Our weather can be somewhat unpredictable, but in the late spring and early summer it stays pretty nice. During these warm months, outdoor enthusiasts can celebrate in nature and get in touch with their primitive side, but not every Kentuckian is into the primitive style. Many people love the scenic beauty, but find hanging out in a tent all weekend somewhat uncomfortable. Fortunately, there is an abundance of outdoor adventures in Kentucky that allow us to get in touch with the sunshine in a more comfortable, less athletic environment.
12. and 11. Spend a day at the track, like Churchill Downs, or...
The racetrack can be an exciting place, whether you bet or not. Choose from Keeneland at 4201 Versailles Road in Lexington, or Churchill Downs, at 700 Central Avenue in Louisville, and home of the renowned Kentucky Derby. Both offer a variety of food, drinks and Kentucky horse racing. You will see some of the most beautiful horses imaginable. Not to mention, crowd watching can be very entertaining. You never know who you will see, as many celebrities own and race horses in our state.
10. Spend the day at Henry’s Ark.
Hang out at the petting zoo and give the animals some much appreciated love. If you have never been close to a zebra, buffalo, yak, camel, llama, emu and more, it is a unique experience worth having. The animals are friendly and anxious for petting and human companionship. It makes for a nice afternoon filled with positive energy.
9. Visit Old Friends Farm for Retired Thoroughbreds.
This horse farm at 1841 Paynes Depot Road in Georgetown is not your average Thoroughbred farm. This is home to some of the most famed horses to ever cross the finish line at the Kentucky Derby and other renowned races. It is like a living museum of Thoroughbreds for us to see, admire, pet and watch at play. Some people say it is the horse racing retirement home, and in reality it is, but is much more jovial than your standard retirement home. It is a wonderful place to visit for a few hours and soak up a different sort of Bluegrass history.
8. Take a stroll on the Oak Grove War Memorial Walking Trail.
This trail is a very doable .72 miles on 101 Walter Garrett Lane in Oak Grove. There are markers and monuments all along the trail that honor the veterans of each U.S. war. A beautiful Viceroy Butterfly Garden is along the way, which makes a nice spot to relax and absorb the surrounding beauty. If you happen to have little ones, or enjoy sitting in swings, you will also find a playground near the gardens. There is a War Memorial Disc Golf Course available if you happen to feel sporty.
7. Visit Old Bardstown Village.
Bardstown is still a relatively small town, but it comes with lots of interesting history and attractions. One such is the Old Bardstown Village at 310 E Broadway Street. It is a section of preserved cabins ranging in age from 150 to more than 200 years old. Walking among this traditional community allows us to get a glimpse of what life was like over a century ago. This was a time when people churned their own butter and ate what they caught. It is a nice place to absorb a little history and then visit a local café.
6. Take a serene stroll through a historic cemetery.
Cave Hill Cemetery at 701 Baxter Avenue in Louisville was created during the 1800s. It was custom designed to be a pleasant garden of floral and tree representations of our state entwined with a final resting place. Many of these monuments have been standing well over 100 years and are truly monuments of life. A life size child swings in the arms of Jesus, angels raise their arms to the heavens, mothers gaze peacefully upon their children and more, all in bronze, marble, concrete, stone and materials of the times. A walk among these amazing tombs is truly walking among the monuments of time. The Victorian era was a time of elaborate designs and architecture, and this cemetery represents it all.
5. Visit the vineyards of Kentucky.
There are a variety of wonderful vineyards across Kentucky that not only sell wine by the bottle, but by the glass. You can often enjoy tastings and a stroll through the vineyards and the grounds. At Cedar Creek Winery in Somerset you won’t just find a delicious array of wines, but you might see a charming gentleman pickin’ Bluegrass on a banjo. Ruby Moon is also very relaxing with friendly people and tasty wine. Wineries can be a very relaxing way to just get out and enjoy one of Mother Nature’s many gifts… wine.
4. Enjoy an afternoon at the Zoo or Kentucky Down Under.
3. Kentucky Down Under at 3700 L and N Turnpike Road in Horse Cave.
The Louisville Zoo on 1100 Trevillian Way in Louisville is great and has a variety of animals and exhibits from Polar Bears and Gorillas to reptiles and a train ride. It is the largest general zoo in the state. Kentucky Down Under at 3700 L and N Turnpike Road in Horse Cave takes us to Australia. This is like taking a trip to the outback without being on a plane for hours. You can pet kangaroos, Emus and see a barrage of Australian wildlife without being in the danger some of the real terrain comes with. Both zoos are well maintained and have friendly and informative staff members.
2. Spend a weekend at Green Turtle Bay Resort and Marina at 263 Green Turtle Bay Drive in Grand Rivers.
You can enjoy both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, along with all the comforts of this resort. You can rent a boat or bring your own and take a scenic ride around the area. If you are feeling more like a stroll, the woodlands are beautiful with trails available. There are also plenty of areas to stroll by the water’s edge.
1. Spend a day or three at Cumberland Falls.
Cumberland Falls is home of the beautiful moonbow, and is one of only two places consistently holding the right conditions for it to appear. The park has both long and short trails highlighting the beauty of the area. You will also find reasonable rental boats, great places to fish, swim or do water sports. You have access to Cumberland River and Lake Cumberland activities, but the serenity of the Falls is always a treat to visit.
These are the kind of outdoor adventures in Kentucky that any age can enjoy. The parks, including the zoo, allow bicycles if you’d rather not walk. Refreshments are also available at most of these locations, minus the cemetery. This is just a minuscule portion of outdoors activities to enjoy in our beautiful state. What are your favorite places to enjoy an afternoon during pretty weather in Kentucky?