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What to do in Kentucky?

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Jul 7th, 2006, 07:33 AM
  #1
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What to do in Kentucky?

We are driving from Columbus, OH back home to NC for 4 days over Labor Day weekend. We have never been to Kentucky and thought we would explore for a couple of days. We will be leaving OH on Sunday and heading south. Any thoughts on things to do in Kentucky? We are two gals in our 30s.
Thanks!
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Jul 7th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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The things you could do in Ky. really aren't on your way...If you like outdoorsy stuff I would suggest the Hocking Hills in SE Ohio, or the New River area in WV for rafting, kayaking, canoeing, etc. What types of things are you seeking ?
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Jul 7th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Well, we love nature, but not really difficult hikes. We love theater, music, off the beaten path places.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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Mammoth Caves!
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Jul 7th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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It would be easier if we knew what interstate you are planning to take? Off I-75 there is Red River Gorge/Natural Bridge area with plenty of hiking but not really anything else. It is east of Lexington. Around the Lexington area is Shaker Village and Kentucky Horse Park. Further down is Cumberland Falls with some shorter hiking trails (and the Falls). Google Kentucky State Parks and also search here, there are many threads on things to do in Kentucky.

There are outdoor dramas (such as Tecumseh) south of Columbus near Hocking Hills. Cincinnati is a good place for theater and music, not sure of anywhere in Kentucky that is known for that (probably someone from Lexington or Louisville could lead you in that direction).
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Jul 7th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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One of my favorite things I did whilst in Kentucky for about a month was visiting a few bourbon distilleries. At the Maker's Mark place you can hand-dip your own bottles of bourbon into their signature red wax and personalize the labels. Hokey but fun, and all the adults in my family wanted a souvenier bottle of their own.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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In Ky. I think of only 3 areas, none of which aren't out of your way. From Columbus the most direct route would be down 1-77. Louisville, Lexington & the Land Between the Lakes/Mammoth Caves/Paducah area. Not sure where the horses are running then, but Keeneland would be a worthwhile stop if that is going on. Maj has covered it pretty well otherwise. If you need Hocking Hills details, let me know.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Thank you for all the info! I am thinking of spending Sunday and Monday is Cincinnati based on what you have said. Then I can head down to Cumberland and spend Monday night and Tuesday there.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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I-77? If you are traveling south from Columbus you would be on I-71 to Cincinnati and then I-75 through KY. Stop in Lexington and tour the KY Horse Park. Admission to the park includes the current Gypsy horse art exhibit.
http://www.kyhorsepark.com/khp/gallery/gypsy.asp John Hockensmith was allowed to live, travel and take pictures for over a year.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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maj
 
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You can take 25East at Corbin (the same exit as Cumberland Falls) on a (mostly) 4 lane highway through the relatively new Cumberland Gap Tunnel. It goes through some small towns in Kentucky and Tennessee and ends at I81 in Tennessee. If you are going east on either I81 or I40, it actually will cut some miles off your trip by avoiding Knoxville and gets you off the expressway for a while.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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Author: maj
Date: 07/07/2006, 04:56 pm
Just to clarify,

Cumberland Falls and Lake Cumberland are two different places.

http://parks.ky.gov/resortparks/index.htm

Labor Day weekend is probably the biggest celebration in Cincinnati on the riverfront. There is a huge fireworks celebration on Sunday night and many, many activities going on both Sunday and Monday. Great time to visit. The only thing is that you may have trouble getting a hotel reservation. If you are unfamiliar with the area, both sides of the Ohio River (Cincinnati in Ohio and Newport and Covington in Kentucky) have accommodations and there will be things going on on both sides. You can take a shuttle or walk from one side to the other.

If you leave Cincinnati on Monday, it will take you about 90 minutes to get to Lexington. You could stop at the Horse Park if you want, go east to Natural Bridge (about an hour) or any other stops you decide to make on the way down I75. Berea is a nice place to stop for Kentucky artisan shops:
http://www.berea.com/

Driving time is approximately 3-4 hours from Cincinnati to Cumberland Falls (Lake Cumberland is a little longer).

The good thing about stopping in the Kentucky State Parks on Monday night is that you will probably be able to get accomodations easily. Most of them are already booked I'm sure for Labor Day since people in the area frequent them. We went to Natural Bridge the Tuesday after Labor Day one year and we were almost the only ones there, but around Thursday the place started filling up again. Cumberland Falls, like Natural Bridge,is in the woods with a nice lodge and restaurant, easy hiking trails and very peaceful. But, again, there is nothing else around as far as nightlife, shopping, etc.



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Jul 8th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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It would be a crime to NOT visit the Newport Aquarium while in Cincy! It's modern and really neat for adults too!
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Jul 8th, 2006, 06:57 PM
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i second the berea stopover to see the shops and realize this is a very unique artisan learning center with interesting workshops and stores.

a drive through the horse park area is gorgeous., rolling hills , white fences.
i think there is a webpage that suggests a lesiurely lexington area drive.

i am trying to think of the name of the marriot resort we stopped at for lunch outside of lexington.. it was very relaxing, and nice surroundings. a nice change from highway chains, and no xtra miles at all.

cumberland gap/falls is attractive but slow going. depends on how antsy you get to move on.

in cincinnati do not MISS mt. adams. built up on the hill near downtown.. great bistros and views .

also, at the main square in town, you have a palomino restaurant with a great happy hour, and good food. it is on second floor of the macy's building(?) facing the square.

on the river, i like the kentucky side for the view. you have many floating restaurants to choose from or others with deep patios to enjoy the outdoors.

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