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Harrodsburg/Mercer
County  Tourist Commission

 488 Price Avenue, PO Box 283
Harrodsburg, KY 40330
 800-355-9192 / 859-734-2364
 tourism@harrodsburgky.com

 


Itineraries
Harrodsburg  l  Bluegrass Region  l  Kentucky Crossroads
 


ONE-DAY HIGHLIGHT TOUR

Begin the day with a self-guided tour of the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, America's largest restored Shaker community.  This National Historic Landmark features 34 restored buildings on 2900 acres of preserved farmlands.  Tour 15 original buildings and, along the way, talk with costumed interpreters who give insight into 19th century life at Pleasant Hill.  Watch artisans demonstrate broommaking, woodworking, coopering, spinning and weaving.  Attend a Shaker music performance in the 1820 Meeting House, the Shakers' place of worship.  Shop for a variety of handmade items, Shaker reproductions and many other fine Kentucky-made crafts. (2 1/2 hours)

For lunch, dine on hearty Kentucky foods and Shaker recipes served at the Trustees' Office Inn.  Sample Shaker Lemon Pie, cakes, tarts or special desserts made daily in the bakery.  (1 hour)

Take a trip back in time on the historic Kentucky River aboard the sternwheeler Dixie Belle.  You will marvel at the river's high limestone cliffs and untouched natural surroundings as the excursion takes you under High Bridge, engineering wonder when it was built in 1807. 
(1 hour)

Once a frontier territory, Harrodsburg was founded in 1774 as the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.  An excellent way to begin your afternoon is to absorb the history of Kentucky's oldest settlement, which is showcased at Old Fort Harrod State Park.  Learn about fort life by exploring a live animal corral or by visiting with costumed craftspeople as they carry out the chores of the state's early pioneers.  Observe blacksmithing, broommaking, weaving, woodworking, tinsmithing and dollmaking demonstrations in the fort blockhouses.  Browse through the Mansion Museum, which displays an outstanding collection of Kentucky and Indian artifacts, Civil War relics, music boxes and a Lincoln collection.  (2 hours)

Savor a taste of history at the Beaumont Inn, built in 1845 as a prestigious girls' school.  The fourth and fifth generations of the same family operates the inn, which enjoys an international reputation for its excellent service and Southern hospitality.  After the ringing of the dinner bell, feast on traditional Kentucky fare.  Longtime favorites on the menu are “yellow-legged" fried chicken, corn pudding and two-year old country ham.  (1 hour)

Attend a performance of an exciting outdoor drama under the stars.  “James Harrod:  The Battle for Kentucky” is a fun-filled way to learn about Kentucky’s first settlers.  (2 ½ hours/July)

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2ND DAY HIGHLIGHTS OR OPTIONAL ADD-ONS

Experience more than 200 years of history on the Historic City Driving Tour.  Pass by stately pre-Civil War homes, churches, and businesses--all prime examples of the various styles of architecture used in Kentucky.  Most all of the sites are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  (l hour)

Of interest to genealogy buffs, the Harrodsburg Historical Society is a worthwhile stop.  The society's headquarters is located in Morgan Row, believed to be the oldest row house standing west of the Alleghenies.  The genealogical and research library contains rare books and documents, maps, family and subject files, census records and material dealing with the early history of the area.  (1/2 hour)

The Downtown Historic District, in the heart of Harrodsburg, is a National Register Historic District with a streetscape reminiscent of an earlier time.  Most of the preserved buildings within this area date back to the 1880s and 1890s.  Allow plenty of time to explore over thirty Antique and Craft Shops in the historic downtown area. (1-2 hours)

While on Main Street, visit Olde Towne Park, which features a sculptured 14 X 32-foot cascading fountain.  This unique creation of public art was inspired by the scenic palisades found along the Kentucky River located on the eastern border of Mercer County. 
(1/2 hour)

Stop in Dedman Drugstore (c.1860) a unique Main Street property that retains all of the original cherry cabinetry.  Admire the stained glass windows and cherry paneling, which enclose the pharmacist’s station.  The Kentucky Fudge Company invites you to sit a spell in the café or at the original soda fountain and browse the early drug store memorabilia on display. (1/2 hour)

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Bluegrass Region

World-famous for its picturesque countryside, numerous historical attractions, and special brand of Southern hospitality, the Bluegrass Region has it all. Harrodsburg is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of central Kentucky’s most famous attractions. We invite you to “Come settle in” and hub and spoke from our historic community for daytrips to the following nearby cities:

0 - 20 MILES 

DANVILLE/PERRYVILLE
8 Miles South
800/755-0076

Chateau de Vieux Corbeau Winery, Constitution Square State Historic Site, McDowell  House & Apothecary, Perryville Civil War Battlefield State Historic Site, Penn’s Store,  Pioneer Playhouse

LAWRENCEBURG
20 Miles North
502/839-5564 

Wild Turkey Distillery, Four Roses Distillery, Lover’s Leap Winery & Vineyard

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21-40 MILES 

NICHOLASVILLE
22 Miles Northeast
859/887-4351

Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park, Chrismann Mill Vineyards & Winery, High  Bridge Historic Park, Old Jail House

VERSAILLES/MIDWAY
22 Miles Northeast
859/873-5122

Bluegrass Scenic Railroad & Museum, Equus Run Vineyard, Nostalgia Station Toy and  Train Museum, Irish Acres Gallery of Antiques, Woodford Reserve Distillery

LANCASTER
23 Miles Southeast
859/548-8691

William Owsley House

STANFORD
23 Miles Southeast
606/365-4518 

Isaac Shelby Cemetery State Historic Site, Stanford Historic L & N Depot, William Whitley House

FRANKFORT
32 Miles North
800/960-7200 

Buffalo Trace Distillery, Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, Liberty Hall  Historic Site, Old State Capitol, State Capitol

LEXINGTON
32 Miles Northeast
800/845-3959

Applebee’s Park, Ashland—The Henry Clay Estate, Headley-Whitney Museum, Horse Farm Tours, Hunt-Morgan House, Keeneland Race Course, Kentucky Horse Park, Mary Todd Lincoln House, Old Kentucky Chocolates, Red Mile Harness Track.

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41-60 MILES

BEREA
42 Miles Southeast
800/598-5263 

Boone Tavern, College Square, Kentucky Artisan Center, Old Town Berea

GEORGETOWN
42 Miles Northeast
888/863-8600 

Cardome Center, Cincinnati Bengals Summer Training Camp, Elkhorn Creek, Georgetown/Scott County Museum, Toyota Motor Manufacturing

RICHMOND
45 Miles East
800/866-3705 

Bybee Pottery, Fort Boonesborough State Park, Hummel Planetarium & Space Theater, Irvinton House Museum, White Hall State Historic Site

PARIS
52 Miles Northeast
888/987-3205 

Cane Ridge Meeting House, Colville Covered Bridge, Duncan Tavern, Hopewell Museum, Wallis House and Arboretum

WINCHESTER
57 Miles Northeast
800/298-9105 

Bluegrass Heritage Museum, Holly Rood Historic Home, Old Stone Meeting House

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61-70 MILES 

CYNTHIANA
65 Miles Northeast
859/234-5236 

Cynthiana County Museum, Endicott Meeting House

CARLISLE
70 Miles
Northeast
859/289-5507 

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Jailer’s Home & Dungeon, Boone Cabin

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Kentucky Crossroads

In 2005, an eight-county area (which includes Harrodsburg/Mercer County) in central Kentucky was selected as one of two regions nationally for the Rural Heritage Development Initiative (RHDI) pilot project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Heritage Council and Preservation Kentucky, Inc., Goals are to utilize historic, cultural and natural resources to develop preservation-based rural economic development strategies.   We invite you to stay with us and discover our partner communities in Kentucky Crossroads—Where Everything Comes Together!

0 - 20 MILES

DANVILLE/PERRYVILLE
8 Miles South
800/755-0076 

Chateau de Vieux Corbeau Winery, Constitution Square State Historic Site, McDowell  House & Apothecary, Perryville Civil War Battlefield State Historic Site, Penn’s Store,  Pioneer Playhouse

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21-40 MILES 

SPRINGFIELD/WASHINGTON COUNTY
859-336-3810
27 Miles Southwest 

1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor B&B, Alpaca Farm, Handcrafted Gift Shop, Lincoln Homestead Park, Mordecai Lincoln House, Rolling Hills Vineyard & Winery, St. Catherine Motherhouse, St. Rose Proto-Priory, Washington County Courthouse, Willisburg Lake 

LEBANON/MARION COUNTY
270-692-0021
30 Miles Southwest 

Cecil L. Gorley Trail, Goodin View Farm Store & Maze, Historic Homes & Landmarks Tour of Lebanon, Holy Cross Church, Lebanon Civil War Park, Lebanon National Cemetery, Loretto Motherhouse, Maker’s Mark Distillery, William Clark Quantrill Driving Tour 

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41-60 MILES

CAMPBELLSVILLE/TAYLOR COUNTY
49 Miles Southwest
800/738-4719

Friendship One Room School House, Green River Lake State Park, Hiestand House Museum, Tebbs Bend Battlefield Association, The Homeplace on Green River

GREENSBURG/GREEN COUNTY
270-932-4298
62 Miles Southwest 

Green River Paddle Trail & Park, Greensburg Walking Tour, Old Green County Courthouse, William Herndon House 

BARDSTOWN/NELSON COUNTY
800/638-4877
51 Miles Northwest
 

Abbey of Gethsemani, Around the Town Carriage, Bardstown Walking Tour, Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, Chapeze House, Civil War Museum, Four Roses Distillery Warehouse Operations, Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center, Heaven Hill Trolley, Horizon Hoppers Adventure Services, Kentucky Railway Museum, My Old Kentucky Home Dinner Train, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Old Bardstown Village, Old County Jail, Old Talbott Tavern, Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History & Bardstown Historical Museum, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Springhill Winery, Stephen Foster—The Musical, War Memorial of Mid-America, Wildlife/Natural History Museum, Women of the Civil War Museum

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61-70 MILES

HODGENVILLE/LARUE COUNTY
270/358-3411
76 Miles West 

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site & Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek, Lincoln Jamboree, Lincoln Museum, Inc.