When you think of Georgetown, KY, you may think "small town." But do you also think of it being in the fastest growing county in the state of Kentucky, with an over 8-million-square-foot Toyota plant, an exciting downtown with restaurants and breweries, or the place where bourbon was potentially born? If you don’t, you need to think bigger.
“OMG, Georgetown has everything!” exclaimed Natalie Partin, communication manager for Georgetown Tourism when I asked her what the best things to do in Georgetown are. As an expert on the area (not to mention being born and raised there), Natalie helped me break down just a few of the things worth exploring to help you plan a trip down South:
Considering Georgetown was founded all the way back in the late 1700s, it isn’t shocking that the city is home to plenty of history. In fact, there’s over 200 buildings in town on the National Registry of Historic Places. They are kept in incredible condition with many of them used as shops along historic Main Street downtown.
Ward Hall is another fascinating stop through history you should consider making. The famous Greek Revival-style mansion built in the mid-1800s is a gorgeous home where visitors can take tours and learn all about legendary socialite Sallie Ward and her enormous fortune and lavish parties she held there. Did I mention the home was purchased with gold?
And you can’t forget about the bourbon fun fact mentioned above; Georgetown is the disputed birthplace of bourbon. Everyone was making bourbon back then, so it’s hard to tell who was technically first to the barrel. But it’s believed that a spring in Georgetown was the first water to distill the popular spirit.
There are 14 hotels and counting in Georgetown, as it's becoming a top tourist spot for people traveling to Kentucky. Being in Central Kentucky, the Horse Capital of the World, you can expect to find equine activities. Take for example the retired thoroughbred farm Old Friends. It's home to over 100 horses from all over the world, including famous ones like derby winners and former acting horses. That’s right…the stallion who played the coveted role of Seabiscuit in the film now lives there. His name is actually Popcorn Deelites and he doesn’t give out autographs. People visiting the grounds can get up close to the horses and feed them carrots, however.
Georgetown’s very own Lil’ Sebastian lives there, as well. The town’s miniature horse mascot is named Little Silver Charm, and he’s the smallest (and arguably the most adorable) horse at Old Friends.
The largest Toyota manufacturing plant in the world is also found in Georgetown. The massive facility offers free tours where guests can ride on trams and watch cars being assembled from start to finish.
EAT & DRINK
When it comes to dining and drinking in Georgetown, the city offers Irish pubs, Southern diners, and even a variety of distilleries and breweries, too. Country Boy Brewing is off the beaten path of Georgetown, but is also the first brewery to open in town. My Old Kentucky Foam is the newest craft brewery in town. It offers a full service bar, brewing on site, and half of their beers on tap.
“We like to say we have small town charm even though we’re the fastest growing community,” Natalie tells me. Downtown Georgetown is not quite as big as Downtown Cincinnati, but it offers some incredible shopping and art galleries. If you stroll down Main Street, you’ll find all sorts of boutiques, antique shops, and unique stores that specialize in stained glass and quilting.
Georgetown hosts all sorts of events throughout the year. Everyone comes out for Party on the Square in the summer, where there are festivities such as live music, drinks, and food every month.
Festival of the Horse is a three-day festival in September which celebrates the heritage of the horse. This popular event showcases art and crafts exhibits, kids activities, horse games, and the Grand Parade of Horses.
During the winter months, holiday events around town include a Christmas tree lighting and parade, fun holiday markets, and candlelight tours at Ward Hall.
Whew! That’s a lot more than just some old country roads. Georgetown is most certainly a unique and celebrated destination that's somehow modern and historically preserved all at once.
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You can see everything else that Georgetown has to offer by visiting their website here.