Dedicated to the legendary train engineer, Casey Jones Village features shops, attractions, and a museum rife with artifacts and anecdotes about Jackson's railroad history. Three authentic railcars are displayed prominently as mainstays from a different era, and children are encouraged to climb up on the engine and ring the train bell. A short film detailing the life of Casey Jones plays in the museum's theater, and a children's area entreats kids with wooden train sets so they can imagine they're piloting the first locomotive to shoot missiles at Saturn. After viewing the museum's offerings, guests can engage in other village attractions, such as mini golf, woodcarving demonstrations, and traditional treats at the antique-laden Brooke Shaw's Old Country Store. Before leaving, visitors can nosh on old-fashioned milk shakes and ice-cream sodas at the 1890s-inspired Ice Cream Parlor and Fudge Shoppe, voted one of the best 50 ice-cream parlors in the country by USA Today.
The International Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame entertains and informs music buffs with one of the genre's only existing video libraries, along with 16 life-size oil paintings and scores of rock relics. Tour guide Henry Harrison schools guests on rockabilly music's greatest entertainers, revealing quirky facts and long-division problems that lend insight into the lives of luminaries such as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and others. Listen as pompadoured performers tell tales of making music history through the hall of fame's video library, or view vibrant portraits of legends such as Sam Phillips and Shelby Singleton, the only owners of historic Sun Records. Peruse obscure artifacts from concerts and stage costumes, or model next year's yard display after the museum's Christmas-themed replica of Graceland. In addition to its interior exhibits, the Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame boasts vibrant exterior murals depicting Perkins and his original band, Sir Paul McCartney, and unruly mobs of teenagers trying to request the stars' e-mail addresses.
Although it's home to more than 50 species of exotic animals, Lazy L Safari Park doesn't have much in common with your average zoo. At this family-run agritourism and ranch operation, visitors don't just stare at animals from behind a glass barrier; instead, they interact with animals such as deer, antelope, and more. Whether they're admiring a powerful Burmese python, staring into the eyes of a Ring-tailed lemur, or feeding a flock of cheery parakeets, visitors get up close and personal at their own leisure.
It's fitting that Perryville Pumpkin Farm caters to families since the farm itself has been a part of the Koenig family's history since 1892. And though the farm has changed a lot since the days when its fields were used to raise cows, chickens, and hogs, it's still managed to remain a tried-and-true family operation since transitioning to a pumpkin farm in 2001. Take Jarod Koenig, for instance, who designed and built the farm's mini golf course himself, and who also designs the one-acre corn maze every year. Meanwhile, Ryan Koenig and his mother Dianna hand-pick every pumpkin sold at the farm stand, leaving the rest for adventurous guests who prefer to peruse the vines themselves. Even family friends contribute to the fun, providing the handmade jellies and jams sold in the farm's shop.
Besides welcoming guests to tour the farm or get lost in the twisting stalks of corn, Perryville Pumpkin Farm hosts a whole slew of autumn activities. Kids can climb on a straw bale fort, crawl through a straw tunnel, or practice their aim with the pumpkin sling. Animals also play a big part in the fun here, and guests can feed the goats and chickens, or even try their hand at milking a cow with a little help from local dairy farmer, Dan. Of course, the main event is the wagon ride out to the massive pumpkin patch where guests can pick a perfect specimen to take home and carve into a jack-o-lantern or a slightly smaller pumpkin.
Just across the bay from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Kentucky Dam Village is a modern campground comprised of 210 campsites, each equipped with water and electricity hookups. There's a cluster of service buildings at the center of the campground that offer modern amenities, too, including showers, restrooms, three dump stations, and a grocery store.
The 17,000-acre recreation area near the campground is a popular spot for bird watching as well as canoeing and bass fishing at its two lakes, Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. More than 200 miles of hiking trails crisscross the peninsula, ranging from short walks to lengthier routes. You can hike shorter portions of the 58-mile North-South Trail, which spans the entire length of the Land Between the Lakes. While hiking, you may catch a glimpse of wildlife including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, foxes, and coyotes.
StarView Vineyards is home to both native and French-American hybrid grapes that flourish on the vine during breezy, sunny summers. Seven varieties emerge from those vines, resulting in 12 signature wines, from the semi-dry, citrusy vignoles to the Red Star, a semi-sweet chambourcin. Stop by the tasting room to sip samples of these blends?along with wine slushies and sangrias?or head to the cafe to snack on grilled chicken sandwiches and pasta salad.