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It’s Fall Y’all! How to Find Frankfort this Fall : Written by Julia Koslowsky

Fall is just around the corner, and in our opinion, there’s no better time to travel to Frankfort. Cooler temperatures allow for pleasant outdoor adventures, delicious meals, and even a bourbon tasting or four! Whether you’re a Kentucky native or just in town for a few days, we have many wonderful opportunities that will have you wishing your weekend trip was actually a whole week! 

A Weekend Away (Or Maybe Longer!)

Frankfort is full of charming getaways to house you during your adventures here. From vacation rentals to hotels to campgrounds, we have an option for every kind of traveler. If camping isn’t your preferred experience, we have plenty of hotels located in and near downtown that give you great access to all Frankfort has to offer.

Many vacation rentals are located in the downtown area, which gives you a central home base for travel and easy walking access to the historic downtown area, shops, and restaurants. Some downtown vacation rentals include The Main Stay, Trace Guest Suites, and Livin’ Like a Local. For a luxurious and spacious vacation rental, consider The Bourbon Trail Luxury Loft and The The Penhouse Overlooking Downtown Frankfort, both located directly above Frankfort’s new bourbon bar. Or, Capitol at Elkhorn Creek which boasts a pool and hot tub that are open year-round, as well as three floors full of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living and dining areas. Your host is available to book restaurants and bourbon tours for you if desired. If you prefer to stay at quirky short-term rentals, check out Off the Grid Farm’s VW-style tent to add some Route 66 flair to your camping trip. 

For those with a taste for history, consider staying at BnB’s BnB at the Meeting House, a 180-year-old Civil War-era home. It’s located at the heart of the Historic District, and the owners are always ready with a fact or tale about its storied past. 

Frankfort has three campgrounds located just north or east of the city: Kentucky River Campground, Still Waters Campground & Canoe Trails, and Elkhorn Creek RV Park. Stay in a tent or bring your camper for an extended stay. All three campgrounds have access to water, whether canoeing in a river or creek or swimming in a pool. Kentucky River Campground and Still Waters Campground & Canoe Trails both have excellent hiking options along their trails.

Come Find Bourbon!

You can’t visit Frankfort without trying a glass of bourbon. While close to many distilleries and experiences on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Frankfort plays host to four unique distilleries that offer a classic bourbon experience found nowhere else. All four distilleries are located within a few miles of each other and are easily accessible from wherever you stay. 

Considered the oldest continuously operating distillery in the US and the most award-winning distillery in the world, Buffalo Trace Distillery has a 200-year-old bourbon recipe that has survived fires, floods, and tornadoes. On your way to taste their products, take one of seven different tours to learn about Buffalo Trace’s history, founders, and distilling process. 

Castle & Key Distillery has an extensive history that dates back to 1887. Although it is regarded as the birthplace of bourbon tourism, Prohibition forced the then-named Old Taylor Distillery to close. It was reopened under a new name in 2018 after a much-needed restoration. Take a tour of the distillery and its sunken gardens to get a sense of the saga behind the bourbon. 

Glenns Creek Distilling opened in 2014 and offers both group and private bookings to tour their facilities and taste their bourbon. Glenns Creek, abandoned like Castle & Key, used to be the Old Crow Distillery before owner David Meier restored it to its former glory with recipes that pay homage to the bourbon served by Old Crow. 

If you’re looking to taste bourbon surrounded by country, check out Three Boys Farm Distillery. Located on 127 acres of working farmland, Three Boys lets you sample its bourbon straight from the barrel and even fill your own bottle after your tour. 2022 marks their tenth anniversary as a distillery – the perfect excuse to head over and try a glass of bourbon!

Experience Frankfort Like a Local

Taken all the bourbon tours and need another adventure? To spend some time in the great outdoors, go for a hike or a walk at Cove Spring Park, Salato Wildlife Center, and West Sixth Farm. On top of hiking and fishing opportunities, Salato also features indoor and outdoor animal exhibits. West Sixth Farm allows you to spend a relaxing afternoon on the trails, on a tour, or in the orchard. Then you can head to their food truck, the West Sixth Cantina, for some food or to the taproom for refreshing locally brewed beer. You can even bring your pets! 

The Public Art Capital of Kentucky

Enjoy the Frankfort art scene either on a self-guided excursion or the Frankfort Public Art Tour. The accessible downtown area boasts plenty of colorful murals, historic buildings, and imaginative sculptures. Some celebrate the city’s uniqueness while others, like the Kentucky Veterans Vietnam Memorial, celebrate the strength and sacrifices of its people. 

The Josephine Sculpture Park is an essential artistic experience that curates upwards of 80 art pieces. It is a public, outdoor gallery and non-profit located in south Frankfort on 30 acres of rolling hills. While some of its pieces remain throughout the year, the park rotates its temporary exhibits to feature new artists and keep you coming back year after year.

Eating Around Town

With a weekend full of bourbon tastings, art tours, and nature walks, you’ll need some local fare to energize you! For breakfast near the downtown area, stop by Engine House Coffee for fresh coffee and pastries from Poppy’s, Main St. Diner for your breakfast favorites, B’s Bakery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Before you head out for an afternoon distillery tour, grab a delicious sandwich and salad at The Sage Garden Cafe or a wood fired pizza with locally sourced ingredients from Local’s Food Hub & Pizza Pub. For dinner, you can’t leave town without trying the newly opened bistro Limewater, Italian-Southern cuisine at Serafini, tavern food at Goodwood, or all your pub favorites at Bourbon on Main.

For dessert, you can’t beat an ice cream cone from Hoggy’s Ice Cream downtown. Check out HOC: A Bourbon Library, Capital Cellars, Mortimer Bibb’s Public House, and The Patio Pub, among other options, for relaxing afternoon or post-dinner drinks.

Autumnal Events in Frankfort

We have plenty of events for you to experience with us this fall. Visit the farmer’s market downtown every Saturday through November to support local vendors, farmers, and artists. On September 30th and October 1st, join in on the fun that bourbon country has to offer at the Bourbon Street on Broadway and Bourbon on the Banks festivals. Try local and regional fare, enjoy live music, and taste bourbons with their creators.

Through October, you can take Frankfort’s Bourbon & History Walking Tour through downtown Frankfort guided by a historic legend in the bourbon industry. You can also take the nation’s only bourbon boat tour through Kentucky River Tours

We can’t wait for you to visit us, and all our wonderful city has to offer this fall. See you soon!