Discover some of the most picturesque towns in Kentucky, tour the third largest Shaker village in the U.S., gaze in awe at the ARK Encounter and the Creation Museum — and we’re just getting started! A visit to Kentucky would not be complete without a stop at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. We’ll also visit the Kentucky Artisan Center where everything is Made in Kentucky. Get ready for a taste of the Bluegrass State as we travel its hilly backroads on a journey you’ll always cherish.
- Tour the most authentic full-size replica of Noah’s Ark in the world at ARK Encounter
- Learn about the strength and spirit of the horse at the Kentucky Horse Park
- Visit Berea, the Arts & Crafts capital of the Bluegrass State
- Guided tour of one of the most iconic 19th-century homes in America, My Old Kentucky Home
- Backstretch breakfast & historic walking tour at Churchill Downs
- See Biblical History come to life at the world-class Creation Museum
- Bag handling (1 per person) at hotels
- Fees/tips for included attractions/meals
- Free airport shuttle or hotel parking
- Welcome reception, 24-hour emergency call service, free bottled water on coach
DAY 1–WELCOME TO THE BLUEGRASS STATE
Enjoy meeting your fellow travelers and Discovery Director at a welcome reception.
DAY 2–CREATION MUSEUM/UNDERGROUND RAILROAD/BOURBON
This morning we will see Biblical history come to life at the Creation Museum. This state-of-the-art museum allows you to venture through religious history, stunning exhibits, botanical gardens, a fascinating planetarium, Zoo and more. This afternoon we travel south to Oldham County for a savory southern comfort lunch. We’ll meet Dr. Nancy Theiss for an insightful presentation about the Underground Railroad. Oldham is the home of 2 Underground Railroad designations from the National Park Service Network to Freedom. Get a behind-the-scenes tour and hear stories of the historical gossip surrounding these sites as we tour the history center and museum campus. Continue on to Louisville, and a tasty tour of Evan Williams Bourbon located on the city’s “Whiskey Row”. B, L
DAY 3–CHURCHILL DOWNS/BELLE OF LOUISVILLE LUNCH CRUISE/LOUISVILLE FREE TIME
There’s no experience quite like a private, behind-the-scenes tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack. Enjoy breakfast in the Horsemen’s Track Kitchen with the jockeys and trainers, see the horses training rail side and learn about everyday life at the track. Be sure to bring your cameras—you will get an up close and personal view of the horses, jockeys and trainers. Afterwards, we cruise on the mighty Ohio River and enjoy a delectable Southern-style lunch. This afternoon you’ll have some free time in the very walkable downtown area, where you may wish to visit the Slugger Museum or the Muhammad Ali Center. B, L
DAY 4–MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME/SHAKER VILLAGE/BOONE TAVERN
Today we begin our journey with a visit to the homestead that inspired Stephen Foster’s famous “My Old Kentucky Home”. Commissioned by Scotch-Irish immigrant John Rowan Sr., the main building is a Federal-style mansion and the centerpiece of this 1,300 acre plantation. Interestingly, in 1923, “My Old Kentucky Home” became Kentucky’s first state-owned park. A few years later, the song “My Old Kentucky Home” officially was designated as the state song. This 200 year old mansion is filled with many of the original Rowan Family belongings. Then enjoy a traditional Kentucky lunch prepared with straight-from the-garden ingredients at Shaker Village. Followed by a guided tour of the grounds, and some free time to explore this 19th-century village, home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States. Next, we travel to Berea, located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Home to Berea College, students are required to work at least 10-15 hours per week in exchange for free tuition. Generous donors support the College to provide a high quality education for students from Appalachia with high academic potential and limited financial resources. Berea is also known as the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky. We’ll make a stop the Kentucky Artisan Center where everything is “Made in the Bluegrass State”. Learn about the heritage, craft and time honored traditions of Kentucky’s people. No trip to Berea is complete without visiting and enjoying a meal at the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant. Built in 1909 on the old “Dixie Highway,” this establishment was named after Kentucky explorer Daniel Boone. The tavern is delightfully furnished with handcrafted wooden furniture made by Berea College students. We’ll start off our meal with tasty spoonbread and enjoy locally grown items from the Berea College Farm. B, L, D
DAY 5–KENTUCKY HORSE PARK/ARK ENCOUNTER
Today, we start our day at the Kentucky Horse Park and Museum in Lexington where we will be enchanted by the beauty, strength and spirit of the horse. Our stop includes a visit to the world-renowned International Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. And possibly our biggest highlight of the tour is literally huge in size and stature — the ARK Encounter! ARK Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, this modern engineering marvel amazes visitors young and old. B, L
DAY 6–TOYOTA MANUFACTURING TOUR/HOME
This morning we will tour Toyota’s largest vehicle manufacturing plant outside of Japan. The facility covers 7.5 million square feet of floor space, the equivalent of 156 football fields. But don’t worry you will ride comfortably in one of their trams as you experience a guided tour of the manufacturing plant. After our tour we will head back to Cincinnati with frond memories of the Bluegrass State. B
Night 1: Hyatt Place, Cincinnati Airport
Nights 2-3: The Galt House Hotel, Louisville
Night 4: Historic Boone Tavern Hotel, Berea
Night 5: Home2Suites, Georgetown
May 11-16, 2022 Sold Out
Sep 28-Oct 3, 2022
Price Per Person:
Pre-/Post-Tour Hotel: $158/night
May/September/October – high 76/low 55
Schedule to arrive at our starting hotel by 5:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Schedule your flight home to depart the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) any time after 3:00 p.m. on Day 6.
Our starting hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to/from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Our starting hotel offers complimentary parking for the duration of the tour.
Moderate walking at a leisurely pace is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will be on uneven paths.
Hair dryers, irons, ironing boards & coffee makers throughout tour. Refrigerators, WiFi, exercise room and swimming pool available at most hotels.
Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, visors and comfortable walking shoes will add to your enjoyment of this tour.
Dress on tour is casual.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further information approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing your final documents.
Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/ARK
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