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St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Fremont, California
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St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

We are at the very early stage of planning a trip to this area in October. We just received an invitation to a wedding in Cincinatti which we will be going to.

At this place we are at the very very early stage of planning a car trip from St. Louis to Cincinnati and back. We will have about a week and a half to two weeks. We have seen the cave area of Kentucky (Mammoth Caves), Ft.Knox, and Churchill Downs/Louisville last trip , and want to spend more time at the horse farms and bourbon trail area of Kentucky. We also may want to spend 3 days or so in Branson (or come up with an alternative suggestion).We are not interested in Indiana (have spent lots of time there as we have Indiana relatives who will be at the wedding - last time went to the Indi 500)

At this stage, I am looking at web sites, travel guides, and so forth.

I would like to get your ideas about what also to start exploring to include in this trip. Thanks.I will also be posting on the individual state/city forums as I get further along with planning our route.

Right now i am the early "idea" stage.....so all ideas are welcome! Thanks.

One rough idea I have (open to change entirely)....

Friday: Fly from San Francisco to St. Louis; rent a car and either stay overnight in St. Louis or drive to Branson. (Note: We have spent 5 days in St. Louis before so have seen the major attractions in the area - including doing the arch, river boat trip, and so forth).

Saturday: Branson (if in St. Louis for the night, drive to Branson in morning)

Sunday; Branson

Monday: Branson

Tuesday: Drive half way to Lexington, Kentucky -Suggestions of a good mid way point. Thanks.

Wednesday: Complete drive to Lexington. Dinner out in Lexington.

Thursday: Bourbon Trail

Friday: Lexington Horse Farm in Morning; drive to Cincinatti mid to late afternoon.

Saturday; Wedding in Cincinatti

Sunday: Drive from Cincinatti to ???? - Some interesting midway point to St. Louis

Monday: St. Louis

Tuesday: Flight back to San Francisco

Or should we just skip Branson this trip and explore?????

Your ideas (all) are welcome. Thanks.

Illinois
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1. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Mini, Have you ever heard of Shaker VIllage? It's an interesting place to visit, have a meal, or even spend the night in restored buildings. It's only 25 miles southwest of Lexington and is a very peaceful place.

http://www.shakervillageky.org/

An interesting midway point between Cincinnati and St. Louis is Parke County. It is in Indiana though! The covered bridge festival is between October 14 and October 23. I haven't been to the festival, but I've heard good things about it. Turkey Run State Park is gorgeous during the fall. It's a popular place to canoe and hike.

parkecounty.com/index.php/covered_bridge_fes…

http://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/

Fremont, California
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2. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Thanks - I've been thinking of having dinner and seeing Shakers Village. We did not get to it last time we were in Kentucky - thanks for reminding me. The covered bridge festival also sounds interesting. Thanks.

If you have more thoughts on ideas for this trip, appreciate it very much.

Uden, The...
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3. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

We did not make a roundtrip from St. Louis but drove from Maysville KY to Frankfort for its State Capitol (lovely location) and some of the Bourbon Trail. We payed a visit to Four Roses although some had said that it's not the best place for that. We enjoyed though. The drives through Kentucky were lovely. We stayed at the Caves for a couple of days and made our way to St. Louis via New Harmony in IN. New Harmony was a pleasant surprise and there's a fantastic visitor center. The drive through Illinois was uneventful but fast.

In St. Louis we did the obvious things like the Arch but also went to Cahokia Mounds, Il.

The drive to Branson from St. Louis almost took all day but we went on the byways all the time. Visited Elephant Rock SP and some more places. Made slow but scenic drives. In Branson we stayed 3 nights in an upmarket resort called Marriott Willow Ridge Lodge. marriott.com/hotels/… because we could get a good deal. Actually we came to Branson to relax and we didnot visit a show. Around Branson we made some nice short drives. Went to Tulsa after that.

We did this trip begin of october 2010. Low season in Branson and ample lodging but the main road was still busy as always.

Tet

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4. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Tet14 - thanks, very helpful.

Buenos Aires
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5. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Mimi,

Other things I remember fondly from my days in KY (besides those already suggested) are Harrodsburg and also a boat tour on Kentucky River. Depending on your interests, a visit to Keeneland, to a historic house (Ashland, Mary Todd's, etc) or to the cemetery could be included while in Lexington.

Beaufort, South...
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6. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Some notes on Kentucky...

I agree with Almatur that a visit to Keeneland on a race day is well worth your while - Keeneland is more attractive than Churchill Downs (totally surrounded by horse farms instead of urban blight).

Right down the road from Keeneland in Versailles (spoken: Ver-SALES) is the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery. DO NOT MISS THIS! It's the best stop on the Bourbon trail. Be sure to go on the Corn to Cork tour... a very intimate tour that is worth the $10 admission fee.

Edited: 9:28 am, May 04, 2011
Fremont, California
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7. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Thanks so much Almateur and beaufort-tige

Based on your excellent advise, I will definitely plan on doing Keeneland....

we will be there on a horse race day. Woodford Reserve sounds like fun.

Will plan on booking Corn to Cork.

This will be a fun trip. Thanks again.

Indy
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8. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

The KY vacation I'm interested in is visited the Daniel Boone National Forest area. Check out the Red River Gorge area and Cumberland Falls State Park. If your not into hills/mountain areas, might not be for you. I also saw in a travel guide that Berea, KY is noted as an arts and crafts area.

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9. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

Thanks Ravekid: We love mountain/hill areas - we go to the Sierras/Lake Tahoe/etc. here frequently in California. Thanks so much for the info.

10. Re: St. Louis - Branson - Kentucky - Ohio Trip

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