While Kentucky’s capital city is sometimes overlooked for the more populous and popular destinations of Louisville and Lexington, Frankfort is a charming getaway filled with history and affordable things to do, see and eat.
Grab breakfast at Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe in downtown Frankfort. The cozy and cute eatery serves up organic coffee beverages alongside fresh pastries for only a few dollars.
The Kentucky State Capitol is a quick and free stop to add to your itinerary. Just walk in, pass through security and then enjoy the beautiful space and rotunda, Monday through Friday, and Saturdays April through October. You can book an additional tour if you’re interested in the history of the capitol, but if you’re staying on a budget, the free option works well, too. While you’re there, drive around the grounds for photo ops at the famous Frankfort Capitol Floral Clock, a 34-foot artistic display created from thousands of live plants, and at the Governor’s Mansion.
For views and photos from high above, head to Frankfort Cemetery. Not only is this the spot where Daniel Boone and his wife Rebecca are buried, but there are lots of other famous Kentucky figures buried here as well. Even if you don’t know their stories right off the top of your head, you’re sure to find some interesting and intriguing grave markers to spark your interest just by taking a stroll around the green space.
Grab lunch at Gibby’s. The longstanding Frankfort local favorite is a popular lunch spot for businesspeople coming down from the capitol and townsfolk alike. Choose from a variety of gourmet salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes and other entrees, with most lunch options starting at less than $10.
In the afternoon, get your sweet tooth fix, and enjoy some history while you’re at it, when you take a tour of the Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory. Founded in 1919, the brand’s $5 tour gives you a fascinating look at the operation and tragic family history behind it all.
Finish your day in Frankfort with dinner at a newer downtown dining option. Bourbon on Main serves a small menu of burgers and sandwiches. Try the deviled eggs with pork belly small plate for $7, or the stoner bites for $9 (herb roasted red potatoes, bacon preserves, beer cheese, sour cream, scallions, tomatoes and onions). Inventive burgers include the classic spicy burger with bourbon-braised pork belly and spicy beer cheese, as well as the fiesta burger with beef, chorizo, Cheddar jack, fried tortilla, corn salsa and tomatillo salsa. Of course, you can’t leave without a drink. All are less than $10 and feature Kentucky bourbon.
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