Morehead Travel Guide

Plan your adventure in Morehead, Kentucky with this comprehensive travel guide featuring top attractions, food and drink scene, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Morehead

Located in the Kentucky Appalachians, Morehead offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the region while also exploring its rich history and culture. With a range of outdoor activities and cultural attractions to explore, there’s something for everyone in Morehead.

List of Places to Visit in Morehead

Here are some of the top places to visit in Morehead:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Kentucky Folk Art Center: features an impressive collection of folk art from around the state
  • Rowan County Arts Center: showcases the work of local artists and hosts a variety of events throughout the year
  • Daniel Boone National Forest: a sprawling forest that covers over 700,000 acres, filled with hiking trails, camping areas, and scenic drives
  • Hopewell Museum: features exhibits on local history and culture, including the region’s pioneer, Native American, and Civil War heritage

Natural Attractions of Morehead: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Cave Run Lake: a beautiful lake surrounded by forested hills, perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming
  • Red River Gorge: a stunning natural wonder, with towering sandstone cliffs and deep canyons that offer great hiking opportunities
  • Eagle View Trail: a scenic hiking route that offers incredible views of the surrounding landscape
  • Twin Knobs Recreation Area: a popular spot for camping and hiking, with trails that wind through dense forest and over rugged terrain.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Morehead

With its many trails and outdoor recreation areas, Morehead is a great destination for hikers and bikers. Some popular routes include:

  • Sheltowee Trace Trail: a 319-mile trail that winds through the forested hills of Kentucky, passing by several scenic overlooks and waterfalls
  • Eagle View Trail: a 3.5 mile loop with a moderate difficulty level, offering stunning views of Cave Run Lake and the surrounding forests
  • Zilpo Bike Trail: a 28-mile trail that runs through Daniel Boone National Forest, featuring challenging climbs and thrilling descents

Best Things to Do in Morehead: Activities and Tours

  • Zip lining at Red River Gorge: soar over the beautiful Red River Gorge on a thrilling zip lining tour
  • Kayaking or canoeing on the Licking River: explore the calm waters of the Licking River on a leisurely kayak or canoe trip
  • Horseback riding through the forest: take a guided horseback ride through the natural beauty of the Kentucky Appalachians
  • Ghost walk of downtown Morehead: explore the spooky side of Morehead on a guided ghost walk through the historic downtown area

Week-Long Itinerary for Morehead

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a week-long visit to Morehead:

Day Activity
Day 1 Explore the Kentucky Folk Art Center and Rowan County Arts Center
Day 2 Hike the Eagle View Trail in the morning and spend the afternoon on Cave Run Lake
Day 3 Go horseback riding in the morning and take a ghost walk through downtown Morehead in the evening
Day 4 Spend the day exploring the Red River Gorge
Day 5 Take a zip lining tour in the morning and go kayaking in the afternoon
Day 6 Visit the Hopewell Museum and Daniel Boone National Forest
Day 7 Relax and enjoy the serene beauty of Morehead

Food and Drink Scene of Morehead

Morehead’s food and drink scene offers something for everyone, from classic Southern comfort food to farm-to-table dining experiences.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Burgoo: a hearty stew made with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices, and slow-cooked for hours
  • Hot browns: an open-faced sandwich with turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce, originating from the Brown Hotel in Louisville
  • Bourbon balls: a decadent dessert made with chocolate, bourbon, and pecans

Local Beverages

  • Kentucky bourbon: Morehead is located in the heart of bourbon country, so be sure to sample some of the area’s finest
  • Ale-8-One: a local soft drink that’s been produced in nearby Winchester since 1926

Where to Stay in Morehead: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Morehead offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxurious resorts. Some recommended places to stay include:

  • Hampton Inn Morehead: a modern hotel with a range of amenities, including an indoor pool and fitness center
  • Eagle’s Nest Bed and Breakfast: a charming B&B located near Daniel Boone National Forest
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Morehead: a budget-friendly option with comfortable rooms and easy access to local attractions

What to Buy in Morehead: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Some local products and souvenirs to consider bringing home include:

  • Bourbon: Morehead is located in the heart of bourbon country, so take home a bottle of the area’s finest
  • Handcrafted pottery: Morehead and the surrounding region are known for their rich pottery tradition
  • Ale-8-One merchandise: take home a piece of Morehead’s beloved soft drink with Ale-8-One-branded souvenirs

Local Culture and Customs of Morehead

Residents of Morehead are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, and visitors should be sure to take the time to chat with locals and learn more about the area’s rich history and culture.

Best Time to Visit Morehead

The best time to visit Morehead is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the natural beauty of the area is at its peak. Summer can be quite hot and humid, while winter can be cold and snowy.

Do’s and Don’ts of Morehead


  • Take the time to explore the natural beauty of the area, including its many hiking trails and outdoor recreation areas
  • Try some of Morehead’s classic Southern cuisine, including burgoo, hot browns, and bourbon
  • Chat with locals and learn more about the area’s rich history and culture


  • Make too much noise or disrupt the natural beauty of the area
  • Ignore local customs and traditions
  • Visit during extreme weather conditions without proper preparation

Safety and Health

Safety in Morehead

Morehead is generally a safe and welcoming destination, though visitors should take normal precautions to protect themselves and their belongings.

Health in Morehead

Visitors to Morehead should be aware of the potential for tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and should take proper precautions when spending time outdoors. Additionally, visitors should be prepared for the region’s high levels of humidity during the summer months.

Getting to Morehead: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Morehead

The nearest airport to Morehead is the Tri-State Airport, located in Huntington, West Virginia, approximately 85 miles away.

Bus Stations Near Morehead

Greyhound operates a bus station in nearby Ashland, Kentucky, approximately 60 miles away.

Other Options

Driving is the most convenient way to reach Morehead, with easy access to major highways and roads.

How to Get Around in Morehead

Renting a car is the best way to get around Morehead and the surrounding region, though there are also local taxi services available.

Where to Go Next from Morehead: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Lexington, Kentucky: a vibrant city with a strong equestrian tradition and a thriving arts scene
  • Mammoth Cave National Park: one of the world’s largest cave systems, located in nearby Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Louisville, Kentucky: a cultural and culinary hot spot with a rich history and thriving arts community


Morehead is an idyllic destination tucked away in the Kentucky Appalachians, offering visitors a chance to experience natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality. With a range of outdoor activities, cultural attractions, and delicious cuisine to explore, there’s truly something for everyone in Morehead.