There’s no better way to enjoy a sunny afternoon or a warm evening than by lounging on a gorgeous patio, surrounded by good friends and great food. Many Kentucky restaurants celebrate this fact with their own version of fantastic outdoor dining. Some offer stellar views, while others have a charming atmosphere, but all of them should be on your list to visit this season.
Merrick Inn - Lexington
Merrick Inn may be known for its fried chicken, but there's no better spot to enjoy it than on their fabulous patio. The outdoor seating is expansive with both covered and uncovered areas and the surroundings are idyllic for a classic Kentucky meal.
The Hub - Louisville
The Hub has become a local favorite with its delicious food and fun atmosphere. The patio is up above the street and has a unique view and a great ambiance for both day and night. Come for brunch or plan on dinner and then hit up the dance floor.
Knotty Pine On the Bayou - Cold Spring
Feel like you've headed further south to the bayou at the Knotty Pine. Known for the eclectic, New Orleans decor and fantastic seafood, their outdoor porch has a scenic water view and the warm breeze may even convince you that you're relaxing on the Gulf.
8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen - Louisville
8UP is known for their rooftop bar, and for good reason. This may not be a traditional patio, but the views and atmosphere are superb. Enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun set over Louisville.
The Harbor Restaurant - Nancy
When you've worked up an appetite from your time on Lake Cumberland, check out Harbor Restaurant at Lee's Ford. This historic site has one of the best views you'll find and you can enjoy the award-winning food on a delightful deck, overlooking the harbor.
Charlie Brown's - Lexington
Even your dog will love his time spent on the patio at Charlie Brown's. Considered a "dive" in Lexington, this classic restaurant keeps things simple, which is why it's a local favorite. The patio is shaded and while it doesn't boast a stunning view, the friendly staff and laid back atmosphere will have you planning a trip back.
The Grist Mill - Grand Rivers
Patti’s 1880’s Settlement – The Grist Mill
The Grist Mill is a small cafe located on Patti's 1880's Settlement. The patio is a relaxing spot to enjoy a bite to eat and the gorgeous surroundings. The cafe is open on weekends right now, but will be open daily starting Memorial Day. If you've never visited Patti's 1880's Settlement, add it to your Kentucky bucket list!
Tousey House Tavern - Burlington
Tousey House in Burlington oozes Southern charm and the patio is no exception. This family-owned restaurant has the feel of sitting down to dine with family, on their lovely deck overlooking the grounds. The classic food is phenomenal as well.
Corbett's - Louisville
For a fine dining experience, on a lovely patio, make reservations at Corbett's. The food and service are just as impeccable as the ambiance of the outdoor dining space. It's the perfect date night on a warm, summer evening.
UPDATE: Since this article was originally published, Corbett's has closed.
Wallace Station - Versailles
When you're on the Bourbon Trail or are touring horse country on a beautiful Kentucky afternoon, stop by Wallace Station for one of their infamous sandwiches. This landmark location gets a lot of hype for its food, but the massive outdoor dining area should get credit, too.
Bourbon on Main - Frankfort
When in Kentucky's capital and looking for a true, Bluegrass experience, try Bourbon on Main. Sit on the unexpected, lovely patio and enjoy a burger and bourbon.
Decca - Louisville
Escape the city at this historic East Market restaurant. The outdoor courtyard is the ideal place to experience Decca's fresh and innovative menu and when you're ready to liven things up, head down to the bar for live music.
Have you enjoyed any of these outdoor patios? Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments! And for more info on any of these restaurants, just click on the name above!