Looking for the quintessential vacation to Kentucky? There is "Only One" region that truly spotlights the cultural icons that most travelers associate with the Bluegrass state: Thoroughbred horses, University of Kentucky basketball, picturesque horse farms with white plank fences, bourbon distilleries and classic southern cuisine. If this sounds like your type of Family Fun Adventure then pack your bags and make your travel plans for the Bluegrass region and "riders up" . . . your first destination is the Horse Capital of the World.
DAY 1 of your Family Fun Adventure
Start your vacation off at the Only One Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. This park features horse presentations, museums, trail riding, unique horse farm tours and special events throughout the year. Explore the International Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and Kentucky’s Only One American Saddlebred Museum - the Showplace for Saddlebreds. Take a horse-drawn tour and watch equine presentations throughout the day. Some special events may require a separate or additional charge. The Kentucky Horse Park is easily accessible off Interstate 75. For dates/hours of operation, tickets and special events information, visit their website http://www.kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=591&Itemid=301 or call (800) 678-8813.
Estimated drive time between the Kentucky Horse Park and Explorium of Lexington is 15 minutes.
For those travelling with toddlers and tikes, your next destination is Explorium of Lexington offering adventures in fun and learning. With nine discovery zones filled with interactive exhibits designed to inspire imagination and curiosity, kids of all ages have experiences that can last a lifetime. For dates/hours of operation and admission information, visit their website http://www.explorium.com/visit or call (859)258-3253.
Estimated drive time between the Explorium of Lexington and the Aviation Museum of Kentucky is 15 minutes.
If you are travelling with tweens and teens, then you may choose to visit the Aviation Museum of Kentucky located at the Lexington airport. This facility has 30,000 square feet of display area, a fully equipped shop for aviation restoration projects, a library/archive and a gift shop. For dates/hours operation, visit their website http://www.aviationky.org/visit.asp or call (859) 231-1219. Call ahead to make sure the museum is not hosting a special event.
Make lodging reservations at the hotel of your choice in Lexington. http://www.visitlex.com/wheretostay/index.php
DAY 2 of your Family Fun Adventure
Start your day with breakfast at the track at Keeneland Race Course. Watch the early work outs at the rail and dine with jockeys and owners of some of the most expensive Thoroughbreds in the world. Open year round, visit their website http://www.keeneland.com or call (800) 456-3412.
Estimated drive time between Lexington and Danville is 60 minutes.
Your next destination is Kentucky’s Only One Great American Dollhouse Museum in Danville. Visitors will be intrigued by the social interaction and historical detail in its hundreds of buildings, and by the vivid characters that fill its streets, back yards, and parks. Acclaimed travel writer Gary West calls The Great American Dollhouse Museum an important destination in his "101 Must Places to Visit in Kentucky Before You Die." For dates/hours of operation, visit their website http://www.thedollhousemuseum.com or call (859) 236-1883.
Take the opportunity to stroll, shop and dine around downtown Danville, a Great American Main Street City. Did you know Danville was a top 5 finalist in the 2012 "Most Beautiful Small Town in the United States" competition recently sponsored by Rand McNally and USA Today? Be sure to stop by Constitution Square State Historic Site and view the oldest post office building west of the Alleghenies.
Estimated drive time between Danville and Shaker Village is 23 minutes.
Cruise the scenic Kentucky River Palisades aboard the Dixie Belle, Shaker Village’s 115 –passenger riverboat. One-hour narrated cruises describe the river's diverse ecosystem and the historical importance of the river to the Shakers. During the tour, the Dixie Belle ventures through the oldest exposed rock in Kentucky, and passes under High Bridge, an engineering marvel built in 1877. For dates/hours of operation, ticket reservations and boarding times, visit their website http://www.shakervillageky.org/riverboat_rides/ or call (800) 734-5611. x1545. Reservations are recommended.
While there take the opportunity to enjoy this wonderfully restored historic site Kentucky’s Only One Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, which offer a wide variety of visitor opportunities such as lodging, dining, tours, shopping and recreation. http://www.shakervillageky.org
Making your lodging reservations at the hotel of your choice in Harrodsburg http://www.harrodsburgky.com or Frankfort http://www.visitfrankfort.com.
DAY 3 of your Family Fun Adventure
Estimated drive time between Harrodsburg and Frankfort is 60 minutes.
Go wild at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort to learn about Kentucky’s diverse eco-system with amazing displays, interactive exhibits and the chance to view bison, bears, eagles and more in their natural habitats. For dates/hours of operation and admission information, visit their website http://www.fw.ky.gov/Navigation.aspx?cid=130 or call (800) 858-1549.
Estimated drive time between Salato Wildlife Education Center and Rebecca Ruth Candy is 15 minutes.
Your next destination is Rebecca Ruth Candy and Tours in Frankfort. Visit the place where “bourbon balls” were born and watch candy being made. For dates/times of operation including guided tour times visit their website http://www.rebeccaruth.com or call (800) 444-3766.
Estimated drive time between Rebecca Ruth Candy and Tours and Kentucky State Capitol is 4 minutes.
Since you are within blocks of the Kentucky State Capitol located at 700 Capital Avenue in Frankfort, you’ll want to be sure to take advantage of this photo opportunity or if you schedule permits, it is highly recommended that you take a tour of this amazing architectural treasure which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Estimated drive time between Frankfort and Georgetown is 42 minutes.
Your Bluegrass Region tour started with horsepower and it’s appropriate to end it with a different type of horsepower – a Toyota Factory Tour and Environmental Education Center in Georgetown. This free motorized tram provides tours of the huge facility where more than 500,000 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Venza and Avalon are built each year. Reservations are required. Children must be at least in first grade and must be accompanied by an adult. For reservations and tour times, visit their website http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/tourvid.asp or call (800) 866-4485.