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.
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