Barbecue and bluegrass music helped make Owensboro a travel attraction. It claims to be the Barbecue Capital of the World (though plenty of other towns would dispute this). We'll say this much: Barbecue in these parts is pretty darn good. Don't miss the International Bar-B-Q Festival if you're there in May. Owensboro's barbecue is made from mutton basted in a dark, vinegar-based sauce.

Another large gathering, the River of Music Party (ROMP), is a bluegrass festival held during the third weekend in June. Year-round, bluegrass fans will want to check out the International Bluegrass Music Museum. It's located at Owensboro's performing arts complex, RiverPark Center, which includes a large performance theater. The town also has a Museum of Fine Art (regional art and temporary exhibits) and a Museum of Science and History. 80 mi/130 km west of Louisville.

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