16 Best Things to Do in Madison County, KY

Madison County, KY
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If you're looking for a great place to explore, Madison County in Kentucky is the perfect destination.

In 1788, Madison County was established and named after the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, to honor him.

The county has a rich culture which can be discovered in its historic buildings and sites.

It also offers other amazing attractions.

Here are the 16 best things to do in Madison County, Kentucky:

Learn the County’s History and Culture at Kentucky Artisan Center

Interior of the Kentucky Artisan Center
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This place in Berea has been the bedrock of Kentucky’s rich arts and crafts.

Kentucky Artisan Center, commonly known as the Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky, will let you dive into the county’s heritage.

The center has galleries and exhibitions that showcase the works of Kentucky’s artisans and crafters.

Handmade crafts for sale in the Kentucky Artisan Center
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You can purchase arts and crafts at the center and help local artists.

Aside from galleries and exhibits, you can enjoy a coffee at the Artisans Cafe.

Kentucky Artisan Center is open to the public and free of charge.

Go Kayaking at Lake Reba Park

Lake Reba Park in Richmond is a great place to bring the family for a day trip.

If you want to go kayaking, this park is the best place.

They offer kayak rentals, so you don't have to bring your own equipment.

Explore the lake as you paddle your way through its waters.

This lake, teeming with fish, is perfect for casting your line.

You can also do other activities, like picnics with your family, jogging, and walking while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

The amenities are clean and well-maintained.

The Lake Reba Park staff also ensure that all guests will have a pleasant stay.

See Amazing Artworks at Berea Arts Council

The Madison County Library-Berea and the Berea Arts Council collaborated to present local artists to the public.

The library attracts thousands of monthly visitors that appreciate the local art scene.

Also, a different artist is chosen each month, with his or her work displayed at the library in a unique glass case.

The featured artist presents his or her work on the last Sunday of each month to the public; this can be a talk or demonstration.

Watch out for the presentations to learn more about the artwork at Berea Arts Council.

Sample Local Wines at Chenault Vineyard

Berea has a family-run vineyard and winery called Chenault Vineyards, with a range of red, white, and fruit wines.

No matter the event, this vineyard provides the perfect setting to enjoy wine outdoors.

It offers wine tastings, a tour to learn about wine-making, and wine products you can give as gifts.

Chenault Vineyards is an ideal respite from city life.

Have a Splash at Paradise Cove Aquatic Center

Paradise Cove Aquatic Center, completed in 2008, offers fun water adventures with its diving feature pool, an ADA lift, and an Aqua Climb rock climbing wall.

The feature pool includes water sprays, a net climb, a dumping bucket for kids to play on, and a zero-depth entrance.

The center also has an 18-inch small pool and kids' slides for younger children.

A family slide with room for several riders, a whirlpool, and open swim sections with depths ranging from 0 to 40 inches are also available for older children and the young at heart.

Have fun swimming with your family at Paradise Cove Aquatic Center, Richmond.

Enjoy Outdoor Fun at Fort Boonesborough State Park

Cabins at Fort Boonesborough State Park
JNix / Shutterstock.com

If you're after outdoor fun, Fort Boonesborough State Park is the perfect destination.

On April 1, 1775, Daniel Boone and his soldiers crossed the Kentucky River, and soon afterward, they began constructing Fort Boonesborough.

Fort Boonesborough was rebuilt as a functional fort with cabins, blockhouses, and furniture.

People of all ages can discover life in the 18th century through the park's interactive displays and demonstrations.

A picnic shelter at Fort Boonesborough State Park
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New archaeological discoveries provided more information about the old fort, detailed in the park's signs.

The fort also features costumed actors that reenact historical events.

You can also enjoy hiking, boating, biking, and camping.

Fort Boonesborough State Park is located in Richmond.

Playground at Fort Boonesborough State Park
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Shop Local Produce and Visit Madison County Farmers Market

Madison County Farmers Market is home to many locally grown products.

Here, local farmers sell fresh seasonal produce, pasture-raised meats, eggs, farm-sourced, in-house jellies, and jams.

They also have retail bread and spreads, salsas, sauces, and native plants.

They also have retail bread and spreads, salsas, sauces, and native plants.

At Madison County Farmers Market, you can also buy lunch and enjoy live music.

The market is located on West Main Street in Richmond.

Swing by Club Boone's Trace National Golf Club

One of the best public clubs in Central Kentucky is Boone's Trace National Golf Club (BTNGC), which provides its patrons with an enjoyable atmosphere and first-rate service.

Come to Boone's Trace National Golf Club if you're looking for unparalleled mountain views or a challenging game on an 18-hole championship course.

The club has a newly refurbished, gorgeous clubhouse with chef-inspired food and welcoming staff.

If you're looking for an affordable, high-quality golf course, look no further than BTNGC.

Golf Digest recently hailed it as one of the "Best Places to Play," awarding it 4 1/2 stars.

The club also holds regular events, tournaments, and clinics.

Spend some time on the putting green and play golf at Boone's Trace National Golf Club in Richmond!

Discover Local History at the Battle of Richmond Visitors Center

The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center is perfect for history buffs interested in the American Civil War and those simply looking to expand their knowledge.

The center provides information about the famous battle in Kentucky on August 29th and 30th, 1862.

Kentucky's second-largest Civil War battle, the Battle of Richmond, is memorialized inside the center.

With a bird's eye view of the battlefield and a unique laser-guided topographical map, visitors can see military movements, significant structures, and homes from the past.

The items discovered on the battlefield, from ammunition to bones, give a glimpse into what happened during the Battle of Richmond.

The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center also offers lectures and reenactments.

Spend the Afternoon at Kirksville Park

If you want to chill and spend some time outside, visit Kirksville Park in Richmond.

The park features a walking trail, playground, and picnic tables where you can spend time alone or with your family and friends.

You can also fish in the pond or rent a canoe to explore the lake in the park.

Kirksville Park is open year-round and offers various special events, such as concerts and movie nights.

See Historic Landmarks at White Hall State Historic Site

Exterior of White Hall State Historic Site
Jim Bowen, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A 14-acre site called White Hall State Historic Site is located near Richmond, southeast of Lexington.

Many famous people from Kentucky and American history have lived in White Hall, a 45-room estate nestled in the beautiful farmlands of northern Madison County.

It is one of the state's best masterpieces of Italianate architecture and dates back to 1791.

Not only is the White Hall Historic Site a popular museum and event space, but it's also perfect for a picnic with your loved ones.

Every year, the site attracts numerous visitors who come to join historical tours, enjoy afternoon tea, or participate in Christmas festivities.

Create a Masterpiece at Visit Artfully Yours

Unleash your inner artist at Artfully Yours!

This fun mobile art studio in Richmond has instructors who will guide you in creating your masterpiece.

They will also assist you in personalizing your artwork.

You are welcome to bring food and beverages, and the environment is ideal for people of all ages.

Visit Artfully Yours and unlock a new skill!

Explore Camp Catalpa

Enjoy some outdoor fun by exploring the 1.3-kilometer circular trail at Camp Catalpa.

The walking trail is simple and only takes 16 minutes to finish.

It is most popular for birding, fishing, and hiking.

You can also bring your furry friends as long as they're on a leash.

Camp Catalpa is on West Main Street in Richmond.

Enjoy a Pint of Beer at Dreaming Creek Brewery

Dreaming Creek Brewery is the first microbrewery in Richmond.

It's located in the middle of Daniel Boone's frontier.

The taproom has new and different beers on tap regularly, including 24 Kentucky-made draft beers.

Dreaming Creek Brewery offers an extensive selection, including wheat beers and Kentucky Common.

You can fill up a growler with local beers on tap and get something to eat from one of the many delicious food trucks that frequent the area.

Explore the Picturesque Indian Fort Mountain Hiking Trail

Over 8,400 acres of woodlands owned by the Berea College Forestry Department feature nearly 12 miles of trail networks, including nine miles of hiking routes that wind through the Indian Fort Mountain Hiking Trail.

Since the entire region is an active archeological site, visitors must strictly use and follow the pathways.

The next time you're on a hike through these woods, take a moment to imagine what it would have been like centuries ago to live surrounded by tall cliffs and forest valleys.

The cave known as the Devil’s Kitchen is a must-see on the trail.

Indian Fort Mountain Hiking Trail offers stunning views and interesting history.

It's located on Big Hill Road in Berea.

Have a Staycation at Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant

Exterior of the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant
Parkerdr, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant, the bluegrass of Kentucky and the gently sloping hills of Appalachia meet.

For the past 200 years, this quaint hotel in Berea has been providing travelers with excellent Southern hospitality and charm.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and dates back to 1909.

Interior of the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Many facilities are available at the hotel, including a restaurant, bar, and spa.

You can enjoy several activities like biking, hiking, and golf.

The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant is also pet-friendly.

Dining hall in the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Madison County spoils visitors with its host of outdoor attractions and historical sites.

Whether after outdoor adventures or a casual night out with friends, you'll find delightful places in the county.

If you're on vacation or just dropping by, check out these best things to do in Madison County, Kentucky.

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