Harrodsburg, Kentucky's oldest town, was the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. Neighboring town Danville, a small college town, bills itself as a quiet alternative to bigger cities. Historic sites dot these two towns in central Kentucky. Herrington Lake twists and turns its way south between the two towns, offering outdoor recreation along its 35 mile route.
Harrodsburg's founding in 1774 was a daring step; the closest Anglo-Saxon settlement was 250 miles to the east. Old Fort Harrod State Park contains a full-scale replica of the original fort. Mansion Museum here displays Civil War history. A school, cabins, blockhouses and the brick building where Abraham Lincoln's parents were married are part of the park.
East of the downtown lies the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, where costumed interpreters demonstrate Shaker life. Founded in 1805, this largest restored Shaker community in the country offers a self-guided walking tour covering 14 of 34 restored buildings. Docked at the Shaker landing is a 150-passenger paddlewheel riverboat, Dixie Belle, available for one hour trips Spring through Fall.
Just south in Danville, explore Constitution Square State Historic Site where the state's constitution was signed. Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College in Danville presents concerts, operas and plays. Pioneer Playhouse Outdoor Dinner Theatre and Campground presents plays nightly.
Try fishing for crappie or smallmouth bass at Herrington Lake, close to both towns. Gwinn Island Resort & Marina offers boat rentals, a full service marina and cabin rentals, including "floating cabins". Other outdoor recreation includes Big Red Stables, over 1,000 acres of bluegrass farmlands for riding horseback and Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge, with 500 acres of plants, wildlife and walking trails.
Dining options in the area include home cooking at Aunt Gravy's in downtown Harrodsburg and Freddie's Restaurant in Danville, for quick Italian food.
Harrodsburg and Danville are located in central Kentucky, 35 miles from Lexington, KY. Take US 68 west to US 127 south.