Car Hire Kentucky

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Hertz at Kentucky

Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, is a place of vivid contradictions. It sits in the east of the US, but has a distinct tinge of Southern personality. You’ll find gorgeous hills and a truly warm welcome in a state that knows how to show a visitor a good time.

Choose from a wide range of pick-up and drop-off locations across Kentucky, from airports to the capital Frankfort, and the largest city, Louisville. Car hire is a great way to see all the sights the state has waiting for you, from horse country to the blue flowers in spring that give the state its nickname.

Browse our car collections, book online and pay in advance or on collection – it’s up to you. We’ll just make sure you’re in your choice of car and out on the open road as soon as possible so you can make the most of every minute in Kentucky.

Driving in and around Kentucky

Kentucky’s size means that car hire is essential if you’re going to see the best it has to offer – from the Kentucky Derby in Louisville to the longest system of caves anywhere in the world. It’s a fine place to drive, with an extensive road network, great views and long stretches of beautiful scenery – especially in spring when the blue flowers are out.

There are some key differences when it comes to driving in the USA – the main one being that you drive on the right and overtake on the left. Others are more subtle: you can make a right turn on a red light if there’s no sign indicating otherwise, and the road is clear. You should still come to a stop first before making the turn.

The main interstates that criss-cross Kentucky are the quickest way to explore the state, with the I-75 cutting down from the border with Ohio in the north to Tennessee in the south. On the way it passes through Georgetown, Lexington and the Daniel Boone National Forest.

The I-64 enters from the west near Louisville and passes through Lexington before going all the way to the eastern state border. For the south and west of Kentucky, the I-65 connects Louisville with Elizabethtown and Bowling Green. There are a number of scenic byways that can form part of a memorable road trip.

The Country Music Highway that runs down eastern Kentucky is a 144-mile drive along US-23 that takes in Bluegrass and Appalachian music and passes by the birthplaces of numerous stars including Loretta Lynn and Dwight Yoakam.

A quick guide to Kentucky

Some things are just guaranteed in Kentucky. Bluegrass, horseracing and lovely limestone hills among them. Winding your way through the state in your car, you’ll come across stunning vistas, areas of quiet and, dotted throughout, tiny towns where you can park up, grab a bite to eat and see how the locals live.

24 hours in Louisville

It’s not the state capital, but it’s definitely one of the main attractions. It’s a fun city, one of the most progressive and forward-looking in this part of the US, but also keenly aware of its heritage. You can see a big chunk of that at the Kentucky Derby Museum, next to the racetrack at Churchill Downs. It’s a storied race, the longest running in the US, and the exhibits here shed light on the legends. Race day can be a thrill – even if it’s not Derby day.

One of the state’s most famous sons is justly celebrated at the Muhammad Ali Center, and fans of the man must take in both that and his childhood home museum. The latter is full of family items, contracts and you might even get to chat to one of Ali’s old friends.

Baseballs fans will want to take a photo next to the 120ft long baseball bat that’s propped up against the Louisville Slugger museum. It’s still an active factory too, operating since 1884, and if you time it right you can see a bat-making demo and then hold bats used by legends of the game.

City of caves

There are caves – and then there’s Mammoth Cave National Park. The longest known cave in the world – by a factor of three – the vast and stunning interior here has some 400 miles of passages. It’s located in the south-west of Kentucky, south of Louisville and north-east of Bowling Green. Join a cave tour to learn about the history and geology, and walk above the hidden river. There’s a boat tour, an unrivalled Onyx cave and a swirl of legends and myths, including supposed outlaw hideouts.

If you prefer the outdoors, the park is full of magnificent places to walk, camp, kayak and canoe. For perfect access, stay at the Mammoth Cave Lodge and use that as your base for an active holiday. The Green River Grill here specialises in local food such as a plate of Kentucky cheese, bourbon-cured chicken wings and a blackened catfish po’boy.

There’s even more to set out for when you organise car hire in Kentucky – the parks and lakes, the sedate horse-country of Lexington, the Land Between the Lakes nature preserve and the Red River Gorge.