ashland. It was once one of the largest companies in the United States.

The Kentucky Highlands: Ashland is in the beautiful Kentucky Highlands, known for its scenic landscapes, rolling hills, and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Historic Downtown: The city boasts a historic downtown area with charming architecture, shops, and restaurants.

Education and Healthcare: Ashland is home to several educational institutions, including Ashland Community and Technical College and King’s Daughters Medical Center, a regional healthcare hub.

Is Ashland, KY, an excellent place to live?

Why is Ashland, KY called Ashland?

Why is Ashland famous?

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About The Author

A hub for wanderers and travel enthusiasts, Travelophia is dedicated to curating valuable insights, practical tips, and inspiring narratives to elevate your travel experiences. Whether you're seeking hidden gems off the beaten path, practical travel advice, or a dose of wanderlust, Travelophia is your trusted companion in exploring the world.

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