Between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky there is a town, which lays claim to being the home of bourbon, horses, and wine. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky and is a one-stop city for those searching for adventure, history, and southern hospitality.
With an overwhelming amount of activities to choose from, be sure to check out this guide on how to make your trip to Frankfort the ultimate visit.
Frankfort Day 1
Creekside lounging is available at Elkhorn Campground, with 125 campsites on property. The campground is RV friendly and is open April 1 – October 31 every year. The campground is under 10 minutes away from downtown and has a general store with groceries, a pavilion that seats up to 200, a large fire pit, a playground, a pool, a putt-putt course, river access, and much more is available to guests.
Capitol View Park is the mountain biking trail system to visit in Frankfort. With over 11 miles of trails, the rides bounce back and forth from park boundaries to state property. The park is open year-round and there’s something for all skill levels. Be sure to check out the Bluegrass State Games mountain bike race in July or the kids bike series in October. The Frankfort Parks and Rec Department does advise bikers to carry extra tubes, tire liners, and sealant due to native trees and bushes with thorns that lie next to the trails.
Grab A Cold One
Check out Ethereal Brewing Company in Lexington for classically flavored stouts and some brews with a Kentucky twang. The brewery is known for hosting events, such as Tap Takeovers where the company partners with another brew, and has live music often.
Hike It Off
Get a preemptive strike on dinner by checking out Cove Spring Park, home to over 240 acres of wetlands, waterfalls, and ravines. There are three miles of trails exploring the area, and wildlife is frequently observed. Waterfalls and historic features are scattered along the trails, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Hungry? Check out Serafini in town, located directly across from the old State Capitol. The restaurant boasts using local ingredients and seamlessly combines Italian roots and the southern traditions of Kentucky. In addition to the great food, Serafini brings it home with an extensive bourbon list.
Wait, Wait! There’s More!
If you’re in town during the months of June – September, check out the free summer concerts on the lawn of the old State Capitol. These occur every other Friday, so be sure to check the schedule and be ready to hear some good ole mountain music. The month of June also hosts the River Blast Festival, a family fun event
Frankfort Day Two
Stay at the Elkhorn Campground for a second night by the river, or pop a squat in The Meeting House, located in the historic district. The Meeting House is an 1840 pre-Civil War house that has been transformed into a bed and breakfast. There’s a café on the property and the space is available for small functions and events, with the ability to accommodate up to 40 people.
The Salato Wildlife Education Center offers indoor and outdoor exhibits just waiting to be discovered. The center has native wildlife located along exhibit trails, stocked lakes for the fishers in the family, and four miles of hiking trails. One of the highlights for the indoor exhibit is an Alligator Snapping Turtle, which weighs nearly 100 pounds. Outside, there are elk, bison, bobcats, and more. The center is closed on Sunday and Monday each week and is closed from November 26 – March 1.
Log some river hours on the Kentucky River or Elkhorn Creek. Canoe Kentucky is a company in Frankfort that will take you on the trip you need. The company offers stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. All activities are water level dependent, but between the two bodies of water there’s always something to do. Try out nightglow paddle trips, or even SUP yoga.
More Good Eats
Cap off your trip with a visit to Bourbon on Main, a local restaurant that backs up to the Kentucky River. This restaurant is one of the most popular in Frankfort and only allows those 21 and over inside. The food is classic Americana and the bourbon list is incredibly long. A friendly community is ever-present and events like Thursday night trivia, live music on Fridays, and an upstairs art gallery draw in the masses.
The Frankfort Striders host themed running events every month throughout the year, including one called the “Funnel Cake 5k.” In May, it’s Derby season and downtown Frankfort hosts the governor and many visitors as a festival ensues.
Kick off the holiday season in November with the annual Candlelight Tradition downtown. Carriage rides and hot chocolate are aplenty and there are rumors that a special someone (SANTA!!!) just can’t stay away from the magical celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky.
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