December 28, 2017

TRAVEL GUIDE: Holiday Weekend in Georgetown, KY.

      Come and take a (virtual) trip with me in today's blog post! We'll be visiting a bustling town that's filled with horses, Southern food and bourbon, and the most charming Main Street you've ever seen. It's time to share my Georgetown, Kentucky Travel Guide!


Georgetown Kentucky Travel Guide - perfect girls' trip



     When it became official this fall that my friend Kylie from Dress in Sparkles and I were going on a holiday long weekend press trip to Georgetown, Kentucky, I was over the moon excited! I had been to Kentucky once prior, to Louisville in 2015 for a college internship. During that trip, I got to visit Churchill Downs and see a taste of what the Bluegrass state had to offer, and I kind of fell in love! I had always wanted to go back with more time to explore, so this trip was the perfect opportunity. I was seriously counting down the weeks and days until the trip!


     We were in Georgetown December 8-11th, and visiting at the holidays was just wonderful! The only complaint that I have about our trip was something beyond anyone's control.... the weather. Kentucky was experiencing a severe (for the South) cold-snap during the weekend we were there. Temperatures were in the 20s and 30s, and sometimes colder with the wind chill! Of course it got warmer again the day after we left- figures! The chilly weather did damper a couple of the outdoor activities that we tried to do, but again, something beyond our control. We still had a great time and found there wre lots of fun activities to do in Georgetown!


     Georgetown located in Northern-Central Kentucky, 30 minutes from both Lexington and Frankfurt. What was once a small and quaint town is now Kentucky's 7th largest city by population, thanks to an influx of jobs with the addition of the Toyota manufacturing plant in the 1980s! Georgetown has retained much of its small town charm though, which Kylie and I definitely experienced.



Travel:

     Georgetown is conveniently located on Interstate 75, if you live in drivable distance (like Kylie did!). Vermont however is not driving distance for a weekend trip to Kentucky, so I flew into the Lexington airport, which is 30 minutes away. I have to say- I really enjoyed the Lexington airport and found it easy to navigate. They also have great free wifi which is always a plus! Near the check-in counters there is a public art gallery featuring paintings of horses, and I really enjoyed experiencing that.




Stay: 

     Kylie and I were hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn of Georgetown, which we both really enjoyed and would recommend! Our room was clean and comfortable, and definitely spacious enough for both of us. My favorite part of the hotel was the hot tub!! We took advantage of warming up in there after being out in the cold a few times during our stay. The only part of the hotel that I wouldn't recommend is breakfast- it's a pretty standard hotel continental breakfast, but they charge for it. Fortunately, there's many restaurants right around the hotel so you have lots of nearby breakfast options!







Eat:

     I shared my detailed Georgetown Restaurant guide on the blog last week! You can check that out here.






Play: 

     Kylie and I were able to accomplish so much during our long weekend! Some of these activities are seasonal to the holidays, but others are available to experience year-round.




     Experience Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park: Southern Lights is a nighttime driving tour of the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park. There are over three miles of incredibly detailed Christmas light displays which you experience as you drive your car around the park! They even purchase a radio frequency so that you can listen to their own custom Christmas music station during your festive drive. Southern Lights opens around Thanksgiving and stays open through December 31st each year. I was absolutely blown away at the beauty of this event! The visitors' center at the Kentucky Horse Park also is open and includes a craft fair, photos with Santa, and a petting zoo during the nights when Southern Lights is open. I wish we could have experienced this fun event every night of our trip, as it was so fun!





     Visit Old Friends Retirement Farm: This part of the trip was such a highlight that I wrote a separate blog post about it! Old Friends is a special horse farm for retired racehorses, which is open to the public for tours. Kylie and I loved our visit, and I highly recommend that you check out my blog post review of Old Friends here!




     Explore Georgetown's Main Street and visit local shops: I grew up in a town with a charming Main Street, so I have a soft spot for visiting other places with a lovely town center. Georgetown's is just darling!! Kylie and I kept saying we felt like we were living our own Hallmark Movie when we were walking around downtown, especially since beautiful snow was falling! Main Street has several fun shops, including fashion boutiques and speciality shops. For fellow fashion lovers, we enjoyed visiting Adorabelles and Em+Me boutiques. Our new friend Natalie from Georgetown/Scott County Tourism, and our photographer for the weekend, Hannah, were so kind to show us around the Main Street area. If you're visiting Main Street at Christmas, you can enjoy the beautiful Christmas Tree outside of City Hall!







     Scott County Historic Homes Annual Holiday Tour: This was a last minute event that got added to our itinerary, but ended up being one of our favorites!! Some of the owners of the biggest houses on Main Street opened parts of their homes (or in some cases, the whole house) for decorated home tours to the public during the weekend we were visiting. It was amazing to see these gorgeous, historic Southern homes decorated for the holidays. I took in so much inspiration for my dream home someday!






     
       The Kentucky Horse Park: Kylie and I first explored The Kentucky Horse Park of course at night for their Southern Lights Christmas event, but we had to return in the daytime to check out all of their horse museums and see some of the horses that live there! I've been fascinated with horse racing ever since I visited Churchill Downs a few years ago, so I loved seeing the International Museum of the Horse (museum admission is included with your Kentucky Horse Park tickets). Getting to see Kentucky Derby trophies up close and personal was incredible! There weren't a lot of horses out on the grounds the day that we were there since the weather was freezing, but we did see a couple retired police horses in the police barn. If the weather had been warmer I think our visit to The Kentucky Horse Park would've been much longer!





     Shopping in Lexington: Kentucky's second largest city, Lexington, is only 30 minutes away from Georgetown! We snuck away for an afternoon of shopping in the city, which was SO much fun. Y'all know I have talked a lot since moving about Vermont's limited retail options... so it was such a treat to be around some of my favorite stores again! Kylie and I also paid our first-ever visits to Draper James. Their Lexington store is so cute! I didn't end up purchasing anything there, but I loved taking my picture with their beautiful mural. Another perk of visiting Lexington- I got to grab dessert to-go at my favorite chain restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory!






     Yuko-En on the Elkhorn Garden: Kylie and I did photos for our blogs during our visit to this garden, so I have a whole separate post about it here! It actually snowed the morning that we visited, so we had a very unique experience seeing Georgetown's public Japanese garden.




     Candlelight tour of Ward Hall: Ward Hall is considered to be the state of Kentucky's premiere Greek revival mansion. The huge home is now preserved by a foundation so that it will be maintained for generations to come, and it opens every year at the holidays for period themed candlelight tours. Kylie and I were delighted by our tour- both by seeing the grand mansion, and also by learning the history of the Ward family and more about Georgetown in centuries past!







     Tour the Toyota Plant: Georgetown really got on the map on a national scale in the 1980s after Toyota picked it as the location for their first US car plant. The Georgetown Toyota plant manufactures the Camry, Avalon, their hybrid models, and as of a few years ago, some Lexus models as well. The plant is huge. I have never seen a building this big in my entire life!! Kylie and I learned on the tour that the Toyota plant buildings span a distance of more than 150 football fields... just think about that! You weren't allowed to take pictures on the tour so I only have photos from the visitor center, but I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this. I don't know very much about cars, but I loved getting to see them being made up close and personal, and all that goes into a manufacturing plant. It's things that I know nothing about but now am fascinated by! All of the tour guides were so friendly and welcoming, and I truly got the vibe that Toyota is an amazing company to work for. 







      One last thing that was recommended to Kylie and I but we didn't have time to do- visit the Buffalo Trace bourbon distillery in nearby Frankfurt. Kentucky of course is famous for its bourbon distilleries and Buffalo Trace is supposed to be one of the best ones near Georgetown! We'll have to keep that in mind if we return.



     And there you have it! The perfect itinerary for a holiday weekend in Georgetown, Kentucky. Please feel free to email me if you have any specific questions, and you can also reach out to Georgetown/Scott County Tourism as well! Here are my previous posts from this trip:





      Thanks so much as always for reading!



      God Bless,



      xoxo Annaliese




      Thank you to Georgetown/Scott County Tourism for hosting Kylie and I during our trip to Kentucky. Photography in post by myself and Hannah Sither.


10 comments:

  1. Georgetown is such a neat little town! I almost went to Georgetown College-- I loved the college, but was iffy on the pricetag!

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  2. This looks like such a fun trip! My husband and I have tossed around the idea of visiting Lexington, but I wasn't sure what all there was to do after we did the traditional horse things. This was super helpful for me & I'll definitely be bookmarking it for a future trip (& maybe try staying in Georgetown instead of Lexington!)

    xoxo, SS


    Southern and Style

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  3. This looks like such a fun trip! I've never thought about Georgetown but this post made it seem like a great place to visit. I'd especially love to go to the Old Friends Retirement Farm!

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  4. Your pink skirt is absolutley adorable! I didn't realize how many fun things there is to do in Georgetown, KY! This looks like such a lovely place to visit!

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  5. Georgetown is not a destination that's ever been on my travel list, but the more you share about your trip, the more interested I am in going there. Can we talk about how STUNNING you look in that pink skirt?!?!?! I can't get over it. Gorgeous!

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  6. Such a cute town! Glad you took advantage of the shopping haha
    -Emily
    https://norepeatsorhesitations.com/2017/12/27/6-productive-things-to-do-between-christmas-and-new-years/

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  7. It certainly looks like you all had a fun time!! I love your scarf!

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  8. What a fun time! I love these pictures!!

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  9. The horses are beautiful! What a cute town, looks like you had a great time there!

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  10. That's so amazing that the owners of those homes open them up for tours for a weekend! I'd love to experience that! I can't believe how much you got done in one weekend, it seems utterly overwhelming!

    Logan | signedlogan.com

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