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KENTUCKY 2020 GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


ADVENTURE AWAITS IN LOUISVILLE Join Our Spring FAM Tour

Experience the colorful culture of Louisville in an unforgettable three-day FAM. Get an up-close look at one-ofa-kind attractions including the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs. Plus, immerse yourself in an urban Bourbon experience unlike anywhere else in the world while getting a taste of our celebrated local food scene.

MAY 27 – 30, 2020 Space is limited to 20 tour operators. RSVP date: February 1, 2020 Sign up now at grouptravelleader.com/louisville-fam


CONTENTS 8 MEET THE STORYTELLERS 10 BOURBON 16 HORSES 22 FOOD TA O G Y’S K C 28 OUTDOORS TU KEN 32 HISTORY L TO TEL 36 MUSIC 40 ART 44 EVENTS ON THE COVER

PUBLISHED BY

Kentucky storytellers from many walks of life welcome group travelers to experience the best of the Bluegrass State.

NICHE TRAVEL PUBLISHERS 301 EAST HIGH STREET LEXINGTON, KY 40507 888-253-0455 WWW.GROUPTRAVELLEADER.COM

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KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


THINK

BIGGER

Plan your adventure at ArkEncounter.com and CreationMuseum.org

PREPARE TO

BELIEVE


W

hether you are friends that come every year or a group of first-time visitors, we welcome you to Kentucky. Bluegrass, horses and bourbon are only the beginning. The Kentucky Group Travel Guide will show you the many special ways to discover our commonwealth. The stories you hear and the experiences you share here in the Bluegrass will last you a lifetime. From handcrafted instruments to Grammy-winning artists, music has a rich history in Kentucky. Bluegrass music is especially important to our culture, as the genre is native to the Bluegrass State. In some ways, each song tells Kentucky’s story, and you can hear bluegrass at our many live music venues across the state. But don’t forget to stop in at the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro to explore our authentic bluegrass heritage. And when you’re enjoying some live music, why not have a drink? With 95% of the world’s supply crafted in Kentucky, bourbon is more than a drink here — it’s a lifestyle. Stop in at one of our 70-plus Kentucky distilleries to learn how every bottle of bourbon is uniquely crafted from corn mash to shelf. Once you get a taste, go where the spirit leads you by continuing your journey along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Many people say our limestone-rich water is what makes our bourbon taste so good, and it’s also what makes our horses grow strong and run fast. Beautiful rolling hills and miles of

painted fences stretch across horse country, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into breeding, raising, training and caring for these majestic creatures. The Kentucky Horse Park celebrates everything horses year-round; but if you’re a sports enthusiast or a horse-racing aficionado, you can’t miss the first Saturday in May: the date of the Kentucky Derby. You won’t want to miss the superior athletes and their pounding hooves, plus mint juleps and gorgeous hats. In addition, in 2020, the world championships of horse racing will be back in Kentucky as the Breeders’ Cup returns to Lexington’s Keeneland Race Course. But if you want to take in all the flavor of Kentucky, chefs across the state are cooking up regional favorites while putting their own spins on traditional Southern fare. From hot browns to burgoo, street food to fine dining and everything in between, it only takes one bite to taste why meals are better in the Bluegrass. And with the Department of Tourism and Kentucky State Parks partnering to offer an annual Culinary Trail experience, now you can enjoy an authentic taste of our state while experiencing the natural beauty of our state parks on the side. Whether aboveground or underground, Kentucky has great adventures for thrill-seeking groups. Mammoth Cave offers extensive underground adventures throughout its longest cave system in the world. Your group can enjoy whitewater rafting at Cumberland Falls in addition to the thousands of waterways, shorelines and trails throughout the state, like rock climbing in the Red River Gorge or hiking up to Natural Bridge. If you’re looking for a more relaxing itinerary, check out one of Kentucky’s many charming small towns that feature a mix of historic architecture and revitalized art, shopping, dining and entertainment options. Berea, known for its artisans, offers opportunities to not just observe art but also create it. Plenty of museums and memorials throughout the state commemorate everything from the Civil War to Bill Monroe and from Muhammad Ali to the Corvette. From our handcrafted bourbon to our bluegrass music, picture-perfect natural scenery, delicious culinary delights, native horses, charming small towns and museums, the Kentucky experience is one that leads to stories and memories you’ll keep with you forever.

Y O U R F R I E N D I N T R AV E L Don Parkinson Secretary Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet 502-564-4930 kentuckytourism.com

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We’ve got the makings of the best tour stop ever in Northern Kentucky. Pet sharks at Newport Aquarium, take a cruise on BB Riverboats, zip line at the Ark Encounter, cheer for MLB’s first Major League team, or shop ‘til you drop in historic Mainstrasse Village. But don’t be late for a visit with Cincinnati Zoo’s Fiona!

meetNKY.com


KENTUCKY

STORYTELLERS

N ARTS KRISTIN WILLIAMS Founder — EPHEMERA PADUCAH — PADUCAH

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o matter where you go in the state, Kentucky has a story to tell. The Kentucky Department of Tourism has designated 2019 as the Year of Storytelling and recruited well known figures from throughout the state to share their personal stories of Kentucky with the world. These storytellers represent eight pillars of the Kentucky travel experience: arts, bourbon, events, food, history, horses, music and the outdoors. To help you plan inspiring group trips to the Bluegrass State, we’re exploring each of these essential elements of Kentucky along with the storytellers who represent them. In the coming pages, you’ll meet the Kentucky storytellers and learn about their passions. We’ll also share some of the essential attractions, events and experiences that will help your travelers write their own Kentucky stories. Here are the eight Kentucky storytellers who you’ll learn about in this guide.

HORSES MICHAEL BLOWEN Founder — OLD FRIENDS — THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT FARM GEORGETOWN

BOURBON

FOOD

MUSIC

FREDDIE JOHNSON Tour Guide — BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY —

DIXON DEDMAN Fifth-Generation Owner — BEAUMONT INN —

SAM BUSH Founder — NEW GRASS REVIVAL & THE SAM BUSH BAND —

FRANKFORT

HARRODSBURG

BOWLING GREEN

EVENTS

HISTORY

OUTDOORS

GLENN TAYLOR, JR. Sponsor and Volunteer — ROMP FESTIVAL —

BOB SCOTT Direct Descendant — HATFIELD AND MCCOY HERITAGE —

PAUL TIERNEY Park Naturalist — CARTER CAVES STATE RESORT PARK —

OWENSBORO

PIKE COUNTY

OLIVE HILL

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


KENTUCKY ARTISAN CENTER OPEN DAILY 9-6 WORKS BY 800 ARTISTS ARTISAN CAFÉ & GRILL DEMONSTRATIONS SPECIAL EXHIBITS

SHOP ● DINE ● EXPLORE

JUST OFF I-75 ● BEREA EXIT 77 www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov

BUSES WELCOME!

859-985-5448


BOURBON IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO FAMILY BY ROBIN ROENKER

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reddie Johnson’s family has played a key role in the history of Buffalo Trace Distillery, as well as the broader story of Kentucky’s signature spirit. Johnson’s grandfather, Jimmy Johnson Sr., was a personal friend to Col. Albert Blanton, who, in 1921, became president of the George T. Stagg Bourbon Distillery, the precursor to Buffalo Trace. The two worked side by side at the Frankfort distillery for more than five decades, with Johnson eventually becoming the first African American warehouse manager in the industry. In 1936, Freddie Johnson’s father, Jimmy Johnson Jr., solidified the family’s central stature in Buffalo Trace’s history by assuming the role of warehouse supervisor, a position he held until the late 1970s. Though Freddie Johnson had moved and started a career in Georgia, fate called him home to Kentucky and to the same sweet smell of simmering mash that had greeted his family for generations. “I moved back to Kentucky to take care of my dad,” Johnson said. “He asked me to promise him that I’d go to work for the distillery. He was so proud of the idea of having three generations of Johnsons working there.” These days, Freddie Johnson makes good on his promise as a tour guide at Buffalo Trace, where he works on the front lines of the Kentucky bourbon industry, educating visitors from across the globe about the craftsmanship that goes into every bottle. On his tours, Johnson makes sure to point out the engineering and history behind the buildings — he likes to point out that timbers from the 1800s are supporting over 6,000 tons of whiskey in one of the distillery’s oldest warehouses — as well as the science and art behind the distilling process itself. “All of a sudden they realize, it’s not just a bottle of bourbon they’re drinking,” he said. “There’s a lot more to it than just liquid in that bottle.” Above all, Johnson hopes his tours help visitors make a connection to Buffalo Trace and the broader bourbon industry and to the Kentuckians like his own family that have shaped its past and are shaping its future. “On my tours, people get a chance to talk face-to-face with the people who are making the bourbon, rolling the barrels and filling the bottles,” he said. “They’re taking pictures with them and chatting with them, and all of a sudden, because of that human contact, they leave with an emotional tie to what we’re doing here.”

F R E D D I E J O H N S O N C O N T I N U E S A T H R E E - G E N E R AT I O N FA M I LY T R A D I T I O N AT B U F FA L O T R A C E D I S T I L L E RY I N F R A N K F O R T.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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TAKE

Y O UR

TIME

MAKER’S MARK In addition to producing one of Kentucky’s most recognized bourbon brands, thanks to bottles hand dipped in signature red wax, Maker’s Mark also boasts beautiful grounds and a stunning overhead art glass installation by famed creator Dale Chihuly in its historic barrel room. The one-hour General Distillery Tour offers an overview of the entire distillation process, including a chance to see the hand dipping area. For those wanting more insight into the distillery’s early days, the two-hour Heritage Tour promises a deep dive into the heritage of the brand. While on-site, make time to dine at Star Hill Provisions restaurant, where chef Newman Miller and team serve seasonally inspired, locally sourced farm-to-table fare.

Horse Headquarters – Equine Excursions –

makersmark.com

A TA S T I N G AT W O O D F O R D R E S E R V E

M A K E R’ S M A R K D I S T I L L E RY

• Minutes from

the Kentucky Horse Park • Old Friends Thoroughbred

Retirement Farm • Whispering Woods Riding Stables • Keeneland Race Course

– Unbridled Fun – • Toyota Motor Manufacturing KY, Inc. Tour • Ward Hall • Country Boy Brewing • Bourbon 30 Spirits • Antique & Specialty Shops • Georgetown & Scott County Museum • Nearby Wineries and Bourbon Distilleries • Close proximity to the Ark Encounter

15 hotels + over 80 Restaurants

Right Off

INTERSTATE

64

INTERSTATE

75

www.GeorgetownKy.com 888.863.8600

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KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

Courtesy VisitLex

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

WOODFORD RESERVE Marked by stately stone barrelhouses, three iconic copper-pot stills and a 500-foot-long gravity-fed barrel run, Woodford Reserve sits on the grounds of Kentucky’s oldest distilling site, founded in 1812. The distillery is home to one of the only heat-cycled barrelhouses in the world, meaning the temperature in the storage facility is intentionally raised or lowered by staff periodically, rather than depending on the cycles of external temperatures alone, to facilitate the aging process. The one-hour distillery tour offers an overview into the process behind Woodford’s award-winning bourbons and whiskeys; the two-hour Bourbon Legacy Tour offers a detailed history of the distillery from 1812 to today.

woodfordreserve.com

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


There’s a lot to cover when it comes to bou rbon

WILLE T T DISTILLERY

RO L L I N G B A R R E L S AT W I L L E T T D I S T I L L E RY

Independent and family-owned, Willett Distillery is in Bardstown, known as the Bourbon Capitol of the World. The distillery traces its heritage to 1936 and produces brands that include Johnny Drum, Rowan’s Creek and Willett Family Estate. The standard, guided walking tour includes a look at the main distillery room, the cistern room, the aging warehouses and more. For added insight into the craft of bourbon making, the Seasoned to Perfection Tour offers an introduction into the sensory process of aging and flavor selection.

kentuckybourbonwhiskey.com Courtesy Bardstown/Nelson Co. TCC

Whisky Magazine

2018

DISTILLER of the Year

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a destination unlike any other—and it’s an experience worth sharing. With crowd-pleasing tour guides, ample parking, and complimentary tours and tastings seven days a week, Buffalo Trace Distillery is an unforgettable experience for groups large and small. WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Read more about our tour options at

Tours.BuffaloTraceDistillery.com Contact visitorcenter@buffalotrace.com to schedule your group tour. @BUFFALOTRACE KENTUCKY 13

@BUFFALOTRACEDISTILLERY

GUIDE 113 GREAT BUFFALOGROUP TRACE,TRAVEL FRANKFORT, KY 1-800-654-8471


EVAN WILLIAMS BOURBON EXPERIENCE On historic “Whiskey Row” in downtown Louisville, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience offers an immersive introduction to the Evan Williams brand, one of Heaven Hill Distillery’s flagship bourbons. The attraction is a museum and a retail store rather than a large-scale production facility, but visitors can still learn about the distillation process here thanks to a small-scale, artisanal distillery on-site, as well as educational bourbon tastings.

evanwilliams.com E VA N W I L L I A M S B O U R B O N E X P E R I E N C E

FOUR ROSES Striking for its distinctive Spanish Mission-style architecture as well as its picturesque location on the Salt River in Lawrenceburg, Four Roses Distillery is also noteworthy for using five proprietary yeast strains with two separate mashbills, or grain recipes, in its distillation process. The variety yields 10 distinct bourbon recipes that are blended by hand to create Four Roses’ small-batch, select and single-barrel bourbons. Tours of the separate warehouse and bottling facility in Cox’s Creek are also available.

fourrosesbourbon.com B U F FA L O T R A C E D I S T I L L E RY

Courtesy Louisville Tourism Courtesy Frankfort Tourism Commission

BUFFALO TRACE Buffalo Trace offers five distinct tours of its award-winning Frankfort distillery, from standard visits to its warehouses and bottling facilities to a behind-the-scenes “hard hat” tour and a “Bourbon Pompeii” experience, which takes guests to the remnants of the 1870s-era E.H. Taylor distillery on-site. All tours are free and conclude with the opportunity to taste a sampling of the distillery’s products, which include brands such as Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Blanton’s, Elmer T. Lee and Weller. For those not yet 21, the distillery offers tastings of its Freddie’s Root Beer, named in honor of tour guide Freddie Johnson. While there, consider grabbing a bite at the distillery’s Firehouse Sandwich Stop, routinely voted to have some of the best burgoo in Kentucky.

buffalotracedistillery.com Get to know where the world’s finest bourbons are born at visitbardstown.com.

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HORSES

BLOWEN BELIEVES OLD FRIENDS ARE BEST FRIENDS BY ROBIN ROENKER

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F

or decades, former Boston Globe film critic and dabbling horse owner Michael Blowen lived a metropolitan lifestyle many would have called charmed. But it’s been in retirement, both his own and the four-legged kind, that Blowen has found his calling and his joy. In 2003, Blowen moved from Massachusetts to the rolling pastures of Georgetown, Kentucky, with his wife, Diane White, herself a former Globe columnist, to establish the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm, a special facility that offers a safe haven where former racing horses can enjoy their later years. An initiative that started with a single horse in a leased paddock has now grown to include 240 horses, a 136-acre farm and two satellite locations — one in Franklin, Kentucky, and the other in Greenfield Center, New York. Even now, after more than 16 years of operation, Blowen can hardly believe that he gets to wake up every day to enjoy the company of such famous neighbors. “The idea that I would end up with Silver Charm in my yard is just totally crazy,” Blowen said. “He’s my favorite horse of all time.” In addition to Silver Charm, the roughly 25,000 visitors who travel to Old Friends each year can enjoy meeting fellow Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion War Emblem, plus Belmont Stakes winners Sarava and Touch Gold, Santa Anita winner Game On Dude, Breeder’s Cup champions Amazombie, Little Mike and Alphabet Soup, as well as dozens of lesser-known but equally charming former racers. “We have more stakes winners than any farm in the history of horse racing,” Blowen said. “Our horses have won virtually every important race in the sport. At my age, it’s hard to be astounded, but I’m literally astounded to be surrounded by these horses every day.” Operating as a “living history museum of horse racing,” Old Friends lets visitors enjoy rare, up-close face time with some of the Thoroughbred industry’s biggest names and, sometimes even, get the chance to feed them a carrot or two. “Many people see the horses’ value in their racing lives or in the breeding shed, but I think their true value doesn’t come out until they’re retired, when people can get to know their personalities and appreciate them as unique individuals,” Blowen said. “People come here and get to pet them and appreciate these great athletes. I get a thrill out of it every day.”

M I C H A E L B L O W E N E N J O Y S G E T T I N G T O K N O W T H E H O R S E S AT O L D F R I E N D S T H O RO U G H B R E D R E T I R E M E N T FA R M.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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HORSE SENSE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK Home to many different breeds of horses, the Kentucky Horse Park offers visitors a chance to explore a real working horse farm. From draft horses in the Big Barn to elite members of the Hall of Champions, including Belmont and Preakness winner Funny Cide, to working horses on the park’s popular horseback riding trails, there’s no shortage of equines to enjoy at the park’s 1,229 acres. While there, make time to enjoy the Parade of Breeds showcase, held daily April through November. Four on-site museums, including the International Museum of the Horse and the American Saddlebred Museum, offer unique lenses through which to appreciate all things equine.

PA R A D E O F B R E E D S AT T H E K E N T U C K Y H O R S E PA R K

kyhorsepark.com

PORT OF ASHLAND STATUES

CENTRAL PARK

Courtesy KY Horse Park

CAMAYO ARCADE SPECIALTY SHOPS

DELTA BY MARRIOTT

PARAMOUNT ARTS CENTER

A Riverfront Destination with Engaging Adventures & Authentic Experiences. World Famous Statues • Scenic Hiking Trails • Central Park • Downtown Riverfront • Paramount Arts Center • Highlands Museum & Discovery Center • Floodwall Murals • Antique & Specialty Shops • Year-round Events & Performances

VisitAshlandKy.com • 800.377.6249 Northeast KY off I-64 • Gateway to KY’s Country Music Highway & Birthplace of The Judds, Billy Ray Cyrus & Jason Carter

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KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


When i n Kentuck y, go enjoy horses

KEENELAND Opened in 1936, Lexington’s Keeneland Race Course is revered for its picturesque stone clubhouse, immaculate grounds and stately saddling paddock, where racing fans enjoy gathering before the start of each live race to get a glimpse of the participating horses and their jockeys. Keeneland hosts racing meets each April and October but has become a must-visit attraction for locals and visitors year-round. Early-morning visitors can enjoy watching the horses warm up before race day, and they can grab a hearty country breakfast at the well-loved Keeneland track kitchen, where they might rub elbows with jockeys and trainers. S P R I N G M E E T AT K E E N E L A N D I N L E X I N G T O N

keeneland.com

Courtesy Keeneland Race Course

Corbin Loves Company! S

urrounded by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, Corbin is located in the outdoor adventure mecca of Kentucky, and is the perfect destination for your next group tour. Conveniently located off of I-75 at exit 25 by the shores of the beautiful and pristine Laurel Lake, Corbin is home to the Cumberland Falls, Daniel Boone National Forest, the Original KFC, Sanders Park, and the 7,000 seat Corbin Arena which hosts a variety of entertainment and different shows. Corbin is home to a host of locally owned restaurants who can accommodate large groups and satisfy any pallet. Whether you enjoy history, outdoor adventure or shopping and culinary treats, Corbin, KY can offer a variety of itineraries for your group! We cannot wait to see you ‌ Corbin Loves Company!

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

www.corbinkytourism.com 606-528-8860

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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OLD FRIENDS THOROUGHBRED RE TIREMENT FARM

CHURCHILL DOWNS

Guided, 90-minute walking tours of the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm are available via reservation. Reservations can be made online, and tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tours typically include visits with 15 or more of the farm’s retired equine residents and include insights into their racing careers and unique personalities.

Home to “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and the iconic Twin Spires, synonymous with horse racing in Kentucky since their completion in 1895, Churchill Downs is the site that draws horse racing fans’ full attention on the first Saturday in May. Though Kentucky Derby Day is the track’s marquee event, there’s plenty to see and enjoy on the grounds year-round, including frequent live racing and special events, and access to the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is open daily.

HORSE COUNTRY Horse Country makes it easier for visitors to reserve tours at many of Kentucky’s most famous horse farms, including Coolmore at Ashford Stud, seasonal home of Triple Crown winners Justify and American Pharoah, plus Claiborne Farm, Lane’s End Farm, WinStar Farm, Three Chimneys, Darby Dan and many others. In all, tours at more than 30 central Kentucky Thoroughbred industry locations are available, all through a single online reservation system. Through Horse Country, groups can set up experiences and tours at breeding facilities, equine clinics, equine nursery operations — homes to mares and their foals — Kentucky racetracks and more.

churchilldowns.com Artwork by Donia Simmons

oldfriendsequine.org

visithorsecountry.com

field

tle d Bat n o m h Ric ough Fort Boonesbor

White Hall Sta te Park

RICHMOND where history meets hospitality

RICHMONDKYTOURISM.COM

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RED MILE For a different horse racing experience, groups can visit Lexington’s Red Mile to witness harness racing, where horses pull their jockeys trailing two-wheeled carts. Founded in 1875, the Red Mile, named originally for its one-mile, red-clay track, is one of the oldest and most revered harness racing venues in the nation. Stakes races are typically held on select dates between July and October. On-site gaming, via slotlike historical racing machines, is available year-round.

redmileky.com

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


FOOD

DEDMAN BALANCES TRADITION AND TRAIL-BLAZING BY ROBIN ROENKER

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he Beaumont Inn, which is celebrating its centennial in 2019, has been a revered dining and lodging destination in Harrodsburg since Dixon Dedman’s great-great grandparents first established the business in 1919. “We like to think the Beaumont Inn is a bit of a Kentucky icon,” said Dedman, who is the fifth generation of his family to help run the business. The Beaumont Inn operates out of a historic former school for girls constructed in 1845. Generations of Kentuckians have made it their go-to destination for celebrating life’s happy occasions, from engagements and anniversaries to birthdays and retirements, thanks to its reputation for serving classics with a side of Southern hospitality. “Our menu changes seasonally,” Dedman said. “We’re very active in local flavors and local ingredients. But for 100 years, the mainstay in our restaurant has been our fried chicken and country ham, along with other favorites like our corn pudding.” In addition to the Main Dining Room, the inn also includes two options for more casual dining: the Old Owl Tavern and the Owl’s Nest. Beaumont Inn’s long commitment to culinary excellence earned it a James Beard Foundation American Classics Award in 2015. Recently, Dedman has been able to weave another thread of his family’s heritage into the Beaumont Inn story thanks to his resurrection of his family’s pre-Prohibition bourbon brand, Kentucky Owl, in 2014. “I was born and raised to have a deep understanding and appreciation for history and legacy, and taking pride in not only your work but also your reputation,” Dedman said. “It’s very cool to be able to have two very storied brands in our family and to be able to represent them both.” Dedman said he enjoys being on the front lines of the hospitality industry, especially in the heart of Kentucky’s bourbon country, because it offers him a chance to greet visitors from across the country, many of whom are experiencing Kentucky’s Southern charm for the first time. “I just love talking to people about the nature of Kentucky — the generosity and the hospitality and the genuineness of people here,” he said. “Our guests often comment on how kind everyone is here,” he said. “It makes you proud to be a Kentuckian.”

D I X O N D E D M A N G R E E T S G U E S T S AT H I S FA M I LY ’ S C E N T U RY- O L D B E A U M O N T I N N.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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PULL

UP A

CHAIR

BROWN HOTEL A Louisville landmark since 1923, the grand Brown Hotel has hosted generations of guests drawn to its Georgian Revival elegance and sophisticated Southern charm. Famous as the birthplace of the Kentucky Hot Brown, a signature state dish that features an open-faced turkey sandwich typically served with bacon, tomatoes and Mornay sauce, the Brown Hotel’s English Grill remains one of the city’s most elegant and romantic dining options. The hotel’s J. Graham’s Café offers more casual a la carte and buffet dining, and the Lobby Bar offers an excellent venue for a craft cocktail or a bourbon flight.

brownhotel.com

T H E B RO W N H O T E L’ S FA M O U S H O T B RO W N Courtesy Louisville Tourism

Kentucky’s

Experience Frankfort Kentucky!

We are the essence of everything that makes Kentucky special. Visitfrankfort.com

Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist Commission 800-960-7200 • salesdirector@visitfrankfort.com

20 min. from Lexington • 45 min. from Louisville

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LINCOLN MUSEUM Visit historic downtown Hodgenville to experience Lincoln’s life and legacy. The collection features life-size dioramas, Civil War memorabilia, a unique artwork collection, and gift shop. Group Rates • Motorcoach Friendly Guided Tours by Appointment ADA Compliant

OPEN YEAR ROUND 66 Lincoln Square • Hodgenville, KY 42748 (270) 358-3163 www.lincolnmuseum-ky.org

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


Enjoy a Kentuck y tra d itiona l mea l

HOLLY HILL INN

H O L LY H I L L I N N

Lauded as a “gem of a restaurant” by the New York Times, the Holly Hill Inn in picturesque Midway, right in the heart of Bluegrass horse country, is owned by celebrated Kentucky chef Ouita Michel, a frequent James Beard Foundation nominee. In operation since 2001, Holly Hill specializes in fresh farm-to-table menus using locally sourced ingredients that change according to the season.

hollyhillinn.com

Courtesy Woodford Co. TC

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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PAT TI’S 1800’S SE T TLEMENT

BEAUMONT INN

Situated in quaint Grand Rivers — population under 400 — Patti’s 1800’s Settlement is a re-created historical log cabin village known far and wide for the delicious Southern-style fare served at its flagship restaurant. As the result of a fire in early 2018, the restaurant is being rebuilt and is scheduled to reopen this fall. In the meantime, the Settlement’s famous dishes, including its one-inch porch chop and Patti’s strawberry butter, are still being served on-site at the village’s Grist Mill Outdoor Café. In addition to delicious food, the Settlement offers a full day of fun thanks to an array of unique shops and boutiques, miniature golf, gem mining and more.

The Beaumont Inn, a historic bed-and-breakfast in Harrodsburg is celebrating 100 years of serving fine food and authentic Southern hospitality. The inn has three restaurants: the lauded Beaumont Inn Dining Room, the Old Owl Tavern and the Owl’s Nest pub. Dining Room specialties include Southern classics like corn pudding, country ham and fried chicken. Winner of numerous honors, including the James Beard Foundation America’s Class Award, the Beaumont Inn is routinely voted among the South’s best places to stay and dine.

pattis1880s.com

beaumontinn.com

CLAUDIA SANDERS DINNER HOUSE Built on the site of the Dinner House opened by Col. Harland Sanders and his wife, Claudia, in the late 1960s, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville is a go-to destination for classic Southern fried chicken as well as other regional favorites, including catfish, chicken and dumplings, baked country ham and the restaurant’s famed yeast rolls.

americanrestaurantshelbyville.com

EXPERIENCE ~

Explore a 3,000-acre Destination SHAKER VILLAGE OF PLEASANT HILL

KY’s First Town Rocks Its Pioneer Heritage! OLD FORT HARROD STATE PARK & SUMMER OUTDOOR THEATRE

Group-friendly activities & adventures with over 300 affordable rooms just minutes SW of Lexington. • Award-winning downtown • Beaumont Inn • Bright Leaf Golf Resort • Dixie Belle Riverboat • Dedman’s Drugstore • Lemons Mill Brewery • McAfee Jamboree • Unique Shopping/Dining • Year-round arts, cultural & music events www.HarrodsburgKY.com • 800-355-9192

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KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

CONVENIENTLY LOCATED I-64 at Exit 110 between Lexington & West Virginia

GROUP TOUR BUSES ARE WELCOME Easy access for tours of the Ruth Hunt Candy Factory, The Arts Center and Downtown Shopping and Dining. Hotels and Restaurants that can accommodate large groups.

WWW.MTSTERLINGTOURISM.COM

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


SMOKING MEAT AT MOONLITE BAR-B-Q INN

KENTUCKY CASTLE Undeniably one of the most unusual venues in the state, the Kentucky Castle looks like an authentic European-style castle complete with turrets, built right in the heart of Kentucky horse country in Versailles. Created as a private residence, the Kentucky Castle now operates as an inn and restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The menu prioritizes locally sourced ingredients and offers an array of main course options, from duck and lamb to pork and steak.

Courtesy VisitOwensboro.com

MOONLITE BAR-B-Q INN

thekentuckycastle.com T H E G O RG E O U S K E N T U C K Y C A S T L E

Routinely voted among the best barbecue restaurants in Kentucky and the South, the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn in Owensboro is known for its lunch and dinner buffet that offers an array of barbecue dishes. Guests will enjoy meat such as pulled pork, brisket and ribs, as well as countrystyle vegetables, the restaurant’s signature corn muffins and a full desert bar with fresh fruit cobblers and soft-serve ice cream.

moonlite.com Courtesy VisitLEX

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OUTDOORS TIERNEY WOWS VISITORS WITH KENTUCKY GEOLOGY BY ROBIN ROENKER

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aul Tierney has one of Kentucky’s most beautiful office views. As park naturalist at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill, Tierney gets to go to work each day and revel in Kentucky’s natural beauty — both above and below ground. Carter Caves State Park is home to more than 40 known caves, though public tours there focus primarily on the park’s largest caves: Cascade Cave, X-Cave, Saltpetre Cave and Bat Cave. During peak summer months, the park offers as many as 15 different tour types to explore them. “We have tours ranging from simple, scenic walking tours to wild tours, crawling tours, flashlight and lantern tours, and ghosts and legends tours,” said Tierney. “We try to give visitors insights on all the interesting stories and every significant aspect of those caves.” Tierney is following in the footsteps of his father, John Tierney, who was park naturalist at Carter Caves for more than 35 years. Said Paul, working at the park feels “like coming home.” As naturalist, Tierney helps develop programming and special events at the park, leads tours and generally tries to connect with visitors as much as possible to help ensure their visits to Carter Caves are meaningful and memorable. “When you see someone get it — maybe it’s seeing a bat for the first time or seeing a salamander, or understanding what it takes to make a cave — that moment is just so cool,” said Tierney, who enjoyed a 17-year career as historian at Kentucky’s Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park in Carlisle before joining the Carter Caves State Park staff in 2016. “You can lead as many as 10 cave tours a day and see hundreds of people on those tours, but if you get that one person where the light comes on and they have that ‘aha’ moment or that ‘wow, that’s so cool’ moment, that’s what it’s all about,” Tierney said. Tierney feels lucky to work in a field and a state where it’s his job to help others see the natural beauty around them. “A large part of what makes Kentucky so special is its diversity,” he said. “You’ve got the mountains in the far eastern portion of the state. And then, as you go westward, you have these huge, gorgeous prairies. The diversity that you find here is really unique. No matter what region you travel to in Kentucky, there’s something very special and beautiful to enjoy there.”

PA U L T I E R N E Y L O V E S S H A R I N G E N L I G H T E N I N G M O M E N T S W I T H V I S I T O R S T O C A R T E R C AV E S S TAT E R E S O R T PA R K .

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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SHOW STOPPERS CARTER CAVES

N AT U R A L B R I D G E S TAT E PA R K

As their name suggests, caves are the stars at Carter Caves State Park in Olive Hill, where visitors can choose from an array of cave tours, from leisurely strolls through large caverns to more adventurous “wild” cave tours. The most popular tours include treks through Cascade Cave, noted for rooms so large that dances were once held there; X-Cave, home to ornate cave formations such as the Great Chandelier, the Pipe Organ and Headache Rock; and Saltpetre Cave, used as a source of gunpowder ingredients during the War of 1812. Aboveground, the park also boasts ample opportunities for hiking on 26 miles of nature trails, as well as guided horseback riding, fishing and more.

parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/carter-caves

CUMBERLAND FALLS As one of the most visited and photographed spots in Kentucky, Cumberland Falls is known as the Niagara of the South thanks to its 125-foot-wide curtain of water that’s been a must-see destination in Corbin for generations. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding and more, and the on-site DuPont Lodge, which was completely renovated in 2006, offers 51 rooms, many overlooking the nearby Cumberland River. Visitors can dine at the lodge’s Riverview Restaurant for sweeping views of the river valley as well as hearty Southern-classic meals crafted from locally grown ingredients. For a special sight, groups may want to time their visits to the park around a scheduled appearance of a moonbow, a lunar rainbow, that forms near the falls on clear nights with a full moon.

parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/cumberland-falls M A M M O T H C AV E N AT I O N A L PA R K

Courtesy Kentucky State Parks

BERNHEIM ARBORE TUM AND RESEARCH FOREST In Clermont, roughly 30 miles south of Louisville, the 16,000-acre Bernheim Arboretum is home to over 8,000 varieties of trees, shrubs and perennials. Bernheim includes more than 40 miles of nature trails with varied difficulties to accommodate hikers and mountain bikers of all skill levels. The new “Forest Giants” exhibit, added to celebrate Bernheim’s 90th anniversary, features three large-scale giant sculptures, created by Danish artist Thomas Danbo using reclaimed wood, that greet visitors along a two-mile-long loop on the grounds. Bernheim also hosts frequent special events and eco-learning workshops, as well as guided group tours.

bernheim.org

MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK No trip to explore Kentucky’s outdoor wonders would be complete without a stop at Mammoth Cave National Park, home to the world’s longest known cave system: So far, more than 400 miles have been mapped. Groups should start their journey at the National Park Visitor Center, starting point for all cave tours. Popular ranger-led tour options include the Frozen Niagara Tour, the Historic Tour and the Domes and Dripstones Tour.

nps.gov/maca Courtesy NPS

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Kentucky’s outdoors proves what’s real is what matters

Hands-On Owensboro

Experiences

NATURAL BRIDGE One of Kentucky’s most recognizable spots, the Natural Bridge is a natural sandstone arch that spans 78 feet and stands 65 feet high in the Daniel Boone National Forest, near the Red River Gorge geologic area, a popular destination for camping, hiking, rappelling and rock climbing. At Natural Bridge State Park, visitors can hike to the famous arch or ride up on a sky lift. The state park lodge in Slade features 35 rooms, all with private balconies.

Bluegrass Instrument Lesson In The Morning

parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/ natural-bridge

Bourbon Tasting Tour In The Afternoon KENTUCKY LAKE Courtesy Kentucky State Parks

LAND BE T WEEN THE LAKES The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a designated U.S. National Recreation Area that spans some 170,000 acres in Kentucky and Tennessee between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. A lake lover’s paradise, the region offers unlimited options for water sports, fishing, boating, swimming, camping and more. Lodges are available at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, Kenlake State Resort Park in Hardin and Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park in Calvert City.

LEARN@ MORE

VISITOWENSBORO.COM

landbetweenthelakes.us

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

KENTUCKY 31 TRAVEL GUIDE Special Group Rate GROUP Pricing Available


HISTORY FUN HAS REPLACED FEUDING IN KENTUCKY’S PIKE COUNTY BY ROBIN ROENKER

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ost know it simply as “The Feud.” The legendary Hatfield and McCoy Feud’s decades of violence spilled across generations in the hills of both eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Perhaps no one knows the story more intimately than Pike County’s Bob Scott, who owns the property that once belonged to Randal McCoy and is a direct descendant of both families, though his lineage falls more heavily on the Hatfield side. Scott’s property includes the original McCoy family well site where on January 1, 1888, in an event that became known as the New Year’s Massacre, a group of Hatfields surrounded and attacked the McCoy cabin as the family slept. “The well still stands where Alifair McCoy ran for water,” Scott said. “She was shot and killed. It was pretty much the climax of the end of this feud.” The source of the hostilities, which raged from 1863 to 1891 and claimed the lives of more than a dozen family members on both sides, is debated by historians, though many point to the families’ differing allegiances during the Civil War and, later, a seminal event in 1878 when Randal McCoy accused Floyd Hatfield of stealing one of his pigs. Today, tour groups routinely visit Scott’s farm to visit the well and trace the footsteps of one of the bloodiest chapters in Kentucky’s history. Water from the well is also now the source of Scott’s new business venture, Fuel of the Feud Moonshine, produced by the Pauley Hollow Distillery. “It’s made from the same water that [the McCoys] drank from, washed dishes from and made moonshine from,” he said. Sharing the story of the feud is important to Scott, who believes it’s a key part of Kentucky’s history, one that people know about far and wide. Once, on a cruise to Istanbul, Scott struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler who had never heard of Kentucky basketball or horse racing, but knew all about the Hatfield and McCoy feud. “What we’re trying to do in Pike County now, through events like the Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days Homecoming, is promote peace, harmony and love,” Scott said. “There’s no feuding going on here anymore.”

B O B S C O T T H E L P S T R AV E L E R S U N D E R S TA N D T H E R E A L S T O RY O F T H E H AT F I E L D S AND MCCOYS.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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BLUEGRASS BLUEBLOODS ABRAHAM LINCOLN BIRTHPLACE

M Y O L D K E N T U C K Y H O M E S TAT E PA R K

O L D F O R T H A R RO D S TAT E PA R K Photos courtesy KY State Parks

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Nestled near Hodgenville, on the land where America’s future 16th president was born, the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park lets visitors retrace the earliest days of one of the country’s most revered leaders. A symbolic cabin, meant to evoke the one-room cabin in which Lincoln was born in 1809, is enshrined on the site in a neoclassical Memorial Building made from Connecticut granite and Tennessee marble with columns inspired from ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The 56 stairs leading up to the building represent Lincoln’s 56 years of life, and the 16 windows represent the numerical order of his presidency. Visitors can take a short stroll from the memorial to view the property’s still visible Sinking Spring, likely a key reason the Lincolns selected the hillside as the location for their cabin.

nps.gov/abli

HATFIELDS & MCCOYS FEUD TOUR Visitors interested in tracing the path of America’s most notorious feud will find many spots of interest in Pike County, including the McCoy homeplace, the Hatfield Hog Trial Cabin and the HatfieldMcCoy Monument. A driving tour is available through the Pike County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

tourpikecounty.com

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H istor y ha s been good to Kentuck y

OLD FORT HARROD STATE PARK

MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME

In Harrodsburg, Old Fort Harrod State Park features a full-scale replica of the fort built there by James Harrod in 1774. Modest wood cabins and blockhouses are outfitted with furnishings and tools of the era to offer visitors a sense of what an early settlement village would have been like. Costumed interpreters frequently lead demonstrations on skills such as blacksmithing, broom- and soap-making and other key pioneer skills. The park also includes a nearby Mansion Museum located in a Federalist-style, early-1800s-era home on the property. Inside, visitors can view a collection that includes Native American objects, Civil War-era artifacts, antique firearms and more.

In Bardstown, guests can tour Federal Hill, the historic mansion that inspired Stephen Foster’s classic melody “My Old Kentucky Home,” which has served as the state song of Kentucky since 1928. First published in 1853, the song references vignettes seen during one of Foster’s visits to the Bardstown plantation, now the site of My Old Kentucky Home State Park and the long-running, popular outdoor summer musical “The Steven Foster Story.” Tours of the home offer a glimpse into antebellum life in the South, and the musical tells the story of Foster himself, who also penned American musical classics including “Oh! Susanna,” “Beautiful Dreamer,” “Old Folks at Home (Swanee River),” “Camptown Races” and many more.

parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/fort-harrod

parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/old-ky-home

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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MUSIC

WHEN IT COMES TO BLUEGRASS, SAM’S THE MAN BY ROBIN ROENKER

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rowing up on a farm outside of Bowling Green, Sam Bush was surrounded by music. “My father played the fiddle and a little bit of mandolin, and my mother played guitar,” said Bush, long one of the country’s most celebrated bluegrass musicians. “I was lucky to grow up in a household where music was loved and encouraged.” By the age of 11, Bush had picked up the mandolin himself, adding fiddle by 13 and guitar whenever he was lucky enough to sneak his sister’s instrument out of her room. By the age of 15, he was named the U.S. national junior fiddle champion, a title he went on to claim three years in a row. Bush’s early music influences included mandolin greats Bill Monroe and Jethro Burns and fiddlers Tommy Jackson and Byron Berline, but also, equally, rock guitarists Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. After high school, he got a gig with a band called the Bluegrass Alliance in Louisville, then split off to form his deeply influential, progressive group New Grass Revival, which performed together between 1971 and 1989 and is credited for creating an entirely new genre of bluegrass dubbed “Newgrass.” In the decades since, Bush has enjoyed a highly productive solo career, partnering with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Bela Fleck and now his own Sam Bush Band. As one of the leading figures in bluegrass for more than four decades, Bush has his share of accolades, including four Mandolin Player of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award and, perhaps his favorite honor of all, a spot in the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. “To be included in the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, you can’t imagine how good that feels,” said Bush, who is based now in Nashville but gets back to Kentucky often. “Another time I was honored on the Kentucky State Senate floor, and, of course, growing up a kid from a tobacco farm, I never thought I’d be in that room. It was pretty overwhelming.” Bush’s talent continues to place him at the top of his industry. His Sam Bush Band received nominations for both Entertainer of the Year and Instrumental Group of the Year at this year’s IBMA awards, and he was nominated again as Mandolin Player of the Year. Part of what keeps him going strong is knowing that each time he picks up his instrument, he’s helping share a little piece of Kentucky with the world. “As part of being a Kentuckian, just the word bluegrass is a magical word to me, and it always has been,” he said. “As much as anything, the word does mean our heritage and our state. To be thought of within that framework is a pretty great goal to have achieved.”

K E N T U C K Y N AT I V E S A M B U S H H A S B E E N A N AT I O N A L L E A D E R I N B L U E G R A S S M U S I C I N N O VAT I O N.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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AUTHENTIC MUSIC RENFRO VALLEY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER Located in Renfro Valley, just off Interstate 75, the historic Renfro Valley Entertainment Center has welcomed fans of country music, bluegrass and Southern gospel since its founding in 1939. The 90-acre complex includes two show theaters, two recreational vehicle parks and a shopping village. Travel packages for motorcoaches and large groups are available. Upcoming headliner concerts include Tanya Tucker and Trace Adkins, as well as the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas concert.

renfrovalley.com

KENTUCKY MUSIC HALL OF FAME Located in Mount Vernon, just minutes from the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame opened in 2002 and now features more than 50 inductees. Exhibits there celebrate Kentucky natives or musicians with Kentucky roots from across all genres of music: Loretta Lynn, Sam Bush, John Michael Montgomery, Naomi and Wynonna Judd, Rosemary Clooney, the Everly Brothers and many more. Visitors can also learn about the history of Kentucky music generally, from its earliest roots in the 1800s to today.

kentuckymusichalloffame.com

R E N F RO VA L L E Y

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

BLUEGRASS MUSIC HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM In Owensboro, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum tells the story of the genre that’s synonymous with Kentucky through exhibits that celebrate the musicians and artifacts that have played key roles in its development and popularity. Self-guided tours offer access to permanent collections, rotating exhibits and the Hall of Fame itself. Galleries include “Sources of Bluegrass Music,” “Dawn of the Bluegrass Era” and “Modern Roots and Branches,” offering a comprehensive look at where bluegrass started and where it’s going.

bluegrasshall.org

COUNTRY MUSIC HIGHWAY MUSEUM

K E N T U C K Y M U S I C H A L L O F FA M E The Country Music Highway Museum, on U.S. 23 in Staffordsville, Kentucky, features more than a dozen exhibits showcasing memorabilia from the many country music stars that hail from portions of Kentucky near U.S. 23, dubbed the state’s “Country Music Highway.” Among the artists spotlighted at the museum are Lynn, Gayle, Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tom T. Hall, Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless and The Judds. Every Thursday, the museum hosts live bluegrass music and dancing as part of its Front Porch Pickin’ concert series.

paintsvilletourism.com Courtesy KY Music Hall of Fame

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I n Kentuck y, bel ieve what you hea r

LORE T TA LYNN HOMESTEAD Fans of the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” will want to make a pilgrimage to see her childhood home of Butcher Holler in Van Lear, just north of Pikeville. Visitors can tour the cabin in which she and her sister, fellow singer Crystal Gayle, grew up and view authentic artifacts such as the family’s original washboard and porch swing. Groups can also stop at nearby Webb’s General Store, run by members of Lynn’s family, for sandwiches and souvenirs.

tourpikecounty.com L O R E T TA LY N N H O M E S T E A D AT B U T C H E R H O L L E R Courtesy Paintsville Tourism

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KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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ART

A CREATIVE LIFE BEGINS AT 50 BY ROBIN ROENKER

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urning 50 was the moment when Kristin Williams knew she was ready for a new adventure. The former economic development specialist decided to put her lifelong love of art and crafting into a business that could become a haven for other creative types. The result was Ephemera Paducah, now going into its sixth year. The shop routinely brings in nationally renowned art instructors to lead workshops and art retreats on an array of mixed media, from fiber crafts to painting to stained glass and more. “Ninety-five percent of my students at these retreats come from at least three hours away,” said Williams, who also offers an active schedule of one-day workshops popular with local and regional visitors. Now that the business is booming, Williams knows she picked the perfect spot to celebrate her own creative streak — and foster others’. “We’re in Paducah, where the National Quilt Museum attracts tens of thousands of quilters each year,” she said. “For a whole community of creatives, Paducah has become their happy place. They come here for our classes and to visit the museum five or six times a year. They want to be here as much as they can.” As someone who’s spent a lifetime playing with felt, yarn, glitter, paper and paint, Williams loves playing such an active role in sharing Kentucky’s creative side with visitors. “I want my classes to be fun,” she said. “We provide chocolate. I bring in lunch, and we eat on a lovely patio. Our class sizes are kept small — to no more than 24 — so participants get to know the teachers.” Being part of Paducah’s vibrant, thriving arts scene has also been a thrill. “When people come here, they’re always surprised by all the fine dining, great shopping and cultural things we have to do,” she said. “Paducah’s a lovely town, and it always shows so well.”

K R I S T I N W I L L I A M S H E L P S T R AV E L E R S D I S C O V E R T H E I R I N N E R A R T I S T S AT E P H E M E R A PA D U C A H.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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BE ORIGINAL KENTUCKY ARTISAN CENTER The 25,000-square-foot Kentucky Artisan Center offers a rich array of crafts and fine art for sale and routinely displays special exhibits of Kentucky artists’ work. Guests can browse and shop from among a wide selection of media that includes crafted glass, metal, jewelry, ceramics, fiber and paper crafts, specialty foods, painting, photographs and more. While in Berea, visitors may also want to make time to enjoy the downtown area, home to a thriving community of artists. The city’s Artisan Village makes it easy to stroll and explore art shops and studios.

kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov visitberea.com

Courtesy Louisville Tourism

J O S E P H I N E S C U L P T U R E PA R K Courtesy Frankfort TC

SPEED ART MUSEUM

JOSEPHINE SCULPTURE PARK

As Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum, the Speed Art Museum in Louisville houses a permanent collection that represents some 6,000 years of human creativity. With masterpieces across all genres, from Native American, European and American masterworks to a rich collection of Kentucky-made furnishings and cutting-edge examples of contemporary art, the museum offers something for everyone. Guided group tours are available with three weeks’ notice. Upcoming exhibitions include “Tales From the Turf: The Kentucky Horse,” set to run November 15, 2019, through March 1, 2020.

A unique, 20-acre outdoor exhibit space, Josephine Sculpture Park showcases art as it intersects with nature. The Frankfort park is open for self-guided tours year-round, from dawn till dusk. Guests are invited to touch and even climb on many of the exhibits. Launched in 2009 by founder Melanie VanHouten, who named the park in honor of her grandmother, the park hosts frequent special events, including an annual Fall Arts Festival that features an array of artists demonstrating their creative processes and techniques and that is fun for the whole family.

speedmuseum.org

KENTUCKY FOLK ART CENTER

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SPEED ART MUSEUM

josephinesculpturepark.org

UNIVERSIT Y OF KENTUCKY ART MUSEUM

On the campus of Morehead State University, the Kentucky Folk Art Center houses a permanent collection of roughly 1,400 pieces of art, from carved, whimsical wooden figures to drawings, paintings, mixed-media works and more, all created by self-taught artists. The museum’s secondfloor gallery also hosts an array of rotating exhibits each year that showcase fine art, textiles and photography by noted regional artists. The center is open Monday through Saturday, and admission is free.

On the campus of the state’s flagship public university in Lexington, the University of Kentucky Art Museum is home to a collection of more than 4,800 objects. The museum includes works by both American and European artists and spans a diverse mix of genres, from painting and sculpture to prints, photographs and decorative arts. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of university holidays, and admission is free.

moreheadstate.edu

finearts.uky.edu/art-museum

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Kentuck y’s a rts venues featu re native bri l l ia nce

NATIONAL QUILT MUSEUM

EPHEMERA PADUCAH

Every year, the 27,000-square-foot National Quilt Museum in downtown Paducah welcomes more than 100,000 visitors representing all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, all of them drawn to the facility to see some of the world’s most beautiful and intricate quilts. The museum’s exhibits rotate frequently, as many as 10 times per year, so each visit to its galleries is different. The museum also hosts frequent educational workshops, as well as its popular annual Spring and Fall Quilt Weeks, with special events, vendor malls, workshops and more, each April and September.

Home to a host of art workshops, from watercolor painting and needle felting to art journaling, collaging and more, Ephemera Paducah has become a go-to destination for creative types searching for single-day workshops or more extensive destination art retreats. For longer workshops, food is typically provided, and the studio space can typically accommodate up to 24 students at a time. For a weekend getaway, small groups of up to eight people can rent The Loft @ Ephemera, a fully outfitted apartment studio suitable for a private art retreat.

quiltmuseum.org

ephemerapaducah.com

Creativity. Heritage.

Experience.

Creativity is the common thread that connects people from around the world to Paducah, Kentucky’s rich American heritage and globally-celebrated culture. Create an itinerary with our collection of new and immersive tours, performances and hands-on Paducah Signature Experiences exclusively for groups!

Paducah Signature Experience: “A Creative Stitch” at the National Quilt Museum PCVB-HALFpg-2019GROUPTRVL.indd 1

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

For more event planning and group-friendly resources, visit Paducah.travel/groups 1-800-PADUCAH 9/10/19 10:35 AM

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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EVENTS TAYLOR WELCOMES GUESTS TO A KENTUCKY ROMP BY ROBIN ROENKER

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lenn Taylor Jr. is a serious music festival fan. “My wife and I are really into music,” said Taylor, who has traveled with his wife and young daughter in an RV to enjoy music festivals across the country. “We’ve been to probably more than 200 festivals and more concerts than I can count.” One festival, though, is his favorite: The Romp Festival, held annually in his hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. Entering its 17th year in 2020, the yearly festival, hosted by the Bluegrass Music Museum and Hall of Fame, celebrates the “roots and branches” of bluegrass music, bringing top-tier headlining acts to Owensboro’s Yellow Creek Park including Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Del McCoury and others. Taylor’s family business, Glenn Funeral Home, is one of the sponsors of the annual Romp Festival, and he personally enjoys volunteering on the “Street Team” for the event, helping with preevent marketing, passing out drinks to volunteers during the event and offering other logistical support. Mostly, though, he loves reveling in the great music and unique community that develops at the festival year after year. “The music is so important, first and foremost,” he said. “But the energy and the vibe and the feeling of family at Romp is so important to that festival. When you come to Romp, as soon as you cross into those gates, you’re part of a new family.” Over the years, Taylor has enjoyed sets by well-known musicians such as Vince Gill and Steve Martin, who performed alongside the Steep Canyon Rangers. He’s also seen up-and-coming performers like Billy Strings grow and evolve through repeated appearances on the Romp Stage. “Billy Strings is an incredibly talented, energetic performer who is one of the artists kind of stretching bluegrass music into different genres,” Taylor said. “As I’ve watched him perform year after year, seeing his growth has been wonderful.” Still, Taylor says the best part of the Romp Festival has been watching it grow from a young, startup event to achieve status as one of the premier bluegrass festivals in the nation. “Having been to so many festivals across the country, getting to watch this one grow in my own backyard in a town that I’m so proud of, has been amazing,” Taylor said. “It brings light to bluegrass music, to Owensboro itself and to Kentucky.”

G L E N N TAY L O R J R . B R I N G S H I S L O V E O F L I V E M U S I C T O H I S V O L U N T E E R W O R K F O R T H E RO M P F E S T I VA L I N O W E N S B O RO.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

Courtesy KY Dept. of Tourism

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CIRCLE

THE SE

DATES!

GREAT AMERICAN BRASS BAND FESTIVAL

S T. J A M E S C O U R T A R T S H O W

ROMP FESTIVAL

Each June, the city of Danville, Kentucky, welcomes big band, jazz and military band aficionados from across the country, as well as some of the best brass bands from around the world, for its annual Great American Brass Band Festival, a four-day extravaganza that includes dozens of outdoor concerts, as well as a picnic, a hot-air-balloon race and a parade.

Held in Owensboro each June and sponsored by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Romp Festival celebrates “the roots and branches” of bluegrass through a series of headliner concerts with some of the biggest names in the genre. Past performers have included Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Patty Loveless and Sam Bush. The festival also includes musician-led workshops and lots of opportunities for bluegrass jam sessions.

gabbf.org

rompfest.com

Courtesy Louisville Tourism

KENTUCKY BOURBON FESTIVAL Held in Bardstown, the self-proclaimed Bourbon Capital of the World, the third week of each September, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival annually draws some 50,000 visitors to central Kentucky to enjoy bourbon tastings, free music concerts, workshops on the history and science of distillation, and more.

K E N T U C K Y B O U R B O N F E S T I VA L Courtesy KY Bourbon Festival

kybourbonfestival.com

COVINGTON OKTOBERFEST AT MAINSTRASSE VILLAGE An annual favorite since 1979, the Oktoberfest at MainStrasse Village in Covington, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati, celebrates the region’s rich German heritage with a street festival and an array of vendors selling German food, music, art and beer.

mainstrasse.org

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KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM


Groups get festive in the Bluegrass State

TOURS START AT 9 AM

ST. JAMES COURT ART SHOW Held each year in Louisville during the first weekend in October, the St. James Court Art Show is a long-running, juried fine-art-and-crafts show that annually draws more than 700 artists from around the country. Held in St. James Court, a neighborhood of historic, Victorian-era homes in Old Louisville, the street festival showcases arts and crafts of all types, from painting and jewelry to fiber works, pottery, woodworks and stained glass, and is annually voted among the best art festivals in the country.

stjamescourtartshow.com

W O R L D C H I C K E N F E S T I VA L Courtesy World Chicken Festival

WORLD CHICKEN FESTIVAL

a well

crafted experience

To experience authentic Kentucky, spend a day in ShelbyKY for stables, tables and designer labels. You will wish you planned for a few more days. See what you’re missing at VisitShelbyKY.com

Visitors to the World Chicken Festival, held each September in London, can enjoy fried chicken from the World’s Largest Stainless Steel Skillet, which has served more than 120,000 chicken dinners since 1992. The three-day festival, launched to celebrate the region’s ties to the origins of both Kentucky Fried Chicken and Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, also includes midway rides and carnival games, craft and food vendors, concerts, a parade and much more.

SHELBYVILLE . SIMPSONVILLE . KY

chickenfestival.com

Located between Louisville and Lexington.

WWW.KENTUCKYTOURISM.COM

KENTUCKY GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE

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Views matched only by the experience.

KentuckyTourism.com

Profile for The Group Travel Leader, Inc.

2020 Kentucky Group Travel Guide  

Kentucky storytellers from many walks of life welcome group travelers to experience the best of the Bluegrass State.

2020 Kentucky Group Travel Guide  

Kentucky storytellers from many walks of life welcome group travelers to experience the best of the Bluegrass State.

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