I am so excited to bring the next installment of my guides to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to you today!
I recently had the privilege of spending two nights with my friends at Cynthiana Tourism. While I was familiar with Harrison County on a surface level, I was honored to have the chance to get to know the community through the eyes of the locals.
Home to many notable Kentuckians — such as Joe B. Hall, a famed University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach, and Robert Kirkman, co-creator of the Walking Dead — Cynthiana has permanently placed itself on the radar of all Kentuckians. Upon visiting, you will find that the community has every ounce of small town Kentucky charm that one would imagine it would. Maybe even more, y’all.
I arrived to Cynthiana on Sunday evening. Luckily, my Grandmother Jude and I had the privilege of staying at the Ashford Acres Inn. There’s more information coming soon on Ashford Acres (watch out for that post!); however, I’ll say this — it is a first-rate experience. The setting, charm, details, and food were all spectacular. It was my first time staying at a true bed and breakfast; to say that it was a treat would be a hyperbolic understatement.
You can visit Ashford Acres Inn at 1801 KY-36, Cynthiana, KY 41031.
The Trip, Day 1:
Upon waking up on Monday morning, my nose was immediately greeted by glorious smells coming from the kitchen. The meal started with scones and fresh-squeezed orange juice – what a treat (one that you don’t see often enough in Kentucky)! Upon finishing the first installment, the chef at Ashford Acres Inn bought out a dreamy plate of chicken and waffles. A southern classic, it is one of my favorites. However, this was an elevated take on the dish. The chicken was prepared via a three-day process – and it was smack your MeeMaw good. The waffles were herb-infused, which was a first for me. It took a simple, often bland food into a new realm of flavor. Two thumbs up!
After breakfast, I led a two-hour, intensive Social Media course at the Harrison County Extension Office. This class was brought to the county in collaboration with the Harrison County Tourism Commission and the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Seeing each seat filled warmed my heart; attendees were, by and large, business owners in town — I can’t wait to see what all they will do with their social media presence!
Post-teaching, I had worked up quite an appetite! Enter: Leono’s. This is your classic local, at-home pizza joint from first glance; however the product that is produced is much, much better. Known for their pan crust pizza, diners having been patronizing this institution for years — and for good reason.
Crispy, nearly fried on the bottom; thick and soft in the middle — that’s what makes pan-crust pizza so special.
You can visit Leono’s at 253 S Church St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Directly after leaving Leono’s, I did a portion of the Historic Church Tour. Cynthiana is proud of their religious history – and for good reason. Their churches are stunning and have so much history! From the tour, I learned a lot about architecture from parishioners; furthermore, the churches were especially beautiful this time of year, since they were decorated for Christmas.
The Methodist Church is located at 302 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
The Cynthiana Christian Church is located at 202 N. Main St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
The Episcopal Church (my favorite stop – I’m Episcopalian!) is located at 118 N. Walnut St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Next was the Cynthiana Museum. An overarching theme of this trip is the devotion that locals have towards Harrison County. That, to me, is what makes small towns so very special. Inside the doors of the museum, visitors are able to see almost 3,000 community artifacts! This includes items from Cynthiana’s religious, educational, and agricultural history. There are also rooms dedicated to childhood in Cynthiana, daily life, local industries, and more. This is an awesome resource for Harrison County!
The museum can be visited at 124 S Walnut St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
My final tour stop of the day was the Rohs Opera House – a stop that I was very much looking forward to! Originally built in 1871 as Aeolian Hall, the modern day Rohs Opera House is a weekend theatre + performance venue for shows from the Rohs Theatre Company. However, the best part? It’s haunted! Having been featured on many “Most Haunted” lists, ghost hunting enthusiasts come from all over to experience the paranormal activity inside the doors of Rohs.
You can visit Rohs Opera House at 133 E Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
After a long day of touring, I had to visit my friends at Maiden City Brewing for a beer (or two!). Brewed in Downtown Cynthiana, Maiden City Brewing is a newer addition to the local scene, yet a very special one. Established in 2016, this is the craft beer destination for all beer aficionados. Do not miss it!
You can visit Maiden City Brewing at 123 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Dinner was at Biancke’s, arguably the most known restaurant in the county. Serving up family-style meals for over a decade, Biancke’s is one of Cynthiana’s most beloved, historic businesses. Established in 1894 by Italian immigrants, this is the spot to go to if you want to interact with locals. And, trust me on this – get the fried green tomatoes and a pie topped with their famous meringue!
Biancke’s is located at 102 S. Main St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
The Trip, Day 2:
Breakfast was, once again, held at Ashford Acres Inn. The chef had mentioned the day before that he was going to be pulling out some tricks to make the meal extra special, since it was my last there. What he brought out exceeded any form of preconceived notion that I had. In all honesty, it’s one of the best breakfasts that I have ever had in my life.
Jude and I started with an open-face omelette with foie gras and truffles. It was as decadent, luxurious, and rich as it sounds – I assure you. A showstopper!
Next was Eggs Benedict – but, with a twist. Instead of the traditional bacon or ham, the chef used Alaskan King Crab meat. It was gorgeous and finger-lickin’ good, y’all.
Post-breakfast, my social media tour continued at WCYN. I spent thirty minuets on air with the mayor talking about my class, all things JCP Eats, Kentucky culture, and more. It was my first time doing a live radio show and it was a blast!
To fuel up for the rest of the day, I then visited the Main Cup. A new coffee shop in town, it has a fantastic mission tied to the neighboring Presbyterian Church. Previously used as their parsonage, I love what they did to the building. It’s quirky, yet cozy – and they are serving up some delicious coffee and treats.
Be sure to check out the Main Cup at 105 N. Main St., Cynthiana, Kentucky 4103.
Though it was chilly, I quickly headed off to the Quiet Trails State Nature Preserve. Quiet Trails is a 165 acre area of ridges and ravines – and it’s absolutely stunning. Full of birds, trees, and wildlife, one can truly experience the fauna and flora of the Commonwealth of Kentucky here. For nature enthusiasts, this is a must-see!
From Cynthiana, take U.S. 27 north approximately 10 miles. Turn right onto KY 1284, which leads into Sunrise. Continue on Pugh’s Ferry Road after crossing the four-way intersection. The preserve is located on the right, 1.8 miles from the intersection.
After a morning in nature, I decided to spend the afternoon shopping. The thing that impressed me most with Cynthiana was the robust downtown scene they have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — there’s nothing like a small town downtown; Cynthiana executes this with high precision. Full of eateries and boutiques, it’s easy to spend an entire afternoon visiting all of the stores.
I used this opportunity to do a lot of my Christmas shopping. This holiday season, do not forget to shop local, y’all. It’s so important!
Abstract Distractions, 129 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031. (Love my new copper bracelet, y’all!)
Inspired Designs, 134 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Emerson Steel Boutique, 135 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Molly B’s Boutique, 208 E. Pike St., Cynthiana, KY 41031.
I love to gift Candleberry candles during the holiday (Hot Maple Toddy is my favorite); furthermore, local honey makes a great holiday hostess gift!
Flower Depot, 208 S. Main St, Cynthiana, KY 41031.
Last, but certainly not least, I had to finish my time in Cynthiana with the Mural Tour. They are plentiful around town, though some of the highlights include the Joe B. Hall Mural, the Mural of Distillery History, and, of course, the Walking Dead Mural.
These are fantastic photo opportunities to commemorate your trip to Harrison County, y’all.
I cannot thank my friends at Cynthiana Tourism enough for a fabulous trip. If you haven’t been to Cynthiana, or if you aren’t currently planning you’re next trip there, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits!
As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
FTC: This is a commissioned post; all opinions, however, are my own.