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Kentucky Gardens – Kentucky is a southeastern state bounded by the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains, with Frankfort as the state capital. The state’s largest city, Louisville, is home to the Kentucky Derby, the renowned horse race held at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. The race is preceded by a 2-week festival and celebrated in the Kentucky Derby Museum year-round. What kind of gardens does Kentucky boast? Read on to find out…
The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky: This Botanical Garden is free and has an extensive variety of plants with descriptions. A relaxing and beautiful stop when you are visiting. They also have crops growing and you can see those gardens. This is a big Park with plenty of paths for walking or running with interactive trails for kids. The diversity in trees, flowers and greenery is amazing. Starting in March, the Visitor Center and the Kentucky Children’s Garden will operate on a spring schedule. The grounds are open daily dawn to dusk, as are additional restroom facilities near the children’s garden entrance. This botanical garden has lots to offer and located in Lexington.
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens: This is such a great place to visit. Take time to explore a fairy forest, a tiny castle, a garden maze, and a green house. There’s so many amazing plants and trees, many of which grow in this climate. Yew Dell is an internationally recognized center of gardening, plants, and education, all offered in a stunning site of significant historical importance. Originally the home, gardens and commercial nursery of the late Theodore Klein and his family. Yew Dell now offers the public an exceptional display garden, an ambitious schedule of educational programs and community events, ongoing garden plant research and hiking trails. This garden is found in Crestwood.
Western Kentucky Botanical Garden: This is a botanical garden near an amazing downtown riverfront. The entrance is now officially at the Big White House on West 2nd Street. You will experience the healing powers of nature as you unplug and recharge among the beautiful, themed gardens. Explore The Garden and all its color and beauty. Take a few photos while you are here. Bring a picnic lunch, read a book. Stay a while and immerse yourself in the calm and gentle nature The Garden has lots to offer with over 12 acres of the wonders of nature, historic buildings and garden art. Come see the rose garden, children’s garden, historic country doctor’s office and a record setting basket sculpture. The garden’s extensive collection of hybridized daylilies will have you in awe as well. You will find this Botanical Garden in Owensboro.
Waterfront Botanical Gardens: This place was simply gorgeous. On a sunny day or partly cloudy this is a majestic walking trail full of flowers, trees and beautiful landscaping that is still a work in progress. They offer tours, and this is an ideal spot for a wedding venue or special occasion with the waterfall as the perfect backdrop. We highly recommend stopping in and taking while to enjoy the beautiful landscape and all it has to offer. This garden is a new one but has a lot to offer in Lewisville.
TravelKatz is looking forward to hearing from you so we can make the perfect vacation for you and yours. Please give us a call at 353-277-7300 when you are ready to go to Kentucky.
Kentucky State Parks:
Kentucky State Parks – Kentucky is a southeastern state bounded by the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains, and Frankfort is the state capital. The state’s largest city, Louisville, is home to the Kentucky Derby, the renowned horse race held at Churchill Downs in May. Kentucky has 38 State Parks, 3 State Forests, and 12 State Historic Sites. Let’s visit some of the best today.
Kentucky Horse Park: The only park of its kind in the world, THE Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm, educational theme park, and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. Set on more than 1,200 acres in the heart of the Kentucky’s famous Bluegrass region, the park is THE place to get close to horses! Featuring dozens of breeds of horse at work and at play, the park showcases the horse in daily equine presentations, horse drawn tours, horseback and pony rides, and an array of horse shows and special events throughout the year. The park’s International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the world’s largest equestrian museum. Offering both the experienced horseman and novice an opportunity to explore the many facets of humanity’s relationship with the horse; the museum is dedicated to all breeds and disciplines of horse. State-of-the-art technology complements rare artifacts and scholarly research to present a unique, educational, museum experience for all ages. The American Saddlebred Museum, the Showplace for Saddlebreds, celebrates Kentucky’s first native breed of horse. The museum features interactive exhibits and a movie. There are plenty of the park’s own tourist activities and the numerous additional horse shows that take place in the equine competition facilities throughout the year. It is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and clothing. This park is a wonderful day visit and can be found just outside of Lexington.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park: Known as the “Niagara of the South,” the 125-foot-wide curtain of water is dramatic day or night. But it’s only at night during a full moon that you can see the moonbow, an amazing phenomenon not regularly visible anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. The park’s many lodging, dining, and recreational opportunities make Cumberland Falls State Resort Park the perfect location for a family vacation, business retreat, or weekend getaway to the beautiful mountains of southeast Kentucky. The DuPont Lodge features 51 rooms, the Riverview Restaurant, meeting spaces, and easy access to the park’s extensive trail system. Twenty woodland rooms and 25 cottages provide guests a more secluded lodging option. The 49-site campground, gift shop, horseback riding stables, Moonbow Cafe, playgrounds, tennis court, Olympic-size swimming pool, 17 miles of trails, and much more await visitors to Cumberland Falls – one of the “Nation’s Finest” state parks! You will find this wonderful park in Corbin.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park: This is a beautiful and well-kept park. The walk to the bridge is all uphill but worth the hike. The views are spectacular and incredible!! There are lots of activities to enjoy. You will love the lodge, the rooms are clean, and well maintained. Each room has its own balcony. The option to use the camping facilities work well, too, and are very well tended. If you visit Natural Bridge on a cold, snow covered day in December, it will be worth is and just perfect! Even though it may be cool starting out, you’ll much preferred this to sweating and watching for snakes. You can park at the lodge and hike the Original Trail up and came back down past the Balanced Rock. The trail is ice covered and slick in spots, but you’ll make it just fine. Due to the ice, these trails rate as more of a moderate difficulty vs. an easy trail. The view from the top and the natural beauty of the rock formations make the trip well worth it. Found near the town of Slade.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site: Big Bone Lick State Historic Site is recognized as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology for its significant role in the development of scientific thought regarding extinction and the relationship of geology and paleontology the world over. The park has been named a National Natural Landmark. The park is famous for its combination of salt springs and late Pleistocene bone beds. Ancient creatures like the mammoth, mastodon, and ground sloth prehistorically visited the mineral springs, swamps, and bogs that are now grassy plains covered with trees and shrubs. If you are interested, this ancient animal history site is found in Union.
TravelKatz is looking forward to helping you plan a fun vacation in Kentucky. Please call us at352-277-7300 or go to www.vacationnationradio.com for a Chat.
Kentucky Museums: A southeastern state bounded by the Ohio River in the north and the Appalachian Mountains in the east, and with Frankfort the state capital, Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, is home to the Kentucky Derby. This renowned horse race is held at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. The race is preceded by a 2-week festival and celebrated in the Kentucky Derby Museum year-round.
The Great American Dollhouse Museum: A large collection of miniature doll houses, cities and gardens including factories, churches, businesses you name it they have it all in authentic miniatures, many of them antiques. More than just dollhouses. Many miniatures to create whole scenes reflecting both the historical and the fanciful. Very creatively done. The quality of the miniatures is what really impressive– so small, so delicate. The variety, from miniature plants in a “garden” to ice cream cones in a confectionery shop — just amazing. Though one would think this would be an ideal stop for families with young children, we would not say so. Children under 7 or 8 wouldn’t appreciate the work that went into these marvelous creations. What parents need to emphasize here is the quality of the miniatures, the amount of work and skill that went into the creation of the items, and the overall theme. This museum is a Wow! If you are a miniaturist and collect miniatures – this museum’s gift shop is a must. You’ll find this museum in Danville.
Conrad-Caldwell House Museum (Conrad’s Castle): This museum is a historic, Victorian mansion located in the heart of Old Louisville. It is one of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and was the masterpiece of famed local architect Arthur Loomis of Clarke & Loomis. Surrounded by a beautiful courtyard neighborhood at the center of the largest collection of Victorian Homes in the US, “Conrad’s Castle” features all the latest innovations of its day, including interior plumbing and electric lighting. Known for its beautiful woodwork and parquet floors beautiful archways, and elaborate stone designs, incorporates 7 types of hardwoods and magnificent stained-glass windows in the interior design, making it one of the most stunning homes in Old Louisville. The Museum has been lovingly restored to the Edwardian Age two of Louisville’s most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs, Theophile Conrad and William E. Caldwell. The House offers tours Wednesday thru. Friday and on Sundays. Discover this museum in the heart of Louisville.
Mary Todd Lincoln House: Discover one of America’s most fascinating first ladies during a visit to her girlhood home. The wife of President Abraham Lincoln grew up in this house; and after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln visited her family here. Today the fourteen-room house contains period furniture, portraits, and furnishings. It is convenient walking distance to local hotels and restaurants. It is open on a seasonal basis from March – November. Guided tours are on the hour with the last tour at 3PM. Free parking is located directly behind the house. Mrs. Lincoln’s childhood home is located in downtown Lexington.
The Lincoln Museum: A true gem of a museum right on the town square. Rob and Vanessa are knowledgeable and run the nicest museum. It’s really quite charming, and the life-size wax figures are done well. Lots of information to read, artifacts to see, as well as artwork and beautiful quilts. Excellent exhibits of President Abraham Lincoln’s life and historic events from his childhood to his assassination. The place looks small but is packed with good history and artifacts. The exhibits are nicely organized and with very interesting details. In the town of Hodgenville is where you’ll find this museum.
The National Quilt Museum: This museum experience allows groups to view the quilts on a detailed guided tour before designing and building their own quilt block. Participants select their designs from precut fabrics in a variety of colors. Then guides walk them through blocking, quilting and framing. There are exhibits by renowned quilters with a rotating selection of over 500 quilts. This world renown museum is found in Paducah.
Please go to TravelKatz website or vacationnationradio.com or give us a call at 352-277-7300 if Kentucky is where you want to go on vacation. We’ll be happy to help you plan for this in 2021!
Not only does Kentucky host the best ever horse races, but the state has some of the most memorable festivals, too. Let TravelKatz send you to Kentucky to visit the Ark Encounter, the Creation Museum and these festivals…
10th Annual Germantown Schnitzelburg Blues Festival: The Kentuckiana Blues Society and Check’s Cafe will host this festival at the corner of Hickory Street and Burnett Ave. The street festival with an outdoor stage will have three blues bands on Friday and five on Saturday. Admission is free and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Kids Cancer Alliance. And It’s free! May 31 – June 1
Great American Brass Band Festival is a music festival held each June in Danville, Kentucky since 1990. The open-air festival features a wide variety of brass bands, a hot air balloon race, a picnic, and other activities. Each year up to 40,000 people travel to the small town for the event. The Festival is a free, family-friendly four- day event. Jun 6 – Jun 9
68th Annual St. Edward Ice Cream Social: Join us this Sunday for our annual ice cream social! There will be lots of delicious food (including rib eye steaks and pulled pork!), delicious homemade cakes and hand cranked ice cream! 273 gallons were made last Saturday! Games for the kids, silent auction items, raffle, etc. Tons of flavors are on deck to get the taste buds working. To keep their calories in check, there are activities and games to get the body moving. Sunday, June 9th
Festival of the Bluegrass: a traditional Bluegrass Music Festival in the heart of the beautiful Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Established in 1974, this family-run festival has a little something for everyone. There are all kinds of fun things that happen during the weekend of the Festival of the Bluegrass! Pluck and Strum for the little ones, clogging for all ages, and food and craft vendors for you to peruse. There will be Yoga, a music workshop, and parade. June 6-9
Berry Trail and Pancake Festival: Enjoy a family day and the beauty of the country while hiking our creek side walking trail. Come on down to the valley and enjoy the fruits of life at Reed Valley Orchard! A fun day for all. Pick your own blueberries, enjoy fresh blueberry pancakes and much more. You’ll have to try our fresh Blueberry ice cream, fresh homemade oven fried fruit pies or a cool refreshing apple or berry slushie! A fun family day where children can play horseshoes or corn hole. In Paris, June 15 from 9 until 1.
4th of July Spectacular is a wonderful event with food, live music, and kid’s activities. Once it is dark, we end the evening with a fantastic firework display to celebrate our nation’s independence! Berea, KY
Forecastle Music Festival: One of the country’s most anticipated summer music festivals; Forecastle draws thousands of fans to Louisville’s scenic 85-acre Waterfront Park. The Avett Brothers, Tyler Childers, Maggie Rogers and many more are all joining us at scenic Waterfront Park July 5 -7
4th Annual Snappin’ Chaplin Turtle Derby: Main Street Perryville is having the fourth annual Turtle Derby on July 27, 2019. A minimum of 2,000 turbo turtles will be released into the Chaplin River and the first 10 turtles to cross the finish line will win cash prizes! The event is free and open to the public and there will be food trucks, music, and vendors — and lots of family fun! All proceeds from the Snappin’ Chaplin Turtle Derby will benefit Main Street Perryville and its mission to build a truly vibrant and historic community through historic preservation of Merchants’ Row, one of the oldest intact commercial districts in the United States.
Kentucky is an easy drive from the Tampa area and TravelKatz will be happy to help you and yours to have a vacation there. Just give us a call at 352-277-7300.
PLACE OF INTEREST
Welcome to Bluegrass Country, the “Horse Capital of the World.” But you don’t have to be an avid racehorse fan to enjoy the natural beauty, culture and history that this exciting city has to offer. At the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, for example, hiking trails wend their way through forests, meadows and gentle creeks, taking you past historic landmarks; there’s even a nighttime guided walk for stargazing.
The best place in the world for raising thoroughbred horses, Lexington has over 500 horse farms. The Kentucky Horse Park features films, horse shows and exhibits. Be sure to tour the American Saddle Horse Museum, dedicated to the native Kentucky breed, and watch races at the lovely Keeneland Race Course in season. Historic sites are plentiful here, including the Waveland State Historic Site, the childhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln and the Ashland estate of famed Kentucky statesman Henry Clay.
Kentucky Horse Park: A Mecca for horse lovers. A great place to go even if you don’t care for horses. Signs and staff are English only. If you have car, easy to get to. Events are held all year. Most people really like the historic museums. They have a map of the ground and you are welcome in the barns they have scheduled activities for adults and kids! A must see is the big barn where the oversize horses have stalls. You must also check out the Hall of Fame barn as of now they have the oldest Kentucky Derby winner who is 28 and blind! Make sure to make the 11am or 2pm trolley tour! They also have the only Museum in the world that covers several breeds of horses!
Keeneland: We recommend going to Keeneland especially if you have never been to a horse race. You will get to know a little bit of Kentucky culture. The mood during the races is exciting and you will be carried away. Great ambience, great food, great experience!
Waveland State Historic Site: This site is also known as the Joseph Bryan House, in Lexington, Kentucky is the site of a Greek Revival home and plantation now maintained and operated as part of the Kentucky state park system. A must visit to a secret part of Lexington; a historical house on beautiful grounds. A great tour of this home and it is dirt cheap. The learning garden is new and sure to grow. Check the website for the schedule of events – movies shown outside on the barn a few times a year. They show classics like Singing in the Rain, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Birds toward October. There is a playground for the children, also. Daily Afternoon Tea is a huge hit.
Mary Todd House: Mary Todd grew up in this house located in downtown Lexington. Later she and President Lincoln visited it often during his presidency. The tour guide is very knowledgeable and will give you detailed insights into Mary’s life. (Tours are on the hour – last tour at 3:00 pm.) All the rooms are beautifully decorated. Many of Mary’s ceramic collection are on display and visitors can take as many photos as they like as long as they don’t use a flash. The Mary Todd Lincoln house is something great. If you like history, don’t miss visiting here. (There’s free parking located at the back of the house — don’t forget to take a good look at the garden too. It’s wonderful.)
Mary Todd Lincoln House: This home is additional to the Mary Todd House…and it has been stunningly restored. Mary Todd didn’t live here long, and much of the site is a representation of how it was. However, they have collected as many authentic pieces as they could, and they have restored it so nicely! And they do a fabulous job in telling Mary’s story so that you truly empathize for her. The house has the distinction of being the first historic site restored in honor of a First Lady. After Robert S. Todd’s death, the home was auctioned. An inventory from this auction became the guide to furnish the house museum, and some family pieces have been returned to the home through donations by the Todd and Lincoln families.
Ashland: Stately 19th-century home & grounds of politician Henry Clay, with tours, exhibits, trails & more. Lovely recreation of the Home of one of Kentucky’s premier statesmen. Lots of history to be learned here, not to mention the beautiful garden and grounds.
Raven Run Nature Sanctuary: This nature sanctuary has well marked trails and there are some historic sites that are interesting, as well as a few nice vistas and meandering creeks. They have a nice information center and convenient parking. You will love the walk that takes you down to overlook the Kentucky River – fabulous!! Helpful informative signs tell hikers what to look for and provide great educational information on plants, insects and environment. The new nature center is a great addition. If you are looking for a nice walk and don’t mind a short drive to the country, Raven Run is the place for you.
The Thoroughbred Center: The Thoroughbred Center is nestled among some of the most lavish horse farms in Lexington, KY. Our tour offers a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the daily care and training of Thoroughbred Race Horses. During the tour you will get to watch morning workouts, see horses up close at track side, in the paddocks and barns, and visit with professionals who will answer questions. Learn how Thoroughbreds are trained for racing and experience a typical day in the life of a racehorse. Come to The Thoroughbred Center to learn why and how Central Kentucky came to be the Horse Capital of the World! Tours run ONCE each day and last approximately 90 minutes. You get to speak to jockeys, watch horses exercise, learned about the history of the center and enjoy every minute!
You can take a direct flight from Tampa, or if you like to drive to Lexington, that is also a good option. Travelkatz will be happy to make you vacation arrangements for you so you have a hassle-free vacation. Just give us a call at 352-277-7300.
Kentucky State Capital: Frankfort
Historians aren’t certain where Frankfort got its name, but most people believe the name memorializes an early settler named Stephen Frank, who was killed by Native Americans near a river crossing. The crossing came to be known as Frank’s Ford, later shortened to Frankfort. Frankfort is located in similarly named Franklin County, named for Benjamin Franklin.
New Capitol Building: This building Is beautiful. Marble, stained glass, statues, it’s so pretty. Spring is a good time to go because the flowers and trees are in full bloom. Kentucky weather is unpredictable, so bring an umbrella. It’s pretty easy to find parking toward the bottom of the hill, but then you’ll have to walk up the hill. Wear comfortable shoes to walk up the stairs to the door. If you want to see all state capitols, this is of course, a must. It’s nicely appointed and has lots of marble everywhere, floor, walls and more. You can see both chambers and it’s very nice. You can take a guided tour but we opted for a self-guided one for us. It was well worth a visit. A reminder that Jefferson Davis (Confederate President) and Abraham Lincoln were both born in KY. Frankfort isn’t all that big, but a nice quaint town. The capitol building was very accessible, lots of parking, etc. The building is absolutely beautiful inside. Everything is marble or granite. The Supreme Court room is all irreplaceable Brazilian mahogany. It’s rather breathtaking. The most unique aspect – the inside roof of the rotunda changes colors. I really enjoyed it and spent more time in there than I had imagined. The governor’s mansion is right next door and is also available for tours on a limited schedule.
Old State Capitol: We visited the Old State Capitol on a whim and it turned out it was a good thing we did! Our guide, Roger, was incredibly helpful and he knew a lot about the history of the place, and also about other sites to see in Frankfort. We were especially impressed by the staircase – a must-see! Recommended is a visit to this gorgeous building for anyone who wants to know more about Kentucky history!
Very reasonable $4 admission to the Kentucky History Center gets you into 3 museums. The Old State Capitol is beautiful and a must for anyone that loves history or architecture. It is also wheelchair accessible. The artwork and self-supporting staircase were incredible! Our volunteer guide, Roger, was not only responsive to our questions, but the way he immersed us in local history, but also how it intertwined with national history was nothing short of amazing – and entertaining! This tour alone was worth much more than $4! . The tours begin a block away at the Kentucky History Center, but make time to enjoy this wonderful experience.
Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History: Just so much to see. farming, coal mining, politics, religion, great depression, civil war. There was even a large model train exhibit in the main hall. The exhibits start with information from thousands of years ago and goes up to present. very interesting exhibits, with items and facts from the time. Be sure to go to the hall of governors and see painted plus a brief historical bio of each governor going back to the first governor. One of the cool items is Lincoln’s watch. As one historian told me, you are standing there near Lincoln’s watch which he had on him the night he died.
The fee was $4 for adults, that includes the museum, a guide (well informed) that takes you to the old capital building, and entrance into the Kentucky military history museum. All have air conditioning.
Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours & Museum: The “factory” is basically a large house. This is a family run establishment that has survived almost one hundred years and the staff relates the rich history.
There was no production the day we toured. Which was a plus because we were not in anyone’s way and had ample time to ask questions. When you see how tiny the manufacturing area is it is hard to fathom how they produce so much candy.
You are given samples at the beginning and end of the tour. The bourbon balls are great. Very interesting local candy factory, see it made the old way by hand using vintage equipment. The tour is brief but interesting, there is a museum room that is a bit overcrowded with memories up to 100 years old. The candy making is interesting, don’t expect to see a fast-paced modern factory, this is slow methodical quality at its best.
Buy some candy on the way out. The prices seemed high, but later in the day after eating a couple of pieces I wish I had bought more. Quality comes at a premium and it was worth it.
Salato Wildlife Education Center: Really amazing. Great for small children. Like a small very well maintained zoo. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The displays were clean and the animals appeared well taken care of. We had a blast! A fun day with a value that could not be beaten. Wear sneakers so you can take the non-paved trails along with the paved ones.
We visit here regularly. It is a beautiful facility and is well kept. It is relaxing and educational and the workers are very knowledgeable. Its fun for all ages and physical ability. You can see as much or as little as you like. Its a great asset to Kentucky! You can tour the center and trails and then picnic, fish or just relax out under the trees.
Daniel Boone Burial Site: We had a little extra time to relax on our last day in the area, and decided to visit a quiet place to reflect on Kentucky’s history. What better place than the capital, and while there, to visit the site of Daniel Boone’s memorial and burial site. A great story follows this location and his burial, and you can hear all about it when you plug in for the story at the tourist listening spot, located at the gravesite. We loved the view from the Frankfort Cemetery, overlooking the bend in the river and the Capital Building. It’s a lovely monument to both Daniel Boone and his wife, who played such a huge part of his life and history. The sun was full, the trees were big & old, and the area was so well-kept and maintained. Just a reminder that hard lives can find peaceful resting places. This one is beautiful.
There is no direct flight to Frankfort but you can fly into Lexington KY. Easily and have a nice drive through horse country to Frankfort. Frankfort is small but friendly, well worth a visit. While you are in Kentucky, why don’t you plan a visit to the Kentucky Derby? We can help plan for that, too.
KENTUCKY VACATION PACKAGE MADE EASY
Another option for our Kentucky Vacation Package is the Natural Wonder. See our selection of choice below to see if it fancies your style. Please don’t hesitate in contacting us with any questions or concerns.
KENTUCKY Natural Wonder: Mammoth Cave
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