A girl hugs a brown horse's neck on a horse farm in Kentucky

Horsin' Around the Bluegrass

Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone Family Itinerary

This family vacation in the Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone region features two different types of horsepower, along with museums, nature, sweet treats and lots more discoveries in between. Get ready to explore the heart of the Bluegrass State!


Day 1: Giddy Up!

Children pet a horse at Kentucky Horse ParkKick off your exploration of the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington, at Kentucky Horse Park, an expansive equine theme park with more than 40 horse breeds on display. In addition to the majestic horses, the park features multiple museums, trail rides and special events throughout the year.

Your next family destination is the Explorium of Lexington, offering adventures in both fun and learning. With nine discovery zones filled with interactive exhibits designed to spark imagination and curiosity, kids of all ages will enjoy experiences that last a lifetime.

To close out your day, pay a visit to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport. This fascinating facility displays vintage aircraft and memorabilia, as well as air-worthy flyable planes for the public to view.

Day 2: Explore Forts & Dollhouses

Today begins with an early breakfast at beautiful Keeneland race course. Here you can watch early workouts at the rail and dine with jockeys and owners of some of the most prized thoroughbreds in the world at the Track Kitchen. Keeneland is open year-round, with live racing in April and October.

An easy one-hour drive south takes you to the city of Danville and the Great American Dollhouse Museum. Your family will be intrigued by the historical detail in hundreds of miniature buildings and vivid characters that fill the museum’s streets, backyards and parks. Historic log buildings at Old Fort Harrod State Park in KentuckyElsewhere in Danville, explore pretty Constitution Square and enjoy lunch before departing for Old Fort Harrod State Park in neighboring Harrodsburg. Tour the full-scale replica of the fort, which was built by James Harrod in 1775 and became Kentucky's first permanent settlement. The cabins and blockhouses here are furnished with handmade utensils, furniture, crude tools and other items used by the pioneers.

Continue exploring Kentucky's heritage at nearby Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, the country's largest restored Shaker community. Cruise the scenic Kentucky River Palisades aboard the Dixie Belle, the village’s 115-passenger riverboat, where one-hour narrated cruises describe the river's diverse ecosystem (reservations are recommended). Cap off your day with a garden-to-table dining experience at The Trustee's Table restaurant and then settle in for the night at Shaker Village or other accommodations in Harrodsburg.

Day 3: Tours & Toyotas

Enjoy Kentucky's scenic beauty during the hour's drive to Frankfort, the state’s capital city. Go “wild “at the Salato Wildlife Education Center, where you’ll have the chance to view bison, bears, eagles and other animals in their natural habitats. An exterior shot of the Kentucky Capitol building in Frankfort, KYNext, head downtown to Rebecca Ruth Candy & Tours to see where “bourbon balls” were born and watch candy being made. Since you are within blocks of the Kentucky State Capitol, take advantage of a great photo-op to capture this architectural treasure and take a self-guided tour.

Just as your tour of Bluegrass Country started with “horse” power, it ends with horsepower of a different kind. Hop on the free tram at the Toyota Factory Tour and Environmental Education Center in Georgetown to explore this vast vehicle plant where up to 550,000 Camrys, Avalons and Lexus ES 350s are built every year. Reservations are required, and children must be in at least first grade (and accompanied by an adult) to take the tour.

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