13 Best Things to do in Frankfort, KY


Nestled away between the state’s two largest cities of Lexington and Louisville is Kentucky’s capital Frankfort; a beautiful, laidback place to spend a while. Home to a number of antebellum-style buildings, museums and distinguished public establishments, it straddles the banks of the Kentucky River.

While there are many great waterfront areas, parks and nature spots to discover, many vacationer points of interest in Frankfort relate to the state’s seat of presidency. Both its previous and new capitol buildings entice a number of guests as do its varied monuments, memorials and governor’s mansions.

Aside from sightseeing and sampling some stiff drinks in its distilleries, different issues to do in Frankfort could be discovered in its small however occurring downtown. Here you’ll discover glorious eating places, cool taverns and distinctive boutiques with attention-grabbing historic sights and enticing previous buildings wherever you look.

13. Governor’s Mansion

Governor's Mansion

Just one of many capital’s many spectacular and essential buildings is the grand Governor’s Mansion which overlooks the winding Kentucky River. Set proper subsequent to the brand new state capitol, it lies amidst lush grounds and gardens with excursions taking you throughout its elegant inside.

Built between 1912 and 1914, it reveals some beautiful Beaux-Arts structure which is definitely primarily based on Marie Antoinette’s summer season residence at Versailles. For simply over a century now, it has acted because the official residence of the Bluegrass State’s governors and their households.

Its French neoclassical-inspired inside is simply as placing as fabulous furnishings and interval items beautify its huge halls and rooms. As you discover the majestic mansion, your knowledgeable information will level out significantly high quality options and clarify extra in regards to the historical past of the home and its governors.

12. Liberty Hall Historic Site

Liberty Hall Historic Site

Located only a quick stroll west of each downtown and the Old State Capitol is the charming Liberty Hall Historic Site. At the National Historic Landmark, guests can discover two enticing previous stately properties and their beautiful gardens.

The former residence of John Brown, Kentucky’s first senator, the two-storey Liberty Hall dates to 1796 and sports activities a improbable Federal-style facade. Next to it’s the equally arresting Orlando Brown House which he had constructed for his son only a few many years later in a refined Greek Revival-style.

At the historic website, company can take excursions of each homes and wander round their expansive grounds that overlook the Kentucky River. Their ornately adorned interiors spotlight how rich households in the 1800s lived whereas different reveals cowl the poor enslaved individuals who labored for them.

11. Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial

A really poignant place to go to, the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial commemorates the 1,103 troopers from the state who misplaced their lives in the course of the battle. Distinctive but dignified, it lies in a scenic spot overlooking the state capitol and metropolis down under.

Impressively sufficient, the shadow created by its gigantic sundial really factors to every particular person’s title on the precise anniversary of their loss of life. Thanks to this ingenious architectural characteristic, every veteran just about has their very own private memorial day.

Aside from paying your respects and taking in the peaceable nature of the plaza, you may snap pictures of the beautiful website and amble in regards to the silent hill. Undoubtedly one of many nation’s most original and efficient memorials, it’s positively nicely price testing when you have the prospect.

10. Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

If you’re in studying extra in regards to the metropolis and state’s previous, then the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History is just a should. At its sizeable campus in downtown, you’ll discover innumerable artifacts and reveals that concentrate on its wealthy tradition and nature, well-known figures and influential occasions.

While the Kentucky Historical Society has existed since 1835, it took till 1999 for the museum’s huge trendy constructing to open. Its shows, pictures and specimens remarkably cowl over 12,000 years of historical past with every little thing from bourbon and baseball bats to horse racing memorabilia and sports activities automobiles on present. A selected spotlight although is seeing all of the portraits in the Kentucky Hall of Governors.

As academic as it’s entertaining, the excellent museum takes you from prehistoric occasions proper up til the current. After having learnt about Kentucky’s Native Americans, early pioneers and politicians, be sure to cease by the Old State Capitol proper subsequent door.

9. Old State Capitol

Old State Capitol

Situated proper in the center of downtown is the unbelievable Old State Capitol which served because the seat of presidency from 1830 to 1910. Actually the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s third such construction, it boasts some good Greek Revival structure with lush bushes and lawns mendacity throughout it.

Now preserved as a National Historic Landmark, the capitol is fronted by six colossal columns which might be very paying homage to historic Greece. During its heyday, politicians would fiercely debate topics akin to slavery, the Civil War and girls’s rights in its hallowed halls.

On excursions, you’ll study its structure and artworks and the essential personalities who formed the state’s politics in the nineteenth century. Among the constructing’s placing options are its great rotunda and self-supporting staircase.

8. Downtown Frankfort

Downtown Frankfort

A enjoyable and engaging space to discover, Downtown Frankfort is full of age-old historic websites and spectacular cultural landmarks. While a lot of its stunning buildings date again centuries, pockets of life and bustling companies could be discovered right here and there.

Nestled in a bend of the Kentucky River, the historic district is residence to streets and streets of chic previous antebellum-style homes. While some at the moment are preserved as museums, others comprise cozy cafes and beautiful native eating places. A few glorious distilleries and taverns are additionally dotted about.

Downtown’s major enchantment nevertheless is its wealth of historic points of interest. These embrace not simply the Old State Capitol and Liberty Hall however the Capital City Museum and Old Governor’s Mansion too.

7. Daniel Boone Burial Site

Daniel Boone Burial Site

Just a brief stroll to the southeast of the middle is yet one more of the town’s innumerable historic sights to see. Overlooking each the town and river under, the Daniel Boone Burial Site lies throughout the leafy, inexperienced Frankfort Cemetery.

One of America’s first frontiersmen and folks heroes, Daniel Boone is understood for each exploring and settling Kentucky again in the 1760s. This was when it was nicely past the borders of the Thirteen Colonies and Native American Indian assaults have been a continuing menace.

Although imperfectly remembered, Daniel Boone stays an iconic determine round which numerous myths and legends swirl. At the memorial to him and his spouse, you may learn extra about his life and legacy, snap pictures of the location and take in the high quality views over the valley.

6. Cove Springs Park


Home to a number of stupendous landscapes, surroundings and nature, Cove Springs Park lies on the northern outskirts of city. A really peaceable and picturesque spot, it incorporates a number of glowing waterfalls with every kind of enjoyable out of doors actions being on provide.

Originally the location of an previous waterworks, the park now encompasses every little thing from meadows and ravines to woods, wetlands and waterfalls. Some centuries-old stays of a walled spring, dam and overflow tower are nonetheless seen amidst all of the dense undergrowth.

Besides testing these historic sights and seeing the gorgeous springs and falls, guests can splash about in its streams or get pleasure from a picnic alongside their banks. Some pleasant mountaineering and biking will also be had alongside the miles and miles of trails that meander their approach in regards to the huge park.

5. Castle & Key Distillery

Castle & Key Distillery

On the other facet of Frankfort, you will discover the completely unbelievable Castle & Key Distillery. At its distinctive website, you may pattern some stiff spirits and attractive cocktails with excursions taking you throughout the expansive property.

Built again in 1887, the scenic property options an actual European-style fortress, a classical springhouse and a quiet sunken backyard. While Prohibition put paid to its distilling days in the Nineteen Twenties, the present homeowners resurrected and reopened it just below a century later in 2014.

Since then, it has been one among Frankfort’s prime vacationer locations due to its scrumptious drinks, serene setting and attention-grabbing structure. While seeing how their bourbons, gins and vodkas are produced is a cool expertise, ambling about its enjoyable grounds is simply as nice.

4. Salato Wildlife Education Center

Salato Wildlife Education Center

Another idyllic and unmissable place to head is the Salato Wildlife Education Center on the western limits of Kentucky’s capital. Here you may see a menagerie of wonderful animals each massive and small, both in its inside reveals or amidst all the varied habitats exterior.

The heart’s sprawling website protects a variety of ecosystems with marshes and streams mendacity subsequent to prairies, forests and even mountains. As you discover its enclosures, you’ll come throughout every little thing from deer and bears to bison, bobcats and bald eagles.

On-hand are pleasant and educated rangers who’re very happy to clarify all there’s to know in regards to the animals and their native habitats. Asides from seeing the terrific snakes, turtles and owls inside, you may fish in its ponds and hike about its nature trails.

3. Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours & Museum

Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours & Museum

If you have got a little bit of a candy tooth, you might discover it laborious to move up on a tasty tour across the Rebecca Ruth Candy manufacturing unit. As nicely as seeing how their world-famous ‘bourbon balls’ are produced, company also can study extra in regards to the succulent deal with’s origins in the adjoining museum.

Way again in 1919, two former schoolteachers, Ruth Booe and Rebecca Gooch, started the worthwhile sweet enterprise by mixing chocolate with the state’s best-loved liquor. Since the delivery of the well-known ‘bourbon balls’, they’ve branched out into varied caramels, cremes and different confectioneries.

Four generations later, it’s nonetheless going sturdy with hundreds visiting the enduring Kentucky establishment annually. On prime of seeing all their vintage and trendy candy-making gear, guests can store for items in the shop or pattern a few of their candy creations.

2. New Capitol Building

New Capitol Building

Undoubtedly the town’s most stunning constructing is its Beaux-Arts New Capitol Building. Since 1910, it has acted because the state’s seat of presidency with informative excursions taking you throughout its opulent inside and immaculately groomed grounds.

Built over the course of 5 years, the a lot bigger constructing with its ginormous dome and fetching facade changed the Old State Capitol north of the river. Inside is simply as interesting as refined murals, portraits and artworks beautify its grand chambers and rooms. One of the capitol’s standout sights is its pretty rotunda which is flanked by large halls lined by huge marble pillars.

On excursions, you’ll study in regards to the historical past of Kentucky’s quite a few capitol buildings, its governors and politicians. Afterwards, you may stroll about its beautiful inexperienced grounds that are dotted with tremendous statues, flowerbeds and commemorative plaques.

1. Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Considered a should by many, the Buffalo Trace Distillery has now been producing good bourbons for nicely over two centuries. At its historic previous facility simply north of downtown, you may style award-winning whiskeys and tour about its charming grounds and manufacturing line.

Founded in 1792, it claims to be the oldest constantly working distillery in the United States. Its ruddy crimson brick warehouses, water tower and grasp distiller’s residence actually look the half with lush lawns mendacity throughout the enticing previous constructions.

Besides touring round their state-of-the-art amenities and large ageing space, you can even sit and pattern some luxurious spirits in its atmospheric tasting room. In addition to knocking again some bourbon, there’s additionally an arboretum, botanical backyard and reward store to go to on the National Historic Landmark.

Map of Things to do in Frankfort, KY

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