- For other places with the same name, see Paducah (disambiguation).
Paducah is a small city on the Ohio River about midway between St. Louis, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee. The county seat of McCracken County and the largest city in the Jackson Purchase area of western Kentucky, Paducah has a booming riverfront restaurant trade and arts scene in part driven by the city's artist relocation program which offers interest-free housing loans and other subsidies for established artists willing to relocate. Paducah is the hometown of humorist Irvin Cobb and former Vice President Alben Barkley (who served under President Harry S. Truman).
Most visitors will arrive by car: Interstate Highway 24 describes a semi-circle around Paducah from the northwest where it crosses the Ohio River into Southern Illinois to the southeast where it meets Interstate 69 at Gilbertsville, near Kentucky Lake. You could also reach Paducah from the east or the west using U.S. Highway 60. Travelers coming from the south or southwest on the Purchase Parkway (which will soon become part of I-69) should take Exit 25 (U.S. Highway 45) on the north side of Mayfield and turn left (north on 45); from there, Paducah is about a half-hour drive along a four-lane highway.
- 1 Barkley Regional Airport (PAH IATA) (4 miles west of town). There are a few commercial flights per day with United Express from Cape Girardeau and Chicago–O'Hare.
Most locals however prefer to fly out of Nashville International Airport (BNA).
Where the Tennessee River meets the Ohio River, just upstream from where the Ohio meets the Mississippi. River boats, like the Delta Queen(no longer in service), often stopped at the riverfront in Paducah.
Paducah is served by a limited network of buses, Paducah Area Transit System has three lines with departures every hour during daytime.
- Market District. Revitalized starting in the early 1990s, Paducah's riverfront downtown boasts a charming restaurants, shops, museums and an active farmer's market. A particularly unique offering is that of the mural-covered Ohio River flood walls, which are well worth an afternoon of your time and make for a pleasant stroll.
- Lowertown Arts District. The centerpiece of Paducah's Artist Relocation Program, Lowertown plays host to a dozen or so art galleries of varying reputation, one of the most friendly coffee houses ever and a fine-dining fusion style restaurant. How could you go wrong? In general the feel of the neighborhood is reminiscent of New Orleans' Garden District, at least before Hurricane Katrina. If you make art yourself, the city might even be willing to buy you a house here.
- Flood wall murals. Enjoy the larger than life murals created by Robert Dafford on the flood wall as you walk down scenic 2nd street near the river.
- Luther F. Carson Performing Arts Center. Broadway musicals, plays, musical groups, and more.
- 1 Maiden Alley Cinema. Award-winning films every weekend.
- Museum of the American Quilter's Society.
- Paducah Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra-in-Residence at the Luther F. Carson Center.
- 2 River Heritage Museum, 117 S Water St, ☏ .
- Whitehaven. Historic home and state welcome center. At I-24 Exit 7 (Lone Oak Road). Many local high schoolers have their prom photos taken here, so it gets very busy on those nights.
- William Clark Market House Museum.
- Yeiser Art Center, 200 Broadway (Market House Square).
- 3 National Quilt Museum, 215 Jefferson, ☏ .
- Cardinal Lanes, 816 Joe Clifton Dr, ☏ . Bowling.
- Land Between the Lakes. Outdoor recreation area.
- Riverport Lanes, 3465 Wayne Sullivan Dr, ☏ . Bowling.
- Quilt Show. April: Visitors from around the world come to Paducah to see the AQS Quilt Show & Contest. And shop and visit with each other.
- Dogwood Trail. April: Usually around the same time as the Quilt Show, the city marks out a driving tour of the city, where the blooming dogwood trees are illuminated.
- LowerTown Fine Art & Music Festival. May: All day event, art, music, food vendors and dancing in the streets. Live jazz, blues, salsa & zydeco music. Around 7th & Monroe.
- OMGCon. June: Annual weekend long Anime and Manga Convention first held in 2006.
- Summer Festival. July: Sand in the City sand "castle" building competition. Fireworks, hot air ballons, music, fun.
- River's Edge Film Festival. August: First-class international film festival, held at Maiden Alley Cinema .
- Barbeque on the River. September: The downtown parking lot, between the Floodwall Murals and 2nd Street, is filled with vendors selling BBQ of course, but also cheesecake-on-a-stick, deep fried oreos, local treat Dippin' Dots, baked goods, and more. Live music on the stage at the floodwall. A friendly rivalry continues between many of the yearly competitors for the top prizes. A craft fair is usually held simultaneously along the edges of the Quilt Museum.
- August 8th Black Family Celebration-August the 8th was the day that the word had reached Paducah Slaves that Slavery had been abolished by the signing of the Emanicipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Black people from around the country come to Paducah to celebrate this event which includes open markets/street vendors/good food/music/African dance and other events including your "neighborhood block party" at the Community Center on 7th Street.
(On the Second Saturday of every month, most lowertown galleries remain open until 8PM.)
- 520 Studio Gallery, 520 Madison, ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-5PM.
- Agape Sudio & Sign Art, 322 N. 8th St, ☏ .
- AIR Studios, 621-629 Madison.
- Aphrodite Gallery, 503 N. 7th St, ☏ . Th-Sa noon-5PM.
- Aspire Arts, 611 N. 6th St, ☏ . W-Su noon 5PM.
- Blue Frog Designs, ☏ . Open by appointment only for graphic design, illustration, web design.
- Brokenstone Press and Gallery, 612 N. 6th St, ☏ .
- Bryerpatch Studio, 502 N. 5th St, ☏ .
- Cowango Studios, 517 N. 8th St, ☏ . Studios of Stefanie Graves (watercolor) and David Lucht (batik painting).
- Dixie Leather Works, 306 N. 7th St, ☏ .
- Gallery 5, 803 Madison, ☏ . Open Tu-Sa noon-5PM or by appointment.
- Heart of Healing Gallery, 233 N. 7th St, ☏ .
- Judeens Studio and Gallery, 720 Harrison St, ☏ .
- Leaping Trout Studio, 723 Madison. ☏ . Tu-Sa noon-5PM.
- Mentor House Gallery, 332 N. 6th St, ☏ . W-Su noon-5PM.
- Nancy Calcutt Studio, 521 Madison, ☏ .
- Pinecone Gallery, 421 N. 7th St, ☏ . M Th F 11AM-6PM; Sa Su 10AM-5PM.
- Philosophy Gallery, 333 N. 9th St, ☏ . Satudays noon-5PM. The gallery showcases the paintings of owner Karen Utz. Along with Utz's work, the gallery features the work of many talented fine American craft artists.
- Stornoway House Gallery, 513 N. 6th St, ☏ .
- Studio E, 415 N. 7th St, ☏ . Offering physical therapy, Pilates and massage, by appointment.
- [dead link] Studio Mars, 418 N. 7th St, ☏ . F Sa 1PM to 5PM, and by appointment Sundays thru Thursday. The working studio of Paul Lorenz. The studio features oil paintings and Bauhaus inspired drawings.
- Studio Miska, 627 Madison St, ☏ .
- The Egg and I, 335 N. 6th St, ☏ .
- Working Artist Studio, 303 N. 8th St, ☏ . Tu-Sa noon-5PM.
(Downtown After Dinner program runs Saturday nights April–October, and most businesses remain open late. Broadway is usually blocked off from the riverfront to 7th Street (cross streets remain open) to allow a street-fair like atmosphere complete with live musical performances. Antique cars are often displayed on Broadway between the riverfront and 2nd Street, and along 2nd Street.)  [dead link]
- Allen Music, 215 Kentucky, ☏ .
- BeBe's Artisan Market, 107 S. 2nd St (Market House Square), ☏ .
- [dead link] Carol's Custom Framing & Gifts, 409 Broadway, ☏ .
- Cassity's, 115 S. 2nd St (Market House Square), ☏ .
- Crash Comics, 130 Broadway, ☏ .
- Creatures of Habit, 406 Broadway, ☏ . Costume rental.
- Gallery 600, 600 Broadway, ☏ .
- Hooper's, 219 Broadway, ☏ .
- J. Elaines & Candy Boutique, 405 Broadway. ☏ .
- King's Quilting Studio, 119 N. 4th St, ☏ .
- Market@315, 315 Broadway. Numerous booths with a little bit of everything.
- Mr Penguin, 303 Broadway, ☏ . Formal wear and rentals.
- PAPA - Paducah Area Painters Alliance, 124 Broadway, ☏ .
- Peppermills, (Market House Square). Kitchen things and coffee.
- Wildhair Studios, ☏ . 2nd & Broadway.
- Maiden Alley Cinema, 112 Maiden Alley, ☏ .
- American Harvest Antiques, 632 N. 6th St, ☏ . W 10AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-4PM, or by appointment.
- Anthony Barnes Antiques & Collectibles, 111 S. 2nd St (Market House Square), ☏ .
- Courtyard Antiques, 319 Broadway. ☏ .
- Jeremiah's Antique Mall, 3rd & Broadway.
- Just English Antiques, 212 Broadway.
- Marshall's Antiques, 113 N. 2nd St, ☏ .
- Kentucky Oaks Mall. Hinkleville Road (Hwy 60), at I-24 Exit 4. Just because Paducah is relatively small doesn't mean the shopping is small-time—this is the second-largest mall in the state by retail area. Department stores include Dillard's (two separate stores, one with women's and children's clothing and the other featuring men's clothing and home furnishings), JCPenney, and deep-discounter Burlington. Two "big box" retailers, Best Buy (electronics and appliances) and Dick's Sporting Goods, are also in the mall. Open M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. Shopping hours are extended by one hour in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
- Mall Area. There are many stores near the mall. Sam's Club, Hobby Lobby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, David's Bridal, Toys R Us, Jewelry & Handbag Warehouse, Shoe Carnival, and Gander Mountain (hunting, fishing, and outdoors supplies) are on the same side of US 60 as the mall. On the other side of US 60 are Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Books A Million, PetSmart, Catherine's Plus Sizes, and TJ Maxx.
- Olivet Church Road Crossing. New shopping area just past the mall on US 60. Includes Kohl's; Michael's Crafts; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Kirklands; and Sprint Nextel.
- Southside. There are several shops near the southside Walmart, including Big Lots and Trees 'n' Trends.
- Alberti's Ice Cream, 121 S. 3rd St, ☏ .
- Chongs. There are several locations of this local Chinese restaurant in town. The nicest is by the mall, and the one on Jackson Street has a buffet.
- Cynthia's, 125 Market House Square, ☏ .
- d Starnes BBQ, 108 Broadway, ☏ .
- Di Fratelli Ristorante, 211 Broadway St, ☏ .
- Gold Rush Corner Cafe, 4th & Broadway., ☏
- Flamingo Row, At I-24 Exit 4, behind Home Depot. The fillymingo stuffed breads are a must-try.
- Ice Cream Factory at Riverplace, 116 Broadway, ☏ . Homemade waffle cones.
- Italian Village Pizza, 125 S. 3rd St, ☏ .
- Kirchhoff's Bakery, Deli & Market, 116 Market House Square, ☏ . If you've never been to Kirchhoff's, get a sandwich (and a cookie) -- just make sure to sample something from their bakery, which has been family-owned since 1873.
- KY Oaks Mall. Restaurants include Pasta House Factory, Chic-Fil-A, Dippin Dots, and an excellent soup,sub,and coffee shop call Tuscany - it has the best subs around.
- Mall Area, Exit 4 off I-24. Numerous chain restaurants including Raffertys, O'Charleys, McDonald's, Bob Evans, Outback, Burger King, Applebees, Texas Roadhouse, Arby's, TGI Friday's, Hardee's, Taco Bell, Backyard Burgers, Steak N Shake, Wendy's, Chuck E Cheese, Logan's Steakhouse, Fazoli's, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Captain D's, Red Lobster, and Los Amigos (be sure to try the cheese dip).
- Max's Brick Oven Café, 112 Market House Sq., ☏ . Sometimes it can be hard to find good bread in small-town America. That's why it can be such a thrill to find a place like Max's.
- Parcell's Deli & Grill, 2201 Broadway (In the Ritz), ☏ .
- Tribeca Mexican Cuisine, 127 S. 2nd St (Market House Square), ☏ .
- Backwoods BBQ, 5172 Hinkleville Rd, ☏ . Family restaurant with BBQ pork, ribs, chicke ribs, pork, custom cooking & catering, and chicken. The pulled pork is prepared just right, not drowned in sauce to mask the flavor. It is slightly smokey, very tender, and juicy. The ribs are fantastic. The meat literally falls off the bone and they use a special dry rub that has an exceptional flavor.
- 1 [dead link] 1857 Guest House, 127 1/2 Market House Square, ☏ , fax: . 127 Market House Square.
- Duck Creek Campground, (60 sites) 2540 John Puryear Dr. Exit 11 off I-24, ☏ . Game room, water, sewer, store, primitive camping.
- Executive Inn Paducah Riverfront, One Executive Blvd, ☏ or ☏ .
- Fern Lake Campground, (60 sites) 5535 Cairo Rd. Exit 3 off I-24. Water, sewer, and dump station. 30 & 50 amp, paved & gravel interior roads, some shade, 30 pull-throughs, bath house and laundry facility. ☏
- Fisher Mansion Bed & Breakfast, 901 Jefferson St, ☏ . Restored Queen Anne with nice antique furnishing.
- Fox Briar Inn at RiverPlace, 100 C Broadway, ☏ or +1 877-FOX-INN1. Distinguished by jacuuzis in some of the rooms, a kitchen for guest use and nice river views.
- 2 Paducah Harbor Plaza Bed & Breakfast, 117 N 2nd St, ☏ . Just blocks from the Ohio river; renovated.
Most telephone numbers in Paducah, as well as the Purchase area, consist of +1 270 plus a seven-digit number, but the entire region is now served by an overlay complex of two area codes, with +1 364 being the second. A local or in-state telephone call now requires all 10 digits of the local number be dialed (omitting just the leading +1 from a local landline call).
Signage on many established businesses may still display the original seven-digit numbers; dial 270 before these if no area code is indicated.
- Metropolis. Right across the river. Attractions include Superman monument, festival, and museum; Ft. Massac State Park; and Harrah's Casino.
- Kentucky Lake
- Lake Barkley
- Land Between the Lakes
- Cairo (Illinois)
|Routes through Paducah|
|Pulleys Mill ← Metropolis ←||W E||→ Calvert City → Nashville|
|Champaign ← Metropolis ←||N S||→ Splits into and → Jackson → Tupelo|
|Sikeston ← Cairo ←||W E||→ Henderson → Evansville via|
|Sikeston ← Cairo ←||W E||→ Calvert City → Elizabethtown|
|END ←||W E||→ Aurora → Bowling Green|