Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Frankfort, KY

  • Published 2023/03/15

Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky, is a beautiful home-ruled state in Franklin County.

The city is full of history, culture, lush green parks and other incredible sights, making it a perfect travel destination for you and your family.

Whether you’re looking to spend some time relaxing in the midst of nature, admiring art, or sampling fine wines and spirits, Frankfort is the destination for you.

Are you interested in finding out what else the city has in store for you?

These are the best things to do in Frankfort, Kentucky:

Visit the Kentucky State Capitol

Kentucky state capitol

Alexey Stiop /

One of the city’s gems, the Kentucky State Capitol is a great tourist spot.

The building is beautifully maintained, and the grounds are well-kept.

The whole area blooms with the scent of beautiful magnolia flowers, and you can also find various colorful flowers adding to your experience.

Interior of Kentucky State Capitol

Eddie J. Rodriquez /

The landscape of the place is extremely pretty to look at, and you can take as many pictures here.

You can go on a self-guided tour of the Senate House and the Supreme Court to give a little flavor to your experience.

Garden with colorful flowers at Kentucky State Capitol

Real Window Creative/

This place has informative tools inside and vast, beautiful grounds just outside, making a visit to the Kentucky State Capitol a very enjoyable experience for visitors.

See Frankfort’s Famous Floral Clock

Floral clock at Frankfort, KY

Dedan Photography /

The Floral Clock sits right in the middle of the beautiful garden on the grounds of the Kentucky State Capitol.

It is a giant clock surrounded by beautiful flowers all around it.

The Floral Clock is one of Frankfort’s most famous tourist attractions and is totally worth a visit when you’re in the city.

It is in the middle of a very well-maintained and small water fountain, adding to the beauty of the landmark.

The place is often lit up during the evening, and this makes for a tremendously beautiful sight.

It is truly worth a visit when you are in Frankfort.

Visit the Fascinating Kentucky Historical Society

Staircase at Kentucky History Centre

Nagel Photography /

When in Frankfort, don’t forget to visit the Kentucky Historical Society; it is definitely something you must add to your itinerary.

The museum is basic yet fascinating, as it showcases the state’s good faith and genuine yearnings from 1848.

There’s also a whole lot to see in the chambers for research, drafting of laws, and discussion.

Entrance of Kentucky Historical Society

Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The history center gives a pleasant window into the government’s necessities.

The museum sits on superb grounds and is very much well-kept by the state legislative center.

Hall of Governors at Kentucky Historical Society

Lee Wright from Marlborough, Massachusetts, US, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visits here are always proven to be decent.

It is an excellent place to visit, especially for its Friday night shows that take place over the mid-year!

Tour the Governor’s Mansion

Front view of Governor’s mansion

Jill Lang /

The Governor’s Mansion is a very famous tourist spot in Frankfort.

It is situated right beside the State Capitol building, so you can visit the two of them on the same day to be more efficient, all while getting two amazing experiences.

It is a historic residential site where the governors used to stay.

Currently, it displays a total of 25 rooms, including the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

It is a beautiful and unique place to visit to learn about the history and culture of the city.

You can find all kinds of antique furniture and different kinds of instruments and cutlery in this mansion.

It is very well-kept and is lit up during the Christmas season, making it the most favorable time of the year to pay a visit to this place.

Hike the Trails at Cove Spring Park

Running water at Cove spring park

Roadwardbound /

Cove Spring Park is the perfect destination in the city for picnicking, hiking, and archery.

It is a very beautiful, well-kept, and clean park, making it an excellent place for a picnic date.

You can also go hiking, explore the whole site, or play games like Frisbee, marathon, or archery.

Beautiful waterfall at Cove Spring Park

Dana Handy /

It is a great site with beautiful landscaping, which means it’s the ideal setting for taking amazing photos.

There is also a waterfall in the middle of the park to add to the beauty and glory of the site.

Nature trail at Cove Spring Park

Roadwardbound /

You can find many well-marked trails to hike or take your dogs for a walk.

It is a very beautiful and relaxing place where you can come to take a break from the hassles of daily life.

Attend the Bourbon and Browns Event at Liberty Hall Historic Site

Exterior of Liberty hall historic site

Christopher L. Riley, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Liberty Hall Historic Site holds one of the main events of Derby Season, an annual fundraiser called Bourbon and Browns.

During this event, the community comes together to celebrate the commitments of Senator John Brown, who was Kentucky’s first US Senator after turning into a state, and his family.

The event is a great time to learn about the meaning of whiskey and its set of experiences in Kentucky.

The yearly pledge drive benefits Liberty Hall Historic Site, which comprises the Orlando Brown House and four acres of lawns and gardens.

Whiskey tastings, bluegrass music, silent auctions—this site has got it all.

Guests are also served delicious food and beverages here.

Spending time in this quiet and famous historic site will take you back to simpler times.

It is a great place to tour and learn about the history and culture of Kentucky.

Go Back in Time at the Kentucky Historical Society

Hall of governor's in Kentucky history centre

Nagel Photography /

The Kentucky Historic is another place you can surely look up to if you love learning about the history of different cities.

This one holds in its heart a great deal of history in Kentucky and displays various age-old, ancient preserves.

There is a travel exhibition that holds a great deal of antique transportation system objects and is really fun to experience.

The place also has a built-in library where you can go and read about anything or everything that you want.

Pay Your Respects at the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Frankfort, KY

James Kirkikis /

This site is a memorial to the fallen soldiers in Vietnam War; it is a great place to pay tribute to the heroes.

Both the concept and design of the place are astounding.

The place is lit up at night, making it a very beautiful place to visit.

It is a very simple memorial that also gives a view of the old State Capitol, which is a plus point here.

The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a very family-oriented place, and you must pay a visit when you are in town.

Meet the Animals at Salato Wildlife Centre

Bobcat at Salato wildlife centre

rylansamazingphotography /

This nature and wildlife reserve in Frankfort is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

With over a hundred species of birds and animals, the Salato Wildlife Center is one of the best wildlife reserves in and around the city.

It is well-maintained and clean.

Birds incubating their eggs at Salato Wildlife Centre

Theodore P. Webb /

Visitors may have the chance to view local wild animals like lions and tigers or meet little bears and pandas.

You can feed the giraffe some lettuce leaves or pet some cute pandas.

You will also have the opportunity to photograph all different species of animals and birds.

Deer at Salato Wildlife Centre

Theodore P. Webb /

This reserve is a great place to teach your kids about the importance of local wildlife and give them a real experience of these friendly and cute animals.

There are a lot of trails in the preserve for you to take a walk or a hike while you enjoy the beauty of the wildlife.

The Salato Wildlife Center also has a fishing pond where you can go fishing with your peers.

It is the perfect place if you want to have a peaceful experience of the local wildlife.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Capitol View Park

This beautiful and aesthetic site is a very beautiful, clean, and well-maintained park in the city.

Capitol View Park is usually sunny, bright, and warm in the summer and is an excellent place for lakeside camping.

You can go for a picnic during the day and for stargazing and camping at night.

This 150-acre park is filled with different well-marked trails for you to go hiking on.

It comes with baseball and softball fields and a basketball court.

The park is a perfect place to go whenever one feels out of touch with nature.

You can visit Capitol View Park with your family and spend some quality time in nature’s lap.

This site also holds various events, which are very fun to attend.

The park is well-lit at night, making it the perfect spot for overnight camping.

It is a great spot for taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Sample the Finest Wines at the Prodigy Vineyards and Winery

This winery in Frankfort is a beautiful and interesting place.

Prodigy Vineyards and Winery is known to have its very own tasting room, where you can go around and find the wine suitable for your taste.

The vineyard and winery’s hosts are knowledgeable and will introduce you to wines if you are new and help you find the best flavor for you.

The seating here is exceptionally aesthetic and beautiful.

You can taste all sorts of wine here, as Prodigy Vineyards and Winery boasts a wide range of options to suit different palates.

It is the perfect place for a romantic dinner with your partner or a casual hangout with your friends.

The ambiance of this place is extremely beautiful, especially when it’s lit up at night.

You can get to choose from the finest selection of wines and beers.

You definitely cannot miss out on this aesthetically pleasing and wonderful winery in Frankfort.

Visit Frankfort’s Wide Range of Local Parks

You can find a great deal of local parks around Frankfort.

Each one is well-maintained, and they all serve as great places to go when one wants to take a break.

These parks truly keep the soul fresh and alive.

They’re not only ideal for hiking, but also for having picnics and going for bike rides.

Some feature facilities specifically designed for playing sports, while others have playgrounds for kids and special areas for people with pets.

Check out parks such as Dolly Graham, East Frankfort, Fantasy Forest, Juniper Hill, Lake View, and more.

Surely, at least one of Frankfort’s parks will be able to meet your preferences.

Remember Fallen Heroes at the Colored Soldiers Monument

The Colored Soldiers Monument can be found at the Green Hill Cemetery.

It was built to commemorate the lives of African-American soldiers who fought in the American Civil War.

The monument was unveiled on the 4th of July in 1924 and was erected thanks to the efforts of the Women’s Relief Corps No. 8, an auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The Colored Soldiers Monument itself is a 10-foot, four-sided pillar with a base made of poured concrete.

On its base, you’ll find the names of more than a hundred black soldiers from Kentucky inscribed on the stone.

Try a Variety of Spirits at Three Boys Farm Distillery

Three Boys Farm Distillery has been distilling barrels of bourbon and whiskey for more than 10 years now, and they have no plans of stopping any time soon.

They can be found on a 127-acre working farm that’s open for tours and tastings.

Just make an appointment, and you’ll get the chance to see this distillery at work.

You can watch the passion and craft that goes into every barrel of alcohol they produce, and it’ll definitely give you a better appreciation of what you’re drinking.

Visit the Historic Berry Hill Mansion

Exterior of Berry Hill Mansion

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Berry Hill Mansion was built by George Franklin Berry in the 1900s, and the fact that it’s still standing to this day makes it an important part of the area’s history.

One of Frankfort’s most significant attractions, the mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The home has 22 rooms and was designed in the Colonial Revival Style.

When it was made, one of the highlights was the gorgeous interior and the luxurious materials that were used to build it.

Nowadays, the first floor of the mansion is open for tours and various public events.

The second floor, on the other hand, is used to house the offices of the Kentucky Division of Historic Properties.

The Berry Hill Mansion is open for self-guided tours upon appointment.

Pay a Visit to the Confederate Monument

Confederate Monument with tombstones in the background

Anne Kitzman /

In the Frankfort Cemetery, you’ll find a circle of 68 graves for Confederate soldiers surrounding the Confederate Monument.

The statue itself was carved from white Carrara marble and is held up by a granite pedestal on a limestone base.

It depicts a life-sized Confederate soldier, standing at the ready and prepared to go into battle at any minute.

There are several inscriptions on the statue’s granite pedestal, one on each side, to commemorate the fallen soldiers.

One of the inscriptions is the last stanza of the Bivouac of the Dead, a poem written by Confederate Colonel Theodore O’Hara.

Snap Photos with the Art at the Josephine Sculpture Park

The Josephine Sculpture Park, located at 3355 Lawrenceburg Road, is a spot where you can view various pieces of unique and interesting works of public art.

This outdoor gallery is home to almost 70 sculptures.

It’s a fascinating sight to behold, and the displays change with the seasons, so you’ll never quite know what you’ll find when you get there.

The Josephine Sculpture Park is open for everyone to visit, free of charge.

Wander through the park and view and enjoy the pieces all around you.

Down a Glass of Whiskey at Buffalo Trace Distillery

Exterior of Buffalo Trace Distillery

Irina Mos /

Embrace the Frankfort beverage tradition with a visit to Buffalo Trace Distillery.

This craft distillery specializes and has been specializing in fine bourbon whiskey for over 200 years.

This not only makes the distillery a recreational space but also a part of the city’s history.

And throughout natural calamities and management changes, it remains a testament to the city’s passion for craftsmanship.

Barrels in Buffalo Trace Distillery

Danita Delimont /

While you’re there, taste bourbon classics, like Eagle Rare and the signature Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

Or opt for the Experimental Collection with its explosive flavors.

Buffalo Trace Distillery is on Great Buffalo Trace.

A well on the grounds of Buffalo Trace Distillery

Danita Delimont /

Get to Know Native Wildlife at Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary

Opened in 2015, Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary is your go-to destination for some nature studies.

This woodland sanctuary borders the Kentucky River.

Spanning 370 acres, this preserve offers marked trails for hiking and wandering and a covered pavilion for intimate gatherings.

The Marion Lindsey Bird Blind, a sectioned part of the sanctuary, is home to many fowl and mammals in the area.

Make your way across native plants and wildflowers as you hike along the trails.

Better yet, join the sanctuary’s onsite educational workshops if you’ve got time.

Head over to Germany Road where Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary currently stands.

Slide Down at the Pools in Juniper Hill Aquatic Center

Make sure you’ve got time in your Frankfort vacation for a leisure swim.

And what better way to do so than at Juniper Hill Aquatic Center?

This indoor aquatic facility is open seasonally for a wide range of water-based amenities.

Alongside multiple pools of varying depths, the center also has a lazy river, a zero-depth entry pool for kids, and a lap swimming pool.

There’s also a splash pad for your little ones who may not be too ready for a dive in the small pool.

Practice your agility and balance with a try at the center’s climbing wall.

Juniper Hill Aquatic Center also offers swim lessons.

You can find this facility on Louisville Road.

Cross the Singing Bridge

Daytime view of the Singing Bridge

Michael_Kentucky /

One of Frankfort’s unexpected attractions is the Singing Bridge.

Spanning over 400 feet in length, this bridge doesn’t actually sing as its name implies.

It only evokes a sort of humming noise when cars roll over.

This is because of the bridge’s metal grate-style deck.

Road of the Singing Bridge

Normal Op, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The bridge’s architectural design takes on 19th-century pin-connected truss bridges.

While most of its ornate design, including its gothic arch railings, have withered away as time went by, it still has retained its decades-old charm.

The 1893 Singing Bridge links St. Clair Street and Bridge Street across the Kentucky River.

Learn About Frankfort’s History at Capital City Museum

You don’t need a time machine to experience historic Frankfort 200 years ago.

Capital City Museum can do that for you.

This museum offers artifacts, portraits, and artworks of some of Frankfort’s earliest settlers and notable figures.

It also brings significant events in history—like the Goebel Assassination—to life with detailed dioramas.

Learn about the film history of the city with a drop by Frankfort & Film.

And there are more displays for you to explore, so be sure to add this site to your itinerary.

Capital City Museum is on Ann Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn about the Art of Winemaking at Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery

Wineries and vineyards are the places that you are not going to want to miss out on when you are in Frankfort.

Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery, situated just 20 minutes outside the city, is one worth checking out.

Located in the neighboring city of Lawrenceburg, it is the best vineyard where you can pay a visit and not only taste the tasty wines but also experience the farms and learn about how wines are made from grapes.

This vineyard is beautiful and is a great place to take pictures.

It is one of those places that provide the best experience of wine tasting.

The area is very beautiful, and the views here are genuinely breathtaking.

In perfect accordance with its name, Lovers Leap Vineyards and Winery often serves as a venue for weddings.

This winery 0ffers one the finest collections of handpicked wines; from dry reds to bourbons, this place is not going to fail you.

The ambiance of the place is warm and cozy, and the views are beautiful.

Final Thoughts

Frankfort is a place that’ll certainly give you the impression of being completely separate from urban life.

If you’re looking for rural living, this is a great place to visit—somewhere peaceful, quiet, and filled with community and history.

So, book your trip today and see what Frankfort has to offer.

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