15 Best Places to Live in Kentucky

Written by Darren Griffiths
Updated on
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What springs to mind when you hear the word Kentucky? Fried chicken? Derby? There is so much to enjoy about living in the versatile and varied American State. Unlike many states, Kentucky is not perfectly square or rectangular. We’re on to useless facts now!

Although in the south of the USA, Kentucky is not as arid and barren as expected. The Ohio River has nourished the land for centuries and the Appalachian Mountains to the East, making for a picturesque geographic combination.

Whenever we start to look for a new place to live there are criteria that we all have to tick off, whether you’ve realized it yet or not, you’re pickier than you think. Factors like cost of living, access to medical facilities and commuter routes are all things we consider when seeking a new abode. Of course, there are more factors than this; parents look for access to good public schools, and we all judge a place by its crime statistics. 

Finding all this information in one easily digestible chunk can be pretty laborious.

Here is our list of the 15 best places to live in Kentucky.

1. Anchorage

Anchorage, KentuckySource: jimmywayne / Flickr

With a little other two thousand residents, Anchorage is a small town with a lot to offer and is considered one of the best places to live in Kentucky. 

In this small but exciting town, you can explore the great outdoors, walk along hiking trails, go kayaking, fish, and access the many nature parks that fill the community. Anchorage also has a thriving arts environment filled with galleries and other events.

Even with its small size, you can still find music venues, adorable cafes, and mouthwatering restaurants around town. Even with these extensive city amenities, it still retains its small-town charm. Its affordable cost of living, art and culture scene, and attractive historic districts make it a great place to call home.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Anchorage are:

  • Anchorage Trail
  • Louisville Waterfront Park
  • Kentucky Science Center
  • Beckley Creek Park
  • The Big Four Bridge
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Frazier History Museum
  • Angel’s Envy Distillery

2. Indian Hills

Indian Hills, KentuckySource: www.panoramio.com
Indian Hills

Living in Indian Hills is one of the most unique experiences in Kentucky. Its location near the Ohio River gives its residents the sense of seclusion that is often hard to find in such popular states. Compared to other areas, Indian Hills is small but has plenty of attractions to offer its residents.

While strolling around town, you’ll find several parks and museums that give its residents and visitors plenty of learning opportunities. The local community center in Indian Hills offers its residents programs and events all year round

Entertainment & Activities

  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Noosh Nosh
  • Thurman-Hutchins Park
  • Perrin Family Park
  • Louisville Water Tower Park
  • Condado Tacos

3. Cherokee Gardens

Cherokee GardensSource: www.louisvillehomesblog.com
Cherokee Gardens

With a more urban feel than Indian Hills and Anchorage, we find, in third place, Cherokee Gardens, another suburb of Louisville. According to niche.com, this small neighborhood is considered the best neighborhood to live in in the Louisville area according to niche.com, in turn being the best to raise a family and the safest too. What’s to complain about?!

With a population of over seven hundred, Cherokee Gardens offers its residents a suburban feel and has many bars, restaurants, cafes, and natural parks. With its small-town size and above-average schools, Cherokee Gardens is the perfect place to raise a family

Very few house prices are on par with our date list, but unlike Indian Hills and Anchorage, more properties come in under the median than above.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Cherokee Gardens are:

  • Founders Cafe
  • The Big Four Bridge
  • Louisville Mega Cavern
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Muhammad Ali Center

4. Hurstbourne Acres

Hurstbourne Acres, KentuckySource: www.hurstbourneacres.org
Hurstbourne Acres

Although the Kentucky State capital is Frankfort, Louisville seems to be where the action is. Hurstbourne Acres is another suburb of Louisville and our smallest community, just short of two thousand residents.

You’ll be surprised to hear that an incredible 84% of people here live in rented properties, with median monthly rent falling well below the national average, who can blame them? That said, home value is reasonable too. On average, Hurstbourne Acres is our most affordable place in Kentucky yet.

Although tiny, there are always a few suitable properties on the market, but you’ll have to snap them up quickly!

 Being so affordable you’ll not be surprised to hear that this little pocket of Kentucky is a hotspot for millennials, who can blame them?

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Hurstbourne Acres are:

  • Malibu Jack’s Louisville
  • Activate – Louisville
  • Recbar
  • Moonstruck
  • Connors Steak & Seafood
  • Louisville Salt Cave
  • Jeffersontown Farmers Market

5. Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas, KentuckySource: www.courtyardproperties.net
Fort Thomas

With a population of over sixteen thousand, Fort Thomas is sitting in the perfect location that overlooks the Ohio River. In Fort Thomas, you’ll find many beautiful homes, as it boasts over one hundred and sixty residences over one hundred years old.

With over sixteen thousand people living here, we are back within the realms of the average hardworking American. Home value is remarkably affordable and should you be prepared to invest in a more humble abode.

Local people describe Fort Thomas as elegant; you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to live somewhere charming. There are plenty of sidewalks and trails for dog walking and jogging, and the community atmosphere is tangible.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Fort Thomas are:

  • Tower Park
  • The Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum
  • Coney Island
  • Truist Arena
  • Highland Hills Park
  • The Village Players of Fort Thomas
  • Blue Marble Books
  • Fort Thomas Landmark Tree Trail
  • Riverbend Music Center
  • Twin Oaks Golf
  • Belterra Park Cincinnati
  • Withrow Nature Preserve
  • Sherlock’s Escape Rooms
  • California Golf Course
  • Newport Racing & Gaming

6. Cherokee Seneca

Cherokee SenecaSource: LunchboxLarry / Flickr
Cherokee Seneca

With a population of around sixteen hundred, Cherokee Seneca is a charming community considered one of Kentucky’s best places to live. This quiet, well-maintained neighborhood includes nature parks, residential homes, and recreational spaces.

Cherokee Seneca has two golf courses and historic homes that help bring curiosity to this community. On the south side of town, you’ll find small shops such as the Candy Shoppe and other restaurants and cafes. In addition, you can travel almost anywhere by foot in this community with its abundance of sidewalks.

Most residents who live in Cherokee Seneca own their homes, with only around a quarter of residents rent. When living in Cherokee Seneca, you’ll never be bored with its many attractions. From museums, horse racing, restaurants, and the zoo, there’s something for everyone.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Cherokee Seneca are:

  • Frazier History Museum
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • NuLu Marketplace
  • Butchertown Market
  • Flying Axes
  • Cherokee Park
  • Planet of the Tapes
  • Rabbit Hole Alice in Wonderland Mural
  • Climb NuLu

7. Union

Union, KentuckySource: sevenMaps7 / shutterstock

You’ll find the small town of Union in Kentucky in the hills of Kentucky. With its charming small-town feel, Union has many activities and attractions for its residents and visitors. From historical landmarks to outdoor recreation, Union offers a bit of something for everyone.

Nearby, you’ll find the Ohio River, the perfect spot to spend a day of fishing. In addition, every autumn, the town of Union also hosts its Harvest Festival and Craft Fair.

The cost of living in the town of Union is about sixteen percent lower than the national average. With this percentage, Union is the first place for families and retirees to call home.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Union are:

  • Farmstand Market and Cafe
  • Newport Aquarium
  • Ark Encounter
  • Coney Island Park
  • Litas Tacos
  • Boone County Distilling Co
  • Kings Island

8. Highlands Douglass

Highlands Douglass, KentuckySource: highlandsdouglass.org
Highlands Douglass

Highlands Douglass is one of the best places to live in Douglass, covered in family estates and established in the twentieth century. With a population of over three thousand, it’s one of the most desirable locations for those who want to relocate for peace.

You’ll find the perfect combination of residential and commercial buildings within the community. Residents can use Speed Avenue, Eastview Avenue, and Bardstown Road for work commutes. In addition to its roads, it’s filled with tree-lined streets, and it is considered one of Kentucky’s most walkable neighborhoods.

This is an incredibly safe neighborhood, perhaps due to the small number of residents or the high-earning and diverse nature of those who live here.

Being a suburb of Louisville, there are plenty of job opportunities and all the services and amenities you would expect to find in a small town.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Highlands Douglass are:

  • Cherokee Triangle
  • Cherokee Park
  • Jack Fry’s
  • The Fat Lamb
  • Taco City Louisville
  • Tyler Park
  • Electric Ladyland

9. Gardiner Lane

Gardiner Lane, KentuckySource: www.redfin.com
Gardiner Lane

Gardiner Lane is a well-established suburb of Louisville, there is a sense of history about the place and an instant sense of belonging should you choose to move in. This is a quiet and safe little neighborhood with only over three thousand people living here, it’s almost like an urban village.

Considering Gardiner Lane’s proximity to Louisville, house prices are somewhat reasonable; Gardiner Lane is the best suburb of Louisville to buy property in according to niche.com. For less than average, you can invest in a cottage-like, 2-bedroom family home within easy reach of good public schools and driving routes into the city for work.

Many residents here have dogs so newcomers are bound to find some furry friends in common!

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Gardiner Lane are:

  • Historic Gaslight Square District
  • Malibu Jack’s Louisville
  • Beckley Creek Park
  • Pope Lick Park
  • Skyview Park
  • Turkey Run Park

10. Hurstbourne

Hurstbourne, KentuckySource: STONE8HENGE (talk) / Wikimedia

Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, so it makes sense that its suburbs feature frequently on our list of best places to live in the state. Unlike many other suburban areas in the United States of America, Louisville has many small suburbs with tight-knit communities rather than being a subsection or overflow of the city itself.

It seems that the suburbs of Louisville are relatively affluent, this is a thriving city with a thriving workforce behind it. The average household income in Hurstbourne is above average, creating a diverse group of over four thousand residents.

Be sure to check out Moby Dick Seafood on Shelbyville Road and the Gasthaus German Restaurant on Brownsboro Centre for some delicious food.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Hurstbourne are:

  • Louisville Mega Cavern
  • Muhammad Ali Center
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Central Park
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
  • Louisville Zoo

11. Crestwood

Crestwood, KentuckySource: EX22218 - ON/OFF / Flickr

If you’ve been looking for a beautiful experience in a small city, Crestwood is one of Kentucky’s best places to live. This small, friendly city is filled with gorgeous scenery, an electric downtown area, and plenty of restaurant and entertainment options.

When searching for new activities, many outdoor recreational opportunities such as hiking and biking in the nearby nature parks exist. Compared to other areas in Kentucky, Crestwood is an affordable city with a low crime rate, making it the perfect place to start a family.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Crestwood are:

  • The Outlet Shops of Bluegrass
  • Kentucky Artisan Distillery
  • Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
  • Nevel Meade Golf Course
  • Locust Grove
  • Beckley Creek Park

12. Crescent Hill

Crescent Hill, KentuckySource: Peter Dedina / shutterstock
Crescent Hill Reservoir

Across the Ohio River from Jeffersonville to the southeast is Crescent Hill, home to 9,900 residents who dearly love their home here. With a good amount of nightlife on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy here, unlike in Crestwood where you had to trek to find a beer!

As neighborhoods go, Crescent Hill is on par with the rest of the United States in many ways. Crime levels are low bar a few incidences of theft which get dealt with quickly and efficiently by local cops.

The median household income is above the national average, making this bunch of residents your run-of-the-hill, salt-of-the-earth American families.

Value for money can be found in properties in Crescent Hill, and for an investment, you could move into a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom family home with a quaint feel to it on Lotis Way.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Crescent Hill are:

  • Con Huevos
  • The Morning Fork
  • Payne Street BakeHouse
  • Heine Bros Coffee
  • Carmichael’s Bookstore
  • Mellowood Antique Mall
  • Waterfront Botanical Gardens

13. Deer Park

Deer Park, KentuckySource: Nyttend / Wikimedia
Deer Park

Located south of Louisville is Deer Park, one of Kentucky’s best places to live. This modest neighborhood is home to middle and working-class residents compared to other areas of Kentucky.

With a population of over four thousand residents, Deer Park is a friendly, walkable community with many cafes and restaurants. In the oldest area of Deer Park, you’ll find many Victorian homes, while smaller ranch-style homes can be found on the west.

In addition, Deer Park’s local grocery store is Kroger, just a walkable short distance down the neighborhood. Throughout the year, residents like to participate in annual events such as Porchfest and Neighborfest.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Deer Park are:

  • Louisville Mega Cavern
  • Paint Spot
  • Kentucky Science Center
  • Altitude Trampoline Park
  • 5D Cinema
  • Gorilla Forest
  • Louisville Zoo

14. Wilmore

Wilmore, KentuckySource: RichardBowen / Flickr

The little town of Wilmore can be found 30 minutes southwest of Lexington in Jessamine County. Being out of the city limits property prices here are some of the lowest in the State but the high Kentucky quality of build still applies. The home value here is average, meaning it is an accessible area and a great place to buy your first home.

Being a small town, crime is naturally low, and the people here look out for one another. Local people say that living in Wilmore is excellent for families and although there is a town feel to the neighbourhood being so close to farmland and fields gives the place just the right about of rural appeal.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in Wilmore are:

  • Kentucky Horse Park
  • Aviation Museum of Kentucky
  • Waveland State Historic Site
  • Jessamine Creek Gorge
  • Boone Tunnel
  • High Bridge Park
  • Sally Brown Nature Preserve

15. Belknap

Belknap, KentuckySource: Bill Alden / Flickr

Seeing as the suburbs of Louisville have capitalized our list it seems only fair that we should conclude with another. Belknap is one of the larger suburbs of Louisville, home to around seven thousand people.

House prices here on average are on par with Deer Park at above average, but you’ll seldom get change when investing a little more. Those sitting in properties at the lower price scale aren’t looking to go anywhere!

Locals say there is a good community feel in the area with many restaurants and entertainment to keep everyone happy and together.

 There are 40 public schools in this district, so parents have a lot of choices. Due to the number of children in the area, there is also a good range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

Entertainment & Activities

Some of the best things to do in or near Belknap are:

  • Cache River State Natural Area
  • Cache River Basin Vineyard and Winery
  • Mermet Springs
  • Heron Pond Preserve
  • Mermet Lake State Fish and Wildlife Are

15 Best Places to Live in Kentucky:

  • Anchorage
  • Indian Hills
  • Cherokee Gardens
  • Hurstbourne Acres
  • Fort Thomas
  • Cherokee Seneca
  • Union
  • Highlands Douglass
  • Gardiner Lane
  • Hurstbourne
  • Crestwood
  • Crescent Hill
  • Deer Park
  • Wilmore
  • Belknap