6 Reasons Why I Love Georgetown, KY
Written by Trip101
There are a lot of reasons to love this quaint, charming town in the heart of Bluegrass country. Georgetown is the epitome of small-town America. Slap-bang in the middle of the golden triangle of Cincinnati, Louisville, and Lexington, this special place is a homely and familiar escape from the big cities.
There’s a lot more on offer than you might expect. The town has a picturesque downtown, but it doesn’t stop there. Head out into the countryside where you can stroll through cornfields, passing horses and cows, and seeing some unusual roadside art. Adventurers can try their hand at riding said horses, whereas those who appreciate the finer things can visit bourbon distilleries, craft beer shops, and vineyards.
There is no better place than Georgetown for horse lovers. There are 3 great equine attractions in and around the town, which are all a great day out.
Old Friends Equine – This outstanding not for profit organization takes care of retired racehorses. The facility, founded by Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, is part of a tri-state initiative that looks after over 165 horses. Come here to meet horseracing heroes of yesteryear, and see them deservedly enjoying their old age running, rolling in the mud, and of course, being fed.
Whispering Woods Riding Stables – Not content with just looking at the horses? This is a great place to try your hand at riding. Even better, you won’t just be riding in a circle. Whispering Woods is a 250-acre site where you can choose one of the beautiful 24 horses to take on their miles of trails.
Kentucky Horse Park – A little trip out of Georgetown, this amazing tribute to our equine friends is still well worth seeing. Not just a working horse farm, but also an educational theme park and competition facility, this is a great place to learn about man’s relationship with the horse. There are several museums on the horse farm with interactive displays, and it’s a great place for the whole family.
2. Bourbon 30 Spirits Distillery
The site here (originally called Lebanon prior to Rev. Elijah Craig) was upon the town’s water source, Royal Spring. These very waters are about as close to the Birthplace of Bourbon as you can get, marking where Elijah Craig drew the water for the very first batch of Kentucky Bourbon. And just across the street enjoy a pretty great experience at Bourbon 30 Spirits. Each barrel at the distillery is different from the next, and you can even pick up your own bottle!
3. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Visitor Center and Plant Tour
Georgetown is home to the first Toyota manufacturing plant in America, which also happens to be the largest in the world. The best-selling car in the US for 14 years, the Camry, was produced here and you can even see the first one ever to have rolled off the production line. Next, embark on a guided tour around the factory by tram, learning about the processes and the history of Toyota in the USA. Currently, the factory still makes the Camry, along with the Avalon and the Lexus ES-350.
Even better, the tour of the Toyota plant is completely free! Don’t miss your chance to see this marvel of engineering and international co-operation. You can do the hour-long tour, but make sure you visit from Monday to Friday as it’s closed on weekends.
4. Yuko-en on the Elkhorn, Kentucky-Japan Friendship Garden
Thanks to Georgetown’s Toyota plant, the town has had a strong and fruitful relationship with Japan for many years and is even twinned with the town of Tahara in Aichi province. Both towns combined to create this peaceful and serene Japanese garden, which was the first of its kind in Kentucky. The garden is influenced by both Japanese and American culture, with a rock garden, a pond stocked with koi carp, and landscaped pathways which meander through the greenery. The 5-½ acre garden is free to enter and is open from dawn till dusk throughout the whole year.
5. Buffalo Gals Barn Quilt Trail
Get yourself out into picturesque Scott County by taking the Buffalo Gals Barn Quilt Trail. The ‘quilts’ are 8 by 4-foot squares painted on wood and attached to the side of barns (both old and new), fences, and yards across the county. These fascinating and enchanting pieces of roadside art are not the only great thing about the trail. The trail itself is beautiful and will take you past proud horses and grazing cows on country roads flanked by cornfields and wildflowers.
The Barn Quilt Trail is free and it’s a great way to learn about local history and culture. Please be respectful when on the trail, as a lot of the quilts are located on private property. You can download a map of the trail at HERE.
Saving the best til last, Georgetown’s downtown is one of the most picturesque in the whole of Kentucky, if not the States.
A beautifully preserved area boasting over 200 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you could happily wander down the streets not even noticing the fantastic boutique shopping and restaurants serving delicious home-style food.
When you do notice them though, you’re in for a treat. For the best souvenirs in town, head to either Birdsong Quilting and Crafts or the Georgetown Antique Mall. Tie a stroll through Royal Spring Park in with the Bourbon 30 Spirits Distillery, mentioned above.
To learn about Georgetown’s history and culture, head to the Georgetown & Scott County Museum.
Although it doesn’t offer the bright lights and big city vibe of nearby Cincinnati, you shouldn’t miss out on Georgetown. There are so many reasons to love it! The laid-back vibe means you might end up staying here a lot longer than you originally intended. For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, check out Trip101.
All content written by Trip 101 guest blogger