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Murray is the county seat of Calloway County, is on highway U.S. 641 in Kentucky's Western Waterlands, just a few miles from the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. It is best known as the home of Murray State University, a well-regarded public liberal arts school.


Murray was home to about 19,000 people in 2019.

Apart from the university, two of the major industries here are Briggs and Stratton, which makes small engines and Pella, manufacturing fine windows & doors. There are over a dozen smaller companies in the community. However, the city is dominated by Murray State University. The inventor of radio, Nathan B. Stubblefield, was a native of Calloway County. The first demonstration of radio was held on the courthouse square in Murray in 1902. Murray/Calloway County is a Rand McNally top-rated retirement community.


Murray has a humid subtropical climate and four distinct seasons. The warmest month of the year is July, with an average high temperature of 90 °F (32 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average high temperature of 45 °F.

Murray experiences tornadoes and storms, and has been the site of two F4 tornadoes. In 2008, Kentucky and surrounding states were subject to many violent tornadoes with some of them in Western Kentucky. In 2009, a violent storm with winds of up to 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) ravaged trees and damaged buildings. Aldo in 2009 another tornado outbreak in Western Kentucky left Independence Day celebrations spoiled throughout the region. Murray escaped significant damage in a December 2021 outbreak that caused major damage in nearby Benton and catastrophic damage in nearby Mayfield.

Get in[edit]

US 641 is the main travel corridor and provides access from the north and south. Access from the east and west is provided by KY 94. Another major highway, KY 80, feeds traffic from the east and west, but does not enter the city, instead intersecting with 641 about 3 miles (5 km) north of the city.

Murray has no commercial airline service. The nearest commercial airport is Barkley Regional Airport (PAH) west of Paducah, about 50 miles (80 km) from Murray, but it offers only commuter flights to Memphis. Most locals choose to fly out of Nashville International Airport (BNA), about a two-hour drive away, which offers connections throughout the U.S.

Get around[edit]

The Murray Calloway Transit Authority operates "Racer Routes" service that provide four public bus routes throughout Murray.


  • The Clara M. Eagle Gallery is a multi-level art gallery that houses around 1,200 permanent artworks. The gallery has also been home to temporary shows, featuring contemporary art, African art, woodworking, and tapestries from Spain among others. The galleries have near 8,300 square feet (770 m2) of show space.
  • The Wrather West Kentucky Museum is in the first building constructed on the campus of Murray State University and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum, which is free to the public, highlights the social development, economic and cultural development of the people of the Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky through permanent and changing exhibits.


  • Murray's annual celebration, Freedom Fest features several days of festivities (including a concert featuring a top country music act) centered around the Fourth of July.
  • The Murray-Calloway County Community Theater's Playhouse in the Park is one of the oldest community theaters in the state. It is housed in the historic (1907) L&N Freight Depot, now located in the heart of the city park.


Murray State University is one of the highest rated liberal arts schools in the Southeastern United States, brings a unique cultural element to the city. The school supports athletic teams, known as Racers, in six men's sports, eight women's sports, and one coeducational sport (rifle shooting). The best-known Racers team is the men's basketball team, a perennial invitee to the NCAA basketball tournament.






By phone[edit]

Most telephone numbers in Murray consist of +1 270 plus a seven-digit number, but the entire Purchase area is now served by an overlay complex of two area codes, with +1 364 as 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.

Go next[edit]

Just a few miles away is the beautiful Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, which annually draws multitudes of sportsman & vacationers from all around the country.

Routes through Murray
GilbertsvilleBenton  N  S  ParisClifton
ENDColumbus  W  E  AuroraBowling Green

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