When we left Paducah we went to The Bluegrass. This is a term for a musical genre, but also how they describe the region because the fields of grass on the hillsides look like they are a blue color flowing in the wind. I didn’t see any blue grass – it all looked green to me, but the area was still spectacular. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect much from Kentucky because I didn’t know anything about the state. After we arrived I was enormously impressed with its natural beauty. Our campground was just outside of Frankfort, and we were within easy travel distances from both Lexington and Louisville.
On a return trip I would like to rent a house boat on one of their giant lakes: Cumberland, Barkley, or Kentucky. We didn’t get a chance to get out on any of these lakes while we were there, but we did get a chance to see several charming historic towns and experience the lush landscape via hikes with the dogs or daytrips in the car.
We loved the view from most of the drives in the Bluegrass. Whether it was interstate or back roads, the asphalt was constantly lined with picturesque horse farms on both sides.
I think the day we went to Churchill Downs was one of the most fun outings we had while we were camped near Frankfort. I opted for a very meticulous method of selecting which horses to bet on… I chose the names I liked the best. Mike took a bit more of an analytical approach and listened to some of the advice from experts in the racing brochure. I think he got paid on two races and I got paid on everything BUT two races.
The weather was perfect on the day we went to Churchill Downs. I was afraid it would be crazy busy, since we went on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. However, the place is go gigantic and the crowds were not overwhelming, so we were not cramped at all. We made our way between the paddock and front-row seats in front of the winner’s circle – with stops at the betting booths in each direction (either to hand the teller more money or collect our earnings).
The things that made Churchill Downs so special, in my opinion, were the abstract things like the architecture, art, and flowers everywhere. I also really liked the two mint juleps I sampled.
The Downtown Frankfort Organization sponsors summer concerts on the lawn of the old capitol building on Friday nights. We were lucky enough to be in town for the kick-off event. The first band that played was an eclectic marching band, and their leader was this guy playing the horn on stilts. I never took the photo at the right time, but he also had fire blowing from the instrument while he played!
The Kentucky River runs right through the middle of downtown Frankfort, with a bridge on opposite sides to connect each sector. One half is where all the commercial buildings and business are located. The other half features the actual Capitol Building and Governor’s Mansion tucked into an historic residential neighborhood.
When we landed at the campground in Frankfort, of course I did a search for DDD restaurants in the area. We were excited to find out that Rick’s White Light Diner was featured on the show around 2010. No doubt, we visited for lunch one day. The food was very good, but the portions were tiny and the prices were really high. I guess there is only so much money one can make in a restaurant with 6 tables and a counter when you only serve breakfast and lunch. To retain the ‘dive’ charm and avoid expansion, I guess he had no other choice but to limit the amount of food he serves and then price it through the roof.
This looks like it could be a small marina somewhere out in the country, but it is right off of the ‘main drag’ in downtown Frankfort.
Our campground near Frankfort got really busy on the weekends with tent campers. It was a big spot for canoeing. There were even some for rent from the camp store.
Our Still Waters Campground sat right on the banks of Elkhorn Creek where it empties into the Kentucky River.
It was an overcast afternoon on the day we visited Lexington. It started raining on us just as we got out of the car to explore the area, so we did a drive-by tour instead. I really loved all the historic homes in the neighborhoods adjacent to the Central Business District.
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky with a wonderful downtown situated along the Ohio River. When we first got there, we walked the dogs along an 85-acre waterfront park. After they were tired, we headed toward the historic buildings and found a spot for lunch on an outside patio. As we made our way back to the car, we stumbled upon this ENORMOUS bat outside the factory where they make Louisville Sluggers. Now that is an original landmark!
Just another historic building in downtown Louisville with gorgeous attention to detail on its original façade.
I had to order a ‘Hot Brown’ in the state where it was invented. It almost made me want to have a hangover while eating it… seemed like the perfect cure with its layers of bread, gravy, roast turkey, sliced ham, melted cheddar cheese, bacon and tomato. SOOO delicious and incredibly unhealthy! That amount of grease and carbs would make anyone feel better if they overindulged the previous night.
The Capitol Building is surrounded by a large landscape of lush lawns, big trees and beautiful flower beds.
One morning we took the dogs on a public walking trail that I found a few miles from our camp. When we got to the end we found this clear stream in a little valley.
They had endured a giant rain storm the night before we arrived at Still Waters. When I first went to look at Elkhorn Creek, I thought to myself “brown yucky water’. But that was just because of the rain. After a few days, the water levels dropped back down and it turned to more of a green hue.
The owners of the campground leased some of their land to farmers from the area. We got the chance to watch a crop of tobacco grow behind our spot.