Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Mt. Sterling, KY

  • Published 2023/03/08

Mt. Sterling is a city in Kentucky on the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and Bluegrass Region.

It was initially called “Mountain Town” because of a large Native American burial mound.

In 1792, the city was named Mt. Sterling, after Sterling, Scotland, the hometown of one of the city founders.

Today, Mt. Sterling boasts a rich heritage that locals and visitors can find traces of almost anywhere.

The downtown area is a popular place where tourists can uncover landmarks from 200 years ago.

You’ll also find just about anything in this beautiful city that will surely make you want to come back.

Enjoy great food, music, and other facilities that you can’t find anywhere else.

Here are the best things to do in Mt. Sterling, KY:

Enjoy the Festivities on Court Days

A vendor during Court Days festival

Patrick Delahanty /

Spend four days shopping in Downtown Mt. Sterling during the annual Court Days festival.

This is Kentucky’s oldest-running festival, which began in the 19th century when the Kentucky General Assembly proposed a monthly meeting to hold court.

Clothes vendor during the Court Days festival

Patrick Delahanty /

Today, the 220-year-old festival welcomes people to buy, sell, and trade products.

From handmade crafts and antiques to collectibles and fantastic food, you’ll find just about anything on Court Days.

The festival occurs every third week of October, including the weekend prior.

Visit the Montgomery County History Museum

Learn about the humble beginnings of Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County at the Montgomery County History Museum.

Take a good look at various exhibits displaying artifacts across several periods.

Discover Prehistoric Kentucky by exploring the Prehistoric Exhibit.

Check out displays of Native American tools recovered from the Gaitskill Mound.

Swing by the Civil War Exhibit to see authentic Confederate uniforms, or look at gas masks and stretchers and Frank Prather’s uniform in the WWI Exhibit.

Built in 1897, the Montgomery County History Museum is in the Fire Department, Library, and City Court.

The museum also houses an extensive collection of genealogy and family files.

Appreciate the Arts at Gateway Regional Arts Center

Explore Mt. Sterling’s art hub at Gateway Regional Arts Center.

Founded in 1991, Gateway Regional Arts Center is a non-profit organization that promotes various artists in Mt. Sterling and its nearby communities.

It began as a storefront gallery in 1997 and later developed into a 12,000-square foot multicultural center.

Find a wide selection of artworks created using various mediums.

Get lost in the building’s halls, and find yourself admiring many artworks from artists as young as 12 years old.

You’ll also find Dempsey’s Corner, a dedicated space for the people behind Gateway Regional Arts Center’s success.

Shop for Flowers at Always In Season Florist

Find the perfect flower arrangement for almost any occasion at Always In Season Florist.

Always In Season can hook you up with the perfect arrangement to commemorate special events, from birthdays and anniversaries to weddings and graduations.

Bring home a bouquet of sunflowers for your special someone or a tulip bouquet to express your love.

You can even surprise your loved ones with succulents, orchids, and more.

If you live nearby, Always In Season Florist offers its delivery services to places like Hope, Jeffersonville, and Means.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Ruth Hunt Candy Factory

Sure, Snickers bars and Ferrero Rochers are great, but nothing beats a hundred years’ worth of expertly crafted candies and chocolates.

Get them from the Ruth Hunt Candy Factory.

Ruth Hunt Candy Factory is famous around Kentucky.

When you’re in Mt. Sterling, you’ll find a nearby store along North Maysville Road.

Enjoy the explosion of flavors from the famous pulled cream candy.

It’s prepared the old-fashioned way: cooked in copper kettles, poured on an antique cold table, and hand-pulled.

Don’t forget the store’s Bourbon Confections collection if you’re looking for something sweet with a kick.

Ruth Tharpe Hunt founded the candy factory in the 1920s.

The factory sells over 70 candies and chocolates that the people of Kentucky have come to know and love.

Find the Perfect Scented Candle for Your Home at Lighthouse Candles

Besides improving your mood, scented candles also make a massive difference in how your home feels.

At Lighthouse Candles, you can find just about any scent that can surely make your day.

Founded in 1994, Lighthouse Candles is a premier candle company that produces a wide selection of highly-scented, long-burning, hand-poured candles.

You’ll find ten and 16 oz candles and cubes in various scents, such as a cinnamon oatmeal cookie, ginger ale, lavender vanilla, vanilla buttercream, black cherry, and caramel latte.

Pick Out the Perfect Pumpkin at Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch

Pick out the perfect Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin, or enjoy the harvests of pumpkin season at Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch.

Pumpkin Season usually happens in mid-September.

If you’re planning to go to Mt. Sterling, stop by the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins, gourds, and squash, among others.

Visiting the pumpkin barn and animal barn is free.

However, other activities do require payments.

Go on a trip around the corn maze, enjoy a tractor hayride, or try out the pumpkin slingshot.

You can also go on a barrel train ride and try pumpkin painting.

Enjoy a Movie at Judy Drive-In Theater

Movie theaters are fun, but if you want to take film watching to the next level, catch one at Judy Drive-In Theater.

Since 1952, Judy Drive-In Theater has entertained guests from all walks of life, giving them a unique movie-watching experience from the comfort of their cars.

Enjoy a bucket of popcorn as you sip on an ice-cold soda while watching new releases.

The drive-in theater has two movie screens, so you don’t need to worry about getting a lousy parking spot.

You can also grab a bucket of Blackberry Ale-8 right from Judy Drive-In Theater.

Otherwise, you can always bring your own.

Grab a Bite at Cattleman’s Roadhouse

There’s no better place in Kentucky to fill up on some good steak and salad than Cattleman’s Roadhouse.

From the restaurant’s entrees and appetizers down to its desserts, everyone will find something that they’ll enjoy.

Cattleman’s Roadhouse prides itself in serving Black Angus Beef steaks, hand-cut and aged for a minimum of 28 days.

The locally-owned restaurant’s burgers are also to die for, consisting of all-natural beef certified humanely raised without any antibiotics.

While you’re there, don’t forget the salad bar and indulge in fresh daily salad fixin’s and homemade dressings.

Shop Local at Southern Sweetie Boutique

Head to Southern Sweetie Boutique for great finds.

This women’s clothing boutique is in historic downtown Mt. Sterling.

Shop from a great selection of accessories in tumblers, mugs, journals, tote bags, and more.

You’ll also find a variety of dainty and trendy dresses perfect for any occasion.

The store also gives you excellent deals.

Check out items such as jeans, tie-dye tops, bralettes, and more.

Beat the Heat at MSMC Aquatic Center

Exploring the streets of Mt. Sterling can be tiresome, especially under the sun.

The good news is that you can cool off at the MSMC Aquatic Center along Indian Mound Drive.

People of all ages are welcome to try the zero-depth entry by donning water sprays and dumping buckets at five feet.

You can also go on the vortex slide on deck along with six large shade structures and lounge chairs.

If you plan on bringing your kids along, let them enjoy the splash pad with dual water cannons, dumping buckets, and spray features.

Fish in the Park at Easy Walker Pond

Bring your kids to Easy Walker Park and let them join the fishing contest.

The fishing contest is open for everyone aged 15 and under, though contestants need to bring their poles.

Participants are also welcome to join the casting contest and win various prizes.

While the kids try to catch fish, chaperones can hang around and enjoy free hotdogs and drinks.

Shop Till You Drop at Montgomery Miss

Find the best clothing, gifts, and accessories at Montgomery Miss in downtown Mt. Sterling.

Pick out your favorite dresses, tops, and bottoms from this mother-and-daughter-owned boutique.

You’ll also find a great selection of accessories such as bucket hats, hair scarves, trinket trays, and more.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift, take your pick from scented candles, mugs, gift cards, and towels.

Have a Fun Dinner at Los Rodeos Mexican Restaurant

Los Rodeos Mexican Restaurant is a popular dining option in Mt Sterling because of its authentic Mexican cuisine and vibrant atmosphere.

They’re known for a lot of classic Mexican favorites here, such as their fajitas and tacos.

For their entrees, you might want to try their chicken fajita nachos as it’s a popular item on their menu.

Of course, the place offers some amazing margaritas as well, making this an attractive restaurant for family gatherings or for celebrations.

The staff are friendly and attentive, and their interiors set the mood to be lively and welcoming.

Los Rodeos Mexican Restaurant is found along Indian Mound Drive.

Spend Some Quality Time at Montgomery County Public Library

Montgomery County Public Library is a neat place to spend some quiet time, whether alone or with your loved ones.

It’s particularly great for kids, as there are even weekly programs here geared towards children on top of their robust selection of books and movies.

With strong Wi-Fi and computers available, this is also a fantastic place to visit if you need to do some emergency work.

There’s also a mini park in Montgomery County Public Library which is a great spot to relax or take a stroll, especially since it’s surrounded with trees.

You can find this quaint library along North Maysville Street.

Play Bowling and Watch Movies at Tenth Frame Cinema

Interested in bowling and love movies? Tenth Frame Cinema is a marriage of both passions and has been a popular destination for family bonding since its opening.

This is one of the more popular amusement centers in Mt Sterling, as they have a strong roster of movies year-round coupled with decent prices.

The seats are comfy and the theater has good lighting and audio technology.

On top of that, it even has a nice selection of movie grub that goes beyond popcorn—nachos and huge pretzels in particular.

But the showstopper here is probably their bowling alley—a modern and spacious facility to take friends or family.

Best for an evening visit, you can find Tenth Frame Cinema along Camargo Road.

Hunt for Treasure at Tuttis Antiques and Collectibles

If you have an affinity for vintage and unique items, Tuttis Antiques and Collectibles is a must-visit during your trip in Mt Sterling.

It’s a place sprawling with all sorts of antique decor and knick knacks, perfect for a souvenir.

There are also furniture items here and home decor ones that’ll pique the interest of any lover of vintage aesthetic.

Shopping here is also a fun experience as the staff and ownership are there to guide you and explain what the items are.

Tuttis Antiques and Collectibles is located along West High Street.

Shop for the Freshest Items at Karl’s Produce

Karl’s Produce is a long-standing local business in Mt Sterling that grew in fame because of its fresh and wide range of produce.

Lovers of gardening and agriculture will love Karl’s Produce, along with hobbyist cooks who are looking to score the freshest ingredients available.

The business is a testament to how sustainable agriculture is in Kentucky, boasting an abundance of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and seeds.

Karl’s Produce also sells gardening equipment and materials, so make sure to do a proper sweep of the place.

You can find this local shop along Indian Mound Drive.

Other Things to Do Nearby

See a Show at the Barnyard

The Barnyard is one of the best places to catch a show in Kentucky.

Find it in Sharpsburg, 17 minutes away from Mt. Sterling.

From family-friendly events to hands-on learning areas and studios, the Barnyard has all the facilities for various celebrations and festivities.

You’ll also enjoy live performances from local and international artists from this popular entertainment venue.

Listen to country, rock, bluegrass, and Christian music concerts.

Enjoy comedic acts, clogging competitions, and more in the venue’s amphitheater seating.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, Mt. Sterling is a city filled with great experiences.

Mt. Sterling has it all, from good food and drinks to impeccable art pieces and souvenirs.

If you only plan to stay for a couple of days, you might want to extend your trip because there are too many things to do in Mt. Sterling.

Begin your Mt. Sterling adventure today!

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