If you enjoy hiking and are...
If you enjoy hiking and are visiting central Kentucky, the best trails for scenery and rock climbing are located in the Red River Gorge or the nearby Natural Bridge State Park which are located about a one hour drive from Lexington, traveling East off of the Mountain Parkway. See pictures below top row and bottom right. This is part of the Daniel Boone Forrest and contains many natural sandstone arches and cliffs. For a closer hike, I suggest the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary in Fayette County South of Lexington on the Kentucky River Palisades.
For those who enjoy historical sites, a short drive South towards Harrodsburg on U.S. 68 south of Lexington is very scenic and leads to 'Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill' (see photo bottom left) a restored village which was a colony of a communal society founded by the religious sect that believed men and women should live as brothers and sister. They were famous for making furniture and other handmade items. The movement began in New York after the revolution and by the 1840s nearly 6000 Shakers lived in communities from Maine to Kentucky. The Shakers came to central Kentucky in 1805. The community thrived until the mid-Ninteteenth Century. By 1910 only a few Shakers survived and the village was closed. In 1961 a nonprofit group was formed to restore the village. Today 33 original buildings and 2700 acres of farm land have been restored. The village is open for touring every day except Dec. 24th and 25th from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30, April to October. Overnight accomodations and meals may be reserved by calling 800-734-5611. See www.Shakervillageky.org for more information.
Ky_Happy_Dad's Versailles page
"Horse Lover's Delight"
As you fly into Bluegrass Airport near Lexington on a clear day you will see some of the most famous horse farms in the world. For those who love horses, central Kentucky offers much. The Keeneland Racetrack and the Kentucky Horse Park are well known and favorite places. Versailles is one of several small towns that surround Lexington. Most residents of these communities commute to Lexingon to work or for entertainment but choose to raise their families in smaller communities. Visitors to Lexington and central Kentucky often come to see sporting events at the University of Kentucky or for business in Lexington. Most visitors are impressed by the friendly people and the manicured horse farms.
Versailles is a small town of about 12,000, small enough to have a sense of community but close enough to Lexington to be an easy drive for shopping or entertainment. For visitors, I would recommend viewing the scenic horse farms, the nearby Keeneland race track, the Woodford Reserve historic distillary, or seeing a play or engaging in recreation at the Falling Springs recreation center. Versailles has several promising Bed and Breakfast establishments.
"In the movies"
One other interesting thing about Versailles is that it was the backdrop for the Kentucky scenes in the new Cameron Crowe movie "Elizabethtown" which has just been released. Elizabethtown is a real town in Kentucky located just south of Louisville, but when the movie director was looking to film he liked the looks of Versailles. So, if you watch the movie you can see the Versailles downtown, a historic local church, and cemetary, but through movie magic everything will say Elizabethtown or Hardin County.