Lexington’s next door neighbor is Scott County, home to Georgetown. Here’s our list of top things to do in Scott County.
* Annual Festival of the Horse
Celebrate the role of the horse to the history of Scott County with exhibits, concessions, arts & crafts, a carnival and 5k run. This year the festival is Oct. 3-5, preceded by the Fireman’s Chili Cook-Off on Oct. 2. Friday features the Colt and Filly Children’s Parade, the Fun-time Carnival, live entertainment, and arts and crafts. Saturday features the Grand Horse Parade, petting zoo, pony rides and Kid Zone. The weekend concludes Sunday with a Pet Parade, Blessing of The Animals, Horse Show and musical shows on the Main Stage. All events are free. Downtown Georgetown. www. festivalofthehorse.org
*Toyota Motor Manufacturing
This is Toyota’s largest plant in North America and offers a fascinating chance for visitors to look inside the process of creating a new car. Located at I-75, exit 126, 1001 Cherry Blossom Way. Guided plant tours available Monday through Friday; Reservations strongly suggested. Info: (502) 868-3027 or (800) 866-4485.
* Elkhorn Creek
As one of Kentucky’s loveliest and longest creeks, the Elkhorn is ideal for mild white water canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Rent canoes at Canoe Kentucky or take a guided tour. Along the creek is the Elkhorn Corridor Trail System, which includes several segments of varying lengths, some that are handicap accessible. Info: (800) 522-6631.
* Georgetown/Scott County Museum
This museum combines modern, natural and prehistoric history through a series of exhibits of local artifacts. It is located in the old Post Office at 229 East Main St. Open Wed.-Sat. Info: (502) 863-6201.
* Royal Springs Park
This is the “birthplace of bourbon” and Kentucky’s largest natural spring. It is believed that Baptist Minister Elijah Craig made the first batch of Kentucky bourbon here in 1789. The park also includes McClellan’s Fort built in 1776 and a cabin built by former slave Milton Leach in 1874. Corner of Water and West Main St. Info: (502) 863-6201.
* More Parks
Scott County boasts several parks for families, including the Pavilion Recreation Center, 140 Pavilion Way, which offers a skate park as well as swimming pool with a giant slide and facilities for basketball and volleyball. The Suffaleto Family Aquatic Center off Airport Road has 18,000 square feet of pools and water fun. Info: (502) 863-7865.
* Yuko-En On The Elkhorn
Located on the grounds of the Cardome Center, this is the official Kentucky-Japanese Friendship Garden, containing primarily native plants blended with Japanese garden principles. It’s a beautiful place for a walk. Open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. Info: (502) 316-4554.
* Ward Hall
This 12,000 square-foot Greek Revival-style mansion, completed in 1857, is considered one of the finest examples of a mid-nineteenth century classical building in the U.S. It is open for tours the first weekend of each month, April through November. Located at 1782 Frankfort Road. Info: (502) 396-4257.
* Old Friends Farm for Retired Thoroughbreds
Located on Paynes Depot Road, this farm is home to more than 100 retired race horses, making it “Horse Racing’s Living History Museum.” During daily walking tours, you can meet Belmont Stakes winner Sarava, Sunshine Forever, Gulch and Popcorn Deelites, who played Seabiscuit in the movie. Info: (502) 863-1775.
* Bi-Water Farm and Greenhouse
Bi-Water offers fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers plus mini golf, a petting zoo and paintball. Bi-Water is best known for AutumnFest, held in September and October featuring a Spooky Farmhouse, Enchanted Barnyard, Pirates Cove, Trike Track, Barnyard Babies and Lost Pumpkin Mine. Open seven days a week at 877 Cincinnati Road. Info: (502) 863-3676.
* Evans Orchard and Cider Mill
This family farm offers fresh fruits, home grown apples and vegetables from May to December. The kids will enjoy the Apple Dumpling Play Land, a giant slide, Kate’s Barnyard and a hay castle. The Apple Orchard Café serves sandwiches, snacks, pies, fudge and apple cider made on site. Located at 180 Stone Road. Info: (502) 863-2255.