Murray, KY

The Top Seven Things To Do In Murray, Kentucky

JC Phelps
JCP Eats

Hey, y’all! There’s nothing better than exploring the communities that make the Commonwealth of Kentucky special. While there are many that I love, Murray is an all-time favorite. Murray, a small college town located in Western Kentucky, boasts an amount of charm you’d expect to see in a movie. It was also voted the Friendliest Town in America! While you’ll never run short of things to do on your visit, here’s my list of the Top Seven Things To Do in Murray, Kentucky.
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The Top Seven Things To Do In Murray, Kentucky

Enjoy a World-Class Farmer’s Market

The Downtown Farmers Market provides a location for farmers and crafters to promote their products directly to consumers at a reasonable price, save family farms, and stimulate the local economy. If you are in town on a Saturday morning, it’s a must-visit — and if you aren’t planning to be in town on a Saturday, it’s time to make plans! The farmers market is held from 7:00 – Noon every Saturday between May and October and is located around Court Square in Downtown Murray. You can learn more about the Downtown Murray Farmers Market here.
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Take a Cooking Class

Have you ever taken a cooking class? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat at Maple Street Market. Maple Street Market’s cooking classes are fun, interactive, and intimate. They are led by the Chef and are open to people of all skill and comfort levels in the kitchen. It’s a great way to learn new techniques, recipes, and have fun! Classes are limited to 10-12 participants and private classes can be arranged. Adult, junior, and little chef classes are available, allowing all ages to learn the art of cooking. You can check out/book future classes here.
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I attended a taco class; in the class, we made homemade pork tacos, pickled onions, guacamole, a street corn skillet, and ice cream tacos (yes, you read that correctly). To understate, I had a blast — and even though I cook/eat for a living, I learned new techniques!
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611 Maple St, Murray, KY 42071

Learn a New Craft/Make Art

Have you ever knitted before? If you haven’t – or if you’re like me and feel like you can’t do anything with your hands – don’t fret. The Red Bug Yarn and Gifts ladies are ready to help you on your journey! When I entered the shop, I knew nothing about knitting. That said, they were patient with me, sat with me at the table, and taught me the basics.
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Apart from the fantastic owners and community, Red Bug offers an extensive selection of fine yarns, specialty coffees, teas, soaps & lotions, gifts of scent, hand-crafted jewelry, hand knits, and more. The shop is immensely cozy and you’ll feel right at home as soon as you enter. Learn more about Red Bug Yarn and Gifts here.
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119 South 4th Street Murray, KY 42071

While in Murray, I also stopped by the Murray Arts Guild and participated in the Empty Bowls Project. The Murray Art Guild, in partnership with Need Line of Murray,  participates yearly in the national Empty Bowls Project, which is designed to combat hunger.  The MAG, through generous donations of time and material, hosts and facilitates bowl-making workshops throughout the spring and summer.  These handcrafted bowls are then given away with soup in NeedLine’s annual fundraiser in the fall. It’s a wonderful cause, mission, and experience.

Plus, you’ll love the staff at the Murray Art Guild! Learn more about them here.

500 N 4th St, Murray, KY 42071

Pour Custom Candles

Love candles, yet always wish you could make the perfect scent? You can do that – and more – at Muddy Watters Designs! There is a vast candle-making space in the back of the boutique. Scents line the wall and you can choose your favorite scent and/or combine scents for a custom candle. The staff will walk you through the process, which is simple, yet immensely fun. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to pour a candle and 2-3 hours for the candle to set up.
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You can pour candles during regular business hours or contact the store to set up a pour party/after-hours pour party. You can learn more about pouring candles at Muddy Watters Designs here. I love my candle!
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1230 KY-121 N, Murray, KY 42071

Dine Locally

There are so many wonderful restaurants in Murray, KY — I can hardly begin to recommend just one! I highly recommend stopping by Dumplin’s of Murray when in town for lunch. They offer lovely sandwiches, soups, desserts, and the best yeast rolls you have ever put in your mouth! Learn more here.
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305 S 12th St, Murray, KY 42071

If you are in the region, do yourself a favor and grab a table at Goldenrod Cafe. You’ll be amazed at their thoughtful menu, house-made cocktails, and the weekend live music. They also serve brunch, which I am eagerly wanting to try. Don’t visit without trying the shrimp hush puppies, fried chicken, or mouthwatering desserts! Read more about dining at Goldenrod Cafe here.
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506 N 12th St L, Murray, KY 42071

Another favorite of locals, professors, tourists, and students, the Willow Bistro quenches appetites for international cuisine. Nestled on the edge of Murray State University, the Willow Bistro serves many delicious dishes; I specifically recommend the falafel and the Panang, a spicy curry stew with potatoes, onions, carrots, and green peas. Read more about dining at Willow Bistro here.
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124 N 15th St, Murray, KY 42071

Shop Locally

Murray is well-known regionally for being a boutique shopping destination. Clothing shops, jewelers, and home decor stores are abundant in Murray, all owned by locals. If you enjoy shopping, look no further than a trip to Murray.

I recommend starting at Intuition, a beautiful home boutique (learn more about them here)!
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1623 Hwy. 121 Bypass N, Murray, KY 42071

Have Coffee and Explore Murray State University

If you’re anything like me, you need a cup of coffee or tea in hand. While in Murray, a great place to stop is Shaffer Coffee Co! From a gorgeous interior, to an extensive coffee menu, to delicious tea, and small bites — there’s something for everyone at Shaffer. Learn more here.
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404A N 4th St, Murray, KY 42071

With a cup of Shaffer in hand, no visit to Murray is complete without a stroll through Murray State University. Home of the Racers, Murray State is a gorgeous campus that serves as a pillar and backbone of the Murray community. It’s abundantly clear in town that there’s a lot of pride in MSU; visit and you’ll see why!

1375 Chestnut St, Murray, KY 42071

About Murray, KY

Home to Murray State University, Murray was named the Friendliest Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today. The enchantment of the small, southern town is abundantly clear. Smiles, big hearts, and impressionable interactions are aplenty; locally-owned boutiques and restaurants dominate the local economy; and the charm is tangible. Visit Murray to experience arts + culture, one of Kentucky’s premiere farmers markets, and a community unlike any other in the Commonwealth. It’ll feel like home.

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JC Phelps is a Kentucky-based food + southern lifestyle writer.

Louisville, KY

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