Just a few miles southeast of Lexington is the city of Winchester, in the center of Clark County, and it’s the perfect place for a family day trip this summer.
Here’s a list of our 10 Favorite Things to Do in Clark County.
1) Ale-8-One plant.
The soft drink unique to Kentucky, has been bottled in Winchester since 1926. Tours of the factory are offered on Fridays at 10:50 a.m. with advance notice. (859) 744-3484 www.ale8one.com
2) Blackfish Bison Ranch.
Visit a real buffalo herd and learn the history of Chief Blackfish, leader of the Shawnee Tribe at the time of Daniel Boone. You can get up close to the buffalo herd, learn to throw a tomahawk, swing a lasso, sample bison meat and participate in a Lakota Sioux “smudge” feather ceremony. Tours and field trips are by appointment only. 676 Quisenberry Lane. Info: (859) 676-1285.
3) Civil War Fort at Boonesboro.
The earthwork fortification was built by Union Soldiers to defend the ford and ferry at Boonesborough. A scenic trail provides a view of the Kentucky River. Take self-guided or cell phone tours. Info: (800) 298-9105. www.civilwarfortatboonesboro.com.
4) Bluegrass Heritage Museum.
Housed in the historic Guerrant Mission Clinic and Hospital in Winchester, the Bluegrass Heritage Museum examines regional history through engaging and innovative exhibits. The museum is the place to begin your exploration of the rich cultural heritage of the Bluegrass Region. Info: (859) 745-1358 or www.bgheritage.com.
5) Leeds theater.
Originally opened as a one of the first movie theaters in the area in 1925, the renovated Leeds Theater plays host to live music and theatre as well as movies.
6) Lower Howard’s Creek Nature and Heritage Preserve.
The State Preserve was established to promote an area rich in natural beauty and historical significance. Guided tours are available and the public can hike the John Holder Trail, which is 2.8 miles and begins close to Hall’s on the River. Info: (859) 744-4888 or www.lowerhowardscreek.org.
7) Beer Cheese Festival.
About 12,000 people come to the Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester every year in June for live music, arts & crafts and a taste of Kentucky Proud products such as beer cheese from around the state. Info: www.beercheesefestival.com.
8) Three Trees Canoe-Kayak Rental
Located on Athens-Boonesboro Road, Three Trees offers canoe and kayak rentals for beginners and more advanced paddlers alike. Visitors can paddle on the Kentucky River through the Palisades and enjoy unique views of the spectacular rock formations. 300 Athens-Boonesboro Rd., Info: (859) 749-3227 or www.threetreeskayak.com.
9) Sky Vue Drive In.
Now in its 65th season, the Sky Vue features two screens, and you can watch movies from your car Tuesdays-Sundays for just $5 per person, with kids under 5 admitted for free. 5909 Lexington Rd., Winchester. Info: (859) 303-8640 or www.skyvuetwin.com.
10) Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival
This is the 36th year of the festival celebrating the first Kentucky settlers and runs Aug. 29-31. Start the weekend with Street Dancing in downtown Winchester Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Get up early Saturday morning for the Daniel Boone 5K Run starting at 8 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church followed by the 9:30 a.m. Walk With Friends beginning downtown.
On Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy arts & crafts at College Park with a Local Talent Contest at 12:30 p.m. The Kitty Strode Concert Series at Lykins Park is Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Info: (800) 298-9105 or visit www.danielboonepioneerfestival.com.