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Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

Wisconsin
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Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

We take a yearly trip from WI to Destin FL and enjoy finding areas along the way to visit. Previously we've done St. Augustine, Hilton Head and Highlands, NC. We've stopped at Berea, Bardstown and Lynchburg and really enjoy the area. This year we're planning on making Richmond, KY our base (free nights at the Hampton Inn).

Searching some previous posts and the KY tourism website I've gotten a few ideas. We want to hit a few locations on the Bourbon Trail (have already seen Makers Mark and Jack Daniels), do some hiking (Natural Bridge looks terrific) and anything else.

I'll also take restaurant advice for that region. We prefer local to chains which may be harder to find as we're driving.

Bay City, Michigan
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1. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

Hi F T. I want to tell you that you will not get a lot of responses (I hope they prove me wrong) on this forum. There will be a few..I hope.

How did you like Maker's Mark? We have thought about a trip to N/C KY for a while now (probably in conjunction with going to or coming from TX). We thought about seeing Maker's Mark, Louisville, Bardstown, Versailles, etc., including a drive through Rabbit Hash- LOL.

I can tell you that we went to Natural Bridge about 20 years ago. Give or take. It is a beautiful area. All the kids were with us. Great hiking, fairly easy. Did not stay in the park, however, but a hotel near there.

Wisconsin
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2. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

WOW! This is truly ironic as I was going to post on our MI/Mackinac Island "Fudge as Best Restaurant" thread to see if anyone of our regulars had suggestions for me, and here you are!

Actually, I was pretty excited when I saw in my in-box that I had a response, as it seems this is a pretty quiet forum.

Maker's Mark was about 12 years ago but we really enjoyed it. I remember it being a little tricky to find but it was a smaller set-up. Jack Daniels (did that three years ago) is a much, much larger venue. When we were in the area we also saw Lincoln's boyhood home. It may be time to stop back there again, it has even more meaning with the recently 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the outstanding movie "Lincoln".

I had thought of even staying at Natural Bridge. The gentleman at the KY tourism division told me it was his favorite state park. I've got to fine tune our plans. I'm not sure if we're in a central enough spot at Richmond but we enjoy driving, so I doubt if it will be a problem.

Hmm, any chance you and DH would head down that way about the end of April? This could be just a short one for you...easier than meeting in the middle of Lake Michigan!

Thanks for the info, I hope to hear more.

Lexington, Kentucky
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3. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

Richmond is about an hour from Natural Bridge (if you take back roads) and 20 minutes from the outskirts of Lexington.

Lexington has a new distillery--Town Branch--that is on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Woodford Reserve, Four Roses and Wild Turkey are not far from here (less than 45 minutes). Buffalo Trace is not on the official trail, but is a great tour and close as well (about 30 minutes). Is there anything particular you are interested in other than bourbon?

As far as restaurants, there isn't a short supply! We have a new Website that we just did a soft launch for that can help you: beyondgrits.com. It has several categories to help narrow down your list. Is there a restaurant in particular you were looking for?

Depending on when you're coming, there may be an event that you find interesting (i.e. Keeneland races in April and October).

Wisconsin
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4. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

CVB, I had to laugh at your question, "Is there anything particular you are interested in other than bourbon?"

I don't drink, and my husband probably only has a couple a month. For Christmas he did get a bottle of Blanton's from our son-in-law. That will probably last a few years. But I loved the SMELL of the Jack Daniels area. It's hard to believe that such a pleasant fragrance is a by product of hard liquor. Maybe if they made a non-alcoholic bourbon I'd start drinking it!

Seriously, we're looking at hiking, historical sights, civil war locations, beautiful buildings etc. We previously have stopped at Knob Creek to see Lincoln's boy hood home, but when I got the KY tourism info today in the mail I saw there's another location nearby. Cumberland Falls looked beautiful too, we're a fan of waterfalls so I have to look up a few of those.

We stopped at My Old Kentucky once and Berea a couple of times. Maybe it's time for me to start learning more about Daniel Boone. I think we'll be there around the Keeneland Races, but doubt if we'd attend. I'm wondering about the Kentucky Horse Park. I just saw it's affiliated with the Smithsonian, didn't know that before.

I'll have to really study the map to see if the Hampton Inn at Richmond is a good base for us. It gets good reviews and is "low points" for our rewards program.

Whew, I just went to Beyondgrits.com. There is some good looking food on there! Thanks for the tip.

Edited: 7:05 pm, January 14, 2013
Lexington Ky
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5. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

If you like hiking you will love the Red River Gorge. Google it and you will find several good websites that have very accurate descriptions of the many trails. It is almost required to eat at Miguels Pizza while in the Gorge.

The horse park is beautiful. You can easily spend half a day there.

Ashland, Henry Clays estate is a nice historical home with beautiful grounds. Not far away is May Todd Lincoln's house.

Lexington, Kentucky
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6. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

Bourbon is well-liked around here! I agree, the smell is AMAZING! Buffalo Trace sells bourbon-scented candles that are delightful (…morethandrinks.com/Candles-list.aspx)!

The Kentucky Horse Park is one-of-a-kind! It's a tourist destination, working farm, and competition venue. You can see horse demonstrations, ride horses, learn about horse shoeing, etc. The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event is at the April 25-28, and is the only 4-star three-day event in the US (eventing is jumping, cross country and dressage). The Park hosted the World Equestrian Games in 2010. The International Museum of the Horse is a Smithsonian affiliate.

Red River Gorge is great for hiking! Cumberland Falls is neat to see--especially if you go during a moonbow (…ky.gov/parks/…default.aspx).

As far as historical sites, outdoors, etc., we have some "idea guides" that can help:

Civil War: www.visitlex.com/idea/civil-war.php

Heritage: www.visitlex.com/idea/heritage.php

Horse Farm Tours: www.visitlex.com/idea/horse-farms.php

Historic Homes & Places: www.visitlex.com/idea/historic-homes.php

If you love historic buildings, we have four historic homes in Lexington: The Mary Todd Lincoln House, Henry Clay Estate, Hunt-Morgan House and Waveland State Historic SIte. One of my favorite historical sites around is Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (www.shakervillageky.org).

Glad you liked Beyond Grits! It was just launched, so feel free to give any feedback you like!

Edited: 9:13 am, January 15, 2013
Wisconsin
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7. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

This is just the kind of info I was looking for, thank you so much. I remember seeing pictures of the Red River Gorge, I may have been confusing that with the Cumberland Gap area. I'd love to see an equestrian event but unfortunately we'll be in the area a few days before that.

I did have some confusion with a recipe at Beyond Grits. The picture of the Bourbon Butter Sauce beyondgrits.com/recipes/… makes it look like a sweet, yummy topping for a rich buttery cake. However, it calls for balsamic vinegar and shallots! I guess it's really a savory sauce over, I dunno, corn bread??

Like I said before, I'd better get out the map/Google Maps and see the distances involved here. Off hand it seems like many of these places are in about a 60 mile radius. However, in WI we're pretty much straight-shot driving so it's quick and easy to get around. We've learned that changes as you get into foothills and mountains. I'm hoping a three night, four day stay will be enough time.

Lexington, Kentucky
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8. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

I am checking into your question about the recipe and let you know! I believe it's for cake though.

Lexington, Kentucky
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9. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

The bourbon butter can go on cake or bread pudding. Maybe even ice cream!?

Wisconsin
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10. Re: Must see for Berea/Lexington 4 day visit ?

Ahh, there's no sugar in the recipe, just the alcohol, balsamic vinegar, shallots (onion-type flavor) and butter. I admit I haven't made the sauce, but I wouldn't think that the vinegar is sweet enough and I have no interest in eating cake with a scallion flavored sauce!

Wow, I think you need to whip up a batch in the name of science and Trip Advisor and tell us how it was. Maybe I just have a horrible sweet tooth, but all the recipes I found online for a dessert sauce have quite a bit of either brown sugar, white sugar or corn syrup. I did see a savory sauce to go over pork loin, that one has butter and scallions so it's similar.

There's probably nothing wrong with the recipe, it just isn't pictured with the right item to be used as the complement to it IMHO.