20 Best Things to Do in Frankfort, KY

Frankfort, Kentucky is home to the Kentucky State Fair and the Kentucky Derby, but it’s also a wonderful place to visit on any day of the year. Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with your family or just want to get out of town for a bit, we’ve got you covered!

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Frankfort:

Visit New Capitol Building

TEDD LiGGETT, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Frankfort Convention Center and the new Capitol building are two must-see attractions in downtown Frankfort

The convention center features exhibits about Kentucky’s history, including a replica of the old State House (which was destroyed by fire) and old photos from Frankfort’s early days.

The building is considered one of Shryock’s finest works and an early example of Greek Revival architecture in America.

It’s open for tours Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm.

Old Capitol Building

Visit the Old State Capitol

The Old State Capitol is a must-see for history lovers, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about Frankfort’s past.

The Old State Capital Museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the history of Kentucky’s government through interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Visitors can also see artifacts from when the building was first built such as furniture from cabinetmakers who worked at the time as well as portraits of some important figures who were involved in politics during this time period such as Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln.

The museum also hosts concerts and art exhibitions throughout the year so be sure to check their website before visiting so you don’t miss out on any upcoming events!

Shop at Eastwood Shopping Center

Shopping Center Frankfort

If you’re looking for something to do with your kids, take them shopping at Central City Mall!

There are stores like American Eagle Outfitters and Hot Topic where they can buy new clothes, shoes, and accessories.

If you’re looking for something else entirely, there is also a movie theater inside so you can catch up on all your favorite movies!

Visit Historic Downtown Frankfort

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The historic downtown district has many charming shops and restaurants to choose from when visiting Frankfort. Our favorite spot is probably The Old House Restaurant & Inn because they serve delicious food (and they even have live music on weekends!).

Take a Riverboat Cruise

three boats at the river during daytime

If you want to get out on the water and see some wildlife, take a riverboat cruise with Kentucky Belle Cruises or Belle of Louisville Cruises.

Both companies offer dinner cruises as well as sightseeing trips around the Ohio River area.

If you’d rather just stay dry, check out The Riverwalk at Waterfront Park near Riverside Park or ride through downtown Frankfort on an old-time trolley car operated by Old Town Trolley Tours.

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Visit Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History is a wonderful museum full of exhibits, artifacts , and more that help tells the story of Kentucky and its people.

There are several rooms dedicated to different aspects of Kentucky’s history: Native Americans, Europeans, early settlers, Civil War,and more.

There is also an interactive room where you can experience what it was like to be a soldier during the Civil War.

The museum has many permanent exhibits and also hosts special temporary exhibits throughout the year that focus on different aspects of Kentucky’s history, culture, and heritage.

The museum also houses a library with a large collection of books, journals ,and other materials related to Kentucky history and culture.

Visit Old State Capitol

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Old State Capitol is one of the most popular attractions in Frankfort.

It’s a restored, 19th-century capitol building that was the first statehouse in Kentucky. The building is now a museum that tells the story of Kentucky history and offers guided tours.

The Old State Capitol was built as the seat of government for the state of Kentucky.

Today, it houses a museum with exhibits on the history of Kentucky and its government. The building is also home to a number of events throughout the year, including a meeting place for legislators during sessions and general assembly.

Admission is free at all these attractions except the Civil War Museum which costs $5 per adult and $3 per child ages 6-16 years old.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace is one of America’s most popular distilleries, known for producing some of the world’s finest bourbon.

The distillery offers tours and tastings throughout the day and has a wonderful gift shop with all sorts of bourbon-related merchandise.

The distillery has several tours available daily (except Sunday), including the standard tour and the VIP tour (which includes tastings). The standard tour costs $11 for adults and $6 for children ages 6–12; tickets can be purchased at the gift shop window or online ahead of time.

Website: Buffalo Trace Distillery | Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Address/location: 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States

Cove Springs Park

Cove Spring Park is a classic example of a small park with big history. The spring that feeds the park was once used by Native Americans, who believed the water had healing powers.

The park itself is located on a steep hillside overlooking downtown Frankfort and is home to Fort Knox’s main post office. This park is great for reading, picnicking or just enjoying nature.

Address: Cove Spring Rd, Frankfort, KY 40601, USA

The Downtown Walking Tour

walking Tours

Frankfort has a vibrant downtown area with plenty of shops and restaurants to explore while you’re here.

Take a stroll down Main Street and see all of the historic buildings that line it!

You’ll see some old churches and banks, as well as some historic homes that were built by wealthy residents during the Civil War era.

There are many unique stores here that may not be found anywhere else! You’ll also find plenty of great dining options within walking distance from each other so there’s no need for driving if you don’t want to.

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Capital City Museum

Source: Capital City Museum | Facebook

The Capital City Museum is a great place to visit with your kids.

The Capital City Museum offers visitors a glimpse into Kentucky’s past. The museum features exhibits on Native Americans and early settlers as well as an extensive collection of artifacts from Kentucky’s past.

The museum is located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University and has several galleries including

“America on the Move,” which features more than 40 vehicles from the 1800s through today

“Kentucky Treasures” which showcases items from the state’s past; and “The Art of Kentucky” which contains pieces from local artists.

The museum also has several temporary exhibits throughout the year featuring different themes such as sports, transportation, music, and more.

Address: 325 Ann St, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States

Salato Wildlife Education Center

brown bear walking near trees

Salato Wildlife Education Center is one of the most popular attractions in Frankfort.

It is a place where you can learn about local wildlife and see animals up close.

Visitors can also participate in educational workshops and learn how to become wildlife rehabilitators at the center.

While there are no overnight accommodations, there is camping available on site for those who want to spend more time at this beautiful location.

Address:

1 Sportsman’s Ln, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States

Liberty Hall Historic Site

Christopher L. Riley, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Liberty Hall is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house is a two-story brick mansion with a hipped roof, built by George Rogers Clark, brother of William Clark, and was occupied by several generations of his family.

The house features Federal details characterized by stone lintels, belt course, and cornice moldings with dentil blocks.

In addition to its association with George Rogers Clark, Liberty Hall also has associations with John Wesley Hunt, an important Kentucky politician who was born here in 1805.

Address:  202-218 Wilkinson St, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States

River View Park

Image: Flickr

This is one of the best places to go if you want to get out and enjoy nature while traveling with kids.

The park features more than 100 acres of wooded trails and meadows that are perfect for hiking, picnicking, and relaxing with family or friends.

The park has a playground, basketball courts, walking paths, and picnic areas. There are also several pavilions available for rent if you would like to have a birthday party or other event at the park.

You can also rent boats on the Kentucky River near the park. There are plenty of picnic tables available at no cost, so pack up some snacks and hit the trail!

Floral Clock

Foxy Who (^∀^)/, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Floral Clock is a Frankfort icon that has been featured in many television shows and movies.

The clock was built in 1942 as a war memorial for those who served in World War II. It was designed by local architect Walter Scholer and cost $10,000 to build.

The clock itself is made up of over 1,000 flowers that are attached to metal rods to create the numbers on the face of the clock.

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The flowers used were chosen because they were in bloom during World War II and represent each branch of service: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

Castle & Key Distillery

The Castle & Key Distillery is a great place to visit in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The distillery is located on the grounds of the former Kentucky Military Institute and was founded by two brothers who were raised in Frankfort.

The brothers wanted to create a distillery that made high-quality bourbon and rye whiskey, so they purchased the building and began making their own spirits.

You can enjoy samples of their award-winning bourbon while learning about its history from knowledgeable staff members.

Address: 4445 McCracken Pike, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States

Josephine Sculpture Park

This art park is located on the campus of WKU and has been voted one of the top 10 outdoor sculpture parks in the United States.

The park features work from local artists as well as national artists. There are also several pieces by internationally-known sculptor Josephine Halvorson.

The sculptures vary widely in size, material, and price range, making this a great spot for families and couples alike.

This includes things like old tractor parts, old tools, and even recycled items like soda cans and tin cans.

Visitors can enjoy strolling through the park while admiring all of the different creations and then sit down on one of the benches to watch some live music being performed by local musicians who perform at this location each week during springtime.

Switzer Covered Bridge

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Switzer Covered Bridge is a historic wooden covered bridge spanning the Salt River in Scott County, Kentucky.

The bridge was originally built using wood from local trees, but it was rebuilt using concrete in 1924 due to damage from flooding of the river.

Today, visitors can walk across the bridge or drive over it while taking in views of the river below them on either side of the bridge.

Get on to Bourbon Trail

image: Kentucky Bourbon Trail | Facebook

Frankfort is located on the Bourbon Trail, which is a route that connects several historical distilleries in Kentucky.

The trail takes you through some beautiful countryside, highlighting some of the best bourbon distilleries around including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Heaven Hill.

The Bourbon Trail was created in 1999 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), an organization that represents more than 100 distilleries in Kentucky. The goal of this project was to promote tourism and increase sales of bourbon whiskey products all over the world.

Frankfort Convention Center

Frankfort Convention Center

The Frankfort Convention Center offers many different events throughout the year including concerts, theater performances, and more! The convention center also has indoor ice skating for skating enthusiasts.

You can also go see a show that’s playing there, or if you’re feeling adventurous, rent out the space for your own event. Whether you want to see a show at the convention center or just enjoy some of the great food options in the area, this is one of the best places in town to spend an evening.

Address: 405 Mero St, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States