While commonly lumped in with the area colloquially referred to as “The South” in the United States, Kentucky is more accurately part of a region known as the East South Central. It also belongs to a Commonwealth alongside Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virginia. The state was originally a part of the latter until 1792 when it was branched off into its separate entity as the 15th state in the Union.

Known largely for its native bluegrass, Kentucky is lovingly referred to as the Bluegrass State. This also gives the nod to the fact that its rural terrain is another notable feature. While certainly modern in many respects, the state is only the 26th most populated in the country, just topping the back half of that particular statistic.

The Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most notable national features on display within the state’s borders. The Mammoth Cave itself is the longest systems of caves in the entire world. Two of the largest lakes made by man also reside in the state; in fact, they are the largest in the country on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Kentucky is also one of the richest resources for coal and tobacco in the country.

Of course, one of the state’s major claims to fame is none other than Kentucky Fried Chicken, a fast food restaurant specializing in its titular dish that has gone on to be a major chain located all over the world. This is sometimes taken for granted, especially given the fact that the company has gone on to be referred to largely by its initials alone in modern times. Though founded in North Corbin in 1930, the company is now headquartered in Louisville, the largest city in the state.

Louisville is only one of two “first class” cities in the state. It is 30th on the list of the most populated cities in the US. It acts as home to the Kentucky Derby and its accompanying festival each May. Outside of KFC, this famous horse race is undoubtedly what the state is most known for throughout the rest of the world.

Interestingly, some believe the cheeseburger to have been invented in Kentucky. While older menus seem to suggest otherwise, it has been claimed that Kaelin’s Restaurant in Louisville was the first to serve one back in 1934. Despite the dispute, there’s no doubt that this particular iteration of the hamburger is very American, which is what Kentucky is all about.