Danville, Kentucky is a classic American town. Main Street is lined with charming shops and eateries and office buildings that make you wish for a rocking chair and a glass of something cold.
Danville is located just a bit south of Lexington and just a short drive from Cincinnati (about two hours max). We were fortunate to call Danville home for a day in June as guests of the Danville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Pictured above is a close-up view of their Main Street. Doesn’t it look a lot like Over the Rhine and Vine Street today? Like our Vine Street, their Main Street has some gorgeous architecture.
We arrived on a Friday, ready to see what Danville had to offer. Our very first stop in Danville was actually our first visit on the CRAFT TOUR of the Bourbon Trail. Not to be confused with the “regular” Bourbon Trail, this is a separate group of distilleries – those that are considered “craft”.
Because I have sooo many pictures and sooo much info on the Craft Tour and Wilderness Trail, I have separated that Craft Tour adventure out- click here to read all about Wilderness Trail Distillery.
After we did the Wilderness Trail Tour (which was awesome btw) we headed into town for lunch. First foodie stop of the day – Bluegrass Pizza and Pub.
This place has a great vibe. All the tables and chairs are different yet it all seems to work. Chalkboard lines the lower half of the walls and if you ask nicely, one of the kids might share a piece of chalk from her bucket. There’s a bar in the back with a nice selection of brews on tap and they’ll ask you if you want “Sweet Tea”. Lights hang delicately from the ceiling and rock-inspired artwork covers the walls. But the real star of the show is this…
We ordered a 10″ pizza, specifically the “Main Line”, piled high with pepperoni, Italian sausage, tomatoes, onions, green and black olives, mushrooms, and green peppers. They have lots of other things on the menu too (salad, sandwiches, stromboli, etc.) but I’d have the pizza again. The texture was great, toppings were fresh, cheese was melty… all in all, a fabulous lunch.
After we settled up for our lunch, we headed a few blocks down the road to visit Danville’s Constitution Square.
Constitution Square is a 3 acre park right on Main Street. The park pays tribute to Kentucky’s early heritage and includes some frontier-style log buildings (the oldest post office building in the west) and some replicas including the courthouse, a jail, and a school. It’s a picturesque spot with lots of state of Kentucky history and various educational/learning opportunities. I wish we had been able to hunt for a geocache there but it was raining while we were exploring so we kept moving.
We enjoyed stopping into a few of the shops along Main Street including Maple Tree Gallery. What a charming little shop! They have an amazing array of home goods and gift items. I had to be really careful to keep my wallet in my purse!
By the time we left Maple Tree Gallery the sun had finally returned and the skies turned to blue. We continued to walk up Main Street to see this beauty – the Boyle County Courthouse. There’s quite a bit of history associated with this building. This courthouse was built in 1862, replacing the previous courthouse which was destroyed in a fire that took out a good bit of downtown Danville. The new courthouse opened just a time before the Battle of Perryville (Civil War). After that nearby battle, this nearly-new courthouse was occupied by Union troops and used as a hospital. Today, the building is still used as the county’s courthouse.
Being big Civil War buffs, we spent the afternoon exploring the location of the Battle of Perryville. The battle was fought in 1862 and is/was considered to be a very strategic Union victory in that it soldified Union control of Kentucky. You can learn more about this, the bloodiest battle in Kentucky, over at civilwar.org.
According to Kentucky State Parks, “The battlefield is one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation; vistas visible today are virtually those soldiers saw on that fateful day in 1862.” You can pick up a self-guided walking tour at the park office. You can walk one of the many trails or you can drive along a gravel road that spans the park (quite bumpy and dusty but worth the trip).
After a long afternoon at Perryville, we were glad to return to Danville and relax at our night’s accommodations, The Farm LLC. The Farm is a bed and breakfast and it’s also an actual working farm.
The Farm LLC is a bed and breakfast, located in what was once a family farm. After the owner’s children grew up and moved out, the husband and wife turned their family farm into a working farm B&B. We stayed in the “Suite Katie” (named after one of the daughters), located in the addition along the back of the farm house. Being a relatively new addition, our set-up included a very nice bedroom with a community living room (below) and our own large bathroom.
The Farm LLC is more than just a night’s place to stay – it is a working farm. We were able to stroll the grounds in the evening hours and see chickens and goats and kittens and ducks… just about any farm animal you might like to encounter.
We put our stuff away and then headed back into town to enjoy a night out. We started off the evening with an appetizer and drinks at Jane Barleycorn’s Market and Bar. I will start off by saying that this was easily my favorite place to go in Danville. The place has a very eclectic feel, almost indie, kinda crafty. The bar has an amazing selection of bourbons, beer on tap, and an AMAZING menu. We loved everything about it and are still wishing we could bring it home with us :).
After our afternoon drink and appetizer, we decided to stop by Cue on Main Street for a burger. We enjoyed our dinner out on the walk, eating at the outdoor table you see below.
Our server was amazing and really seemed to enjoy having us there. She told us about how the building used to house a bowling alley and that the floor from the bowling lanes had been salvaged and turned into tables at a nearby bar – The Beer Engine. And as luck would have it, The Beer Engine was on our list of places to go that night! It was fun to see it all come together between the close-knit community businesses.
After a very long day of eating (plus a few drinks), we returned to The Farm just in time to catch this…
One of the great things about a B&B is the breakfast… and The Farm’s breakfast was top notch. We enjoyed bacon and eggs, biscuits with homemade jams and jellies, goat cheese (that was made on the farm the day before), cobbler, and so many other things that I can’t even remember all of it!
After breakfast, all of the guests were invited to go out to the barn. We were able to milk a goat, feed the animals, and even wander around the fields with a pig and chickens.
Here are a few tips for you as far as the farm aspect goes. If you go, be sure to take some old shoes for the farm excursion and a bag to put them in when you’re done. It is a TRUE farm experience and you are going to get dirty. There’s nothin’ dainty about hanging with the pigs!
While we were there, a cow birthed a new calf. Kids got to gather eggs in the barn. An instructor led a class on making butter in the kitchen. You can feed the goats and you can even milk one! This place is a destination all its own and would be a blast for families with young children.
I do feel the need to say that while we enjoyed our stay and the families that were there with us LOVED it, if you’re looking for just a place to stay for the evening while you’re in Bourbon Country (and the farm aspect is not what is drawing you in), this may not be the right spot for you. You really have to embrace and enjoy the entire experience of being on a farm here.
I could go on and on. Believe me when I say that I probably have another 50 pictures beyond what I’ve included here. I haven’t even touched on the fact that Danville is the home of Centre College. Or that it’s a great place to visit while you’re exploring Bourbon Country. I hope you enjoyed getting to see Danville from a vistor’s point of view and hope that you’ll consider stopping by for a visit!