Best Things to Do in Kentucky for Couples: Romance, Bourbon, & Adventure

Best Things to Do in Kentucky for Couples: Romance, Bourbon, & Adventure


Kentucky is a magical destination for couples, offering a perfect mix of smooth bourbon, horse country thrills, and Southern charm.

Whether you’re interested in exploring world-class distilleries nestled in rolling hills, snuggling up in a historic bed and breakfast, or hiking to discover hidden waterfalls, Kentucky has something special to offer.

With its inviting storefronts in quaint small towns and vast natural wonders, there is something for every kind of couple.

Start planning your perfect Kentucky getaway with our guide to the best things to see and do, updated for your 2024 adventure!

Book your flight with Skyscanner to Kentucky and enjoy a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the charming streets of Lexington.

Bourbon Country Adventures for Couples

Kentucky straight bourbon whisky

Kentucky is famous for its bourbon and if you’re a whiskey enthusiast or just curious, this is the perfect place for you to visit.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a must-visit destination for bourbon lovers as it takes you to the most iconic distilleries where the art of creating America’s native spirit has been perfected over generations.

However, don’t overlook the charm of smaller craft distilleries that offer a more personalized and intimate experience, where you might even get to chat with the master distiller themselves.

Located in the heart of Kentucky, Bardstown is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World.

This charming town is the perfect place to start your adventure.

Take a leisurely walk through its historic downtown, where you’ll find tasting rooms and unique shops, and you’ll immediately understand its appeal.

For an unforgettable and romantic experience, hop aboard the Old Kentucky Dinner Train.

You’ll enjoy bourbon-inspired cuisine and scenic countryside views while relaxing in vintage train cars – a perfect blend of nostalgia and Kentucky’s finest.

👉Stay in a quaint bed and breakfast in Lexington, where you can enjoy Southern hospitality and proximity to horse farms and local vineyards.

Things to do for couples in Bourbon Country:

  • Immerse yourself in the history and process of bourbon on a guided distillery tour – some even offer behind-the-scenes peeks!
  • Enjoy curated bourbon tastings and discover new favorites, learning to identify the subtle notes of vanilla, spice, and oak.
  • Stroll through Bardstown’s historic downtown, popping into charming boutiques and cozy cafes.
  • Embark on a romantic dinner cruise on the Old Kentucky Dinner Train, where the food, bourbon, and scenery all combine for an unforgettable experience.
  • Explore bourbon-inspired restaurants and shops, perhaps picking up a special bottle or souvenir crafted by local artisans.

👉Find the best flights to Kentucky on Skyscanner and taste the state’s heritage with a bourbon distillery tour along the famous Bourbon Trail.

Romantic Outdoor Adventures in Kentucky

Fiery sunset at Mammoth Cave National Park

Kentucky offers a great experience for couples who enjoy fresh air and adventure.

Explore the world’s longest cave system in Mammoth Cave National Park, which boasts of its otherworldly beauty and vast underground labyrinths.

For scenic hikes, visit Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest or the Red River Gorge, where you can enjoy breathtaking overlooks and cascading waterfalls.

If you love horses, Kentucky has much to offer. You can embark on guided trail rides and explore this beautiful landscape in the way it has been done for generations.

👉Book a romantic cabin near Cumberland Falls to witness the spectacular moonbow and enjoy secluded hikes and picnics.

Mammoth Cave National Park: A Subterranean Wonder

Pictures from Focus on Frozen Niagara Tour (Mammoth Cave National Park - Kentucky)

Mammoth Cave National Park is a magnificent natural wonder that features a vast network of caves, sinkholes, and underground rivers, making it the longest known cave system in the world.

It’s an awe-inspiring destination that offers a unique experience, perfect for couples who seek adventure.

Whether you’re fascinated by geology, enjoy being surrounded by nature, or simply looking for a completely different kind of experience, Mammoth Cave is the perfect place to visit.

Things to do for couples in Mammoth Cave National Park:

  • Choose a guided cave tour ranging from easy walks to adventurous crawls, experiencing the awe-inspiring formations sculpted over millennia.
  • Embark on a romantic hike on the surface with over 80 miles of trails winding through woods and past sinkholes – you might even spot some wildlife!
  • Enjoy a scenic picnic surrounded by the beauty of the park.
  • Take a boat tour on the park’s underground rivers for a different perspective.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, explore some of the less-traveled “wild cave” portions (experienced cavers only!).

👉Use Skyscanner to plan your trip to Louisville for a sunset cruise on the Ohio River, offering stunning views and a memorable evening.

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Bernheim Forest Canopy Tree Walk Outbound

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is located in the southern part of Louisville.

It is a 16,000-acre natural area that provides a perfect escape for couples who love to spend time in the outdoors.

Visitors can explore the beautifully sculpted gardens, pristine forests, and serene lakes, which give the feeling of being miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Things to do for couples at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest:

  • Hike or bike on over 40 miles of trails, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging ascents.
  • Pack a picnic and find a secluded spot to relax and reconnect amidst the scenery.
  • Explore the Canopy Treewalk, an elevated walkway through the forest with stunning views.
  • Admire the artfully designed Edible Garden and its bounty of fresh produce.
  • Visit the unique and whimsical Forest Giants, giant sculptures crafted from reclaimed wood.

Tip: Check Bernheim’s event calendar for special programs, guided hikes, or even outdoor concerts for an added touch of romance.

👉Find a boutique hotel in downtown Louisville to be close to waterfront dining, live music venues, and vibrant nightlife.

Red River Gorge: Adventure Amidst Natural Wonders


The Red River Gorge is a geological wonder located within the Daniel Boone National Forest.

It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy a little adventure.

The area boasts dramatic sandstone cliffs, natural arches, waterfalls, and lush forests, making it an ideal spot for couples seeking a romantic and thrilling getaway.

Things to do for couples at Red River Gorge:

  • Hike to iconic spots like Natural Bridge for breathtaking views. The variety of trails caters to all levels, from gentle walks to challenging climbs.
  • Challenge yourselves with rock climbing or rappelling, taking in the scenery from a unique vantage point (experienced climbers or with a guide).
  • Rent a kayak or canoe and explore the Red River, winding its way through the scenic gorge.
  • Pack a picnic and find a romantic spot overlooking the vast landscape.
  • Stay in a cozy cabin and let the sounds of nature be your soundtrack.

Tip: The Red River Gorge is most popular during spring and fall for its vibrant colors. If you prefer less crowded trails, consider visiting in the summer or winter (checking for weather conditions).

👉Secure your flight with Skyscanner and discover the natural beauty of Cumberland Falls, known as the ‘Niagara of the South,’ especially under a full moon to see the rare moonbow.

Romantic Getaways in Kentucky

Frankfort Kentucky ~ 119 East Third Street - Frankfort, KY ~ Historic South Franklin ~ Gothic

For an exceptionally charming and personalized Kentucky vacation, there’s nothing quite like the warmth of a bed and breakfast.

Imagine waking up to the irresistible aroma of freshly baked biscuits and the promise of a day spent exploring the very best of Kentucky.

The Bluegrass State is home to some truly fantastic B&Bs, and these award-winning options are among the very best.

Recognized for Excellence:

The Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky knows its stuff! If you’re seeking top-notch hospitality, check out these award winners in 2023:

  • Market Street Inn (Jeffersonville, IN) and DuPont Mansion (Louisville) for hospitality.
  • Bourbon Manor B&B (Bardstown) is ideal for groups or couples traveling together.
  • For a memorable breakfast experience, consider Lyndon House B&B (Lexington) or The Denny House (Paint Lick).

Unique Features:

Some Kentucky B&Bs offer experiences beyond a cozy room and delicious food:

  • Pillow & Paddock (LaGrange) scores high on guest rooms.
  • Louisville Bourbon Inn (Louisville) has a delightful themed experience.
  • Old Talbott Tavern (Bardstown) is a winner for architecture buffs.

Remember, the best B&B for your getaway depends on what you want to explore.

Bourbon lovers might adore a stay near Bardstown, while outdoor enthusiasts might want something closer to hiking trails and national parks.

Tip: Look for B&Bs with glowing reviews – travelers are often eager to share their experiences!

👉Choose a luxury resort along the Bourbon Trail, offering spa services and guided tours of the world’s most famous distilleries.

Unique Things to Do in Kentucky for Couples

Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky is home to many hidden gems and unexpected experiences, which can be ideal for couples looking for a unique romantic getaway.

Whether you’re interested in history, seeking something quirky, or want to experience Kentucky’s iconic Thoroughbred culture, this state has it all.

If you’re looking for something truly memorable, consider stepping off the beaten path and exploring some of these unique experiences.

They’ll ignite your sense of adventure and help you gain a deeper appreciation for the heart of the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky Derby Museum: Experience the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”

Barbaro Memorial - Churchill Downs Museum

If you are planning a trip in 2024 and it coincides with the Kentucky Derby, you must experience the thrill of “the most exciting two minutes in sports”!

However, even if the race does not fall within your travel dates, visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs is still worth it.

You will get a glimpse into the history, pageantry, and excitement surrounding this iconic event.

Things to do for couples at the Kentucky Derby Museum:

  • Immerse yourselves in the rich history of the Derby through exhibits, artifacts, and the 360-degree immersive film that puts you in the heart of the action.
  • Learn about the legendary horses, jockeys, and trainers who have shaped the Derby’s legacy.
  • Take a guided walking tour of Churchill Downs for a behind-the-scenes look at this iconic racetrack.
  • Dress up in your finest attire and snap a souvenir photo in the Winner’s Circle.
  • Enjoy a mint julep (the official drink of the Derby!) in the museum’s cafe.

Important Note: The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday of May each year. If you dream of attending the race itself, plan your trip accordingly and secure tickets well in advance!

👉Fly into Kentucky with Skyscanner and explore the scenic backroads of the Bluegrass Region on a leisurely driving tour, stopping at local eateries and quaint shops.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill: A Step Back in Time

Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill KY

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a well-preserved 19th-century community of Shakers that provides a fascinating look into the past.

You can stroll hand-in-hand through the serene village, take in the restored structures, learn about the Shaker beliefs in simplicity and craftsmanship, and even indulge in some traditional dishes at the Shaker restaurant.

Things to do for couples at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

  • Explore the village’s 34 restored historical buildings showcasing Shaker crafts and daily life.
  • Hike or bike on scenic nature trails winding through the 3,000-acre property.
  • Take a romantic riverboat cruise on the Kentucky River.
  • Enjoy traditional Shaker cuisine at The Trustees’ Table restaurant
  • Stay overnight in a restored Shaker dwelling for an immersive experience.

👉Secure a cozy inn in the Bluegrass Region, perfect for couples looking for a quiet retreat after a day of exploring the rolling hills and horse pastures.

Civil War Museum of the Western Theater: For History Buffs

The Civil War Museum of the Western Theater, located in Bardstown, features one of the largest collections related to the Civil War’s Western Theater.

It is a must-visit for couples who are interested in this period of American history.

The museum’s exhibits use artifacts, documents, and interactive displays to bring the battles, leaders, and everyday life of the conflict vividly to life.

Things to do for couples at the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater

  • Explore immersive exhibits that take you from the war’s beginnings to its aftermath.
  • Examine rare artifacts, from uniforms and weapons to poignant personal letters.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the war’s impact on Kentucky, a crucial border state.

Tip: Combine these two stops for a day trip focused on Kentucky history, with a charming small-town lunch in between!

👉Book through Skyscanner for a trip to Kentucky and visit the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill for a step back in time and a peaceful day in the countryside.

Kentucky Horse Park: A Celebration of All Things Equine

Shade by the Ring

The Kentucky Horse Park is an ideal destination for all horse enthusiasts.

This extensive park is devoted to displaying the beauty, strength, and heritage of horses.

Whether you are an experienced equestrian or simply fascinated by these magnificent creatures, exploring the park together is an extraordinary and memorable experience.

Things to do for couples at Kentucky Horse Park:

  • Visit the multiple museums on-site delving into horse breeds, equestrian sports, and the horse-human relationship across time.
  • Take a guided tour to learn about the park’s resident horses, including retired champions and horses representing various breeds from around the world.
  • Attend the “Parade of Breeds” show for a dazzling showcase of different horse breeds.
  • Embark on a romantic horseback ride through the park’s scenic trails (offered for various skill levels).
  • Catch an exciting equestrian competition or event, depending on the time of your visit.

👉Opt for a historic hotel in the heart of Old Louisville to marvel at the stunning Victorian architecture and tree-lined streets.

Kentucky Wine Trail: A Sip of Southern Charm

Although Kentucky is often associated with bourbon, its wine country is also worth exploring.

The Kentucky Wine Trail is a charming route that takes you through picturesque landscapes, passing by vineyards that are waiting to be discovered.

If you’re seeking a trip that combines relaxation and sophistication, this is an excellent opportunity to indulge in some of Kentucky’s best-kept secrets, including its delicious wines and stunning vistas.

Wineries in Kentucky

The Kentucky Wine Trail sprawls across the state, but here are some clusters of wineries to consider, depending on where your overall getaway takes you:

Covington Area:

Camp Springs Vineyard, Stonebrook Winery, Seven Wells Vineyard, 12 Mile Creek Winery, Baker-Bird Winery, Atwood Hill Winery, Brianza Gardens


Black Barn Winery, Jester’s Paddock Winery, Equus Run Vineyards, Talon Winery & Vineyards, 1922 House Vineyards, Wildside Winery, Rising Sons Home Farm Winery


Off the Rails Tasting Room and Wine Depot, Arbor Stone Vineyards, Brooks Hill Winery, Millanova Winery, Wight-Meyer Vineyards, Forest Edge Winery

Things to do for couples on the Kentucky Wine Trail:

  • Take scenic drives, stopping at charming wineries nestled amongst rolling hills.
  • Embark on guided vineyard tours and discover the art of winemaking, from grape to glass.
  • Savor intimate wine tastings, sampling the unique flavors Kentucky’s terroir imparts.
  • Relax at picturesque wineries with a glass of your favorite vintage – many offer delicious food pairings for an unforgettable experience.
  • Pick up a bottle (or a case!) to bring a taste of Kentucky home for a romantic evening in.

Tip: Many wineries offer special events, such as live music or al fresco dining experiences. Check their websites for unique happenings during your trip!

👉With Skyscanner, reach Kentucky and indulge in the arts at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville, home to ballet, opera, and theater.

Planning Your Romantic Kentucky Getaway

Kentucky sunset

Turning your Kentucky getaway dreams into reality is easy! Here are some tips to ensure your couple’s trip is smooth and unforgettable:

Best Times to Visit:

  • Spring (April-May) bursts with blooms and comfortable weather, perfect for outdoor adventures.
  • Fall (September-October) brings stunning foliage and a cozy atmosphere.
  • If the Kentucky Derby is on your bucket list, aim for the first weekend of May.
  • Summer is warm with festivals and events, but plan for occasional rain showers.

Getting Around:

Flying into one of Kentucky’s major airports (Louisville, Lexington, or Cincinnati) and renting a car is ideal for exploring at your own pace.

For a bourbon-focused getaway centered around Bardstown, consider ride-sharing services or a pre-arranged distillery tour with transportation.

👉Discover a riverside lodge on the Ohio River for easy access to riverboat cruises and romantic evening walks along the waterfront.

Where to Stay:

Kentucky’s Bed and Breakfasts are legendary!

Look for award-winning B&Bs with glowing reviews – “travelers are saying” they offer the best blend of hospitality and charm.

Quaint towns offer boutique hotels or cozy vacation rentals.

If you crave both adventure and pampering, consider lodges within or near state parks.

Kentucky Romance Awaits

Cumberland Gap: Kentucky glitters on the other side

If you are looking for a memorable couples’ getaway, Kentucky has everything you need.

You can cozy up in a historic bed-and-breakfast, sip bourbon along scenic trails, or experience the excitement of Thoroughbred racing.

With a unique blend of Southern charm, natural beauty, and rich history, you are sure to fall in love with the heart of the Bluegrass State.

Start planning your romantic Kentucky adventure today!

👉Find your flight to Kentucky on Skyscanner and experience the excitement of Keeneland Race Course, where you can dress up for a day of horse racing and elegance.

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