Trip Advisor Says These Are the Top Ten ‘Hidden Gems’ in Kentucky
Although gas prices are soaring, I would still wager that you'll want to plan SOME sort of getaway when spring arrives. It's times like these that give rise to the return of concepts like the "staycation."
Maybe you already have that handled. Maybe you already have made plans with the family and are all set to take off. But you may also have no idea what to do and are waiting for the light bulb over your head to come on.
Well, here I am with the light bulb courtesy of Trip Advisor, the reliable online tool for all of us who venture away from home and need the best tips about where to eat, where to be entertained, and so on.
But what about vague (but no less important) categories that might not occur to you? The folks at Trip Advisor have you covered there, too.
They have taken the ratings of what they classify as "hidden gems" in Kentucky and have come up with the top ten. I'm kind of excited about this because I love "uncovering" hidden gems.
10. KENTUCKY ARTISAN CENTER AT BEREA
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is "where everything is made in Kentucky." Who am I to argue? Seriously though, this place is so cool and so good for the Commonwealth and its vast array of artists. You see, the Artisan Center purchases the works of artists from Kentucky to resell them. Good for Kentucky business; good for tourists.
9. BEREA PINNACLES
After a visit to the Kentucky Artisan Center, maybe you'll want to stretch your legs and get a little therapeutic exercise in. Head to the Berea Pinnacles for an invigorating hike through some of the most beautiful terrain Kentucky has to offer.
8. WOODFORD RESERVE DISTILLERY
At the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, you can book tours and tastings; you can enjoy the outside bar (weather willing); you can pick up something at the gift shop for whoever was unfortunate enough to miss the trip, and I hear you can experience some mighty tasty bourbon.
7. BARTON 1792 DISTILLERY
What? Are you SURPRISED distilleries appear on this list? My only question is why they're classified as hidden. Well anyway, the Barton 1792 Distillery is easily located in Bardstown and is Kentucky's oldest fully-operating distillery. It is quite a facility, with more than 51 buildings on site all with the purpose of bringing the world some mighty fine bourbon.
6. SWOPE'S CARS OF YESTERYEAR MUSEUM
I'm a kid in a candy store when surrounded by luxurious classic automobiles like the beauties you'll find at Swope's Cars of Yesteryear Museum. Vintage cars, in mint condition, from the early 1900s through the 1960s is what you'll find when you tour Swope's. I have a special fondness for the blue 1969 Camaro hardtop with the black racing stripe.
5. CUMBERLAND FALLS STATE RESORT PARK
I've been to Cumberland Falls State Park. It is gorgeous. You bring your own RV or stay in on-site cabins--even ones that float. But I bet you'll spend a lot of time just staring at the waterfall.
4. PURPLE TOAD WINERY
For the longest time, I thought you had to go to California for a great winery experience. Well, I was wrong. I actually did a TOUR of wineries in western New York in 2013, and I'm not really a wine drinker. But you don't have to be to enjoy a visit, and Kentucky has a lot of great choices, like Purple Toad, for instance. Located in Paducah, Purple Toad has been around since 1998. And while tours are not currently being offered due to COVID--as per the winery's website--I don't imagine that will last very long. It'll make for a great afternoon.
3. WILLETT DISTILLING COMPANY
To be honest, I've never heard of the Willett Distillery in Bardstown. But they welcome a lot of traffic during touring times and distill twelve different brands of whisky or bourbon.
2. CONRAD-CALDWELL HOUSE MUSEUM
One of my oldest friends in the world used to live on St. James Court in Louisville. Every house on the street is incredibly beautiful but so enormous that they've been divided into individual apartments. Not the Conrad-Caldwell House, though. It's a museum and a haunted one, at that.
1. THE NATIONAL QUILT MUSEUM
The top of the list is all warm and comfy AND another entry from Paducah. I don't know how many times I've seen the billboards for the National Quilt Museum, but it's always seemed to be when the place is closed. I'll need to make a more concentrated effort. The quilts you see on the website are beautiful. And there are always special exhibits. But please resist the urge to take a nap.
I have always kept Trip Advisor handy while traveling. I mean I could Google "things to do in (insert city/state here)" all day long, but why?
Safe travels, everyone.