The city of Berea and other neighboring areas are teeming with history and heritage. Drive just 15 minutes to Berea, or a few more to Richmond, and you’ll find enough food, shops, and culture to fill your day.
We’ve put together some itineraries of things to do around the area, and are certain that you will find something for everyone!
Arts & Shopping in Berea
Berea’s Old Town Artisan Village
Explore the shops and studios of working artists of Berea’s Artisan Village. Stay and eat, take a yoga class, and catch some occasional live music.
Berea College Visitor Center and Shoppe
Offering free tours of the historic college campus and craft industry with craft demonstrations by students throughout the day. The Berea College Visitor Center & Shoppe is the official source of BC college gear as well as hand-made student crafts.
Shops at College Square
The College Square area features the work of many artists and craftsmen, galleries and studios. There are several restaurants offering everything from pizza to a full course dinner.
This is a list of many of Berea’s working artists, their locations, and workshops they offer.
See the Berea Tourism website for locations, dates, and other events.
A Saturday Morning in the Berea Urban Agricultural District
There are plenty of ways to fill your morning in the Berea Urban Agriculture District!
The “Ag District” encompassing 82 acres, 500 residents, and more than 90 businesses, and encourages and supports the development of an integrated neighborhood food system. Check out the Sustainable Berea website for a map and list of season events. And be sure to stop by the Berea Visitors Center!
Native Bagel – Get a fresh-made bagel sandwich and good brew to start your day off right. Park behind the Peoples Bank so that you can walk to the other locations.
Tour the farmers market that is located at Fee Park, just 500 feet from Native Bagel (check their website for seasonal hours/locations). Bring a cooler in your car in case you need to store some fresh vegetables or local farm raised eggs from the market. You might even catch an apple cider mill demonstration or local musicians strumming and picking.
Shop on Broadway street to see the studios and shops of working artists. Make sure to stop by the Urban Farm on Adams Street and get a quick tour if you see someone on the farm!
Eat at a local restaurant. You can eat out on the patio at Apollo Pizza (Berea location) or walk back up the hill and try Noodle Nirvana on Center Street. You can’t go wrong with either one!
Explore the Daniel Boone Trace and Civil War Historical Sites
History buffs will enjoy a driving tour of the old pioneer’s path with stops in and near Madison County. You can find a map of the whole trace here, and more details on Civil War attractions here. This itinerary will highlight nearby stops in Madison County.
Start at Boone Gap landmark off Highway 25 (at the Madison county line).
Boone Gap was the last of three formidable natural barriers that Daniel Boone and his trailblazers had to overcome on his epic journey of 1775, the first being the Cumberland Gap, and the second where the Cumberland River passed through Pine Mountain, called ‘The Narrows’ (see on this map). At Boone Gap, there is a breech in the last rim of mountains, called ‘The Knobs,’ through which Boone passed on his way to the Inner Bluegrass region.
City of Berea
Stop at Berea College Square and visit the historic Boone Tavern, which was constructed in 1909 and named in honor of Daniel Boone. Across the street you will find a historical marker honoring the trail blazed here by Daniel Boone and his 30 “axemen” back in 1775. There are also several restaurants and shops on the Square.
While in Berea, take a beautiful half-mile walk along the John B. Stephenson Memorial Trail, which is part of the Trace. Scan the QR code at the convergence of Silver Creek and Brushy Fork Creeks crossing to learn about the spot where Daniel Boone set up camp.
The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center and Museum
Located at 101 Battlefield Memorial Highway (intersection of US 25 and 421 south of Richmond), the Visitor’s Center gives not only Civil War buffs but even the casual visitor an excellent overview and learning experience about the important American Civil War Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, fought in 1862. The Battle of Richmond is the second largest Civil War battle fought in Kentucky. Self-guided walking and driving tours are available.
The next stop is Fort Boonesborough State Park. Follow Highway 25 up to Richmond. Then we recommend you take State Highway 388 to the park, which is the northern terminus for Boone’s Trace. When Daniel Boone and his men reached the Kentucky River, they quickly established a fort that became Kentucky’s second settlement – and their temporary home – until Boone later moved across the river. It’s now one of Kentucky’s most historically significant state parks, and visitors today can tour a reconstructed fort on the banks of the river, complete with cabins, block houses and furnishings.
Civil War Fort at Boonesborough
Not to be confused with the park above, but only 2 miles away, this Civil War site is where Union Soldiers built an earthern fort to defend the ford and ferry at Boonesborough. Today, very little remains of the earthen fort, but the site offers amazing views of the surrounding countryside and provides a beautiful view of the Kentucky River. There is a moderately strenuous, wooded one-mile loop trail that provides panoramic views of the Kentucky River Valley and self-guided tours and Cell phone tours are available.
White Hall State Historic Site
Also in the Richmond area, check out White Hall State Historic Site, the home of Kentucky legislator Cassius Marcellus Clay and Mary Jane Warfield Clay. He was an anti-slavery newspaper publisher, politician, soldier, and Minister to Russia through the Lincoln, Johnson, and Grant administrations. Tour this restored 44-room Italianate which began as a 7-room structure built in 1798-1799 by General Green Clay. It is easily accessible off I-75.