Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels Across the United States

KENTUCKY 

News
Bowling Green
Harrodsburg
Hopkinsville
Louisville
Mammouth Cave Nat'l Park
Newport
Union
Williamstown

NEWS (Cities & Towns Follow After the News)

Brand New Multimillion-dollar Glamping Site “Camp Bespoke” Coming to The Heart of Kentucky--The First Majority Black Female-Owned Glamping Site in the Region Breaks Ground on August 12, 2020, Williamstown, KY

Seahorses Unbridled Fun--Newport Aquarium's New Seahorses Exhibit Aquarium Introduces the most interactive seahorse exhibit in the country

Hidden River Cave Trails – Horse Cave                                            

The pathway of Hidden River Cave is outlined in the streets and sidewalks and is interpreted by large signs which tell the story through pictures and quick facts. www.horsecavestories.com 270-218-0386

BOWLING GREEN

What to See & Do

National Corvette Homecoming – Bowling Green    

Since 1981, the National Corvette Homecoming has attracted Corvette owners from all over the U.S. and Canada. It is the annual gathering and celebration for Corvettes of all years to return home to Bowling Green. Corvette owners can network, learn, trade and join in friendly competition and other exciting activities. www.corvettehomecoming.com 270-791-2117

GM Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant – Bowling Green           

All Corvettes, “America’s Sports Car,” are manufactured at this plant located near the National Corvette Museum. Take a tour and watch the parts come together. Call ahead to confirm tour availability. www.bowlinggreenassemblyplant.com 270-745-8486

Duncan Hines Festival                                                   

Sweet treats and family fun are the ingredients of this free culinary festival honoring Bowling Green native and household name, Duncan Hines. www.duncanhinesfestival.com 270-703-9145

Dozens of Additional Things to Do in Bowling Green

See over 75 classics at the National Corvette Museum

Ride the 'most twisted wooden coaster in a seven state region" at Beech Bend Amusement Park

Float through Lost River Cave in a boat.

Race scale stock cars themed after your favorite driver at Race World

Gaze at the stars at the Hardin Planetarium

Watch potter Mitchell Rickman mold his wares

Walk actual Civil War trenches on the campus of Western Kentucky Univeristy

Stroll along the pedestrian bridge at RiverWalk park

Climb aboard restored railcars at the Historic Railpark

Take a trail ride on horseback at Triple H Stables

Tour a dairy farm and eat homemade ice cream at Chaney's Dairy Barn

Shop at one of Greenwood Mall's over 100 stores

Step Inside Duncan Hines' kitchen at the Kentucky Museum

Visit the GM Corvette and Cadillac XLR Plant

Take a short drive to Shaker Museum at South Union

Canoe along Three Springs Lake or Barren River

Tour Bowling Green Brewing Company and sample the German-style brew

Tee off at one of the many public golf courses

Cheer on your favorite racer at Beech Bend Raceway

Become part of the Victorian era at Riverview historic house museum.

For more ideas, contact the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-326-7465 or 270-78200800, or check web site www.visitbgky.com.

HARRODSBURG

Where to Stay

Beaumont Inn

Constructed in 1845 and originally operating as a school for girls, Beaumont Inn rests in the heart Bluegrass Country in historic Harrodsburg, Kentucky’s oldest town. Beaumont Inn guests can choose from antique-furnished guestrooms in the 1845 main inn, spacious rooms in the 1935 Goddard Hall, or a deluxe suite from the 1931 Greystone House. The 33 acres of gorgeous property feature three dozen different tree species, some that are centuries old. Now run by the fourth and fifth generations, the inn refines the art of southern hospitality, offering full-service dining, an on-site spa, gift shop, country ham aging house and swimming pool, plus a lounge and tavern serving up fine Kentucky-distilled whiskey. Nearby historic sites, shops, horseback riding, parks, hiking trails, antiquing and more make Beaumont Inn a perfect getaway. Reservations and complete information are available at www.beaumontinn.com or (800) 352-3992.

Beaumont Inn immerses guests in Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail
On-site pub offers tastings, comparison of region's premium bourbons

Rolling bluegrass, rich American history, celebrated comfort food and renowned southern hospitality are hallmarks of the Beaumont Inn experience. But many visitors to this one-of-a-kind historic inn arrive hoping to become steeped in the fruits of Kentucky's Bourbon Trail. With no fewer than eight distilleries just a short drive away, including Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace and others, the inn offers the ideal base camp for any traveler's bourbon tour. Owned and managed for five generations by the Dedman family, complete information and reservations for the Beaumont Inn are available at www.beaumontinn.com or (800) 352-3992.

Trail-goers can return to the inn to take advantage of the on-site pub, the Old Owl Tavern, named for the Dedman family's own Kentucky Owl Bourbon Whiskey, which was distilled along the Kentucky River before being halted by prohibition. The tavern now offers its own version of a bourbon trail, pouring nearly three dozen bourbons, including those found on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, along with others. After opening in 2004, the Old Owl Tavern quickly became Harrodsburg’s favorite bar and grill, with its casual fare, great wine and spirits available at its 23-foot, Kentucky-crafted mahogany bar. The inn's impressive collection of 35 different bourbons are also poured at its Owl's Nest, an intimate, cozy lounge serving casual pub fare.

A self-taught bourbon aficionado, Dedman added that guests also enjoy the opportunity to sample different Kentucky bourbons against each other, while discussing the nuances of each and making tasting notes -- all without ever leaving the inn. Constructed in 1845 and originally operating as a school for girls, Beaumont Inn rests in the heart Bluegrass Country in historic Harrodsburg, Kentucky’s oldest town. Beaumont Inn guests can choose from antique-furnished guestrooms in the 1845 main inn, spacious rooms in the 1935 Goddard Hall, or a deluxe suite from the 1931 Greystone House. The 33 acres of gorgeous property feature three dozen different tree species, some that are centuries old. Now run by the fourth and fifth generations, the inn refines the art of southern hospitality, offering full-service dining, an on-site spa, gift shop, country ham aging house and swimming pool, plus a lounge and tavern serving up fine Kentucky-distilled whiskey. Nearby historic sites, shops, horseback riding, parks, hiking trails, antiquing and more make Beaumont Inn a perfect getaway. Reservations and complete information are available at www.beaumontinn.com or (800) 352-3992.

HOPKINSVILLE

What to See & Do

Edgar Cayce – The Sleeping Prophet – Hopkinsville                           

Edgar Cayce was born in Hopkinsville and was one of the most prominent psychics of the 20th century. Each year Hopkinsville’s Pennyroyal Museum hosts an Edgar Cayce Hometown Seminar. He is buried in Hopkinsville’s Riverside Cemetery. www.edgarcayce.info 270-885-9096

LOUISVILLE

Kentucky Derby Festival – Louisville       

The Derby Festival is a two-week-plus celebration of the world’s most famous horse race. The oldest festival event, the Pegasus Parade, was first held in 1956. Today, nearly 70 events make up the festival. www.kdf.org 502-572-3822

MAMMOUTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Mammoth Cave - A Vacation of Mammoth Proportions

Aside from the fact that Kentucky has one of the nations’ best state park systems with 17 state resort parks and 24 state recreational parks, the state also has one of the nations’ most unique National Parks, Mammoth Cave.

Mammoth Cave National Park is home to the longest cave system in the world with more than 365 miles of explored territory. This park preserves the cave and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. Since 1816, visitors have toured the subterranean labyrinths of the caves that early guide Stephen Bishop called a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place.”

The park offers camping in three developed campgrounds and in more than a dozen primitive sites in the backcountry and along the Green and Nolin Rivers. There’s plenty of fun in store for families too: in addition to the many cave tours, visitors can hike, bike, ride your horse, canoe and kayak, take a riverboat ride, watch a film, enjoy a campfire program, and more.

For more information check web site www.kentuckytourism.com

NEWPORT

What to see & do

The Newport Aquarium

Location: Newport Aquarium
One Aquarium Way Newport, KY, 41071, USA., 1-800-4063474

Seahorses Unbridled Fun--Newport Aquarium Announces New Seahorses Exhibit Aquarium

Guests can discover 10 species of seahorses, sea dragons, trumpetfish, shrimpfish and pipefish. With a head like a horse, snout like an aardvark and belly pouch like a kangaroo- seahorses are anything but ordinary. The way the exhibit is designed; guests will be completely immersed in the world of seahorses with something new to experience around every corner.

“Seahorses are very difficult to experience in nature due to their ability to blend, chameleon-like, into their surroundings,” said Chris Pierson, director of husbandry at Newport Aquarium. “The way this exhibit’s viewing tanks are designed, guests will really be able to get up-close to them and see their unique physical features, like most people have never seen them.”

The Most Interactive Seahorse Exhibit in the Country

In addition to seeing these animals firsthand, when the exhibit opens in April, Seahorses:Unbridled Fun will be the most interactive seahorse exhibit in the country. The exhibit will feature rare video of seahorses and their most unusual behaviors; interactive seahorse sculptures highlighting unique physical characteristics; the ability to create your own customized sea horse or sea dragon using custom technology; and much more.

Often regarded as the ocean’s greeters, seahorses and sea dragons are found in coastal ecosystems, and protecting them also helps many other marine species. The exhibit will highlight various habitats they live in and share stories about the threats they face in the wild.

NEW Canyon Falls! 

Canyon Falls will be the new home to the Asian small-clawed otters, which are back by popular demand and whose cute little faces will melt your heart. Asian small-clawed otters are the smallest and most social otter species in the world. Your family will love watching them from multiple vantage points as they swim and play next to a real indoor waterfall. 

Canyon Falls will also exhibit two species of lizard never before seen at Newport Aquarium. Get nose-to-nose with a yellow monitor, a rare and active tree-dwelling lizard from Indonesia, and panther chameleon, one of the most colorful lizards in the world from Madagascar. 

While visiting, don’t forget to say hello to Thunder, a more than 100-year-old snapping turtle and Newport Aquarium’s oldest resident. Plus, spend some time at the Turtle Corral, where guests have the unique opportunity to touch several species of tortoises.

Otter Talks
Daily: 11 a.m. 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. 

Learn about our adorable Small-Clawed Asian Otters during this educational and entertaining presentation. Guests will get to see a biologist inside the exhibit as they feed, train, or interact with the otters. An Animal Experience Specialist will be on hand to explain behaviors, take questions from guests, and explain what makes these rare otters so special.

For more information contact the Newport Aquarium at One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444 or check web site www.newportaquarium.com

Join the Newport Aquarium for more exhilarating and NEW attractions, plus returning guest favorites.

An Annual Pass is the best way to ensure you don't miss out on everything there is to see and do in 2019. It lets you visit the Aquarium as often as you like throughout the year for less than the cost of two visits, plus, receive special invitations to exhibit previews and seasonal shows, a bounty of discounts and exclusive access to passholder only offers.

King penguin facts:
-- With their fluffy brown appearance, king penguin chicks look so dissimilar to adult king penguins that early explorers described them as an entirely different species, the woolly penguin.
-- King penguins are one of the few birds that do not build nests. Instead, they incubate their eggs under the belly on top of their feet.
-- King penguins can be found in the waters of the sub-Antarctic. They breed on many of the sub-Antarctic islands, such as South Georgia, Crozet, the Falklands, and the islands southeast of Australia and southwest of New Zealand.

For more information contact the Newport Aquarium at One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com

Newport Aquarium – Shark Ray Breeding Program

The Newport Aquarium boasts the only formal shark ray breeding program in the world. Visitors may see the shark rays as they swim with sharks and other aquatic life in the large tanks. www.newportaquarium.com 859-815-1432

The full list also includes such icons as Mammoth Cave, the Kentucky Derby, and My Old Kentucky Home. Find more information about “There’s Only One” at www.kentuckytourism.com.

The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism is an agency within the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, which promotes the Commonwealth as a travel destination. Tourism in Kentucky has an economic impact of nearly $11.7 billion, supports about 170,000 jobs and generates more than $1.2 billion in taxes.

Location: One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071
1-800-406-3474

UNION

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site –                                                         

This National Natural Landmark is the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology. Fossilized bones and artifacts from the last 20,000 years have been recovered by researchers and are displayed in museums worldwide. The discovery trail behind the visitor’s center gives visitors a glimpse of the drama that unfolded at the springs during the Pleistocene epoch, commonly called the most recent Ice Age. www.parks.ky.gov 859-384-3522

WILLIAMSTOWN

Brand New Multimillion-dollar Glamping Site “Camp Bespoke” Coming to The Heart of Kentucky--The First Majority Black Female-Owned Glamping Site in the Region Breaks Ground on August 12, 2020, Williamstown, KY

Bespoke Campgrounds announces the groundbreaking for Kentucky’s newest travel destination and $3 million “glamping” site – Camp Bespoke. The Groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 10 am. Camp Bespoke is a modern boutique campground nestled on 31 acres in the heart of Horse Country, Kentucky. Over the past decade, glamping has gone from a hip niche to a popular lodging favorite around the world. Camp Bespoke will provide travelers with a unique, adventurous, and sustainable experience through activities, hospitalities, and accommodations all while supporting local businesses and demographics. It is more than just a lodging destination – it is an experience unlike no other in the region. Camp Bespoke goes beyond a traditional lodging destination – offering an experience unlike any other in the region. Camp Bespoke, located at 500 Mercedes Drive, Williamstown, KY is set to open for guests in October 2020.

Camp Bespoke will open in two phases: phase one will accommodate 200 guests in deluxe cabins and cottages sourced from repurposed shipping containers with modern architecture and design elements as well as Sioux style tipis. The cabins are 350 sq. ft sleeping 4-8 persons, the cottages are 150 sq. ft sleeping 2-4 persons and the tipis are 450 - 530sq. ft sleeping 6-8 persons. All accommodations are outfitted with bathrooms, mini-split units and kitchenette. In addition to its upcycled luxury lodging, Camp Bespoke will provide amenities and activities that guests will be able to enjoy on the campground which will include family friendly movie nights, live entertainment and life size games located throughout the property. Curated experience packages authentic to the region such as horseback riding excursions and distillery tours can also be arranged through Camp Bespoke. Phase two is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2021. This will expand the property to include additional lodging accommodations, a conference center, event pavilion, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Camp Bespoke is dedicated to ensuring the satisfaction and safety of our guests by ensuring clean, safe, and comfortable environments utilizing Ecolab hospital grade sustainable solutions. The owners have worked in the healthcare field for a combined 50+ years, three of them being nurse practitioners. They have been trained by medical facilities on the most current compliances in social distance measures, proper hygienic and disinfecting practices for COVID-19.

Lexington native and Camp Bespoke Founder & CEO Nicole Brassington says, “We wanted to create a destination with Camp Bespoke where there is a little something for everyone! Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or prefer to lodge at hotels, Camp Bespoke is the perfect blend of both! Camp Bespoke is truly a Kentucky Proud project designed to be an elevated camping experience with unique lodging accommodations and curated excursions authentic to Kentucky that will create memories that last a lifetime. We’re creating a social enterprise designed to benefit communities across the Commonwealth.”
The remaining all female ownership of Camp Bespoke includes Misty Smith (Co- founder & CHO), Latasha Reid (COO), and Dr. Angelina Strickland (CFO).

Along with many aspects of this project, the Bespoke team have gone above and beyond to utilize local resources and support businesses throughout Kentucky. This includes donating a percentage of sales for all stays to organizations who uphold standards of fairness and equality across the state. Upon opening, $1 from every Tipi booked at Camp Bespoke will go directly to the Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum with a yearly minimum donation of $5000. Additionally, funds will be donated to the Fund for the Arts to support visual, performing, and culinary arts programming for minorities, underserved youth, and artists throughout the state of Kentucky. Bespoke Campgrounds has also partnered with Black Soil for resources across the entire campground to help foster sustainability for black farmers and producers as they provide healthy food options to a larger consumer base. Across the state, black farmers account for less than 600 of the more than 76,000 agricultural operations in Kentucky.

“We are committed to sustainability through collaborations with local, regional and state stakeholders by integrating sustainable business practices and increasing interest to ensure our campground will thrive despite seasonal adjustments.” Brassington continued.
Camp Bespoke is currently hiring for many positions, creating at least 44 new jobs in the area. Along with job creation, Bespoke Campgrounds is excited to contribute to the ongoing economic development and tourism initiatives across the Commonwealth.
To watch the groundbreaking LIVE or for more information about Camp Bespoke including amenities, frequently asked questions, pricing and bookings, please visit www.campbespoke.com

About Camp Bespoke
Bespoke Campgrounds invites you to experience the beauty of Kentucky. Based in the beautiful bluegrass state, Kentucky’s newest “glampground”, Camp Bespoke offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you want to enjoy nature for a quiet escape, tour a bourbon distillery for a new adventure, or stay somewhere more unique with just an hour or so drive to Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati, Camp Bespoke is where you want to stay. For those who did not grow up camping or who can’t envision themselves in tents, boots and other gear, glamping can be an inviting way to get more comfortable with taking up space in the beautiful outdoors. The Camp Bespoke mission is to create a modern boutique campground that supports the experiential travel movement by providing a bespoke travel experience that combines modern comfort, authentic experiences, and a serene environment for fun-filled camping.

Glamping is combining the breathtaking elements of nature with the comforts of traditional hotel lodging. Bespoke Campgrounds creates a space to enjoy the happiness of camping without sacrificing the comforts of home, all while supporting local businesses and charitable organizations.



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