Kentucky #1:

My Old Kentucky Home

Depart Lexington to the south on Rte. 68 and drive to Harrodsburg over some of the best rolling roads lined with field-stone fences in the heart of the Bluegrass part of Kentucky. Short trips on side roads can put the best of roller coasters to shame. There's a wealth of American history to take in during the 115-mile drive, including the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. The village is located halfway between Lexington and Harrodsburg, the first permanent settlement in Kentucky. Continue your drive south for ten miles and you will come to Danville, one of Kentucky's historic communities. From Danville head west on Rte. 150 to the heart of the Civil War action in Perrysville.

A few more miles west on Rte. 150 puts you in the Springfield area, which is steeped in Lincoln family history. Here you find the Lincoln Homestead State Park that features the cabin of Nancy Hanks, President Lincoln's mother, and the site of her wedding to Thomas Lincoln.

Continue on Rte. 150 and you will reach My Old Kentucky Home State Park. A high point in this park during the summer is the musical, "The Stephen Foster Story," which is performed nightly. The locals say that on a quiet night, if you concentrate for a spell, you may actually hear Foster himself sing many of his great Kentucky songs. A short distance farther on this route, just past the Bardstown area at Hodgenville, south on U.S. 31, you can tour the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historic Site. If Kentucky bourbon interests you, Bardstown is the home of many famous distilleries. Most Kentucky bourbon can be sampled at finer Kentucky restaurants.

Starting Point:
Lexington/Rte. U.S. 68 South

Distance of Drive:
115 miles

Must Eat:
Inn at Pleasant Hill (Shaker Village)
3500 Lexington Road, Harrodsburg, KY 40330
Phone: 859-734-5411
Call ahead to confirm hours of operation.
Good Stop For: Fine Home Style

Best Time of Year for Drive:
Early spring to late fall

Points of Interest on Drive:
My Old Kentucky Home
Shaker Village
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historic Site
Road #2: The Ridge to the Natural Bridge

Kentucky #2:

The Ridge to the Natural Bridge

For a fascinating start to this trip, begin in Morehead with a visit to the Kentucky Folk Art Center. Here you can learn about the past culture of Eastern Kentucky and Daniel Boone. From there, take U.S. 60 west to Rte. 801, which runs along Cave Run Lake, an 8,400-acre blue lake bordered by forests that reach all the way to the water. This is a good spot to enjoy some great boating and to do some outstanding muskie fishing. Nearby Zilpo Road, the state's only National Forest Scenic Byway, leads you to the Zilpo Recreation Area with its overlooks of the lake, forests, and entrance to the Sheltowee Trace Trail.

For nine miles, the Zilpo Road features a breathtaking, ridge-top view. You'll pass historic Clear Creek iron furnace and the Tater Knob fire tower, the last tower in the forest. Drive on to Rte. 211 by taking County Road 129 and then Rte. 36 and Rte.1274 south to Frenchburg. From Frenchburg drive east on U.S. 460 to Rte. 77. This road forms the scenic loop that goes through the Red River Gorge area, one of the most beautiful areas in Kentucky. Once you've driven the Rte. 77/715 loop, drive on to Natural Bridge State Resort Park. From here you'll want to hike to the park's namesake that has an opening 78 feet long and 65 feet high. There are sky lifts that will allow you to see the vistas from the air.

Starting Point:
Morehead, KY

Distance of Drive:
70 miles

Must Eat:
Elliottville Diner
8051 Christy Crk., Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-780-9399
Call ahead to confirm hours of operation.
Good Stop For: Local Flavor

Best Time of Year for Drive:
Early spring to late fall

Points of Interest on Drive:
Daniel Boone National Forest
Natural Bridge State Resort
Sheltowee Trace Trail

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