I love when friends come to visit for many reasons but one reason is I get to plan our outings! (I give them a few choices but strongly suggest things I want to do!) So when some of our innkeeping friends came last week, we got onboard with Bruce Ashford with Central Kentucky Tours (the very best way to go) and our first stop was Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington. This beautiful, historic farm is a treasure! Six generations have been in the business, raising and breeding champions. Our tour guide, Jane, has been with the farm for a few years and could rattle off, famous horses, stories and the fine details of a thoroughbred horse farm operation. The focus of Mill Ridge is taking care of the Mama horse, her breeding, pregnancy and delivery of her foal. Guests are encouraged and allowed to feed her carrots and maybe get a chance to pet her babies. Yes, I do look like a horse whisperer in this picture.
Mill Ridge is one of the founding members of VisitHorseCountry.com, an organization of 31 horse farms that open their farms to “connect guests to the horse, land and people through experiences that inspire love of the animal and Kentucky.” This is to the horse farm what bourbon is to the Bourbon Trail. Brilliant and complete with passport! I have also been to Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, which is equally fascinating, focusing on the stallion. You gotta do it and can get a passport from us!
Next stop, lunch at Wallace Station on beautiful Old Frankfort Pike. Once a country store, now run by award winning Ouita Michel. Great sandwiches, burgers, atmosphere.
Onto Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. A very large, historic distillery which produces many fine bourbons. I love the smell of distilleries! Our tour guide was excellent, keeping up with a large group, explaining the process of making bourbon and Buffalo Trace’s interesting history. I have been to several distilleries but I learn something new at every single stop, like do you know why it is called a rick house?
Still with the history theme, we explore Camp Nelson National Cemetery. I have driven by this site several times, “taken aback” by the many white headstones symmetrically placed but driving into the site, one is humbled by the vast number of headstones of soldiers from every war since the Civil War buried there. The high cost of Freedom.
Beside this cemetery is the Camp Nelson Civil War site. This was a supply station for the Union army against the invasions from Tennessee. It also became a recruiting center for slaves; freedom could be given if one fought for the Union Army. Once again we had a very knowledgeable, delightful tour guide who relayed another part of American history not often told.
We have so much in our area to visit from horses to bourbon to battlefields and more. You can’t do it all in one visit so keep coming back and share with us what you enjoyed!
We look forward to being your stay destination as you have your own Kentucky adventures!