Versailles is a small community near Lexington and Frankfort. The town is friendly and typical of many small towns in Central Kentucky. The surrounding area is tranquil and scenic--perfect for bicyle touring. Besides visiting horse farms, I would sample food at some of the local resturants, and see the Keeneland Race track. Tourists can stay at one of several bed and breakfasts (such as the Holly Hill Inn located in the Rose Hill Historic District, pictured ), or one of Lexington's hotels (An expensive but good choice for golfers would be the Griffin-Gate Resort Marriott, located off the Interstate at the Newtown Pike exit in Lexington).
The worlds finest throughbred racing stock is born and bred in this part of Kentucky. Some of the farms and mansions date back before the civil war. Others have been developed by rich investors and are amazing to view because of the expensive barns and fields lined by black or white plank fencing. Some of the horses are worth millions of dollars and they are lavished with attention and care.
Nearby Midway, has many small shops, restaurants, and scenic horse farms--especially the farms on the road between Midway and Versailles.
See web site below for calendar of special events.
277 Rose Hill Avenue, Versailles, Kentucky, 40383, United States
Good for: Business
233 Rose Hill Ave, Versailles, KY 40383
Good for: Couples
1010 Steele Rd, Versailles, KY 40383
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
270 Montgomery Ave, Versailles, KY 40383
Good for: Business
Local restaurants seem to come and go in Versailles. Restaurants I have rated highly in the past have closed. At the moment, my favorite remaining place in Versailles for home cooked type meals is Ruby's Garden, Cafe which is hidden in the old K-Mart building now converted into a flea market. Despite its less than promising location, Ruby knows how to cook home style food. She has extensive experience cooking at a historic hotel in Ohio and with food services in another town. Unfortunately, she is not open for supper. But if you find yourself in Versailles during the day-check it out. This is not gormet food, but if you like basic food prepared well, you'll be well satisfied. This leaves a problem if you want a home cooked style dinner. If you are in the general area Wednesday through Saturday, check out the restaurants in nearby Midway (about a 20 minute drive from Versailles) and my review of them on my Midway page.
Favorite Dish: Home style real mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum! Not the usual wallpaper paste freeze dried variety served elsewhere.
HALFTIMES: A small bar & grill situated at the top of the bypass that leads to the fields where we play soccer. Both the owner and the staff are very approachable and welcome everyone with open arms and a smile. Pool and electronic darts are available as is a large screen TV.
Favorite Dish: Buffalo Wings $5.25
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Another interesting side trip from Versailles is visiting the restored Labrot & Graham Distilleriy near Versailles (a National Historic Landmark). This is interesting because of the tour, and scenic as it right in the midst of some beautiful horse farms, as well as near the Buckley wildlife sanctuary.
This facility started in 1797 and is one of the oldest in Kentucky. Take U.S. 60 toward Frankfort and then look for historic marker signs on McCracken Pike to your left.
This is a picture of a place simply known as 'The Castle'. I'm sure it has a real title but I don't know what it is and can't find it anywhere. The Castle is privately owned and visitors are not encouraged. This picture was taken from Versailles Road which is the main thoroughfare between Versailles & Lexington and passes immediately in front of The Castle.
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.
Take a scenic drive to see some of the most beautiful horse farms in the world. I would also see the Keeneland Race track, especially if visiting during the the Spring or Fall when live racing was taking place. See my Lexington page travelogue for pictures of Keeneland. You can take a bus tour of some of the horse farms or arrange to take a private tour of some farms by calling ahead and making reservations. Some of the tours are free, but it is customary to tip the grooms. My Lexington page links to more tour information.
Fondest memory: The wonderful farms around Lexington are disappearing due to development of housing subdivisons. We will miss them when they are gone.