Don't Miss in Paducah
The National Quilt Museum: The National Quilt Museum has more than 13,000 square feet of exhibition space where traditional and contemporary quilts are on display. Works by fiber artists from all 50 states and 40 countries hang in the galleries, and rotating themed exhibits keep the museum's offerings fresh for repeat visitors. Workshops are offered throughout the year. (215 Jefferson Street; 270-442-8856; open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday year-round, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays March through November, closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day)
River Discovery Center: At the River Discovery Center, you'll get a sense of the Four Rivers Region's maritime history and heritage. Exhibits include the interactive boat simulator, which puts you at the controls of a variety of boats on the river and allows you to navigate currents, traffic and more without getting your feet wet; a display demonstrating how lock and dam systems work; environmental issues; and the importance of the region's rivers in the Civil War. (117 South Water Street; 270-575-9958; open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday year-round, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday April to November)
Lloyd Tilghman House: The 1852 Greek Revival home is the onetime residence of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman. Inside, displays of Confederate artifacts -- including currency, firearms, and naval items -- tell the story of the Civil War in Paducah and Western Kentucky. Costumed interpreters are on hand to answer questions and provide background on many of the exhibits. (631 Kentucky Avenue; 270-575-5477; open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday from April to November, by appointment otherwise)
Hotel Metropolitan: Paducah's first hotel owned by and operated for African Americans was built in 1909, and played host to a who's who of African American musicians including Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, B.B. King, Ike and Tina Turner, Billie Holiday and more. (724 Oscar Cross Drive; 270-443-7918)
Lower Town Arts District: One of Paducah's oldest neighborhoods is now an arts district with numerous galleries and studios to explore. The area extends from Jefferson Street to Clay Street and from 9th Street to the Ohio River. Bricolage Art Collective (107 S. Second Street; 270-528-9625) and the Art Guild of Paducah (115 Market House Square; 270-210-4383) are two of many galleries to explore.
d. Starnes Barbecue: Serving hickory-smoked pork, smoked ham and smoked turkey, plus ribs and a bevvy of sandwiches, d. Starnes does a good job of introducing Kentucky's zesty and sweet barbecue style to new eaters. (108 Broadway Street; 270-442-2122; 2p.m. to 6 p.m. daily)
Doe's Eat Place: Doe's Eat Place has a funny name but a serious menu. Doe's is heavy on the steaks, but also serves shrimp, tamales and more. They received a James Beard American Classic Award in 2007. (136 Broadway Street; 270-443-9006; open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday for lunch, open 5 p.m. until late Monday to Saturday for dinner, open Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.)