In need of a getaway and not sure where to begin? Planning a trip to Frankfort has never been easier! Come stay a few days and experience the perfect blend of fascinating history, delicious bourbon, outdoor adventures, exquisite food, and stunning architecture. Frankfort’s small-town feel, and charm is sure to help you relax and recharge from the busyness of life. Use our three-day itinerary to help plan and maximize your time in Frankfort.
Hotel and vacation rental accommodation is available all over the city. Frankfort also has several campgrounds if you’re hoping for a more nature-focused stay. A great option in the center of the city is BnB’s BnB at The Meeting House. Sleep in cozy Kentucky-themed rooms and wake up to a luxurious, home-cooked breakfast each morning.
DAY 1 – BOURBON & BOATS
Start your stay in Frankfort with a classic bourbon experience. After all, it’s what the state is known for! Kentucky’s capital city is home to four bourbon distilleries: Buffalo Trace, Castle & Key, Glenns Creek, and Whiskey Thief. Each distillery offers tours and tastings of their signature whiskeys, and some offer multiple tours to showcase different aspects of the warehouses and the bourbon-making process over generations. Most touring hours begin between 10AM – 12PM and run through the end of the day. Make sure to book your tours well in advance as Frankfort’s distilleries draw thirsty crowds from all over America.
What something a little different? Take the 60-minute guided Bourbon & History Walking Tour of downtown Frankfort with Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr., impersonated by local historian Russ Kennedy.
After your morning bourbon tour, pop over to Limewater Bistro + Bar for lunch. Limewater is located in the historic Glen Willis House and overlooks the Kentucky River just around the riverbend from Buffalo Trace. Whether you’re hungry for sandwiches, pasta, salad, or stir fry, Limewater has it all fresh and ready to serve.
Take the only water-based bourbon history tour in the nation with Kentucky River Tours. Depending on whether you have another distillery tour scheduled for your afternoon, you might want to keep your river tour short. Take several different tours as short as one hour or as long as 2.5 hours. If you’re hoping to tour Buffalo Trace in the afternoon, book Kentucky River Tour’s package deal with them through the Old Taylor Tour to experience the best of Buffalo Trace’s history.
End your day at another waterfront restaurant for dinner. Bourbon on Main serves tasty drinks and yummy pub-style food, which is the perfect kind of meal with which to finish off a day of bourbon tasting.
DAY 2 – HISTORY & MUSEUMS
Grab a pastry or two at Andy’s Artisan Bread before you pack your day full of local history. You can’t visit Frankfort without experiencing its history hands-on by touring the Kentucky State Capitol. The neoclassical building is one of, if not the most, beautiful buildings in Frankfort and features a gorgeous brick promenade. Visit the legislature’s rooms and historical exhibits throughout the building while on your tour as well as the giant Floral Clock behind the State Capitol. Across the street, you can also view the Governor’s Mansion, which was modeled after Marie Antoinette’s summer home, Petit Trianon.
On your way towards downtown, stop by the Frank Lloyd Wright-Ziegler House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house built in Kentucky. A little further down Capital Avenue is Rebecca Ruth Candy, home of the world-famous bourbon balls and many more delicious treats. Stop by Buddy’s Pizza for lunch to fill up with New York-style pizza, calzones, strombolis, and salads before heading off on your next adventure.
Spend the afternoon at some or all of the Kentucky Historical Society’s museums. By purchasing one ticket at any of the three, you gain access to the Kentucky Military History Museum, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, and the Old State Capitol. Each museum showcases the history and importance of both Frankfort and Kentucky by exploring their war history, historical eras, and politically significant buildings and events. After the museums, swing by the Frankfort Cemetery to visit the memorial and gravesite of celebrated frontiersman Daniel Boone and to see the best view in Frankfort.
Dinner at Serafini in downtown Frankfort is a must. The chef combines the best of Italy with Kentucky’s Southern food traditions. They serve a wide variety of comfort food and elevated twists on classic favorites to satisfy every palate.
DAY 3 – ART, TOURS, & THE OUTDOORS
For a slow start to the day, grab breakfast and coffee at Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe or at Engine House Coffee in downtown Frankfort. Because Frankfort is the Public Art Capital of Kentucky, you’ll find quirky sculptures around every corner. Take a self-guided walking tour of downtown and hunt for sculptures, murals, and historic art pieces that provide QR codes with information about each individual piece. Another great place to experience Frankfort’s art scene is the Josephine Sculpture Park. Open from dawn to dusk, the nonprofit outdoor gallery features upwards of seventy rotating art pieces, some of which are interactive.
Try out Locals Food Hub and Pizza Pub for lunch or head to Main St. Diner, a fun 1950s-style eatery. Explore the shops connected to Kentucky Coffeetree, Poor Richard’s Books and Completely Kentucky, that turn the three into a trifecta of classic Frankfort delights.
After lunch, head over to the Capital City Museum to get a firsthand look at unique features that make Frankfort “Frankfort.” Admission is free, and you’ll learn a few facts you won’t find anywhere else. Frankfort has many wonderful parks where you can hike and play: Juniper Hill Park, Cove Springs Park and Nature Center, Leslie Morris Park, and Salato Wildlife Education Center, where you can also learn about the flora and fauna of Kentucky.
If you have any time left in the day before dinner, stop by HOC: A Bourbon Library for a pour of bourbon or a cocktail. Don’t forget to grab a selfie with the Bourbon Pole on your way around town! Or, if you don’t feel like walking, hop on the Frankfort Trolley and tour the city in style with your friendly driver pointing out all of downtown’s key attractions. For dinner, head over to Goodwood Brewing to eat some delicious Southern favorites.
COME SEE US SOON
Depending on your desired speed of travel, spread our itinerary out over three to five days. If you’re interested in finding out more about all Frankfort has to offer, call or stop by the Frankfort Visitor’s Center to grab tour guides, maps, and tips for exploring the city. We hope to see you around Frankfort soon!