10 things to do in and around Frankfurt

It’s the height of summer and with gas prices soaring, you might be looking to take some trips around the state to save some money. Fortunately, Kentucky is home to many hidden gems, including a host of locations, some within an hour of Louisville, in the Frankfort area.

Besides being the state capital of Kentucky and a place that holds some of Kentucky’s oldest history, Frankfort is also home to pioneer Daniel Boone’s grave, Kentucky State University and a business district. historical. From a four-generation owned-and-operated chocolate factory and museum steeped in Kentucky history to a bourbon boat tour showing the history of the state’s iconic spirits industry (and ghosts!), La Frankfurt city is a unique travel destination with rich heritage and architecture.

Here are 10 things to do and see in the Frankfurt area:

113 Great Buffalo Trace, buffalotracedistillery.com

Through the challenges of floods, fires, tornadoes and even Prohibition, the American family business Buffalo Trace Distillery never compromised. His tireless dedication to respecting the past while innovating without fear for the future has served the distillery well for over two centuries. No matter the challenge, the folks at Buffalo Trace have been part of the story that shaped America and the spirits industry. Explore 200 years of history along the Bourbon Trail with a tour, where tours and tastings are always free. Registration is recommended at buffalotracedistillery.com/visit-us.html

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325 Ann Street, capitalcitymuseum.com

Explore more than 200 years of politics, architecture and daily life in Frankfurt. Located across from the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Capital City Hall Museum is in the heart of downtown Frankfurt. The museum is accessible to people with disabilities and coach parking is available next to the museum. Admission is free and you can visit on your own. Join the Capital City Museum for an interactive journey through time exploring the history of Frankfort and Franklin County. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Several tours are offered and tickets are available at capitalcitymuseum.com/tours.html

4445 McCracken Pike, castleandkey.com/

The Castle & Key Distillery landscape was created by Jon Carloftis, who helped bring back the facility's sunken garden, which was lost for decades to overgrowth after the Old Taylor Distillery was abandoned for more than 40 years after its closure.  Two owners, Wes Murry and Will Arvin, purchased the 113-acre property outside of the city of Frankfort, Ky in 2014. The cost is $30 and takes about two hours.

The buildings and grounds of the ‘Old Taylor’ distillery, abandoned for decades, were crumbling and giving way to nature when Will Arvin and Wes Murry bought it in 2014 and Castle & Key was born. Castle & Key, which spans 113 acres on the outskirts of Frankfort near Millville, uses local ingredients to inspire its products and everything sold is picked from carefully selected grains. In March of this year, he released his first bourbon. Open Thursday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Join Castle and Key for tours and other series by purchasing a ticket at app.anyroad.com/carolineb.

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Located at the northern city limits off US 127/Holmes St., frankfortparksandrec.com/Parks/Cove_Spring

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This nature park/preserve includes approximately 240 acres of wetlands, streams, springs, waterfalls, wooded ravines, and other natural and historic features. Open from 8:00 a.m. to dusk, the park is intended for activities such as walking, hiking, nature observation, environmental education, picnicking and other passive activities. Purchase a shelter or pavilion at secure.rec1.com/KY/frankfort-ky/catalog.

116 E. 2nd St., rebeccaruthonline.com

Bourbon scoops sit on the counter at Rebecca Ruth Candy in Frankfort, Kentucky.  Invented by Ruth Booe in 1938, the original bourbon ball is the most popular item sold by Rebecca Ruth Candy, with over three million sales per year.  February 1, 2022

No trip to the Frankfort area would be complete without a stop at Rebecca Ruths, known for investing in the Kentucky delicacy, the Ball of the Bourbons. Invented by Ruth Booe in 1938, it is still the most popular candy served at the Chocolate Factory. The famous Bourbon Ball candy consists of a creamy bourbon center with the kick of real bourbon, covered in dark chocolate and topped with a Southern pecan. Now a fourth generation Kentucky Proud family business, At Rebecca Ruth’s, is pleased to serve its customers with the same time-tested recipes and candy-making techniques taught by Ruth Booe. Visit the factory to learn about the candy-making process and its century-old history. Visits take place from Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in 30-minute increments. Schedule a visit to rebeccaruthonline.com.

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1 Athlete Alley, fw.ky.gov/Education

Laurie Davidson, director of the Salato Wildlife Education Center, is remembered for treating everyone - visitors, colleagues and media representatives - the same: with a courteous, friendly and infectious demeanor.

The Salato Wild Life Education Center features indoor and outdoor exhibits including live bees, Kentucky snakes, hot water aquarium, alligator snapping turtle, bald eagles, bison, black bears, elk, deer, turkeys, bobcats, Waystation monarchs, etc. Hiking trails and fishing lakes are also available as well as picnic tables with charcoal grills. Book your tickets at app.fw.ky.gov/SOTS

243 West Broadway St. serafinifrankfort.com

Rejoin by Serafini on the historic St. Clair Mall, across from the Old State Capitol, for an intimate meal in the dining room, or for a special event or celebration in one of the private party rooms. Serafini’s creates dinner and lunch specialties using local ingredients ranging from filet mignon cognac and chicken lasagna to pesto and fried catfish, combining the best of Italy with the culinary traditions of the southern Kentucky. Serafini’s is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Kentucky River View Park, located at approximately 600 Wilkinson Blvd, adventurecentral.com

The barrels seem to be rolling non-stop at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Enjoy the only “Nightfallcruise offered on the Bourbon Boat and learn about the murders and spirits that live on the Kentucky River. Some of these spirits are “Spirit Spirits”, meaning they come from the Bourbon world, including the ghost of Colonel Buffalo Trace’s Albert Blanton who still roams the halls of his famous Warehouse H. Or Margaretta Varick, the ghost of the Gray Lady, who can be seen descending the steps of historic Liberty Hall. You might also hear the History of the Murders at the Historic Singing Bridge Tour is offered Fridays at 8 p.m., tickets can be purchased at adventurecentral.com.

5711 McCracken Pike, kentuckyprojects.wixsite.com/thestaveky

A Kentucky Bourbon Trail restaurant and bourbon bar on the bank of Glenn’s Creek, featuring Kentucky-inspired cuisine, a full bar with specialty cocktails, and a beautiful covered patio. Conveniently located (within 4 miles) between Woodford Reserve Distillery, Glenns Creek Distillery and the new Castle & Key Distillery on McCracken Pike. Enjoy a beautiful Kentucky day at The scopeopen Sunday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

100 W. Broadway, history.ky.gov/visit/thomas-d-clark-center-for-kentucky-history

C-130s fly over the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.  The aerial demonstration is part of Operation American Resolve, a national tribute to all who support COVID-19 response efforts.

This multimillion-dollar center of learning and research attracts curious tourists, genealogists, and scholars who want to deepen their understanding of Kentucky’s rich heritage. The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History includes interactive exhibits that tell the stories of Kentuckians, from its prehistoric inhabitants to modern leaders. The center also offers tours of the Old Capitol, a National Historic Landmark, and the Kentucky Military History Museum. Reservations are recommended for large group tours. The center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Purchase your tickets at secure.kentucky.gov/formservices/KHS/OnlineAdmissions

Reach reporter Genesis Malone at [email protected]

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