Set up along verdant forests, mountains, and valleys, Kentucky Action Park's outdoor attractions bring elements of the old-timey Wild West to the modern-day sense of adventure. The winding turns of an alpine slide send sleds on exhilarating quarter-mile trips down the mountain, and putters propel colorful orbs across 18 western-themed mini-golf holes. Chair lifts and a 24-foot rock wall tower overhead, the top of which grant scenic views typically seen only by birds and children holding many balloons. Elsewhere, horses trot out of the Jesse James Riding Stables, which has been in operation for more than 30 years. At Outlaw Cave, guided tours travel below ground to view stalactites and rock formations sculpted by the patience of water over the past millennia.
27 Drive-In carries on the classic American tradition of watching the silver screen from the reclined seats of an automobile. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at around 8:30 p.m., two towering screens show recent cinematic releases to audience members cozily nestled in laughing Hondas, transfixed Volvos, and sobbing Saturns. Movie-goers motor through a two-lane ticket booth before parking and dialing the radio to an FM station broadcasting the movie’s sound. Anticipated flicks such as Contagion enthrall viewers this September, and the Twilight sequel, Breaking Dawn: Part I will cause theater grass to do sit-ups to withstand getting flattened by the horde of oncoming vehicles.
Sheltowee Trace Outfitters’ founder, Rick Egedi, has navigated Kentucky’s waters since 1981. At his adventure center, he and his staff lead guided trips on area rivers, such as the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Canoers, whitewater rafters, and tubers can float through placid, sun-dappled segments or conquer frothing rapids; alternatively, shorter trips ferry adventurers straight to the foot of the Cumberland Falls, where they can feel the waterfall’s spray and see that, despite conspiracy theories, it is not just water descending an escalator.
For landlubbers, the center’s activities range from trips up a climbing wall to geocaching excursions, on which visitors prowl through the surrounding greenery on a tech-savvy scavenger hunt using GPS tracking to turn up hidden caches of trinkets. During multiday outdoor trips, visitors can spend the night in nearby lodgings, such as quaint cabins and campgrounds, rather than sleeping atop nature’s waterbed—the puddle.
The Blue Grass Sportsmen's League is not just concerned with entertaining its members with various outdoor sporting activities; the nonprofit organization also dedicates itself to conservation, hunter education, and habitat restoration. At the expansive facility—which is tucked into the Jessamine County woods and bordered on three sides by the river—three separate ranges help hunters improve their accuracy before they participate in carefully managed hunting for deer, pheasant, and wild bull's-eyes. A spring-fed fishing lake with species limits is stocked with bluegill, catfish, and bass, and a dog-training field safely prepares canines for upcoming trips. Blue Grass Sportsmen's League also invites guests to practice tactical maneuvers and re-create Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm on its two paintball fields.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively café, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.
A red-tailed hawk soars high above My Old Kentucky Home State Park, peering down at its campgrounds, golf course, and outdoor amphitheater. Here, a cast of actors performs Stephen Foster - The Musical, belting the famous tune, "My Old Kentucky Home." Just a piano's throw away stands Federal Hill, the Georgian-style mansion that originally inspired this perennial ballad.
Built between 1795 and 1818, the brick mansion echoes early American history in everything right down to its decor. Supposedly to honor the original colonies, the number 13 appears throughout the house: 13 windows at the front, 13 steps to each floor, and 13-inch thick walls, which once housed famous guests such as Aaron Burr. For 120 years, the Rowan family lived in the mansion. Then, in 1922, Madge Rowan Frost sold the 235-acre estate, as well as many family heirlooms, to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Since then, tour guides have taken visitors throughout the mansion's grounds and into its history-laden rooms. The staff has renovated the mansion in recent years, putting in hours of research to ensure that the carpets, wallpapers, drapes, and hand-whittled internet routers remain authentic to the 1850s. The mansion also celebrates the changing seasons—in winter, the mansion dons Christmas decor and the staffers serve apple cider dressed up in period costumes.
With iridescent miniature golf courses in malls throughout North America, Glowgolf adds elements of phosphorescent fun to shopping sessions. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent animals, and lush foliage reminiscent of the glowing trees on Neptune. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to get familiar with each hole's obstacles. Equipment is available on the spot, so players won't have to carry around personal clubs or seek out a bioluminescent caddie.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.