Department of Travel and Tourism
Enjoy a Couples' Getaway in Kentucky This Summer
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Look to Kentucky for affordable and accessible long-weekend escapes this summer. Kentucky is full of romantic spots and exciting places for couples of all ages to explore. Now is the perfect time to take a long weekend and get away from it all in the Bluegrass state.
Stay in a quaint bed & breakfast, and take in arts and crafts, music or other cultural festivals that abound on summer weekends around the state. More than 150 artists from 16 states will be on hand as the tree-shaded campus of Midway College hosts the Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival June 26-27. Kentucky’s bluegrass music is celebrated with many festivals, including the Poppy Mountain Festival in Morehead, which runs for 20 days starting at the end of August.
Make a romantic getaway to the outdoors at a Kentucky state park like Cumberland Falls State Resort Park at Corbin and rent your own secluded cabin or cottage or a lodge room. Go upscale with a stay at luxurious 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, or enjoy a restful retreat at historic Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg.
Take a scenic drive along country roads lined with stone fences and hobnob with the bluebloods of the Bluegrass: thoroughbred horses. There are more than 400 horse farms in the pastoral Bluegrass region around Lexington, including world-famous breeding farms like Calumet, Three Chimneys, Claiborne, Hamburg and Donamire. The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau can provide a list of farms that welcome visitors. Call ahead to confirm arrangements. Another way to visit a working horse farm is to join a guided tour offered by several tour operators like Mint Julep Tours of Louisville and Horse Farm Tours of Lexington, whose vans hit various high points in the Bluegrass.
A visit to a Kentucky winery or distillery can be a romantic escape. Nearly 50 vineyards and wineries throughout the state are open to visitors for sampling and tours. Elk Creek Vineyards in Owenton, Equus Run Vineyards in Midway, Lover’s Leap Vineyard and Winery in Lawrenceburg and Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery in New Castle are just a few that will welcome you to taste and tour.
At seven distilleries on the Bourbon Trail you can sample Kentucky’s native spirits. Take a tour of the trail in north central Kentucky and learn about the unique recipe and process each bourbon maker uses to create its brand. While you’re on the trail, make time for stops in towns like Bardstown and Lawrenceburg, rich in bourbon-making lore.
When the sun goes down, head out to sample the humming nightlife at 4th Street Live in Louisville, Lexington’s Limestone Corridor and Newport on the Levee. Take in the views from lounges at RiVue atop the Galt House in Louisville and Baker’s 360 in Lexington. Newport’s Jefferson Hall Saloon features live music and views of the Ohio River and the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky skyline.
Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail boasts nine great bars and lounges where bourbon novices and aficionados rub elbows. For starters, stop by the 57-foot bar at Maker’s Mark Bourbon Lounge at Fourth Street Live and then make your way to the Old Seelbach Bar and Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar and Lounge, where you can chose from more than 100 varieties of Kentucky’s famous elixir.
Couples who like to shop together will find plenty of opportunities in Kentucky. Shopping is a favorite pastime in the artisan capital of Kentucky, Berea, about 40 miles south of Lexington. You’ll find more than 40 studios and galleries downtown where you can browse and buy. At the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea near Interstate 75 you can chose from a wide variety of crafts created by more than 650 artisans from throughout the state.
Studio and gallery hopping is also a popular activity in Paducah, where the Lowertown Artist Relocation Program has attracted artists from throughout the U.S. to this western Kentucky city. Visit potters, jewelry makers, painters, printmakers, leather crafters and bookbinders in their own studios. Sample unique dining and entertainment and pay a visit to the National Quilt Museum while you’re in Paducah.
At Wakefield-Scearce Galleries in Shelbyville, English antique furniture, antique silver and fine art are on display in a refurbished historic girls’ school. Antique hunting is also a favorite pursuit in other communities throughout the state, including Hazel, a picturesque hamlet on the Tennessee border in southwestern Kentucky where the main street is lined with antique shops.
For more ideas and information, visit www.kytourism.com, the travel department’s website, and start planning your romantic getaway in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism is an agency within the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet,
which promotes the Commonwealth as a travel destination. Tourism in Kentucky has an economic impact of
nearly $11 billion, employs more than 176,000 people and generates $1 billion in taxes.