Planning a visit to Berea, the Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky? Then look no further as we round out the top 10 things to do in the Berea Area in 2018.
- Plentiful hiking – Berea is home to Berea College, and one of the college’s greatest assets, is its long tradition of forestry. The Berea College Forest occupies over 8000 acres and offers some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the nation. The centerpiece is the Indian Fort Mountain area with its East and West Pinnacles that boast equally stunning views. Other hiking opportunities are located at the Berea College Brushy Fork Park and nearby the Daniel Boone National Forest has several trails of various difficulty.
- The Spotlight Playhouse – After a day of shopping, eating, and/or hiking in beautiful Berea be sure to catch a show at one of the regions best theaters. With over 150 performances a year, (Full Season for 2018/2019) the Spotlight Playhouse is the area’s entertainment leader with shows every weekend and many special events throughout the week. Home to the Bluegrass Players, The Spotlight Players, and the Spotlight Acting School this 13,000 square foot modern facility hosts plays, musicals, and concerts featuring region’s best talent.
- The Berea Artisan Village located in Old Town Berea – The Artisan village is home to many of Berea’s working artists and is
a great place to walk from shop to shop in a pleasant and charming environment. Also located in the Artisan Village is the Old L&N Train Depot and the soon to be opening Apollo’s Pizza. During the summer you can enjoy live music performed from the porch of the cabin and the first Friday of every month a festival is held featuring local artisans and entertainment.
- Berea College – Berea College is a small liberal arts college that is frequently featured nationally as one of the nation’s best schools with an endowment that rivals that of Yale and Harvard. Tours are offered daily and tell of the rich history the school has and how it played a major role in desegregation. One of the most interesting things you will learn is that students at Berea work for the school and receive a completely free education.
- Boone Tavern Hotel and College Square – The historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Dining Room located in the college square shopping area is one of Berea’s most iconic sites. Founded in 1909, the 63 room hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Famous guests over the years have included the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Robert Frost. Nearby shops and restaurants make for nice evening strolls around the square.
- The Log House Craft Gallery – Since 1893 Berea College Students and other artists have supplied the Gallery with unique and wonderful masterpieces. Open Monday through Saturday, the Log House is one of the best places to shop for Berea souvenirs and experience folk art.
- Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea – The Kentucky Artisan Center celebrates all of Kentucky’s artisans through exhibits and displays. There is also information about the open studios in Berea. The Artisan Center is a state agency in the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- Berea Arena Theater – This community theater has been successfully producing top quality shows for over a decade. The Berea Arena Theater has a very loyal following of fans that get to enjoy year-round entertainment including plays and concerts. The theater is located on the way to Indian Fort Mountain just east of Berea.
- Folk Dancing – Berea is home to several folk dancing organizations and you are invited to join in the fun. On the 3rd Saturday of each month join Oh Contraire at the Russel Acton Folk Center for a Contra Dance. There are also several annual dance events held by The Folk Circle Association of Berea, KY, The Berea Festival Dancers, and The Berea College Country Dancers.
- The Red Lick Valley – Treat yourself to a delightful drive through the beautiful Red Lick Valley on KY 594 from Berea to Irvine. On the way, you can stop at the Tater Knob Pottery & Farm, Alley Cat Pottery, Meadow House Studio, HomeGrown HideAways, Happiness Hills Farm & Retreat Center, and lots of other hidden gems.
Bonus: Bring your bike: Berea offers several miles of paved bike paths traversing the entire community, Berea College Campus, and through its city parks. There is also a level path all the way to Indian Fort Mountian. Biking is fun and safe in Berea.
These great things to do are listed in no particular order or ranking, only ten things we think you should definitely experience when visiting the area. We hope you enjoy your trip to Berea.
Here are some other links to help you get more out of a visit to Berea.
- Recommended Things to do in Berea, KY
- Things to do in Berea, KY
- The Top 10 Events in Berea, KY
- Theater in Berea