Check into a romantic Kentucky country inn, relax with spa treatments and enjoy an array of outdoor adventures, ranging from horseback riding to hiking in a nearby park. If you are looking for a diverse choice of museums, restaurants and cultural attractions, head to Louisville, Lexington and other Kentucky destinations which offer plenty to see and do. Our list includes historic places as well as modern escapes, providing options for every taste and budget. We’ve included approximate driving times from Louisville to help you plan your trip.
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1. The Ashley Inn - 1 hour 45 minutes from Louisville
© The Ashley Inn
The Ashley Inn at Meadow Lake Equestrian Center in Lancaster is a romantic country getaway for couples offering six elegant guest rooms with private baths and a wonderful view of the equestrian center. The Inn is surrounded by 130 acres of property, where horses can be seen roaming.
The Inn also has a large pavilion for gatherings, a wedding venue, and a lake. Continental breakfast is offered to guests in the morning. For other meals, there are restaurants nearby, including Bluegrass Pizza, the Chimney Rock Marina Restaurant, and Melton’s Deli. Nearby entertainment includes KY Wine Tours, a bowling alley, the Marksbury Farm Market, and the Meadow Lake Equestrian Center.
Ashley Inn Way Lancaster, KY 40444, Phone: 800-548-4922
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2. The Campbell House - 1 hour 20 minutes
© The Campbell House
The Campbell House in Lexington is an antebellum-style hotel that offers more than enough room for guests and large groups, with 18,000 square feet of function space. The hotel has 250 guest rooms, with each featuring their own unique ambience. The luxurious rooms offer elegant furnishings, plush fabrics, high-speed Wi-Fi, a coffee maker, and a private bath with a curved shower.
Both a fitness center and indoor pool are available for guests to enjoy. For a more relaxing atmosphere, seating is available in the Campbell House lobby or head over to Bogart’s Lounge to enjoy a drink, karaoke, and live entertainment. Kilbern’s Restaurant offers an enjoyable dining experience with a modern flair on a taste of Lexington history. The restaurant has local southern flavor food with both a breakfast and lunch menu. Nearby, visitors can go to the Keeneland Race Track, The Arboretum, Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery, the Kentucky Horse Park, or the Rupp Arena. If you are looking for places to stay in Kentucky with plenty to do nearby, this property is a great choice. Things to Do in Lexington
1375 South Broadway Road, Lexington, KY 40504, Phone: 859-255-4281
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3.Hotel Covington - 1 hour 20 minutes from Louisville
© Hotel Covington
Booking the “Tailored Experience” of Hotel Covington starts with a representative from Philippe Haas Bespoke Tailoring welcoming you to the hotel. The same representative will assist in tailoring two custom dress shirts, snazzy pocket squares or ties, and a custom blazer for you. Get measured (no less than 37 measurements will be taken), pick out your preferred fabric, lining, and buttons, then enjoy a great snack and a crafted cocktail while the tailor gets to work. Hotel Covington guarantees a luxurious and ultra-lush stay at one of their opulently designed suites with many relaxing amenities to experience.
638 Madison Avenue, Covington, KY 41011; Phone: 859-905-6600
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4. A Storybook Inn - 1 hour driving time from Louisville
© A Storybook Inn
At over 10,000 square feet, A Storybook Inn in Versailles offers a relaxing Old South getaway for guests. There are four themed suites to choose from, all of which offer a slightly different decorating style. The rooms offer lovely baths, fireplaces, walk in closets, and mini-refrigerators. Guests can also stay in the 2,000 square foot Southern Living Guesthouse with 3.5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths.
The Inn offers a 50-foot glass conservatory, a formal living room, a long dining room, and a restored stone pond. Guests can explore the many rooms and buildings that the landscaped property has to offer. While the Inn offers a delightful breakfast, there are nearby restaurants to go to for the other meals of the day. Wineries, scenic museums, the Eric Johnson Gallery, a sculpture garden, and horseback riding can all be found near this beautiful Inn.
277 Rose Hill Avenue, Versailles, KY 40383, Phone: 859-879-9993
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5. The 21 c Museum Hotel in Louisville
© The 21 c Museum Hotel
The 21 c Museum Hotel in Louisville offers both quiet lodgings and interesting art to its guests. There are a large number of rooms at the hotel that are all decorated in their own contemporary style. The rooms include original art pieces along with HDTVs, cable TV, high speed Wi-Fi, and coffee makers.
Guests can of course awe themselves in the museum, browsing through all of the art, relax in the steam room and sauna or get a spa treatment,. There is a fitness center for guests to use that has high-quality cardio equipment. Proof on Main serves local flavors of food along with fine bourbon and specialty cocktails. The restaurant also provides room service so guests can eat in the comfort of their rooms. Nearby, a large number of galleries and museums can be found, along with other dining, the Hermitage Farm, Louisville Glassworks, and the Louisville Zoo.
700 West Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202, Phone: 502-217-6300
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6. The Beaumont Inn - 1 hour 15 minutes
© The Beaumont Inn
The Beaumont Inn is made of three historic buildings located in Harrodsburg. The buildings offer a total of 31 guestrooms, which are decorated with tasteful antique, original furnishings. All of the rooms have private baths, cable TV and free Wi-Fi.
If you are looking for Kentucky vacation spots where you can relax with a massage, the Beaumont Inn Spa offers relaxing treatments for single guests, or for couples in the same room. Within the Inn, there is an English-style pub, a tavern, spacious parlor rooms, a gift shop, a 30’ x 60’ outdoor pool, and a vast collection of historic items that can be toured around the property. Outside, there is a place to play shuffleboard, a beautiful butterfly garden, places to relax on the front porch, and walking trails. In the Main Dining room, guests are served classic Kentucky cuisine. Guests can also visit the Old Owl Tavern for a bar and grill type restaurant or the Owl’s Nest Lounge for a cozy pub experience.
638 Beaumont Inn Drive, Harrodsburg, KY 40330, Phone: 800-352-3992
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7. The Brown Hotel in Louisville
© The Brown
The recently renovated iconic Brown Hotel in Louisville offers guests an elegant Southern experience which dates back to 1923. The 293 guest rooms are classically furnished in a way to provide both warmth and elegance. The comfort of these rooms is enhanced by the Egyptian cotton linens and the comforters made with European goose-down. The hotel has a shop and gallery to browse gifts and artwork, a bar, two restaurants, and complimentary use of a fitness center. There is also a lounge on the Club Floor with a complimentary continental breakfast and evening cocktails. The J. Graham’s Café offers an elegant atmosphere with buffet dining that includes an array of salads, fresh fruit, hot entrees and decadent desserts. The English Grill offers more contemporary American cuisine that has a Kentucky twist while still an elegant atmosphere. Guests can find a golf course, biking trails, hiking trails, and an indoor pool near the hotel.
335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202, 502-209-7346
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8. Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa - 1 hour 20 minutes
© Griffin Gate Marriott Resort
Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Bluegrass Country is a stylish getaway with a scenic golf course, a luxurious spa and elegant dining. The spacious rooms provide rolling hill landscapes for guests to enjoy as they relax. Within the rooms, guests can find desks with high-speed internet access, thick mattresses, soft linens, and LCD TVs for their comfort. The Spa at Griffin Gate offers a range of relaxing treatments, from body scrubs and wraps to facials and massages.
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Griffin Gate has a fitness center, which has both an indoor and outdoor pool, a tennis court, free weights, treadmills, and cardio equipment. The JW’s Lounge offers a nice atmosphere to sip cocktails, enjoy a Kentucky bourbon, and have lunch. For a more formal dining experience, the JW’s Steakhouse offers angus steaks and a selection of classic wines.
1800 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40511, Phone: 859-231-5100
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9. Scottwood Bed and Breakfast - 1 hour
© Scottwood Bed and Breakfast
Scottwood Bed and Breakfast in Midway is the perfect getaway for couples looking to relax surrounded by the historic and scenic countryside. The three suites are furnished with charming furniture and art that gives a quaint feel to guests. The rooms all have their own private sitting area and a view of the beautifully-landscaped fields. This cozy bed and breakfast has a large sitting room where guests are free to make themselves at home and entertain other guests on the piano. There is also a keeping room for guests to relax, read, or watch television by the fireplace, as well as a kitchen where guests can help themselves to the beverage bar, and a dining room. A delightful breakfast is offered to guests in the morning. Some of the food you can expect to awaken to is their homemade granola or their “Grand Morning Glory” croissants. The nearby town offers a shopping & dining district, an opera house, and a variety of museums.
2004 East Leestown Pike, Midway, KY 40347, Phone: 859-846-5037
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10. ca 1911 Montgomery Inn BnB - 1 hour
© ca 1911 Montgomery Inn BnB
The ca 1911 Montgomery Inn BnB in Versailles dates back to 1911 and offers ten guest suites, each with a private bath and a two-person Jacuzzi spa tub and shower. Sit back and relax in the swing on the wrap-around porch, or have a nice conversation with friends in the Music parlor. The Inn also offers cold wines and beers for adult guests. The Club Car Dining room of the Inn offers a fully Gluten-free menu. The restaurant has Mediterranean, Southern BBQ, and Kentucky home style dishes to choose from, as well as salads and soups. The attractions offered nearby include museums, theatres, bourbon distillery tours, horseracing, and even spelunking in Mammoth Cave.
270 Montgomery Ave, Versailles, KY 40383, Phone: 859-251-4103
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11. The Rosecrest Farm Bed and Breakfast - 1 hour 30 minutes
© The Rosecrest Farm Bed and Breakfast
The Rosecrest Farm Bed and Breakfast in Paris has three bedrooms, two of which offer optional trundle beds to provide larger guest accommodations. All of the rooms offer a private bath and quaint décor and great views out of the windows and onto the farm. There is both a front and a back porch on the guest house to get beautiful views of the sunrise and sunset as well as watch the farm’s horses grazing. The farm offers 150 acres for guests to explore and befriend the horses and barn cats romancing about. Although not on the property, Lil’s Coffee House serves home-style meals and unusual items. Lil’s serves items such as Scotch Eggs, homemade granola, and vegetarian and meat quiches. Head into town to find several distilleries, an arboretum, a horse park, and zip-lining located nearby.
1276 Winchester Road, Paris, KY 40361, Phone: 859-987-7500
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12. The Corner House - 1 hour 30 minutes
© The Corner House
The Corner House in Nicholasville is a classic Victorian-style bed and breakfast near Nicholasville. The main house offers 3 rooms, as well as five townhouses and the Cottage in separate buildings. All rooms have a private bath, a TV, and wireless internet, and feature Victorian furnishings and décor. The main house also has a dining room, a living room where guests can relax, watch TV or try their hand at the piano, as well as a parlor room and a billiards room. There are also rocking chairs on the front porch for guests to sit in and enjoy the outdoors. Breakfast is the only meal served on the property, other restaurants can be found in town. Their signature breakfast dish is peaches and cream French toast. Many wineries and museums can be found in town, as well, and many nature and equine related attractions are also near the Inn, along with historic sites.
228 Richmond Avenue, Nicholasville, KY 40356, Phone: 859-881-5229
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13. The Lyndon House Bed and Breakfast - 1 hour 20 minutes
© The Lyndon House Bed and Breakfast
The Lyndon House Bed and Breakfast is located in downtown Lexington and offers seven rooms with high ceilings and modern amenities. Every room has a mini-refrigerator, a Smart TV, small desks with Lyndon House notecards and pens, and a few other things to make the stay pleasant. The Lyndon House has a Pub, a guest laundry room, a gathering room for guests’ friends and family events, and an elevator for easy travel between floors. Outside, there is an enclosed back yard with a flower card and a spacious back porch with iron tables and chairs and umbrellas for sitting. The Lyndon House Café sells dollar snacks and beverages, while both casual and fine dining is offered in town. Visitors looking for fine dining may be interested in A La Lucie, a French cuisine restaurant, or Portofino for Italian and American cuisine. Keep reading for more romantic cabin getaways in KY.
507 N Broadway, Lexington, KY 40508, Phone: 859-420-2683
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14. The Pinnacle View Inn - 1 hour 45 minutes
© The Pinnacle View Inn
The Pinnacle View Inn in Berea overlooks the Red Lick Valley and has beautiful scenic views all around. Each of the four suites offers a different theme but all are designed with comfort in mind. The rooms offer air-conditioning, high-quality beds, and private baths. The Inn has a nice garden that guests can explore or sit and relax in, as well as a porch to sit and enjoy the lovely view. There is a large living room on the bottom floor that guests can relax, read, or chat with other guests in, as well as another sitting area upstairs. The kitchen is where guests can get their breakfast while staying at the Pinnacle View Inn. The choices for breakfast include fresh fruit, custom-made omelets, pancakes, orange French toast, or eggs benedict. Guests can expect only the freshest food as the owners are committed to green cuisine.
491 Log Cabin Road, Berea, KY 40403, Phone: 859-986-0044
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15. The Galt House Hotel in Louisville
© The Galt House Hotel
Galt House Hotel in Louisville offers a lovely waterfront view, 1,300 luxurious guest rooms, a spa, fitness center and an outdoor pool. Mint Julep tours, shops, a barber, and the 3rd Floor Spirits is also offered within the hotel. There are several dining options, including Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, which specializes in steak, seafood, and sushi, and Thelma’s, which offers an assortment of deli sandwiches and salads. Other dining options include the RIVUE Restaurant & Lounge, Café Magnolia, the Waterside Café, Al J’s and Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar. Visitors can find several museums, the Waterfront Park, the Louisville Ballet, Bunbury Theatre, an antique mall, a casino, and the Louisville Zoo near the hotel.
140 N 4th St., Louisville, KY 40202, Phone: 502-589-5200
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16. The DuPont Mansion in Louisville
© The DuPont Mansion
The DuPont Mansion in Louisville offers a historic and elegant experience for its guests. There are seven guest rooms, most of which include electric fireplaces. All of the rooms are spacious, with elegant furniture and soft bedding. A library full of historic books is available for visitors to peruse as well as a parlor area with a couch to relax in and a piano. There is also a pond and fountain in the backyard of the mansion. Breakfast is served in the dining room, along with complimentary refreshments in the evening. The gourmet breakfast includes sweet and savory foods such as quiches, breakfast casseroles, homemade granola, and fresh fruit. Nearby, guests can find the Waterfront Park, glassworks, a few historic and art museums, a pottery store, and restaurants for other dining options.
1317 South Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208, Phone: 502-638-0045
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17.Country Girl at Heart Farm - 1 hour 10 minutes
© Country Girl at Heart Farm
Country Girl at Heart Farm Bed & Breakfast in Munfordville provides a quiet getaway with five guest rooms, all with their own theme and private baths. All of the rooms have their own individual AC and heat thermostat and some rooms have jetted tubs in the bathrooms. Guests can enjoy the 140-acre farm and browse the farmhouse to see antique furniture and historic & cultural artifacts. Parents can enjoy the cinema room with a 6’ x 8’ screen while the children play in the recreation room featuring a ping pong, pool, air hockey, and other activities. A farm-fresh breakfast is served in the morning, including eggs benedict, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes. For other meals, there are a variety of restaurants in the area to choose from, from Southern buffets and barbeque to pizza and fine dining.
6230 Priceville Rd., Munfordville, KY 42765, Phone: 270-531-5276
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18. Southern Grace Bed and Breakfast - 50 minutes
© Southern Grace Bed and Breakfast
Located on a farm in Brandenburg, the Southern Grace Bed and Breakfast offers five rooms, all with flat screen TVs, free movies, refrigerators, guest computers, and free Wi-Fi. All of the rooms have their own unique theme but all offer plenty of comfort for the guests. As far as entertainment on the farm goes, guests can feed alpacas and ducks, gather eggs, do some paddle-boating, use bicycles, cook up something on the gas grill, or just relax by the poolside. There are several large common areas for kicking back and relaxing in, including the Parlor Room, the Hearth Room, and a Screened-In Porch. A fresh breakfast is served in the Breakfast Room, where guests can pick from the menu. Picnic Basket lunches are offered as well, but for other dining choices some of the popular restaurants nearby are The Jailhouse Pizza, Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant, and Dave’s Roadhouse.
325 Kirchdorfer Road, Brandenburg, KY 40108, Phone: 270-422-7974
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19. The Breckenridge Inn in Louisville
© The Breckenridge Inn
The Breckenridge Inn in Louisville offers an elegant and classic Southern Charm to its guests. With a total of 123 rooms, all with a coffee maker, ironing board, and complimentary Wi-Fi, guests are sure to be comfortable during their stay. The rooms are decorated in a classic southern style to encourage relaxation and comfort. Guests can treat themselves to the Body Integration Therapy massages that are offered in the hotel. Guests are also welcome to use the facilities at Club Breckenridge, which includes an outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool, a whirlpool, a fitness room, a lighted tennis court, a steam room, and a sauna. Also located in the hotel are the Jerry Greens lounge and a barber. A continental breakfast buffet is offered in the morning, featuring coffee, hot tea, pastries, cold cereal, bagels, biscuits, and muffins. Other dining options can be found nearby in town.
2800 Breckenridge Lane, Louisville, KY 40220, Phone: 502-456-5050
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20. Riverside Inn - 1 hour
© Riverside Inn
Riverside Inn Bed & Breakfast is located in Warsaw and provides a relaxing environment for its guests. There are seven rooms, each with new and comfortable furnishings as well as private baths. Most of the rooms are elegantly decorated and provide LCD TVs and Blu-Ray players. Guests are welcome to the library, billiards room, piano parlor, and screened gazebo or to explore the expansive grounds that the Inn is located on. A Massage and Spa service is also offered, providing hot stone, therapeutic, Swedish, and chair massages along with salt glow or sugar scrub treatments. Guests have 24 hour access to coffee, tea, and a refrigerator and are served breakfast in the breakfast room with a chef on staff. Other dining options in the area include The Aquarium Café at Belterra, Sunset Grill on the River, Jewell’s on Main, and some fast food options for more casual dining.
85 US Highway 42 Wast, Warsaw, KY 41095, Phone: 859-567-1329
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21. Green Turtle Bay Resort - 3 hours
© Green Turtle Bay Resort
Green Turtle Bay Resort is a lakeside weekend getaway in Grand Rivers, offering condominiums with one to four rooms in the unit. All of the condos have kitchens, washers & dryers, pull-out sofas, and a gas grill, and many have fireplaces. Guests can relax at the Jade & Earth Spa where they offer massages, pedicures & manicures, sinus therapy, facials, waxing, body treatments, and reflexology. There is also a Yacht Club and a gift shop that is located at the resort. The Dockers Bayside Grille offers both breakfast and lunch menus. Their food choices include the “Turtle Burger”, fresh made salads, the “Docker Dog”, and homemade pies.
263 Green Turtle Bay Drive, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, Phone: 270-362-8364
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22. The Cliffview Resort - 2 hours
© The Cliffview Resort
Cliffview Resort in Campton, Eastern Kentucky is a rustic hideaway with a relaxing lake and ponds. With sixteen units available, the resort is perfect for couples looking to unwind surrounded by nature. The rooms offer a rustic atmosphere while still providing plenty of comfort for guests.
The Resort offers a variety of adventures, from simple outdoor areas to walk around in to horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, bicycling, and hiking. There are also other adventures offered for more daring guests, such as rock climbing and zip-lining.
900 Cliffview Road, Campton, KY 41301, Phone: 888-596-0525
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23.The Maple Hill Manor - 1 hour 10 minutes
© The Maple Hill Manor
The Maple Hill Manor in Springfield is the perfect place for couples to enjoy a relaxing getaway or a honeymoon. The seven different rooms available are all decorated with different furnishings in an antebellum theme. The rooms include a Jacuzzi for two and/or a fireplace. Guests can relax in the Music Parlor, the tree-draped patio, or in a spacious communal area. There are various locations to relax at on the farm’s park-like setting, including a front porch, garden benches, a tree swing, and hammocks, along with paths to walk along to enjoy the garden, fruit orchard, and multiple fish ponds.
A gourmet breakfast is served in the elegant dining room in the manor. Guests can also attend a dessert & beverage social each evening and have 24-hour access to the beverage station. In town, numerous dining locations can be found, along with bourbon distilleries, theatre entertainment, the Kentucky Wine Trail, historic sites, and places for horse enthusiasts.
2941 Perryville Road, Springfield, KY 40069, Phone: 859-279-4626
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25 Best Kentucky Weekend Getaways for Couples
- The Ashley Inn - 1 hour 45 minutes from Louisville, Photo: The Ashley Inn
- The Campbell House - 1 hour 20 minutes, Photo: The Campbell House
- Hotel Covington - 1 hour 20 minutes from Louisville, Photo: Hotel Covington
- A Storybook Inn - 1 hour driving time from Louisville, Photo: A Storybook Inn
- The 21 c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Photo: The 21 c Museum Hotel
- The Beaumont Inn - 1 hour 15 minutes, Photo: The Beaumont Inn
- The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Photo: The Brown
- Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa - 1 hour 20 minutes, Photo: Griffin Gate Marriott Resort
- Scottwood Bed and Breakfast - 1 hour, Photo: Scottwood Bed and Breakfast
- ca 1911 Montgomery Inn BnB - 1 hour, Photo: ca 1911 Montgomery Inn BnB
- The Rosecrest Farm Bed and Breakfast - 1 hour 30 minutes, Photo: The Rosecrest Farm Bed and Breakfast
- The Corner House - 1 hour 30 minutes, Photo: The Corner House
- The Lyndon House Bed and Breakfast - 1 hour 20 minutes, Photo: The Lyndon House Bed and Breakfast
- The Pinnacle View Inn - 1 hour 45 minutes, Photo: The Pinnacle View Inn
- The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Photo: The Galt House Hotel
- The DuPont Mansion in Louisville, Photo: The DuPont Mansion
- Country Girl at Heart Farm - 1 hour 10 minutes, Photo: Country Girl at Heart Farm
- Southern Grace Bed and Breakfast - 50 minutes, Photo: Southern Grace Bed and Breakfast
- The Breckenridge Inn in Louisville, Photo: The Breckenridge Inn
- Riverside Inn - 1 hour, Photo: Riverside Inn
- Green Turtle Bay Resort - 3 hours, Photo: Green Turtle Bay Resort
- The Cliffview Resort - 2 hours, Photo: The Cliffview Resort
- The Maple Hill Manor - 1 hour 10 minutes, Photo: The Maple Hill Manor
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of The Ashley Inn
More Kentucky Destinations: Louisville
Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and has many interesting and fun activities for couples or families to enjoy on a weekend getaway. The city is famously home to the Kentucky Derby - you can visit Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum to learn all about it. There are several historical districts in the city, including Old Louisville where you can stroll through 45 city blocks of lovely Victorian buildings. Historic Frankfort Ave is another vibrant part of town where you will find trendy boutiques, galleries and restaurants now occupying the historic buildings.
You can start exploring the unusual city museums at the Muhammad Ali Center and the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum in Museum Row and then visit the Kentucky Science Center which features hundreds of hands-on exhibits for all ages. Theater-goers can enjoy a concert or film in the historic Louisville Palace or at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Outdoor activities are also many and varied, including hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking and fishing at Cherokee Park or Beckley Creek Park. One of the most unusual attractions for all ages is the Louisville Mega Cavern, formerly a limestone mine, which is now home to the world’s only underground Zip Line – you can explore roped walkways on foot or take the Mega Tram or a Jeep Tour.
Lexington is widely known as an important horseracing center, but besides a number of equestrian attractions the city also offers a selection of other weekend diversions for the whole family. Even if you are not an ardent horseracing fan you will probably enjoy a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park to tour the International Museum of the Horse and watch the Horses of the World Show which is presented twice daily. To learn more about the history of horseracing in Kentucky you can visit Keeneland, which has been hosting the sport since 1936 and serious equestrians should also find time to go on the Thoroughbred Heritage Horse Farm Tour.
History buffs can visit the Mary Todd Lincoln House and the Hunt-Morgan House, (both of which offer guided interpretive tours) before moving on to the Waveland State Historic Site to learn about life in the Bluegrass state during the days of slavery.
You can go hiking or walking along the picturesque 10 mile trail in the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary or enjoy the peaceful surroundings in Jacobson Park where seasonal pedal-boat hire is available. Nature lovers can stroll around the themed gardens of The Arboretum, which include a children’s garden. Round off your day with a visit to Old Kentucky Chocolate for a factory tour and tasting.
Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
The Mammoth Cave National Park in south-central Kentucky safeguards the world’s longest known cave system – an enormous and mysterious place of vast chambers, towering stalactites and dark intriguing passages. A visit to the park will give you the chance to explore some of the 400 miles of passages and tunnels, as well as enjoying a variety of excellent outdoor activities above the surface.
As you can imagine, the size of the cave system means that there are several different routes you can explore, and there are ranger-led tours of differing durations to suit all ages and fitness levels. Once you have completed a few of the guided tours you may wish to explore further on a Wild Cave Tour, which includes exploring off-trail areas of the cave and will include some climbing, crawling and squeezing through narrow gaps. A similar kids-only Trog tour is available for adventurous children from eight to twelve years of age.
Above ground the fun continues and you can go hiking along over 70 miles of trails through the forest and along the rivers. Cycling, horseback riding, bird watching and wildlife spotting are other popular activities. You can also try canoeing and kayaking on the Green and Nolan Rivers and camping at three campsites, including one that is suitable for RV’s.
Kentucky’s capital city nestles pleasantly along the banks of the Kentucky River in the very heart of bourbon, horse and wine country, offering attractions to suit all tastes. Going on a walking tour is a great way to learn about the city’s history – Russ Kennedy’s Kentucky River Park Walking Tour or Russ Hatters Downtown Walking Tour will give you a good introduction. One of the historic highlights of the city is the very impressive Kentucky State Capitol, built in 1904 in the ornate Beaux Arts style – guided tours of the building and the grounds are available. You could also visit the Old State Capitol, the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion and the Old Governor’s Mansion – you can pick up a brochure for self-guided tours of Historic Downtown Frankfort from the Capital City Museum.
Outdoor activities include a visit to Leslie Morris Park on Fort Hill where you can hike along several trails that ramble through the site of a bloody Civil War battle. Other good places to hike are Cove Spring Park and along the Capital Hill Mountain Bike Trail, and you can enjoy a variety of paddle sports with Canoe Kentucky. There are several playgrounds for children of all ages – try Dolly Graham Park and Juniper Hill Park, and in summer the entire family can enjoy the Juniper Hill Aquatic Center.
Cave City, KY
Cave City is home to Mammoth Cave and is an ideal base for exploring the myriad of attractions both inside and outside the Mammoth Cave National Park. There is no doubt that Mammoth Cave is the highlight of any visit to Cave City and you can have many hours of fun exploring America’s second-oldest tourist attraction. You can choose from several different ranger-led tours of the enormous caves which include over 350 miles of charted passages. Above ground the adventure continues and you can explore over 53,000 acres of forest and parkland on foot or by canoe or kayak.
Adventure seekers will be pleased to know that Cave City has three separate Zip Lines, each of which offers a different exciting ride – get your share of the fun at Mammoth Cave Adventures or Kentucky Action Park.
For a change of pace you can take the kids to Dinosaur Park where they can see over 150 life-size dinosaur exhibits in a very natural setting, or visit the Mammoth Cave Wildlife Museum. To keep the children entertained you can visit Cave Country Go Carts, Kentucky Action Park (rock-wall climbing, trampoline and mini-golf fun) and Toni’s Roller Rink. Cave City has many unique little shops to explore, including several antique shops and many charming Kentucky craft stores.
Bowling Green, KY
Bowling Green Kentucky is famous for motor sports and as the home of the Corvette but offers a whole host of other activities to suit all ages and tastes. Petrol-heads will find more than enough here to fill their weekend, starting with a visit to the National Corvette Museum, followed by tours of NCM Motorsports Park (where you can do an advanced driving course), Bench Bend Raceway (to watch drag racing) and the GM Corvette Assembly Plant.
Aside from motorsports, caves are the next most popular attraction near the town and you can explore the enormous Mammoth Cave National Park or go on an underground boat tour at Lost River Caves; both areas offer excellent hiking and wildlife watching. Garden lovers can stroll through the Baker Arboretum to see indigenous Kentucky plants and to visit the Downing Museum, featuring the art works of Joe Downing, a local artist. The Ellis Walker Gallery showcases work by local artists and the Fountain Square Players will keep you entertained at the Phoenix Theatre and Capitol Arts Center.
Historical attractions and museums include the Eloise B. Houchens Center and Riverview at Hobson Grove (both of which are historic house museums), and the Aviation Heritage Park, The Kentucky Museum, and the Historic Railpark and Train Museum. Families can visit Beech Bend Amusement Park and Splash Lagoon for hours of summer fun.
Come and spend a stimulating weekend in Paducah, the creative heart of Kentucky where a wide variety of arts, crafts and activities are guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing. As a member of the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Paducah showcases a wealth of creative arts and crafts together with excellent cultural activities and outdoor attractions. Paducah is especially famous as a quilting and fiber-arts center, so a good place to start your exploration would be the National Quilt Museum which is home to unique quilted works of art that attract many international visitors.
The Lower Town Arts District is a vibrant magnet for art lovers - you can attend exhibitions or hands-on workshops presented by local artists. The Wall to Wall Murals along the floodwall are a must-see activity – admire them on foot or take a horse-drawn carriage, before catching a show at the Market House Theater or the Paducah Symphony Orchestra.
There are several attractions for history buffs including the River Discovery Center, The William Clark Market House Museum and the Paducah Railway Museum. You can get a full list of historic and cultural attractions from the Whitehaven Welcome Center in Lone Oak Road.
Other activities include walking and hiking in several green spaces (try Bob Noble Park and the Greenway Trail), five golf courses, excellent shopping and dining and several breweries and wineries to visit for tours and tastings.
Elizabethtown is situated in the heart of Kentucky offering a wide range of historical, cultural and outdoor recreational activities for the whole family. You can get to know the history of the region on a Charles W. Logsden Historic Downtown Walking Tour, or go it alone by calling into the Visitors Center to pick up maps for a self-guided Historic Downtown Walking or Driving Tour. The Hardin County History Museum, Lincoln Heritage House and the Brown Pusey House are all worth visiting, and if you enjoy military history you should also include Fort Duffield and Cemetery Hill. One of the most popular attractions in the city is Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum where you can see an excellent collection of American vintage cars.
For a break from historic sites you can enjoy a concert or play at the Hardin County Playhouse, the Hardin Country Schools Performing Arts Center or the historic State Theater.
Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking or cycling along several miles of Greenbelt Parks and Trails or visit the Bernheim Arboretum and the Elizabethtown Nature Park. In summer you can enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing at Freeman Lake, or water fun at the Elizabethtown Aquatic Park. If you are up for something more adventurous you can try a tandem skydive with Skydive Kentucky. Other attractions within a 40 mile drive include Mammoth Cave National Park, and Fort Knox.
Carter Caves State Resort Park
Set in the heart of Carter County, which boasts the highest concentration of caves in Kentucky, the Carter Caves State Resort Park is a great place to spend an active weekend. The park has many activities on offer to suit all ages, but for most visitors the caves are the main attraction. You can choose from a variety of ranger-led cave tours which vary from easy strolls to strenuous belly-crawling Wild Cave adventures, (which are only suitable for the fit and agile). Energetic kids (six to twelve years old) will especially enjoy the Saltpetre Kids Crawl which involves lots of crawling and getting really dirty.
If you prefer to stay above ground you can have hours of fun enjoying many varied activities such as hiking or mountain biking along 26 miles of wooded hiking trails, bird watching, fishing, horseback riding, swimming or playing tennis. You could also explore the tranquil waterways on a guided canoe excursion.
Children can have fun at the Carter Caves Gem Mine where they can uncover a variety of colorful gemstones, play miniature golf have fun in the playgrounds dotted around the park.
Camping is a great way to experience the resort; you can pitch your tent or park your RV in the serviced campground or “rough it” in one of the two bunkhouses, but if you prefer a little more comfort you can check into the very comfortable lodge.
Richmond is the country seat of Madison County in Kentucky – an area rich in history, tradition and culture. The city was founded back in 1787 and is filled with interesting historical landmarks – you can see all the highlights on a Richmond Downtown Walking Tour of Homes, and then learn all about the famous Battle of Richmond at the Battle of Richmond Visitors Center and Battlefield Park. A few of the historic buildings you should include in your tour are the Old Federal Building/Madison Country District Court, the Madison County Courthouse and the Whitehall State Historic House, all of which will give you an insight into the life and times of pioneers like Daniel Boone whose statue can be seen on the campus of East Kentucky University.
Other attractions in the town include the Hummel Planetarium and Space Theater, the EKU Center for the Arts (which hosts exhibitions and theater) and the Richmond Area Arts Council which hosts workshops and exhibitions by local artists.
Families can have fun at Fort Boonsborough State Park, where they can see demonstrations of ancient crafts such as blacksmithing and weaving or have a go at tossing tomahawks – the park also has a serviced campground and hiking and biking trails. Other Richmond attractions include the Gibson Bay Golf Course, the Richmond Raceway and the Paradise Cove Aquatic Center.
|From Louisville To ||Driving Time|
|Lancaster, KY||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Lexington, KY||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Springfield, Kentucky||1 hour 10 minutes|
|Versailles, KY||1 hour|
|Harrodsburg, KY||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Midway, KY||1 hour|
|Paris, KY||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Nicholasville, KY||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Berea, KY||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Cadiz, Kentucky||2 hours 50 minutes|
|Munfordville, KY||1 hour 10 minutes|
|Brandenburg, Kentucky||50 minutes|
|Warsaw, Kentucky||1 hour|
|Grand Rivers, Kentucky||3 hours|
|Campton, KY||2 hours|