Moving to Kentucky

Known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky is America’s southeastern gem of unbridled spirit. Offering a blend of Southern and Midwest flavor, the state has several claims to fame: world’s finest bourbon, Kentucky Fried Chicken, bluegrass music, mutton BBQ, Thoroughbred horses, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and diehard college basketball fans. Combine that with wholesome folks, cheap living, and a touch of good ol’ Southern generosity, and you’ve got a winning combo that rivals the Kentucky Derby!

Mulling over a move to Kentucky? We’re here to lend a hand. Great Guys Long Distance Movers has put together this handy KY moving guide, handily separated into the following sections:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to Kentucky
  2. Top Places to Live in this Southeastern State
  3. Convenient Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Great Guys Affordable Moving Services

Ready to move? Request your free moving estimate in a matter of minutes. It’s that easy!

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Living in Kentucky: What to Know Before Moving to Kentucky

Drawn to Kentucky’s unbridled spirit? If so, you should take a gander at these facts on the 37th largest state (40,409 square miles) and 26th most populated state (4.5 million residents) in America.

Pros and Cons of Living in Kentucky

Pros: 

  • Cost of living: Ranked in the Top 20, Kentucky is one of the most affordable states in America. The state’s cost of living index is 89.5, well under the national index of 100.
  • Housing prices: The median home listing price in Kentucky is currently $195,000. Compare that to the country’s median listing price of $289,000, and you can see the savings piling up.
  • Outdoor adventures: Whether it’s a place like Mammoth Cave National Park, Lake Cumberland, or Otter Creek, there are many natural destinations and activities for all ages to enjoy.
  • Five Seasons: Along with four distinct seasons, from colorful falls to a bit of snow, Kentucky’s fifth season, the Derby Season, revolves around the Kentucky Derby (with festivities in May).
  • Hunting: From deer and elk to river otter and squirrel, hunting is huge here. If you decide to go on a hike through the woods, make sure to check the hunting season dates. 
  • Fine bourbon: Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s bourbon. That’s incredible, but what’s even more amazing is the taste. Get a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport to see for yourself.
  • Kind folks: Friendly and hospitable, Kentuckians give a helping hand. Don’t be surprised when someone helps you change a tire or feeds you down-home cooking.

Cons:

  • Reduced exemption for retirees: In 2018, the state reduced the income tax exemption amount for retired folks from the first $41,110 to $31,110. At $10K less, retirees can certainly feel the sting of increased tax bills.
  • Lack of cross-cultural mix: Though this has improved over the years, people tend to stick together based on ethnicity. One exception: everyone comes together for college sports.
  • Twisters: It doesn’t happen all the time, but when a tornado touches down here, it can be mighty strong and devastating. Be sure to carry ample insurance coverage.
  • Urban air pollution: Cities in Kentucky, particularly Louisville, can have pretty low air quality due to factory production. Traffic congestion also generates a good amount of smog.
  • Thick Southern accent: As a newcomer, it can be challenging to understand the Southern drawl and distinctive hillbilly vocabulary of the local language (from “burgoo” to “hollar”).
  • Deer & turkey: The state has the highest number of deer and turkey per capita of any state. These critters tend to jump out in traffic, so keep an eye out while driving.
  • Wacky laws: Like other states, Kentucky has its fair share of weird laws. For instance, it’s illegal to marry the same man four times. The local government can also fine residents for bringing reptiles to church.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 0.86%. The effective real-estate tax rate is #21 in the US.
  • Sales Tax: Kentucky’s base sales tax rate is currently 6%
  • Income Tax: 5%. The state has a flat income tax rate.

Housing Market

To Rent or Buy? Overall, it is a better option to rent a place than buy a house in Kentucky. According to this rent vs. own report by How Much, it is 35% cheaper to rent than buy in the state. If you do purchase a home, make sure you carry plenty of insurance coverage for tornadoes and other disaster risks.

  • Median Home Value: $148,400
  • Median Rental Expense: $609 (1BR), $775 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Kentucky:

  1. Central City
  2. Princeton
  3. Flatwoods
  4. Ashland
  5. Hillview
  6. Bellevue
  7. Monticello
  8. Erlanger
  9. Lawrenceburg
  10. Independence 

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Kentucky by BestPlaces, Kentucky has a cost of living index of 89.5. This index is lower than the nationwide average of 100.

Using the Family Budget Calculator, we can compare the average monthly expenses in three Kentucky cities. We’ll use a family of four for the examples (2 adults + 2 children). 

Bowling Green Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $777
  2. Food = $675
  3. Childcare = $1,228
  4. Transportation = $1,184
  5. Healthcare = $1,094
  6. Other necessities = $586
  7. Taxes = $898
  8. Grand total = $6,441 per month or $77,289 per year

Louisville Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $821
  2. Food = $725
  3. Childcare = $1,301
  4. Transportation = $1,153
  5. Healthcare = $814
  6. Other necessities = $624
  7. Taxes = $845
  8. Grand total = $6,283 per month or $75,400 per year

Flatwoods (Greenup County):

  1. Housing = $686
  2. Food = $734
  3. Childcare = $1,147
  4. Transportation = $1,157
  5. Healthcare = $1,012
  6. Other necessities = $573
  7. Taxes = $825
  8. Grand total = $6,132 per month or $73,587 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

Located in the southeastern region of America, the state of Kentucky has a humid subtropical climate. This typically results in moderate and mild weather.

Kentucky experiences four distinct seasons, with moderately cold winters and warm, rainy summers. Louisville, the largest city in the state, sees average temperatures of 76°F in July and 33°F in January. Humidity levels range from nearly 60% to approximately 80%.

Though one can describe the overall climate here as fairly mild, the daily weather is unpredictable. It can be sunny out one hour, and the next, there’s a thunderstorm. The state has also been experiencing more and more twisters, becoming part of a new “Tornado Alley.” 

Climate Statistics:

  1. Average rainfall – 48 inches
  2. Average snowfall – 11 inches
  3. Sunshine – 189 sunny days
  4. Summer high – 87°F (July)
  5. Winter low – 24°F (January)

Kentucky is highly prone to natural disasters, with areas like Carter and Johnson Counties having been hit hard over the last 15+ years. Here is a list of the most common threats in the state.

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Tornadoes
  2. Flooding
  3. Thunderstorms
  4. Landslides
  5. Winter Storms
  6. Hurricanes
  7. High Winds
  8. Earthquakes
  9. Extreme Heat

Economy & Job Market

According to Economy Rankings by US News & World Report, Kentucky is currently ranked #39 in America. This score derives from three subcategories: business environment (#38), employment (#44), and growth (#20). Its GDP is approximately $202.175 billion, and the median income is $26,779.

Top Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Retail
  4. Education
  5. Hospitality
  6. Construction
  7. Transportation
  8. Other Services 
  9. Government
  10. Professional

Top Employers:

  1. Humana Inc. (Louisville)
  2. Norton Hospital Behavioral (Louisville)
  3. St. Elizabeth Healthcare (Edgewood)
  4. Toyota Motor Manufacturing (Georgetown)
  5. UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital (Lexington)
  6. GE Oil & Gas Company (Louisville)
  7. Ford Kentucky Truck Plant (Louisville)
  8. Corrections Department (Frankfort)
  9. King’s Daughters Home Health (Ashland)
  10. Lexmark International Inc. (Lexington)
  11. Ferrellgas (Kuttawa)
  12. Medical Leader (Pikeville)
  13. St. Elizabeth Edgewood (Edgewood)
  14. St. Elizabeth Healthcare Regional (Covington)
  15. Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Erlanger)
  16. Owensboro Health Regional Hospital (Owensboro)
  17. Baptist Health Louisville (Louisville)
  18. St. Joseph East Emergency (Lexington)
  19. Corporex Inc. (Covington)
  20. University of Louisville (Louisville)

Looking for work in Kentucky? Here are some handy resources:

  1. Kentucky.gov page: Find Employment – Kentucky 
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Roads (including six interstate highways)
  2. Air (including Louisville International Airport)
  3. Train (Amtrak)
  4. Bus (local public systems and Greyhound) 
  5. Taxis (including Yellow Cab and Blue Grass Taxi)
  6. Car Rental Alamo, Enterprise, Hertz, etc.)
  7. Ports (including Port of Huntington-Tristate, a huge inland port on the Ohio River that services by West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio)
  8. Carpooling / Vanpooling
  9. Personal vehicles
  10. Ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, etc.)

Primary Interstate Highways:

  • Interstate 24: Running diagonally from Tennessee to Illinois, I-24 passes through Kentucky at a little over 93 miles in length and intersects Routes 45, 60, and 62. 
  • Interstate 64: Travelling between the Indiana border and West Virginia border, I-64 goes through several major areas (including Ashland, Frankfort, Lexington, and Louisville).
  • Interstate 65: I-65 runs just south of Franklin up through Louisville before it leaves the state. At 137 miles long, it also passes through Elizabethtown and Bowling Green.
  • Interstate 69: This 148-mile long section runs from Henderson to Mayfield. It has three sections of independent utility or SIU for short.
  • Interstate 71: Stretching from the southwest to the northeast, I-71 runs from Louisville to Cleveland, Ohio. The Kentucky stretch of this interstate highway is 96 miles in length.
  • Interstate 75: Beginning near Williamsburg and reaching up to Covington, I-75 runs a distance of 192 miles. It bypasses Berea, Corbin, London, and Richmond. 

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Kentucky comes in at #13 in America. This ranking is based on four subcategories: cost of ownership & maintenance (#11), traffic & infrastructure (#23), safety (#20), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#31).

Things to Do

Looking for fun times in Kentucky? From the Appalachian Mountains to the rolling hills of horse country, there’s an adventure waiting for y’all in the Bluegrass State.

Tourist Destinations:

The state is home to rich American heritage and popular Southeastern attractions.

  • Fort Knox: Housing the US Bullion Depository, Accessions Command, Cadet Command, and the Army Human Resources Command, it also has a museum that explores the US military.
  • Louisville Mega Cavern: Like caves? You’ll love this place! Situated underneath the City of Louisville, there are 17 miles of corridors and caverns waiting for exploration.
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory: This museum has a wide variety of interactive exhibits, offering visitors an immersive dive into the history of the legendary baseball bats.
  • Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: Found in Harrodsburg, this preserved Shaker religious community site is one of the biggest historical communities in its class at 2,800+ acres in size.
  • Kentucky Derby Museum: Opened to the public in 1985, this popular destination has since dedicated itself to the preservation of all things Kentucky Derby.

Food & Drink:

Kentucky is home to delicious, down-home-cookin’ (especially in Louisville)! Here are the top picks: 

  • Top All-You-Can-Eat: J. Graham’s Café 
  • Top Bar: The Old Seelbach Bar 
  • Top Beer: Against the Grain Brewing Company 
  • Top Brunch: Butchertown Grocery 
  • Top Burger: Mussel & Burger Bar 
  • Top Chocolate Shop: Art Eatables 
  • Top Coffee Shop: Sunergos Coffee 
  • Top Dive Bar: Magnolia Bar & Grille 
  • Top Donuts: Nord’s Bakery
  • Top Food Truck: V-Grits Food Truck

State Parks:

Want to explore Kentucky’s natural beauty? Check out these popular state parks:

  • Kentucky Horse Park: As the only park of its kind, this active horse farm also acts as an equine competition facility and educational theme park open to the public. Located in Lexington.
  • My Old Kentucky Home: It’s not only the title of one of the most beloved songs; it’s also the name of one of the state’s most popular historic sites in Bardstown.
  • Natural Bridge State Resort Park: Home to an impressive sandstone arch, this celebrated park in Slade provides great camping and cabin rentals in the Red Gorge River area.
  • Cumberland Falls State Park: There’s a reason this Corbin attraction is called the “Niagara of the South.” Marvel at the 125-foot wide wonder (along with many outdoor activities). 
  • Carter Caves State Resort Park: Site of Cascade Cave, X Cave, Three Bridges Trail, and Natural Bridges Trail, this park offers guided cave tours and great hiking in Olive Hill.

Museums:

Explore the state’s rich history in its best museums. Here are the top 5 picks:

  • The Great American Dollhouse Museum: Large collection of dollhouses, room boxes, and more.
  • Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum: This Elizabethtown museum features vehicles from the early 1900s to 1960s.
  • The National Quilt Museum: Nationally recognized for its famous collection of fiber art.
  • Conrad-Caldwell House Museum: A top example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, this expansive 1890s home sits in the heart of Louisville’s Victorian district.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln House: Explore the home of Abraham Lincoln’s famous first lady.

Cool & Unusual:

Looking for something a little out of the ordinary in Kentucky? Check out: 

  • Waverly Hills Sanatorium: Formerly a tuberculosis research hospital, the abandoned sanatorium remains as a monument of fighting the disease with positive vibes and fresh air.
  • Dinosaur World: This popular outdoor park is right outside Cave City. As an ode to prehistoric animals, it has various life-size dinosaur replicas, a playground, and fossil dig for children.
  • USS Sachem Ruins: Nicknamed the “Ghost Ship,” the disused ship has led many lives under many names: The Celt, USS Phenakite, the Circle Line V, Sightseer, and USS Sachem.
  • Wigwam Village #2: This is one of only a few Wigwam-style motels still operating in the United States. The movie Cars and the video game GTA both caricature this unique lodge.
  • Castle Post: After fire struck this building, the owner decided to turn what was formerly known as Martin Castle into a Medieval bed & breakfast, complete with a full garden and ballroom.

Schools and Universities

Ranked #27 overall in education in the state school’s report by USA Today, Kentucky has the 27th highest high-school graduation rate (85.7%) and 25th lowest public-school spending ($11,761 per student) in America. As for higher education, most colleges and universities are privately funded (with the exceptions of top national schools like the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky).

Top KY Colleges:

  1. University of Kentucky (Lexington)
  2. University of Louisville (Louisville)
  3. Berea College (Berea)
  4. Centre College (Danville)
  5. Spalding University (Louisville)
  6. Transylvania University (Lexington)
  7. Georgetown College (Georgetown)
  8. University of Pikeville (Pikeville)
  9. Alice Lloyd College (Pippa Passes)
  10. Murray State University (Murray)

Top KY Public School Districts:

  1. Fort Thomas Independent Schools (Fort Thomas)
  2. Murray Independent Schools (Murray)
  3. Beechwood Independent Schools (Fort Mitchell)
  4. Pikeville Independent Schools (Pikeville)
  5. Boyle County Public Schools (Danville)
  6. Hazard Independent Schools (Hazard)
  7. Bowling Green Independent Schools (Bowling Green)
  8. Corbin Independent Schools (Corbin)
  9. Oldham County Public Schools (Buckner)
  10. Russell Independent Schools (Russell)

How to Become a Kentucky Resident

To become an official resident of Kentucky, you must physically move to the state, spend at least 183 days here, and maintain an abode (house, apartment, etc.) during that same period. 

When applying for state education grants and lower in-state tuition, applicants must qualify as official Kentucky residents. The determination depends on a particular institution’s set of standards, based on info found in admissions records. Be sure to inquire about a college or university’s specific criteria.

Moving to Kentucky DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to the state, new residents have 30 days to obtain a KY driver’s license.

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Establish Kentucky residency
  2. Visit a Circuit Court Clerk’s office
  3. Present proof of residency, valid out-of-state license, social security number
  4. Take a vision test
  5. Pass writing and vision tests (if license is expired)
  6. Pay applicable fee
  7. Wait for new license to arrive by mail

Vehicle registration:

New Kentucky residents must apply for the title and register of an out-of-state vehicle within 15 days

All vehicles operated on Kentucky roads must be titled and registered. To do so, visit your local county clerk’s office. Present the following: 1) proof of KY liability insurance 2) Photo ID and social security number 3) Title (or, if your state only issues registration or bill of sale, provide those documents) 4) Proof of sales tax payment 5) Certified inspection 6) Affidavit, if name and title are different than what’s on ID 7) If applicable, title lien statement 8) Payment for applicable title and registration fees.

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A citizen of the United States
  2. A state resident for at least 28 days before election
  3. 18 years or older on election day

Voter registration must be completed 28 days before election day.

The state of Kentucky offers online voter registration. It does not allow no-excuse absentee voting, but early voting is allowed to those who have qualified for an absentee ballot. If a voter is not personally identifiable by an election official, he or she will need to provide a valid ID to vote.

Note: Convicted felons never regain their voting rights in the state of Kentucky.

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Best Places to Live in Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky

Flatwoods

Population: 7,200
Median Home Value: $89,900

On the first leg of our tour, we set off for Flatwoods. As the birthplace of Billy Ray Cyrus, the eastern Kentucky town of less than 7,500 is found in Greenup County and considered a suburb of Ashland (though it is in another county). Approximately 68% of residents own their homes, and the public schools rank high.

As a home rule city, Flatwoods is a vibrant community and one of the safest places to live in Kentucky. This area features a solid farming community along with some great neighborhoods, perfect for putting down roots and raising some kids. There are also several churches, restaurants, strip malls, banks, gas stations, and a nice park. And did we mention how cheap housing is here?

Are you looking for the best K–12 education in or around town? Top public schools serving the Flatwoods area include Russell Primary School, Russell-McDowell Intermediate School, Russell Middle School, Russell High School, and Raceland-Worthington High School.

Are you a young professional or head of a family? If so, you should strongly consider this top suburb if you’re interested in living near the Ashland area. Move-in before the word really gets out!

Central Kentucky

Indian Hills

Population: 3,000
Median Home Value: $502,400

As we mosey along to the central region of the Bluegrass State, we find ourselves in Indian Hills. This home rule-class city of around 3,000 is a suburb of Louisville (and the #1 suburb in Kentucky). An astonishing 98% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are above average.

Known as an extremely safe community, Indian Hills is a peaceful place to raise a family. There’s a nice variety of stores and mom-and-pop shops, along with great schools and restaurants. And if you’re looking to head into the city for work or fun, Louisville is only a 15-minute drive away.

As for downsides, it is an expensive place (mostly made up of families with a decent amount of money and a median household income of $170,000). Also, diversity is definitely at a minimum.

Top public schools serving the Indian Hills area include DuPont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School, J. Graham Brown School, Ballard High School, Greathouse Shryock Traditional Elementary School, Schaffner Elementary School, and Brandeis Elementary School.

If you can afford to live in this wealthy community, you’ll enjoy the perks of the best suburb in not only the Derby City area but in the whole state.

Lexington

Population: 322,000
Median Home Value: $186,500

Next, we find ourselves in the first big city on this list: Lexington. With a population of over 320,000, this Fayette County city sits in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. Dubbed the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington features a unique blend of big-city amenities and natural living. The gorgeous countryside that envelopes the urban area is a constant reminder of Kentucky’s undeniable beauty. It’s also an affordable city to live in, with a median home sales price of $178,700 (less than US average). 

Filled with a rich heritage, Historic Downtown offers a wide variety of shopping, dining, cultural opportunities, and stellar nightlife. And if you’re into sports, you can root for the Kentucky Wildcats, the wildly popular college sports program of the University of Kentucky (UK). The U of K certainly contributes to a lively college-town energy here. Whether you’re a family person, ambitious professional or retiree, the “Athens of the West” is a highly desirable city to call home.

Top public schools include Henry Clay High School, Lafayette High School, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, SCAPA at Bluegrass (School for the Creative & Performing Arts), and Morton Middle School, while top private schools include Sayre School, Lexington Catholic High School, Lexington Christian Academy, Trinity Christian Academy, and Montessori High School of Kentucky. For those looking for higher education, the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, Bluegrass Community & Technical College, and American National University – Kentucky are all in the Lexington metro area.

Are you wondering where to live? Top neighborhoods include Chev Chase-Ashland Park, Historic Downtown, Beaumont, Southland Corridor, Kenwick, Brookhaven-Lansdowne, and Indian Hills-Stonewall Estates-Monticello. 

In search of the perfect combination of urban living and horse country? Lexington checks all the boxes and then some! Be sure to also check out our guide on Moving to Lexington!

Louisville

Population: 615,500
Median Home Value: $164,500

Louisville, the most populated and renowned city in Kentucky, is one of only two cities in the state (along with Lexington) that people consider a first-class city. This city offers the perfect mix of Southern and Midwest taste, blending comfort, hospitality, affordability, practicality, and diversity better than almost anywhere in America.

Known for a long list of famous things – it’s the home of the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, the University of Louisville (and its celebrated Cardinals), along with the headquarters of several Fortune 500 companies – Louisville’s reputation precedes itself. 

With a decent population, but not overwhelming like Los Angeles or New York City, Derby City offers a full array of topnotch amenities, low cost of living, and annual events (including the Kentucky Derby, Thunder Over Louisville, and the Kentucky State Fair). Downtown and Old Louisville offer plenty of fun things to do: first-rate shopping, cuisine, bourbon distilleries, arts & culture, and even an indie scene.

Top public schools are DuPont Manual High School, Louisville Male High School, J. Graham Brown School, Atherton High School, Ballard High School, and Eastern High School. Those interested in private education should explore Louisville Collegiate School, Kentucky County Day School, Saint Xavier High School, St. Francis School, Sacred Heart Academy, Highlands Latin School, and Assumption High School. Louisville also boasts several institutions of higher education, including the University of Louisville, Spalding University, Bellarmine University, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and ATA College.

Derby City has many wonderful communities and neighborhoods, including Cherokee Seneca, Cherokee Gardens, Belknap, Deer Park, and Highland Douglass, Crescent Hill, Rockcreek Lexington Road, Cherokee Triangle, Gardiner Lane, and Bonnycastle.

Louisville not only wears the crown as Kentucky’s largest city, but it also takes top honors as an affordable, diverse, and not-too-crowded city ideal for raising a family or starting a career. For more information on Moving to Lexington, check out our city guide here.

Wilmore

Population: 6,300
Median Home Value: $160,100

Moseying on back to the Lexington area, we land in Wilmore. As the #1 place to live in the vicinity of Lexington, the home rule-class city of 6,300 sits 10 miles southwest of the Athens of the West.

As a small town, Wilmore is a safe community to live or attend school, where residents look out for each other. It is also a more affordable city, with lower housing prices compared to Lexington. If you’re looking to buy your first home, we reckon this is one of the best areas to do so. 

Nearby farmlands and fields lend to Wilmore’s easy-going, rural feel. But it isn’t a dull town filled with older folks. With a median age of just 27 (and a college-town atmosphere courtesy of Asbury University), there’s just the right amount of youthful energy here. With a rich history, natural beauty, and a nice touch of diversity, this tight-knit community is unique and upbeat.

Top public schools serving the Wilmore area include West Jessamine High School, West Jessamine Middle School, Wilmore Elementary School, Rosenwald Dunbar Elementary School, and The Providence School. As for higher education, Wilmore is home to Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary.

Want to live in proximity to the City of Lexington in a pleasant little town? Wilmore warrants serious consideration. Y’all should put this one at the top of your list.

Western Kentucky

Bowling Green

Population: 67,000
Median Home Value: $185,800

As we head to the western portion of Kentucky, our first stop is Bowling Green. This metro is the largest home class-rule city in the state. Located in Warren County, it is regarded as arguably the best city to live in Kentucky, which was recently solidified by Money Magazine naming it the best place to live in the state!

Home to Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green is considered both a great place to attend school and one of the best cities to retire in the United States. What makes it such a great place to live? The answer is a combination of character, gorgeous scenery, strong community, affordable living, safety, and a thriving economy. It’s also where every Chevy has built every Corvette since 1981. 

Top public schools include The Gatton Academy, Bowling Green High School, W.R. McNeill Elementary School, Bowling Green Junior High School, and Potter Gray Elementary School. For private education, consider Anchored Christian School, Bowling Green Christian Academy, St. Joseph Interparochial School, and Holy Trinity Lutheran School. There are a few places one can obtain higher qualifications, including PJ’s College of Cosmetology – Bowling Green, Western Kentucky University, Daymar College – Bowling Green, and Lindsey Institute of Cosmetology.

The city’s top neighborhoods include City Center, Eastland Park, Crestmoor, Western Kentucky U, and Cemetery Rd.

Located 110 miles south of Louisville and 60 miles north of Nashville, Vette City (as it’s affectionately called) is a great place to put down your roots or enjoy your golden years. 

Owensboro

Population: 59,000
Median Home Value: $131,100

Situated less than 110 miles southwest of Louisville, Owensboro is the fourth largest city in Kentucky. It’s the county seat of Daviess County and sits along the Ohio River. Just 56% of residents own their homes, and the public schools rate as above average.

Known as the “Barbecue Capital of the World,” Owensboro plays host to the International Barbecue Festival (which takes place every weekend during May). It also recently benefited from a revitalization of its waterfront. Home to three colleges and Owensboro Medical Health System Hospital, along with various parks and great outdoor recreation, the city offers a high quality of life.

For those with school-aged children, top public school picks include Newton Parrish Elementary School, Sutton Elementary School, Daviess County Middle School, Daviess County High School, and Apollo High School. If you prefer the perks of a private education, you might want to put Owensboro Catholic High School, Owensboro Catholic Elementary School (K–6), Owensboro Middle School, and Maximilian Montessori Academy on your radar. As mentioned before, Owensboro boasts three colleges: Brescia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro Community & Technical College, and Daymar College – Owensboro.

Top neighborhoods to consider are Dermot / Oak Ridge, Thruston, New Hartford Rd / Veach Rd, and Rome.

Love barbecue? Owensboro offers some of the best around, along with an appealing mixture of the low cost of living, stellar education options, great amenities, and excellent job opportunities.

Paducah

Population: 25,000
Median Home Value: $79,600

Last but certainly not least, our final stop takes us to Paducah. The constantly growing city of approximately 25,000 sits at the confluence of Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. Just over half (52%) of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are ranked high.

Known for its artsy and eclectic atmosphere, Paducah is also a safe and family-friendly small city. It is also a naturally beautiful and historically rich place. The city is about 74% white and 21% black, while Asians, Hispanics, and Indians make up another 5% of the population. On the downside, Paducah lacks any major industry. The job market isn’t the best, but the community continues to build and move forward. 

Top public schools serving the Paducah area include Hendron Lone Oak Elementary School, Concord Elementary School, Lone Oak Elementary School, Reidland Middle School, and Heath Middle School. The top private school is St. Mary School System. As for higher education, Paducah is home to West Kentucky Community & Technical College and Daymar College – Paducah Main.

Considered a small town with big-city dreams, Paducah is a perfect place for folks looking for rich culture and a wide variety of interests. Check it out before the word gets out!

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How to Move to Kentucky

8 to 12 Weeks Before Moving Day

  • Be smart, plan: Want to experience a bump-free move? Start on the right foot by giving yourself plenty of time to plan and perform your Kentucky relocation. In general, it’s wise to begin this process at least 8 to 12 weeks before your moving date.
  • Book a KY moving company: Start by comparison shopping. Take a look at least 3 to 5 companies. Make sure they are all fully licensed and insured. Hire a company ASAP to lock in the best rates and availability. Great Guys makes it easy & cheap to move. Contact us now!
  • Notify folks: Do you rent? If so, tell your landlord early on. This notice will save you from extra charges or issues with your security deposit. Own your home? Hire a real estate agent to sell or rent your old place successfully. Don’t forget to give a heads up to family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Purge your place: Want to save space and money? To begin, take inventory of your household. Once you have an idea of what all you’re dealing with, you can start to purge. One room at a time, sort through your stuff. Separate and label the items you want to keep or discard.
  • Sell, donate, recycle: Finished sorting through your entire household? Great! The next step is to sell online, donate to charity, or recycle any items you no longer want or need.
  • Prep kids: Moving can be tough for young ones. Take the time to explain everything. Use playtime or a story to communicate effectively. Also, try to maintain their normal routines.

1 Month to Go

  • Start packing: Doing it yourself? Make sure to grab plenty of packing supplies: quality moving boxes, tape, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, etc. Label and tape all boxes. Take special care with fragile items. Need help packing? Count on our cheap packing pros.
  • Transfer important records: Take the time to transfer vital records. These can range from school transcripts to medical records and prescriptions. Also, be sure to have enough meds on hand.
  • Change your address: To do so, either visit your local USPS office or go online to USPS.com. Also, remember to update info for subscription boxes and online services.
  • Handle utilities and services: Have current utilities turned off the day after you move out. This stop-service includes internet, water, electric, etc. Schedule for new services (including satellite, garbage, and so on) to be active by the time you make it to your new home.

2 Weeks Left

  • Service vehicle: Driving to your new town or city? Make sure to take your car in for inspection and service (oil change, tire rotation/change, air conditioning check, and so on).
  • Hire professional cleaners: Whether you rent or own, your old home could probably benefit from deep cleaning. Schedule cleaners to work right after the movers have left.
  • Throw a moving sale: Looking to downsize still or let go of some more stuff? A yard sale is a great way to free up space, make a few extra bucks, and say adios to neighbors.
  • Consider insurance options: You never know when an accident could strike? Be prepared. Contact your insurer and moving company to check insurance coverage and options.
  • Say your farewells: It doesn’t have to all be about hard work. Take the time to celebrate your move. Throw a party, plan a group outing, or schedule one-on-one meetups.

Moving Week

  • Create a first night box: Also called an essentials box, it should be filled with anything you’ll need for the first 24 to 48 hours at your new home: prescriptions, meds, snacks, tools, bedding, toiletries, toys, and so on. Be sure to place somewhere easily accessible.
  • Contact moving company: Call up your movers and confirm final details (including arrival time and contact numbers). Also, if you have any questions, take this opportunity to ask them.
  • Confirm travel arrangements: Driving? Double-check the car and look over driving directions. Flying? Confirm flight times and go over luggage restrictions for a turbulence-free process.
  • Rest up: You have a busy day tomorrow. If doable, stay in. Relax, eat a nice dinner, drink plenty of water, and catch up on your sleep. It will pay off on moving day.

Moving Day

  • Meet up with movers: If possible, be there when your moving crew arrives. That way, you can be sure everyone’s on the same page, and things go on without a hitch.
  • Offer a snack: There’s no obligation to do this, but it can boost the mood of your movers. If you’re inclined, provide a light snack and bottled water to the moving crew. 
  • Perform the last walkthrough: Now that everything is on the moving truck, it’s time to tour your old place one last time. Keep an eye out for messes and any leftover items.

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Quality Moving Services from Kentucky Movers

Great Guys Long Distance Movers finds you top Kentucky moving services at low prices.

Long Distance Moves

Making a move to another state? Whether it’s Kentucky or elsewhere, we’ve got the perfect solution. Our long-distance movers will put a smile on your face while taking it easy on your wallet.

Intrastate & Local Moves

When moving within the state, you need someone you can trust. You also need a company that knows Kentucky like the back of their hand. Our local moving partners offer all that, plus great affordability.

International Moves

Moving for the military? A new corporate position? In any case, you have a complex move ahead of you. From visas to customs, allow us to connect you with a reputable international relocation service.

Small Load Moves

You deserve the same level of convenience as everyone else. Great Guys has made it easy to hire small-load movers for your one-bedroom apartment, college dorm, or studio. Cheap & fast!

Furniture Shipments

Before you try to move that bulky couch, remember that you have options. When facing a household filled with furniture, or in need of special handling, count on our top-rated furniture movers.

Piano Transport

Your treasured instrument should be handled with the utmost care. Whether it’s an antique organ or concert piano, we have the right piano moving specialists to ensure safe and sound delivery.

Art Shipping & Transport

Have fine art, collectibles, or antiques that you need to transport? Our network of specialized art shippers offers a variety of top-tier services, from custom packaging to art display installation.

Storage

Whether you’re moving, remodeling, or traveling, you probably require a storage option. From short-term to long-term storage, our movers offer tailored solutions. Contact us today!

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Landed a new job or facing eviction? We know how stressed you must be. When dealing with an unexpected move, count on our quick & affordable last-minute movers to help you out of a bind.

Residential Moves

Moving an entire household is a challenge. With the right assistance, though, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. The residential moving companies we work with are ready to help.

Packing Services

No one likes to pack. Plus, you’ve got enough on your plate as it is. Ensure the safe and secure shipping of your personal belongings. Book our highly rated professional packers.

Commercial and Office Moves

Moving your office or expanding your business? Congratulations! To make for a successful transition, let us connect you with the best in the business when it comes to commercial relocations.

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