Kentucky - Ohio - Indiana

Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 07:06 PM
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Kentucky - Ohio - Indiana

My daughter and I are planning a trip to see Noah's Ark and the Creation Museum at the end of March. We have never been to any of these states before and looking for ideas for a 1-1/2 week trip. We aren't interested in big cities/crowds, museums in general.
We ARE interested in small towns, local shops, good food, beautiful scenery, picnics.... in other words, relaxing and low-key. Anything to do with animals a plus.

Also looking for B&B or farm stay recommendations and maybe local events going on.

Thank you all ahead of time!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 07:26 PM
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Cincinnati has the excellent Freedom Center telling the story of the Underground Railroad, traveling across the Ohio River to Ohio from KY to freedom. Very worthwhile.
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 03:05 AM
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There is a thriving Amish community north of Columbus whose name escapes me. Oh maybe BERlin (accent on first syllable).
If you like antiquing the area around Lebanon is interesting as are many others
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 11:23 AM
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Millersburg, Ohio. This historic, friendly town in Amish Country has Victorian buildings and homes and friendly people. The town has a lively, active main street which evokes an earlier time in America. Amish Country Ohio has a variety of interesting attractions including a number of Amish and German culture museums, farm tours, Amish country backroad tours, and Amish buggy rides. Eat authentic Amish food such as Amish Noodle Dinner and Oven Roasted Chicken Walk or rent a bike and ride on the 12-mile-long Holmes County Trail which features Amish horse drawn buggies. Walk on the 1867 Helmick Covered Bridge.

Yellow Springs, Ohio. This town east of Dayton features progressive Antioch College, a lively historic downtown with unique stores and restaurants, and much more. This hippy town has a wide variety out outdoor recreational opportunities as well including Glen Helen Nature Preserve with its waterfall and many miles of trails. On the way out of town stop off at Young's Dairy and get homemade ice cream and cheese.

Maysville, Kentucky. This historic river town on the Ohio River has many historic buildings and homes and friendly people. The Old Washington Historic District encompasses the former town of Washington which was incorporated in 1786 by the Virginia Legislature and named for Revolutionary War hero George Washington, who became America’s first president in 1789. There are several structures dating from the late 1700s and early 1800s, including log cabins and stone houses. In the 1850s slave auctions were held in the town but it was also home to abolitionists who would ferry Freedom Seekers across the river to Ohio, so there is the National Underground Railroad Museum Harriet Beecher Stowe Slavery To Freedom Museum

Last edited by PrairieHikerII; Jan 24th, 2022 at 11:37 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 05:24 PM
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New Harmony, Indiana.This town near the Wabash River has a main street lined with historic brick buildings, some painted in lively colors like San Francisco’s Victorians. There are trees and flowers everywhere, and plaques reminding you that it’s a historic site: the New Harmony State Historic Site which preserves the buildings from two famous utopian communities in the early 1800s.

French Lick, Indiana. The vibrant downtown streets feature a range of colorful buildings that showcase French Lick as it was in the mid-1800s. The small town rose to fame because of the French Lick Resort and Casino which was founded in 1845. People would arrive in French Lick to bathe in the natural mineral springs before enjoying a night of entertainment around the blackjack table. One can still stay in the historic hotel and play some cards before an invigorating spa experience. Not to be missed is a ride down the picturesque French Lick Scenic Railway, a 20-mile journey that also features the expansive Hoosier National Forest.

Madison, Indiana. Madison sits along the banks of the mighty Ohio River surrounded by beautiful Cliffy Falls State Park and retains the distinction of the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark District in the U.S. The district is tucked away in limestone bluffs on the banks of the Ohio River and contains a superb and very large collection of historic buildings dating from 1817. The vibrant Main Street commercial area, lined with two and three story historic buildings, features numerous specialty shops, unique restaurants and quaint B&B’s. It was designated one of 12 Distinctive Destinations of 2001 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Hanover College, a nationally ranked liberal arts school is nearby. Clifty Falls State Park is a lush 1,200-acre park which offers scenic vistas, four waterfalls and many hiking trails.







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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 05:34 PM
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cincinnati has a Lot of good German stuff going on--what is the area called uber den Rhine?

And what is the covered bridge part of Indiana? Just can't come up with it right now but it is charming.

In Kentucky go to Pleasant Hill--another charming Quaker villlage.




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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 07:58 AM
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I second Gretchen's Pleasant Hill suggestion. Berea is also fascinating.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 10:56 AM
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Berea, Kentucky. Home to the Berea College, this townis the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky. Enjoy Artisan Village with artisan studios, handmade jewelry, fabric stores, galleries, glass studios and unique boutique and gift shops The Pinnacles in the Berea College Forest were recognized as the best hike in Kentucky according to Outside magazine. Founded in 1855, Berea College was the first college in the Southern United States to be coeducational and racially integrated. Berea College charges no tuition.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a landmark destination that shares 3,000 acres of discovery in the spirit of the Kentucky Shakers. Home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States between 1805 and 1910. With 34 original Shaker structures, the site is home to the country’s largest private collection of original 19th century buildings and is the largest National Historic Landmark in Kentucky. According to Wikipedia, This Christian denomination "practiced a celibate and communal utopian lifestyle, pacifism, uniform charismatic worship, and their model of equality of the sexes, which they institutionalized in their society in the 1780s. They were also known for their simple living, architecture, technological innovation, music, and furniture."

Last edited by PrairieHikerII; Jan 25th, 2022 at 11:47 AM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 11:15 AM
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Cincinnatiís Over the Rhine has had a renaissance, lots of hip restaurants
and bars are there. Findlay Market too.
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 02:26 AM
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What great options!

This is exactly what I am looking for! Thank you all for these wonderful suggestions - I've got a rough draft going. Now I just need 3 more weeks' vacation to be able to see it all
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 10:28 AM
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Bardstown, Kentucky. Bardstown was declared The Most Beautiful Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today. Settled in 1780, Bardstown is Kentucky’s second-oldest city and has almost 200 historic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a lively downtown with unique shops and restaurants. Sights to see include the Barton 1792 distillery, Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum, 1826 Spalding Hall, and the 1848 Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani which is the oldest monastery in the US and open to the public. Also, nearby is the famous Bernheim Arboretum which features 16,000 acres of wildlife sanctuary, a landscaped arboretum, canopy tree walk, scent and sound mazes, and new trails and walkways. Located 35 minutes southeast of Louisville.
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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 11:11 AM
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I've made some bookings - thanks!! But now need someplace to stay near Williamsburg/Stearns/Corbin - in that area. Was hoping for a B&B but there doesn't seem to be ANY! How can this be?!
Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 05:06 PM
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Where is the canopy tree walk and wildlife sanctuary? We will be spending 3 nights here
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 05:08 PM
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Well, we have made some reservations and sketched out a plan thanks to the help of y'all
If I could get some feedback on the agenda below, or small towns nearby I may be missing, I'd really appreciate it! Thank you.

Day 1: Arrive Cincinnati, OH at 5:30pm. Pick up car. Stay local 1 night.

Day 2: spend day at Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.
Drive to Bardstown, KY and 3 nights at Jailer’s Inn.

Day 3: Bardstown - day trips? Midway? Louisville? Maysville??

Day 4: Bardstown - day trips? Midway? Louisville? Maysville??

Day 5: Check out, head to Stearns to ride the Big South Fork Railway.
Drive on to Williamsburg, KY for 2 nights.

Day 6: Spend day at Noah’s Ark in Williamsburg.

Day 7: check out and drive to Carlisle, KY.
Stay 3 nights at Wendt’s Hillside Retreat

Day 8: Tour Wendt’s Wildlife Adventure [actually, we could spend a week doing this!]

Day 9: ?

Day 10: check out and head to airport for 6:30pm flight. If time, see the Freedom Center.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 11:13 AM
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Well, I am truly a ditz. I knew the Ark Encounter was south of the Creation Museum and when I saw 'Williamsburg', I thought that was it. Made all my plans according to that. Well, of course it's 'WilliamsTOWN'. I would have gone 2 hours father south than needed!

So...all that to say I am reorganizing my plans. I'm still hoping to get to Stearns to ride the train though. Now I'm looking at ?maybe? Georgetown (instead of Bardstown) for 4 nights with day trips to the other places. Are there other towns in that area that would be better to spend 4 nights?

Thoughts?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 12:49 PM
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I think you would like the Bardstown area. Check out the Giants at Bernheim Forest. Quick trip to Louisville for the zoo. If you are going to Maysville, you will want to do that while you are in the area of the creation museum/ark.
Georgetown would put you close to the KY Horse Park. Roughly same distance from Georgetown and Bardstown to Shaker VIllage at Pleasant Hill-you would see animals there too.
If you decide to go to Stearns, check out Cumberland Falls. It is worth a visit.
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Old Feb 18th, 2022, 07:19 AM
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You're not seeing the major attractions Kentucky is known for...beautiful thoroughbred horse farms and bourbon distilleries.
Here is what I would do...

Day 1 - Stay near the airport since you get in late.
Day 2 - Creation Museum, then stay near Ark Encounter (hotel in Dry Ridge or an airbnb in Williamstown)
Day 3 - Ark Encounter, then stay in the Versailles area for next several days (arbnb or bed & breakfast)
Day 4/5/6 - Explore Central Kentucky from Versailles...
- Tour famous horse farms. There are many to choose from. Three Chimneys and Claiborne are my favorites (watch the movie Secretariat beforehand).
- Visit the Kentucky Castle, Keeneland, Kentucky Horse Park
- Tour a few Bourbon distilleries, even if you don't drink. The settings, scenery, history, architecture, sights/smells are absolutely worth it. Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve are close.
- Explore the nearby Scenic Byways (Old Frankfort Pike, Pisgah Pike)
Day 6/7 - Stay at Shaker Village on night 6 and 7.
- Tour the village. Take the paddlewheel riverboat ride. Eat at the restaurant. Use the free bikes to ride around the property in the evening.
Day 7 - After leaving Shaker Village, stop in Harrodsburg on the way to Bardstown.
- Maybe see Old Fort Harrod, walk through the Beaumont Inn, eat at the restaurant. Stay in Bardstown.
Day 8/9 - Visit Bardstown area...
- Jailer's Inn. Old Talbert Tavern. Railway Museum. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train.
- Visit Maker's Mark distillery. See the Stephen Foster Story outdoor drama if you're into that.
Day 10 - Drive back to airport through Louisville.

It would be a shame to not get down to see Mammoth Cave National Park while you are so close. The cave tours are a really great experience. You could also stop at the Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo since animals are your thing. This does add another couple hours of driving and another overnight stay, so you would need to cut something out.

Last edited by bluegrass1; Feb 18th, 2022 at 07:22 AM.
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Old Feb 18th, 2022, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
There is a thriving Amish community north of Columbus whose name escapes me. Oh maybe BERlin (accent on first syllable).
If you like antiquing the area around Lebanon is interesting as are many others
Yes. And every Thursday morning, there is an Amish livestock auction in Kidron, Ohio. Some of our furniture was made by local Amish craftsmen there. In Berlin, Heini's Cheese is a "must stop" for us. Millersburg also has some excellent cheese. And Troyer's Market in Berlin is a good stop to pick up some trail bologna, jams/jellies, or a pastry. You can also find some restaurants and lodging if you would like to linger.

We'll be in the area in late March to speak with a craftsman about some kitchen cabinets that we will be having made, and we'll be staying overnight around Sugar Creek.

**Update - sorry, I just saw your later posts and realized you might not need this. Enjoy your trip!

Last edited by sludick; Feb 18th, 2022 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Update
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Old Feb 19th, 2022, 05:31 AM
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Just my opinion, if it was me I would do Noah's Ark first. My family liked Noah's Ark much better then the Creation Musuem. Both were good. But Noah's Ark is better. If you do the Creation Musuem first. Don't think Noah's Ark is the exact same. It is Not!
Enjoy your trip!
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Old Feb 20th, 2022, 06:20 PM
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That all sounds wonderful! It sounds like I'm going to have to plan another Ohio-only trip
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