Located seventeen miles northeast of Lexington along Highway 68/27 is the town of Paris in Bourbon County. Traveling to Paris along the beautiful four lane highway, one can appreciate a scenic passage decorated with rolling pastures, pristine horse farms and historic stone fences. Paris is situated at the end of a straight path as you travel 68/27 from Lexington.
The historic Wright House, now home to Bethlehem Farm’s “Women in Racing”, is visible upon entering the city limits. Also visible from the highway is Houston Oaks, an 18-hole public golf course, bordered by creeks and beautiful homes. Dining options begin on the town’s outskirts also. The area offers a variety of dining experiences featuring French, Italian, Mexican and American cuisine to fit any budget.
The architecture of the area is worthy of mention. The Gothic Revival structure of the Paris Cemetery Gatehouse was designed by self-trained architect John McMurtry who later was commissioned to design a similar gatehouse for the Lexington Cemetery.
The Main Street buildings retain the original architectural designs and are amazingly intact. Examples of Italianate, Victorian and Romanesque buildings offer unique shopping and dining experiences. The downtown area is home to merchants who offer quality selections of antiques, unique gifts, and other items for distinguished tastes.
Click on image for a larger version of the Paris Cemetery Gatehouse.
The Bourbon County Courthouse, dominating Courthouse Square, is considered one of the most beautiful in the state of Kentucky. A visit to the interior reveals the building’s treasure a magnificent dome depicting the four seasons of farming in Bourbon County at the turn of the eighteenth century.
Click on image for a larger version of the Courthouse.
Visible from the Courthouse is historic Duncan Tavern. Built in 1788, this stone tavern housed such notable guests as Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton. The structure is now the state headquarters for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the location of the John Fox Jr. Genealogical Library.
Click on image for a larger version of the Duncan Tavern.
Other historic places are within close proximity to or a short detour from the Main Street area. Worthy of a visit are the Wallis House and Arboretum and Hopewell Museum, both located on Pleasant Street. Cane Ridge Meeting House, located on KY 537 east of Paris, is the largest one-room log structure still standing in the United States. The Colville Covered Bridge is found north of Paris on KY 3118 and is one of only thirteen covered bridges left in Kentucky.
(Colville Covered Bridge - left)
Bourbon County is home to over ninety horse farms. The most notable is Claiborne Farm legendary for its most famous resident, Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Plan to make a reservation to tour this famous farm while visiting the area. Other equine breeds thrive in the area. Hackney horses, American Saddlebreds and Fresians prove that Bourbon County is “the best place in the world to raise a horse!”
Returning to Highway 68 and continuing to Millersburg, the unique countryside again offers views of Bourbon County’s horse farms and scenic pastures.
(Wallis House - left)
Take the time to visit this part of Highway 68 and experience the hospitality and scenic wonders that
make this area a popular destination.