Often called the “Arts and Crafts Capital,” the town of Berea, Kentucky is best known for its arts festivals and being the home of Berea College. Surrounded by Owsley Park, the Berea Pinnacles, and the Appalachian Mountains, the town is also popular for the natural beauty around it. Since Berea is famous for its arts and crafts, no visit would be complete without a stop at the Kentucky Artisan Center, where works by more than 800 Kentucky artisans can be found. If nature is more of an interest, Berea College owns over 7,700 acres of forested land. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
© Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is a unique destination in town that celebrates the artisans of the state through information about Berea and Kentucky in general, demonstrations, events, displays and exhibits, and sales of the arts and crafts created by Kentucky artisans. In addition to the sales and exhibit galleries and travel information area, the Kentucky Artisan Center also includes the Kentucky Artisan Cafe, serving food from around 9:00am to 4:00pm. Located just off of Interstate 75, the 25,000-square-foot center is open to the public seven days a week, from 9:00am until 6:00pm.

200 Artisan Way, Berea, KY 40403, Phone: 859-985-5448

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2.Berea College

Berea College
© Berea College

The South’s first coeducational and interracial college, Berea College in Berea, Kentucky is a distinctive institution of higher learning that provides free tuition and a service or campus job to its students. Visitors can take a free tour of the historic campus led by one of the students to visit the Science Center, learn about the area’s history and the college’s commitment to sustainability, see craftsmen at work, and more. Starting at the Visitor Center and Shoppe, tours are scheduled on a seasonal basis and guests can choose from the Eco Tour, Crafts Studio Tour, or the Historic Tour.

101 Chestnut St, Berea, KY 40403, Phone: 859-985-3000

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3.St. Clare Catholic Church, Berea, Kentucky

St. Clare Catholic Church, Berea, Kentucky
© St. Clare Catholic Church

While the St. Clare Catholic Church in Berea now has more than 130 member families, it certainly hasn’t always been that large. Southern Madison County had less than ten Catholic families during the late 1940’s and they had to travel all the way to Richmond for Mass. A newcomer to town in 1947, Mary Allshouse noticed there was a need for a Catholic church in Berea, Kentucky and the first Mass was held at the church in 1951. Visitors and locals alike can today attend Mass services at the St. Clare Catholic Church on Saturday evenings and Sundays.

622 Chestnut St, Berea, KY 40403, Phone: 859-986-4633

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4.Things to Do in Berea, Kentucky: Noodle Nirvana

Things to Do in Berea, Kentucky: Noodle Nirvana
© Noodle Nirvana

Noodle Nirvana is a food destination in the arts and crafts town of Berea, Kentucky for a delicious bowl of noodles. Mae Suramek, the owner of the noodle shop, has spent twenty years learning how to cook amazing noodle bowl recipes from her mother, all infused with Chinese, Indian, and Thai influences. Locals and tourists alike can enjoy unique Thai noodle dishes at Noodle Nirvana, with the ability to build their own noodle bowls as well, with help from staff if desired. The restaurant features a cozy and minimalist atmosphere and is typically open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.

315 Chestnut St, Berea, KY 40403, Phone: 859-756-6447

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5.Things to Do in Berea, Kentucky: Boone Tavern Restaurant

Things to Do in Berea, Kentucky: Boone Tavern Restaurant
© Boone Tavern Restaurant

The Boone Tavern Restaurant, located at the Boone Tavern Hotel, is a place that embraces Southern hospitality and aims to once again make history. With a history going back more than a century, the tavern now serves fine wines and spirits and beers crafted in Kentucky, which of course including Kentucky bourbons. The restaurant celebrates Boone Tavern and quintessential Kentucky tradition through its flavors and innovative preparations. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Boone Tavern Restaurant uses “Kentucky Proud” and locally grown ingredients, a large portion of which are sourced from the farm owned and operated by Berea College.

100 S Main St North, Berea, KY 40403, Phone: 800-366-9358

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5 Best Things to Do in Berea, Kentucky

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