Beyond the twin spires of Churchill Downs, visitors will discover live theatre, world-famous bourbon, fine dining, festivals, relaxing lakes, challenging golf and American history, including the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln. This field trip is full and it’s anybody’s guess which destination will be your family favorite as you race across the Bourbon, Horses and History region of Kentucky where each attraction will be competing to win your affection, experiencing places that are uniquely "Only One Kentucky" destinations and most importantly we’ll show your family a great time! Be assured your family will have more excitement, adventure and memories that will last longer than the greatest two minutes in sports. “And they’re off . . .”
DAY 1 of your Family Fun Adventure
Your travel adventure starts with lions, tigers and bears – oh my it’s the Louisville Zoo! You’ll experience more than 1,700 exotic animals in their beautiful habitats among amazing botanical garden. The Louisville Zoo offers so much more than just amazing animals – they have a dynamic 4-D theater, ZooTram Shuttle and ongoing seasonal exhibits such as Dinosaurs, World’s Largest Halloween Party, Brew at the Zoo and Santa Safari and Holiday Light Show. For dates/hours of operation and admission information visit their website http://www.louisvillezoo.org/about/ or call (502) 459-2181.
Estimated drive time between Louisville Zoo and Louisville Science Center and IMAX Theatre is 20 minutes.
If you are travelling with toddlers and tikes, you’re about to discover the fun at the Louisville Science Center and IMAX Theatre in downtown Louisville. You'll find all the major sciences brought to life with exciting, interactive exhibits that engage your hands, your mind and your imagination! The IMAX Theatre currently has three wonderful family movies in their weekly rotation and they are sure to entertain everyone in your family. For dates/hours of operation, movie times and admission information visit their website http://www.louisvillescience.org/site/exhibits/ or call (800) 591-2203.
Estimated drive time between Louisville Science Center and IMAX Theatre and Louisville Mega Cavern is 20 minutes.
If you are travelling with tweens and teens, you may prefer the Louisville Mega Cavern, an all underground zip lines and adventure tour featuring five underground ziplines, including a fun-filled dual racing zip, three awesome challenge bridges that will test your skill, balance, and mettle and a certified zip guide that will lead you on your 2.5 hour adventure into a part of 17 miles of underground passageways beneath the city. It's unlike anything you have ever done before! For those wanting a more relaxing adventure, you can take the hour and ten-minute historic tram tour where you will be educated on the geology, history, mining techniques, recycling, and green building technology of this man-made cavern. You'll also find out why this cavern was kept such a top secret in the United States for more than a century! For dates/hours of operation, tour times and admission information visit their website http://www.louisvillemegacavern.com or call (502) 855-6342.
Estimated drive time between the Louisville Mega Cavern and Guided Segway Tours is 16 minutes.
Ready to experience Louisville in a whole new way, make reservation for a Guided Segway Tour. You’ll be entertained and educated as you glide through the history of Louisville’s Waterfront Park http://www.louisvillewaterfront.com. This Guided Segway Tour starts in historic downtown and then takes you through the heart of Louisville’s national award-winning Waterfront Park and where you'll glide past beautiful artwork, memorials and water features. You’ll learn about Kentucky’s Only One Belle of Louisville, a 100 year old steamboat and National Historic Landmark situated on the historic wharf. For dates/hours of operation, tour times, reservations visit their website http://louisville.segwaytoursbywheelfun.com or call (502) 938-7433. If you are travelling with toddlers and tikes, be sure to note that they also provide bike rental at this facility.
Estimated drive time between the Guided Segway Tours and Lynn’s Paradise Café is 10 minutes.
Those four little words when on family vacation all parents love to hear “this place is awesome,” will definitely be the response if you make dinner reservations at Lynn’s Paradise Café located at 984 Barrett Avenue by calling (502) 583-3447 http://www.lynnsparadisecafe.com
Make your lodging reservations at the hotel of your choice in Louisville http://www.gotolouisville.com/stay/index.aspx
DAY 2 of your Family Fun Adventure
Estimated drive time between Louisville and Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is one hour.
During the Civil War Sesquicentennial, there is no greater way to commemorate this monumental occasion then pay tribute to President Abraham Lincoln by visiting Kentucky’s Only One Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville. For over a century people from around the world have come to rural Central Kentucky to honor the humble beginnings of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. His early life on Kentucky's frontier shaped his character and prepared him to lead our nation through Civil War. This, the country's first memorial to Lincoln built with donations from young and old, enshrines the symbolic birthplace cabin. For dates/hours of operation and tour information visit their website http://www.nps.gov/abli/forkids/web-rangers.htm or call (270) 358-3137.
Estimated drive time between the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park and Kentucky Railway Museum is 20 minutes.
Moving from the president famous for building split rail fences to a different kind of rail - the Kentucky Railway Museum located in New Haven is a railroad museum dedicated to the history and heritage of Kentucky's railroads and the people who built them. It’s one of the oldest railroad stations in the United States. The museum owns four steam, and six diesel locomotives, and over a hundred pieces of rolling stock. For dates/hours of operation, admission and special event information such as Day out with Thomas, Santa Express, Dora Explorer, Halloween Express, Dinner Train and Mystery Theatre visit their website http://www.kyrail.org or call (800) 272-0152.
Estimated drive time between the Kentucky Railway Museum and the Stephen Foster Story at My Old Kentucky Home is 20 minutes.
Ready for an entertaining summer evening? Make reservations to attend Kentucky’s Only One Stephen Foster Story, Kentucky’s official outdoor musical. Nestled on the grounds of Kentucky’s Only One My Old Kentucky Home State Park, you’ll experience the sights and sounds of the 1850’s with such timeless classics as "Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races," "Beautiful Dreamer" and "My Old Kentucky Home.". For dates/hours of operation, performance times, reservations and tickets visit their website http://www.stephenfoster.com/musical.htm or call (800) 626-1563.
Make lodging reservations at the hotel of your choice in Bardstown – voted 2012 “Most Beautiful Small Town in the United States” by Rand McNally and USA Today http://www.visitbardstown.com/tourism/accommodations.html
DAY 3 of your Family Fun Adventure
What a perfect way to start your day by touring the 2012 “Most Beautiful Small Town in the United States” on the Around the Town Carriage tour of downtown Bardstown. The carriage ride provides a slow-paced way to see the historic sites and attractions including their quintessential downtown shopping, dining and cultural district. They offer carriages; buggies and even a stagecoach to tour just about any size group and reservations are recommended. For dates/hours of operation, reservation and ticket prices visit their website http://www.wisebuyingmall.com/aroundthetowncarriageandstagecoach or call (502) 348-0331.
Estimated drive time between Around the Town Carriage Tour and Jailer’s Inn Tour is five minutes.
Schedule a tour of the Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast in Bardstown which served as the Old Nelson County Jail property and housed prisoners from 1797 until 1987. The front building, sometimes referred to as the "Old Jail" was constructed in 1819.The upper floor of this native limestone building has 30 inch thick walls and contained two cells and an "upstairs dungeon" to house prisoners. It was the oldest operating jail complex in the state of Kentucky and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To schedule a tour or a stay, visit their website http://www.jailersinn.com or call (800) 948-5551.
Estimated drive time between the Jailer’s Inn Tour and Hurst Drug Store and Sugar Buzz is two minutes.
Ready for a retro dining experience? Make lunch plans at the old fashion lunch counter at Hurst Drug Store Soda Fountain located at 102 N. Third St. Just across the street you will find delicious homemade cupcake treats for your travel home at Sugar Buzz located at 111 N. Third St.