Romantic Weekend Getaways in Kentucky

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Churchill Downs evokes feelings of romance and Southern charm.
Churchill Downs evokes feelings of romance and Southern charm. (Image: horse racing image by jedphoto from Fotolia.com)

Kentucky offers a myriad of romantic weekend getaways. If you and your honey thrill to the great outdoors before snuggling in front of a cozy fire, consider Cumberland Gap with its caverns deep beneath the earth, playful waterfalls and lush flora. Or maybe it's the sight of beautiful thoroughbreds racing for the roses at Churchill Downs that quickens your pulse. Or let your hearts warm to a leisurely stroll back in time to the romantic Victorian era in Old Louisville. End the day dining in Louisville on Kentucky style Southern cuisine and gazing at the city nights playing off the waters of the Ohio river.

Louisville

The annual Great Balloon Race held during the weekend of the Kentucky Derby gives you a chance to see hot air balloons filling the Louisville sky. A popular event is the Great Balloon Glow on Friday, where balloons are lit and take to their starting positions, with the flash of the engines set against the night sky and synchronized to music. Balloon rides are also available from private companies throughout the year.

You can also explore the historic Churchill Downs track, whether it's Derby weekend or not, with a Backstretch Tour that features a breakfast and tour of the grounds. The Louisville area has several parks and outdoor spaces available for romantic breaks. A walk through St. James Court in Old Louisville lets you enjoy the site of the Southern Exposition of 1883-1887. Here you also can view Victorian homes as you enjoy quiet time on a tree-lined walking court where spring is especially lovely.

Cumberland Gap

If you and your partner enjoy the outdoors, there are few places in Kentucky more gorgeous and romantic than the Cumberland Gap National Park. Located in southeastern Kentucky near the borders with Tennessee and West Virginia, the park offers breathtaking scenery including underground caverns, sandstone formations, waterfalls and beautiful local flora. You and your loved one can hike on 85 miles of trails and see local plants and animals including deer, beavers and birds. You can camp at one of the 160 sites inside the park or stay at an inn or bed-and-breakfast in the town of Cumberland Gap.

The Cumberland Gap offers romantic views and outdoor opportunities.
The Cumberland Gap offers romantic views and outdoor opportunities. (Image: cumberland gap image by SSGuess from Fotolia.com)

Covington

Located just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Covington has a 13-block historical district which has earned a spot on the National Historical Register. A walk through the district takes you past Civil War-era homes, mansions and bronze statutes of historical figures along the river walk. You can enjoy a romantic meal at one of the restaurants at the Main Strasse Village, a shopping area and historical district designed to resemble a 19th-century German neighborhood. The largest revolving restaurant outside of Vegas, 360 at the Radisson offers fine dining including prime rib and decadent desserts, along with views of the Ohio river and city lights.

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