Paducah, KY: We Quilt This City

Paducah, KY: We Quilt This City

I got the chance to talk to Amina Watkins, Travel Sales Manager for the Paducah Convention and Visitor's Bureau since 2022. This might be a different article than most of ours, but keep reading for the free service she offers! You can tell by her answers just how excited she is to help travelers!

You have a very interesting and helpful job- can you tell us about it?

As the Group Travel Sales Manager, my role involves coordinating and facilitating group travel arrangements for visitors in Paducah. I work closely with tour operators, travel agents, and group organizers to create tailored itineraries that showcase the offerings in our city suitable for groups. I oversee the booking process, handle logistics, and ensure a seamless experience for groups of all sizes. Additionally, I actively promote Paducah within the city and as a destination for group travel, highlighting our attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and cultural experiences to attract and retain bookings. This is a service that is offered for FREE and I thoroughly enjoy doing it. It is a free promotion to our business partners and it aims to attract more visitors to our city. 

If someone wants to use your services, how do they reach you?

The best way to contact me is through email with a description of the need or idea. My email is My office number is 270-443-8783. I also accept calls and texts on my work cell at 270-556-6075.

When is the best time of year to come to town? (Outside of Quilt Week!)

That's easy! All year round. Paducah is a year-round destination for visitors looking to take a break from the big city and be inspired. Paducah has art, history, delicious cuisines, and culture. You can't forget about the southern hospitality. You can check on our website for events and festivals happening in every season. My favorite festival outside of Quilt Week is BBQ on the River. I am such a foodie! Ha!

What are your favorite must-see sights for quilters? (Other than Paper Pieces®, of course! ;) )

I really enjoy the hands-on activities offered in our city. Places like Paper Pieces and Muppin's Sewing Emporium, which offer workshops, are perfect for learning different techniques. My favorite must-see for quilters and art enthusiasts is the Flood wall Murals. These murals depict a variety of stories and history in art form on the flood wall that protects our city from the Ohio River. Hearing the stories and history with the Paducah Ambassadors guiding a tour is a great experience. Our Paducah Ambassadors are treasures in our community. They selflessly volunteer their time to share stories during our city and flood wall mural tours, all while welcoming groups to our city and ensuring that our visitors are assisted and have their questions answered during their visit.

We love a good food recommendation! Give us your top three local choices.

For a self proclaimed foodie, this question is hard. I can narrow it down by creativity in food, customer service and variety of food offerings.

  1. **Freight House**: This restaurant stands out for its creativity in food, offering innovative and unique twists on southern dishes that showcase a blend of flavors and culinary techniques. Top Chef: World All-Stars Chef Sarah Bradley is the owner and operator of this fine dining experience. Easily my top favorite, highly rated restaurant in Paducah. 
  2. **Big Ed's**: Big Ed's holds a special place among my favorite recommendations for several reasons. This all you can eat buffet-style soul food restaurant not only offers a delightful salad bar and an array of mouthwatering desserts but is also known for serving the best caramel cake in town. The buffet is filled with all the southern entrees and sides that you can imagine. To top off the meal, they provide soft-serve ice cream. I often joke with visitors, advising them not to plan any activities post-meal but to prepare for a nap. The food at Big Ed's is so satisfying that it may just tempt you into a blissful food coma! 
  3. **Gold Rush**: Gold Rush is a stand out. Unlike the other restaurants, I visit this place almost every weekend. Their signature dish, the bread pudding waffles topped with a homemade maple butter, is a must-try delicacy that is so flavorful and rich it doesn't even require syrup. These waffles have gained recognition as an award-winning treat, adding to the allure of dining at Gold Rush. While they offer both breakfast and lunch menus, the flexibility to enjoy breakfast at any time of the day makes it a versatile and inviting dining destination for locals and visitors alike. It's the place where I go and they know my name. HA!

All 3 restaurants have earned a spot as one of my favorites due to their exceptional customer service. The friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere create a dining experience that goes beyond just the food. The personalized attention and warm hospitality make every visit memorable.

What would you say is Paducah's best kept secret that ALL our visitors should know about?

The Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah is a true hidden gem, known as the city's best-kept secret. Steeped in history, this establishment played a pivotal role as a safe haven for African American travelers during the segregated Jim Crow Era. The unique storytelling experience offered at the hotel allows visitors to step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of its cultural significance as it was featured in the Green Book. For those seeking an exclusive and immersive experience, the option to dine in adds an extra layer of charm to their visit, making the Hotel Metropolitan a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.

(As a personal note, Jess HIGHLY recommends the McCracken County Quilt Block Trail- you can find the details here!)

What I'm hearing is, if you want to come to Paducah and you don't know where to start, you can contact Amina to get the full experience! There are no fees for her services, just the satisfaction of getting the best deals available, and seeing the parts of Paducah you might otherwise miss! She's absolutely lovely and available for whatever questions you might have!

(This is not a sponsored post, we just love our city and we know you'll love it too!)


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