Genealogy, Taste of the Bluegrass, Historic Homes,
Nature and the Outdoors, and Local Arts and Crafts
Clark County Courthouse - Winchester
Built in 1854, the historic Clark County Courthouse building dominates downtown Winchester and houses many of the offices of the county government. It is also home to a vast number of historical and legal documents including deeds, titles, property transfers, population statistics, and registrations that provide invaluable resources for serious family genealogists. Many of these original documents are available for public viewing.
Clark County Public Library - Winchester
Completing a renovation and expansion in fall 2008, the library reopened its facilities to better serve the people of Clark County. The local history and genealogy room provides a rich resource for anyone with ties to the Winchester area and includes several family and county histories as well as an extensive collection of local newspapers, microfilm reels, and rare photographs and books. The knowledgeable staff at the library is also eager to assist anyone to begin their research of the past.
370 South Burns Ave. - WINCHESTER, KY
Bluegrass Heritage Museum - Winchester
Located in downtown Winchester, the Bluegrass Heritage Museum is housed in a signature Romanesque Revival building that once served as the Guerrant Mission Clinic and Hospital. In addition to exploring the fascinating history of the late 19th century building, the museum's exhibits introduce visitors to the history of the Bluegrass, America's first western frontier and a distinctive region in Kentucky. The museum is also home to the Kathryn Owen genealogy room, which holds several family histories and rare compilations of significant Clark County historical people, places, and events. Hours 12:00 – 4:00 Monday through Saturday.
217 South Main St. - WINCHESTER, KY
Winchester Cemetery/Clark County Cemetery locations
Rich in history, the Winchester Cemetery encompasses the story of the 200 year old community through those who have been memorialized within its grounds. Much more than just a place for burial, the cemetery represents a lasting testimony to the people who helped shape a community. Cemetery hours daylight to dusk. A walking tour brochure is available to guide you along your way. Clark County Cemetery locations can be found by visiting the Clark County Courthouse or the Bluegrass Heritage Museum.
West Lexington Ave. - WINCHESTER, KY
Duncan Tavern – Paris
24 minutes (17 miles) north of Winchester
This three-story stone tavern was built in 1788 on the courthouse square in Paris, 4 years before Kentucky became a state. It served as a gathering place for pioneers such as Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton. Two guided tours are available daily at the tavern at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The cost for the tour is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children 6-12, and free for children under 6. Visit the John Fox Jr. genealogy library for a unique collection of genealogical books. The tavern is also available to rent for events such as dinners, luncheons and receptions.
323 High St. – PARIS, KY
Thomas D. Clark Center for History – Frankfort
45 minutes (45 miles) west of Winchester
This 167,000 square-foot museum and research facility is the cornerstone of the historic culture corridor in downtown Frankfort. The center includes a $2.8 million permanent interactive exhibit titled “A Kentucky Journey,” a changing exhibit gallery, hands on activities, the 1792 Museum store, a world-class genealogical research library with online activities, and other programs and events of the Kentucky Historical Society. The Martin F. Schmidt Research Library houses over 90,000 published works, dealing primarily with history and genealogy, as well as over 12,000 reels of microfilm and over 20,000 vertical files of collected and contributed research. Free admission to library. Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.
100 West Broadway – FRANKFORT, KY
27 minutes (24 miles) west of Winchester
The Lexington Cemetery is a private non-profit organization established in 1849 as a public cemetery and a place of beauty to enjoy. It has no association with any government and is administered by a board of directors. The cemetery is a historical landmark that documents the social, political, military and environmental history of the community. Encompassing 170 acres, it is comprised of a national and public cemetery with over 66,000 interments that will continue to accommodate interments for the next 100 years.
833 West Main St. – LEXINGTON, KY
45 minutes (45 miles) west of Winchester
Gravesite of Daniel and Rebecca Boone. Other notables buried here are artist Paul Sawyier, sculptor Joel T. Hart, writer Theodore O'Hara, Vice President Richard M. Johnson, and seventeen Kentucky Governors. Breathtaking views overlooking Frankfort and the Kentucky River.
215 East Main St. – FRANKFORT, KY
Taste of the Bluegrass Tour
Ale 8 One – Winchester
Ale-8-One, the soft drink unique to Kentucky, has been bottled in Winchester since 1926. Still a closely guarded family secret, the Ale-8-One formula was developed by G.L. Wainscott in the 1920’s after experimentation with ginger-blended recipes he acquired during extensive travels in Northern Europe. He sponsored one of America’s first “name the product” contests, and “A Late One” was the winning entry. The drink’s logo, Ale-8-One, was adopted as a pun of its description as the latest thing in soft drinks. Tours of the factory are offered on Fridays at 10:50 a.m. with advanced notice. The Ale-8-One Company Store is located in the main office building and features many interesting specialty items to the public 8:30-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
25 Carol Rd. – WINCHESTER, KY
Beer Cheese, Hot Browns, Banana Peppers – Local Flavors
Winchester is home to several local restaurants serving many of Kentucky’s regional culinary specialties. Several varieties of beer cheeses ranging from mild, sweet, sharp, and spicy are prepared in the county along with many other local variations of Kentucky classic recipes including Hot Browns, banana peppers, fried green tomatoes, and frog legs. See Winchester’s Dining and Shopping Guide for more information on local restaurants.
Harkness Edward’s Winery
Ruth Hunt Candy – Mt. Sterling
17 minutes (16 miles) east of Winchester
In 1921, Ruth Tharpe Hunt began to sell the confections that her friends and family had always loved. Because of her success locally, she opened a small candy store in her home. Soon her business outgrew this location and in 1930 was moved to its own permanent Mt. Sterling, KY location where customers still tour the factory today. Try one of their famous Blue Monday candy bars or Kentucky’s regional favorites, cream candy and bourbon balls, for a unique and delicious experience.
550 North Maysville Rd – MT. STERLING, KY
Holly Rood: Home of Governor James Clark – Winchester
Holly Rood, later known as Clark Mansion, is perhaps the most historic home in Clark County. Built in 1814 by Governor James Clark, twelfth governor of Kentucky, the house follows the simple lines of Federal style architecture. The new house was named Holly Rood for the home of Mrs. Clark's father. He had named his home in Virginia after the country estate of Mary, Queen of Scots. Restored in 1980, the home is fully furnished with a commercial kitchen. Available for gracious entertaining and other special events. Tours given by appointment only.
28 Beckner St. – WINCHESTER, KY
White Hall State Historic Site – Richmond
23 minutes (16 miles) southwest of Winchester
Home of Cassius Marcellus Clay, fiery emancipationist, publisher and U.S. minister to Russia appointed by Abraham Lincoln. This forty-four-room Italianate mansion features a loom house and kitchen, shaded picnic area, and a gift shop. Operating hours: April through Labor Day, open Sunday through Saturday, tour times 9:30am to 4:30pm. After Labor Day through October 31st, open Wednesday through Sunday, tour times 9:30am to 4:30pm. November through December and March, open Wednesday through Friday, tour times at 10:00am, 12:00pm, and 2:00pm. Closed January and February.
500 White Hall Shrine Rd. – RICHMOND, KY
Ashland- The Henry Clay Estate – Lexington
27 minutes (22 miles) west of Winchester
The magnificent 18-room mansion stands in the heart of one of Lexington's most beautiful residential districts, a reminder of the rich heritage left by Henry Clay and his descendants. This National Historic Landmark houses the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation and historic house museum, boasting a rare collection comprised almost exclusively of original Clay family items. Several historic outbuildings, a formal garden and 17 acres of wooded parkland complete Ashland's graceful setting.
120 Sycamore Rd – LEXINGTON, KY
Waveland State Historic Site – Lexington
33 minutes (29 miles) west of Winchester
An antebellum house with three original outbuildings - slave quarters, smokehouse and ice house. Guided tours focus on the everyday lives of family and slaves who lived and worked at Waveland. Price Range - Evening Coach Tours with Dessert and Beverage is $20.00 per person. Senior Groups $18.00 per person. One free admission for bus drivers and one free admission for the group's travel guide. Motorcoach tours: tour only $15.00 per person. Reservations of 20 or more are required.
225 Waveland Museum Lane – LEXINGTON, KY
Mary Todd Lincoln House – Lexington
27 minutes (23 miles) west of Winchester
In 1977, the girlhood home of Mary Todd Lincoln opened to the public and became the first house museum in America to honor a First Lady. Standing gracefully on West Main Street, this two-story, late Georgian structure was the home of the Todds from 1832 until 1849. Today, the 14 room house contains period furniture, family portraits and furnishings from the Todds as well as the Lincolns. A recently added garden reflects the charm of the original and a pleasant respite for visitors.
578 West Main St. – LEXINGTON, KY
John Hunt Morgan House – Lexington
26 minutes (22 miles) west of Winchester
In the midst of Lexington’s historic antebellum Gratz Park district, the Hunt-Morgan House stands as a reminder of early 19th century life, when Lexington was known as “The Athens of the West.” Built in 1814, the Federal style Hunt-Morgan House has many beautiful architectural features. The Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum, located on the second floor of the Hunt-Morgan House, features an extensive collection of Civil War relics and memorabilia. Open for tours Wednesday through Friday, mid-March through mid-December. Call (859) 253-0362 for more information.
201 North Mill St. – LEXINGTON, KY
Liberty Hall – Frankfort
47 minutes (46 miles) west of Winchester
Georgian house built in 1796 by John Brown, one of Kentucky's first two U.S. Senators. Tours focus on life in early KY. Also includes tour of the Orlando Brown House. Tours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:30, 12, 1:30 & 3pm. Sunday 12, 1:30 & 3pm.
202 Wilkinson Street – FRANKFORT, KY
Nature & Outdoors
Lower Howard’s Creek
14 minutes (9 miles) southwest of Winchester
Area of settlement outside Fort Boonesborough where early settlers migrated in the late 1700s and early 1800s to establish the first industrial center of Kentucky. This Kentucky State Nature Preserve, created in 2000, features a pristine creek with small waterfalls, cliff formations, stone fences, the ruins of an 18th century gristmill and home, a suspension bridge, and a number of rare plant and animal species. Presently, access is by guided hike only. Please call (859) 744-4888 to make reservations. Visit
www.lowerhowardscreek.org for more information and for special outdoor program dates.
Civil War Fort at Boonesboro
14 minutes (10 miles) southwest of Winchester
Take a scenic hike at the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro on an original road built by Union Soldiers during the Civil War. The road, now a wooded nature trail, overlooks the Kentucky River and gives visitors a glimpse of what the soldiers would have viewed during that time. At the top of the hill, visitors can explore an earthen works fortification built by African-American soldiers to defend the ford and ferry at Boonesboro. Enjoy the hike on a self-guided tour by exploring the interpretive signage along the trail or follow the trail with one of our trained and knowledgeable tour guides by appointment. October- April 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. May – September 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Self-Guided Tours Daily. For information call (800) 298-9105 or visit www.tourwinchester.com.
Pilot Knob – Clay City
23 minutes (24 miles) east of Winchester
This 741 acre state nature preserve offers several wooded trails, including one moderately strenuous trail to the summit of Pilot Knob. From this point in 1769, it is thought that Daniel Boone first viewed the “beautiful level of Kentucky” after his journey from Cumberland Gap. The sandstone outcrop at the 730 foot summit also offers spectacular panoramic views of three distinct geographical regions of Kentucky: the Bluegrass, the Knobs, and the Cumberland Plateau. Park open from dawn to dusk.
Red River Gorge
appx. 45 minutes east Winchester
A National Natural Landmark, the Gorge is part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. It is a magnificent natural wonderland with more than 80 natural sandstone arches. The Gorge is the result of over 70 million years of wind and water sculpting. It boasts the largest concentration of rock shelters and arches east of the Rockies (over 100). Over 90 miles of hiking trails to explore. The Gorge is also a popular rock climbing area. Take the Mountain Parkway east to Slade. Visit www.powellcountytourism.com for more info.
Natural Bridge – Slade
40 minutes (39 miles) east of Winchester
Home to the great natural sandstone arch which stands 65 feet high and 78 feet long. This 2,200 Park sits in the Daniel Boone National Forest, and offers lodging, dining, a gift shop, meeting rooms, a nature center, swimming pool, fishing, camping and hiking. A chairlift to the bridge is also available and operates from Spring to Fall for a small fee.
2135 Natural Bridge Rd. – SLADE, KY
Toll Free: (800) 325-1710
Salato Wildlife Center – Frankfort
49 minutes (49 miles) west of Winchester
From the lush, eastern mountains to rolling prairies; from lowland marshes to clear running streams; you'll experience Kentucky's diverse regional ecosystems and the wealth of fish, plants, and animals that make this their home. Explore the indoor and outdoor exhibits and see rare live animal species including eagles, snakes, giant turtles, bears, fish, and bison. Several miles of public hiking trails are also available to navigate around the park. Admission is free.
1 Sportsman's Lane – FRANKFORT, KY
McConnell Springs – Lexington
30 minutes (26 miles) west of Winchester
In June 1775, William McConnell and his fellow frontier explorers camped at a natural spring in the wilderness of the Virginia territory known as Kentucky. In honor of the first battle of the American Revolution, the group named their future settlement “Lexington”. During the ensuing years, McConnell Springs, a National Registered Historic Site, served as the location of a mill, a gunpowder factory, a distillery, and a dairy farm. Today, the historic site is surrounded by a nature preserve operated by the Lexington-Fayette Urban-County Government. The park and trails are open 9 to 5 daily.
416 Rebmann Lane – LEXINGTON, KY
37 minutes (29 miles) west of Winchester
Raven Run is a unique, 734-acre nature sanctuary dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades and early Kentucky history. Over 10 miles of hiking trails provide access to streams, meadows and woodlands characteristic of the area. Numerous 19th century remnants of early settlers, as well as over 600 species of plants, allow visitors to become acquainted with and appreciate the natural world. Raven Run also accommodates over 200 species of birds throughout the year.
Local Arts and Crafts
Guild House Gallery – Winchester
Explore the historic Winchester downtown district by visiting the Winchester Art Guild Guild’s Guild House Gallery on Main Street. Sales and displays of member's works including watercolors, oils, acrylics, photography, handcrafted furniture, crafts, jewelry,
note cards, prints and much more. Dozens of artist collections on display daily and exclusive featured artwork displays on exhibit monthly. Hours: Mon-Sat 10-4 closed Sundays and holidays.
103 South Main Street – WINCHESTER, KY
Leeds Center for the Arts – Winchester
This fully restored jazz age theatre, built in 1925 in the popular Art Deco style, is now a thriving downtown venue for local and traveling entertainment groups including nationally renowned musicians and performing arts productions. Check the theatre website at: www.leedscenter.com for information on upcoming performance dates and to reserve tickets online.
37 North Main Street – WINCHESTER, KY
Headley-Whitney Museum – Lexington
32 minutes (29 miles) west of Winchester
Travel a Kentucky scenic byway past beautiful horse farms on your way to the Headley-Whitney Museum. Founded in 1968 by noted local jewelry designer George Headley, the Headley-Whitney Museum has long been an icon of art and culture in the Bluegrass. The Museum features a fascinating and diverse collection of jewels, artifacts, books, shell grotto, both international and regional exhibitions, and much more. We also host special events for adults & children. Come & see this jewel in the country. The Headley-Whitney Museum is six miles from downtown Lexington on Old Frankfort Pike, and four miles from Exit 6 on New Circle Road.
4435 Old Frankfort Pike – LEXINGTON, KY
Kentucky Artisan Center – Berea
36 minutes (32 miles) southwest of Winchester
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is conveniently located alongside Interstate 75 at exit 77, only 2.5 miles from downtown Berea, the "Folk Arts and Craft Capital of Kentucky." In this 25,000 sq. foot facility you can shop for Kentucky products; experience Kentucky hospitality; explore Kentucky crafts & history; enjoy Kentucky cuisine; and learn about other must-see places in the state. The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is open to the public seven days a week, from 8am-8pm, with its cafe serving from 8:00am-7:00pm (8:30-5:30 Jan-Apr). No admission charge.
975 Walnut Meadow Road – BEREA, KY