Top 10 Hidden Gems in Paducah, Kentucky

By Natalia Wong • Jul 3, 2024
Wall to Wall Murals Paducah, Kentucky

In an era when remote workers have the flexibility to plant their home base virtually anywhere, Paducah makes a strong case as an ideal destination for those valuing an artistically vibrant yet affordable community providing a gateway to outdoor recreation and waterfront living. With a thriving arts scene, ample nature escapes, and inclusivity, remote workers who relocate to this Rivertown at the edge of western Kentucky can look forward to embracing the best of small-town living without sacrificing big-city cultural engagement and conveniences. Here are 10 Hidden Gems that make Paducah an ideal home for remote workers and their families:

1. Quilt City USA -Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum, the only one of its kind in the United States. Quilters can immerse themselves in the rich history and artistic expression of quilting through captivating exhibitions, workshops and educational programs. Paducah also hosts QuiltWeek which is four days of activities including lectures, concerts and exhibits about quilting, gardening and more!

Quilt City USA

2. Historic Elegance at Hotel Metropolitan - Built in 1908 the Hotel Metropolitan was a haven for African American travelers during the era of segregation. It was listed in the Green Book, a vital resource for Black travelers navigating a country with discriminatory Jim Crow laws. The hotel even hosted famous African American figures like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald. Sadly, the hotel closed in 1996. However, thanks to the Upper Town Heritage Foundation, it was saved from demolition and transformed into the Hotel Metropolitan Museum in 2003. Today, the museum stands as a testament to the resilience of the African American community and an important piece of Paducah's history.

Hotel Metropolitan

3. Wall-to-Wall Floodwall Murals - Paducah isn't afraid to wear its artistic spirit on its sleeve. Take a stroll along the Ohio and Tennessee River’s floodwall and witness a vibrant tapestry of over 100 murals. Each creation tells a unique story about Paducah's past, transforming the floodwall into an open-air art gallery and making for a unique family outing.

Wall to Wall Murals

4. Paducah's Visual Arts Scene - For a dose of live entertainment, Paducah's theater scene offers something for every taste. Catch a Broadway-caliber production at The Carson Center, laugh the night away at Paducah Improv, or experience a more intimate performance at the Clemens Fine Arts Center. Paducah also hosts tech week where members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSA) get together.

5. Burgeoning Tech Scene - Paducah is quickly becoming a tech hotspot with initiatives aiming to make it a top 10 metropolitan tech destination. The local tech scene is buzzing with advancements in tech and other innovations. These developments are bridging the digital divide and helping residents become proficient in essential tech skills. Coworking space Sprocket has significantly contributed to the tech scene by creating new jobs in tech and numerous networking opportunities, connecting people to industry-level problem-solving. This collaborative environment makes Paducah a magnet for tech professionals and startups​​.

Emerging Technology Center

6. Sprocket Coworking Space - Whether you crave a social atmosphere or a quiet corner to focus, Sprocket has a variety of coworking spaces to suit your needs. In addition, Sprocket offers a variety of great resources like free coffee, whiteboards, meeting spaces, telephone booths and desks. These amenities create a productive and energetic environment that remote workers, freelancers and tech innovators need to thrive​​​​. Derek Yang, a software developer shared his experience, “My work and home life are much more delineated! I’m also more productive since I get to be around other productive people. Meeting all the people has been great. It also doesn’t hurt that Dry Ground Brewery is next door."

Sprocket Co-working Space

7. Inclusivity and Welcoming Vibes - Paducah embraces diversity and inclusivity. The city actively celebrates its LGBTQ+ community through events like its annual PRIDE Festival and Cinema Systers Film Festival, the country’s only all-lesbian film festival. The Eighth of August Emancipation Celebration pays tribute to Paducah’s African American heritage and the River’s Edge International Film Festival screens films from all over the world fostering a sense of belonging for all.

Paducah Pride Fest

8. Trail Town Designation - Whether it’s the McCracken County Quilt Trail or the National Lewis and Clark of Trail of Tears Historic Trails, the city of Paducah proudly holds the designation of a trail town. Families will enjoy canoeing or kayaking on the Clarks River Trail offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Trail of Tears

9. A Culinary Adventure Awaits - Paducah's restaurant scene punches above its weight. Craving a romantic evening? Indulge in upscale comfort food at Stella’s or enjoy a true culinary experience at Freight House run by Sara Bradley who was featured on Bravo’s Top Chef. For a casual bite head to Backwoods BBQ or Mel’s Dinner. Foodies won't be disappointed by the variety of options, from locally sourced ingredients to international flavors.

Freight House Shrimp and Grits

10. Family-Centric - Paducah fosters a strong sense of community, making it easier for families to integrate and feel welcome. This can be particularly beneficial for families relocating from other areas. Local schools are known to be supportive and offer a quality education for children. Compared to some other regions, Kentucky offers lower tuition fees for both private colleges and public universities. This can be a practical benefit for families with college-bound children. Paducah is also considered a safe city with a low crime rate providing families with peace of mind and allowing them to enjoy their surroundings without worry.

McCracken County High School

Paducah also participates in the MakeMyMove program, offering remote workers $6,500 in incentives including up to $2,500 in relocation reimbursement that can be used towards moving expenses and a 1 year membership to Sprocket.

Paducah is more than just a place to work remotely; it's a place to thrive. With its vibrant art scene, diverse entertainment options, growing tech environment and plenty of family-friendly activities - Paducah empowers you to create a life that's both enriching and fulfilling. So, pack your laptop and get ready to be surprised by the hidden gem that is Paducah, Kentucky.

About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.