Begin your adventures in a small town that’s bursting with historic charm. Once a frontier territory, “Harrodstown” was founded in 1774 as the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. Named one of Kentucky’s “Best Small Towns” you’ll discover a place where the pioneer past has a strong presence and southern hospitality is the backdrop for an appealing mix of history, architecture and culture. We invite you to experience the relaxing atmosphere of our historic area.
In the center of town stands a replica of the log stockade that James Harrod built when he founded what was then called Harrodstown. The cabins at Old Fort Harrod State Park are furnished with handmade utensils and furniture, and craftspeople in period costume demonstrate many skills of the pioneers. The park also contains the Mansion Museum, the Lincoln Marriage Temple and a pioneer cemetery.
Harrodsburg has long been a tourism destination, due primarily to the discovery of three warm mineral springs. These spas gave rise to several grand hotels and the community rapidly gained a reputation as the “Saratoga of the South.” From 1806 to 1853, Harrodsburg’s famous spas, Greenville Springs, Graham Springs and Harrodsburg Springs, offered mineral water, gambling, horse racing and gala entertainment to throngs of summer visitors.
Built on the site of GreenvilleSprings Spa in 1845 was one of the South’s most prestigious girls’ schools. Now known as Beaumont Inn, it has been operated as a country inn since 1919 by fourth and fifth generations of the same family. It enjoys an international reputation for its excellent service, genuine hospitality, traditional Kentucky fare and antique-furnished guestrooms.
A scenic seven-mile drive from Harrodsburg is the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, one of the finest examples of historic restoration in the country, designated a National Historic Landmark from boundary to boundary. Many of the Shakers’ crafts, such as broommaking, spinning, weaving and woodworking can be observed during a tour of the village. An historic farming program accurately interprets 19th century farm life, complete with teams of draft horses and oxen and crop-raising techniques. Shaker Village offers overnight lodging in original buildings, delicious southern food at the Trustees’ Office dining facility, and during summer months, narrated cruises throughout the Kentucky River scenic palisades aboard the paddlewheel riverboat, the Dixie Belle.
As you approach Harrodsburg, a distinguished Preserve America Community, you will begin to see some of the architectural treasures that reflect the history of the town. Pride of ownership is evident, as most of the antebellum homes are listed on the National Historic Register, and have been accurately restored. The first weekend each December features our Come Home to Christmas celebration, during which several of the historic homes are opened to the public on the Holiday Homes Tour.
Harrodsburg’s restored Main Street is a national model. Decorative shop fronts house antique, craft and a variety of specialty shops. In the heart of downtown lies Olde Towne Park, the site of a sculptured 14 X 32-foot cascading fountain. This unique creation of public art was inspired by the scenic palisades found along the Kentucky River located on the eastern border of Mercer County.
Come anytime--we've been preparing for your visit since 1774! Whatever season you plan to travel, Historic Harrodsburg has it all—scenery, history, entertainment, traditional food, unique accommodations and excellent shopping and souvenir hunting. We are easily accessible from major highways and interstates. For more than 235 years, visitors have found our history worth repeating!
FROM LEXINGTON - 32 miles
Take US 68 (Harrodsburg Roadâ€”a Kentucky Scenic Byway) west approximately 32 miles to Harrodsburg OR take US 60 (Versailles Road) to Martha Lane Collins Bluegrass Parkway west. Follow Parkway approximately 12 miles to US 127 exit (Harrodsburg/Lawrenceburg). Turn right and follow US 127 south approximately 15 miles to Harrodsburg.
FROM BLUEGRASS AIRPORT IN LEXINGTON - 28 miles
Take a left out of the airport onto Man-o-War Blvd. At the stoplight, take a left onto US 60 West - go about 4 miles to the Martha Lane Collins Bluegrass Parkway Exit. Drive approximately 12 miles to Harrodsburg/Lawrenceburg Exit 59A. Turn right and follow US 127 South about 15 miles to Harrodsburg.
FROM CINCINNATI - 110 MILES (I-75)
Take Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) from I-75 South. At end of exit, turn right towards Lexington and go about three miles. Turn right onto New Circle Road (Route 4) [following signs to the BG and the airport] and go about 4 Â½ miles.
Take US 60 (Versailles) exit toward the Bluegrass Airport. About 4 miles past the airport take the only exit for Martha Lane Collins Bluegrass Parkway (BG). Drive approximately 12 miles to Harrodsburg/Lawrenceburg Exit 59A. Turn right and follow US 127 South about 15 miles to Harrodsburg.
FROM KNOXVILLE - 180 miles (I-75)
Take I-75 North to Exit 59 (Mount Vernon/Route 150). At end of exit, go left (West) on Route 150 - into Danville (roughly 41 miles). Stay on 150 until you get to the 127/150 intersection. Proceed North on 127 approximately 10 miles to Harrodsburg.
FROM LOUISVILLE - 75 miles (I-64)
Take I-64 east to KY 151 (Lawrenceburg/Graffenburg) exit #48.
Turn right and follow KY 151 approximately 4 miles to US 127. Turn right heading south on US 127 and drive approximately 22 miles to Harrodsburg.
FROM BOWLING GREEN/NASHVILLE (I-65)
From I-65 North take Exit 93 to get onto the Martha Lane Collins Bluegrass Parkway in Elizabethtown.
Travel the Parkway and take the Harrodsburg/Lawrenceburg Exit 59A.
Turn right (south) onto 127. Harrodsburg is approximately 10 miles.