When the sun sets on the Baker-Bird Winery, and its proprietors depart, the sturdy stone walls come to life, whispering stories across the expansive space. They rehash the 150-year history of the estate winery, which sheltered women and children during a key Civil War battle. Their tales outline the German immigration, which brought those wishing to cultivate a new life to the region to work the rich Kentucky soil. Then the sun rises, and the walls close their stony eyes, allowing the winery's history to speak for itself through guided tours.
In the warm afternoon, groups wander amid framed historical photographs, documents, and wooden cabinets lined with wines, artisanal cheeses from Kentucky, and exotic chocolates. Because all proceeds from the sale of the wine goes to restoring the historic estate and supporting Kentucky farm families, visitors can feel that they?ve done a good deed without rescuing a cat from a tree and taking it to see the ocean for the first time.
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With more than 15 locations nationwide, Wine and Canvas commissions accomplished artists to spread the joy of painting during informal painting classes. These talented brush wielders guide students of all abilities through a landscape, portrait, or abstract artwork via step-by-step instructions. Though each Wine and Canvas location is home to an art studio, the classes are taught in students’ living rooms or at local hot spots—many of which mix up tasty drink specials during classes. Instructors provide their artists-in-training with all the supplies they need to create eye-catching masterpieces, from paints and canvases to Ouija boards with a direct line to van Gogh. Though adult painting classes are Wine and Canvas’s bread and butter, they also help little ones unleash their creativity and satisfy their sweet tooth with Cookies and Canvas classes.
The Phoenix Equestrian Centre's owner and lifelong horse expert Linda Gonzalez draws on her professional racehorse-training experience while teaching riding lessons and caring for her fleet of steeds. Having trained racehorses that have breached the upper echelons of the nation's Experimental Handicap top 200 and gone on to race before the queen of England, Linda has an expert eye for tending to the needs and birthday wishes of each horse. Set on 19 acres, her horse boarding and training facility features 60'x60' indoor and 100'x200' outdoor riding arenas, where ponies are free to strut and students take their first tentative gallops atop well-trained mounts. Aside from private lessons and day camps, Linda also breaks and trains unruly horses, leases trustworthy steeds, and hosts a variety of informational seminars about the future possibilities of a centaur composite race.
Colonial Pines Golf Club’s 18-hole course blankets 127 acres of tranquil Ohio Valley farmland for 5,966 yards of rolling hills and imposing hardwoods. Golfers traverse the par 70 layout on the backs of motorized carts or caddies hoping to improve their piggyback-ride form, steering balls away from a menagerie of hazards, including mounds topped with swaying heathers, woodsy thickets, and six lakes spanning 11 acres. The first tee shot aptly foreshadows a round in which avoiding water hazards and ingratiating oneself to ball-stealing fish will be critical, as drives must cross a pond that runs from the tee box to the beginning of the fairway.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 5,966 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 68.3 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 117 from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Link to scorecard
Elevation changes. Not only do they challenge players at Hickory Sticks Golf Club with constantly changing terrain, but they also afford spectacular views of the Kentucky Hills. The rippling landscape stretches across a 6,148-yard course?much of which consists of Hickory Sticks' marathon first and last holes, which measure 533 and 496 yards, respectively.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,148 yards * Course rating of 69.1 from the back tees * Course rating of 131 from the back tees * Four tees per hole * See the scorecard
A product of Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Elks Run Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course is a case-study in fair but challenging golf. For example, golfers can capitalize on consistently wide fairways?but if they don't, their ball may stray into thick heather that skirts the short-grass. Water hazards also loom on eight holes, including a five-hole stretch on the back nine that curls around a creek. Elevated tee boxes and undulating terrain characterize the course throughout the round, which also includes a double green shared by holes three and five. Before rounds, golfers can warm up at a practice green, two sand traps, and a driving range with bent-grass hitting stations.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,845 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.9 from the tips * Slope rating of 138 from the tips * Four tee options