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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, and best known as the home of Murray State University, a well-regarded public liberal arts school. 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 located 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.

Get in

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



  • 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.




Until fairly recently, Murray was what's known as "moist", as opposed to "dry"—meaning that while you could not purchase alcohol in a store, you could (and still can) buy it by the drink. While this may seem a bit antiquated, it's better than the alternative. Under the previous law, there were no "bars" per se, as any establishment wishing to sell alcohol had to seat at least 100 & derive 70% of its income from food. Murray voted itself completely "wet" in July 2012, with full package sales beginning shortly thereafter.

Several local restaurants (Big Apple, The Keg, El Mariachi Loco....) that had licenses to sell by the drink under the previous law will still be happy to help you quench your thirst. The new law now allows bars, and smaller restaurants that couldn't get alcohol licenses can now apply for them.



By phone

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

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

Routes through Murray
GilbertsvilleBenton  N US 641.svg S  ParisClifton
ENDColumbus  W Elongated circle 80.svg E  AuroraBowling Green

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