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Not your old Kentucky home, but your temporary Kentucky homes
By Tom Adkinson
November 26, 2022

People travel from all over to enjoy the taste of Kentucky’s bourbon, the speed of its Thoroughbred horses and the majesty of its Appalachian Mountains views – and the savvy ones know to seek distinctive places to rest their heads after long days of exploring.

In some cases, where they sleep can be just as much of a visitor magnet as whiskey, fast horses and mountain splendors. Here are three distinctive and unusual places to overnight across Kentucky. The list goes east to west – Irvine to Harrodsburg to Bardstown.

kentucky homes
Smoke from a warming winter fire wafts up from the Snug Hollow farmhouse in the Appalachian foothills. Image by Snug Hollow Farm

Snug Hollow Farm/Irvine

You may never have heard of tiny Irvine, tucked away as it is in the Appalachian foothills southeast of Lexington.

You’ll remember it, however, if you spend some time at Snug Hollow Farm Bed & Breakfast, artist Barbara Napier’s quiet, reflective retreat. Cellphone service may be sketchy, but that’s a satisfactory tradeoff for seeing whitetail deer, listening to songbirds and enjoying peaceful mountain mornings. Writers particularly find inspiration here.

Snug Hollow Farm’s rooms are in a restored chestnut log cabin, two pine/cedar cabins and a two-story farmhouse. The setting is a 300-acre organic farm.

snug hollow inn pancakes
Inviting stacks of pancakes are among the breakfast offerings at Snug Hollow. Image by Snug Hollow

Solid country breakfasts with artistic touches (think rosemary bread, smoked cheddar omelets and crispy oatmeal/cornmeal waffles) await you after a quiet night’s sleep. Dinners are available by reservation.

Beaumont Inn/Harrodsburg

Harrodsburg is Kentucky’s oldest town, and the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg is Kentucky’s oldest family-operated B&B country inn. There are 31 guestrooms in three buildings, the oldest of which dates to 1845.

kentucky bourbon tasting
Relaxing conversation and bourbon education are available at the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg. Image by Beaumont Inn

As easy as it is to immerse yourself in history here, much of the Beaumont Inn’s fame comes from food. The food is so good that the inn received an America’s Classic Award in 2015 from the James Beard Foundation.

beaumont inn dining room
The menu at the main dining room of the Beaumont Inn has earned recognition from the James Beard Foundation. Image by Beaumont Inn

Recipes at the inn’s main dining room have been passed down through five generations, and the menu offers Kentucky classics such as corn pudding, country ham and “yellow-leg chicken.”

The main dining room is one of three dining options at the Beaumont Inn. The others are the Old Owl Tavern (a bar and grill restaurant) and the Owl’s Nest (an English-style pub). A bourbon tasting program is another Beaumont Inn offering.

Harrodsburg is in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, so touring horse farms is a popular activity. The excitement of the spring and fall racing seasons at the Keeneland racetrack is an international attraction. Lexington is only about 30 miles away.

Bourbon Manor B&B/Bardstown

Innkeepers Todd Allen and Tyler Horton created the Bourbon Manor, “the first bourbon-themed B&B in the country,” from a property that had been everything from a private home to apartments to a boarding house over the decades.

bourbon manor bardstown ky
The Bourbon Manor in Bardstown identifies itself as “the first bourbon-themed B&B in the country.” Image by Visit Bardstown

Allen and Horton take full advantage of being in Kentucky’s famed bourbon-making region and therefore amid many stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

There are 10 spirits-themed rooms, some in a Federal-style structure built in 1810 and others in a Greek Revival building from about 1830. A modern touch is a day spa. The requisite place to imbibe local spirits is named the Bunghole.

Allen and Horton offer the extra service of customizing regional itineraries. Use your time in the area to learn about Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Foster, the Civil War, and, yes, the art of the distiller.

In addition, Bardstown is only about 50 miles from Louisville, whose many attractions include Churchill Downs, the Muhammad Ali Center, the Belle of Louisville riverboat and the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum.

Trip-planning resources:,, and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available on

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