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Berea (Kentucky)

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Berea (Kentucky)

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Berea is a small city in Bluegrass Country, located in southern Madison County about 15 miles (24 km) south of Richmond and 45 miles (72 km) south of Lexington. The community, which has experienced major growth in recent decades, is known for its active arts and crafts scene and as the home of Berea College, a liberal arts school with a unique mission of serving students in the Appalachia region.


Get in[edit]

You'll almost certainly get to Berea by car. Berea is accessible from exits 76 and 77 off I-75.

When you come in, grab a travel planner pamphlet from either the Traveler's Center just off I-75 exit 77 (see below in Buy) or from the Welcome Center in town.

Get around[edit]

There are two areas that make up the major centers of Berea: Old Town Artisan Village, and College Square. Each is easily traversable by foot.

To get from one end of town to the other, you could walk; it would take about 15 minutes. Parking is easy to come by, though, so you might as well drive.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

There are a number of festivals throughout the year, some of which are juried.

Buy[edit][add listing]

If you want to see Berea and its artists up close and personal, go downtown and just walk the streets. Many artisans have workshops there, and are open to the public (typically 9AM-5PM).

  • Kentucky Artisan Center (Traveler's Center), (I-75 exit 77), +1 (859) 985-5448, [1]. Spring-Fall daily 8AM-8PM; café 8:30AM-5PM. Winter (roughly Jan 4-Mar 10) 8:30AM-6:30PM; café 9AM-4PM. If you're looking for a one-stop shopping location, this is the place to go.  edit
  • The Bear & The Bee, 137 N Broadway, 859 985 0505, [2]. 10-5. Children's boutique featuring handmade clothing, toys and accessories. Carries locally made items.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

If you are making Berea a part-day excursion, consider moving along and eating elsewhere. There are only a few non-chain restaurants, none of which are outstanding. Note also that Berea is a totally "dry" community—alcohol sales are prohibited, even in restaurants. Although the city precinct that includes Boone Tavern voted in April 2012 to allow its restaurant to sell alcohol by the drink, its owner, Berea College, has yet to decide whether it will apply for a state alcohol license. The nearest community where alcohol is sold is Richmond; most of that city is completely "wet" (with package alcohol sales in addition to restaurant sales). If traveling to the south on I-75, the next town that allows alcohol by the drink in restaurants is London, slightly more than a half-hour's drive away, and the next town that allows package sales is Corbin, about 15 minutes further south.

  • The Bear & The Bee, 137A N Broadway (Center of Old Town), (859) 985-0505, [3]. 10-5. Children's boutique with accessories and gifts. Features locally made clothing and toys. mid.  edit
  • Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, 116 North Broadway, Berea, KY 40403` (I-75, Exit 76 toward town, turn left onto North Broadway), 859-986-3192, [4]. 9-5 M-F. The galleries at 116 N. Broadway offer handmade works of the Kentucky Guild of Artist and Craftsmen's membership. These two galleries opened in June 2013. When in the area, stop in and see what all Berea and the artisan community has to offer. You are always welcome.  edit

Old Town Artisan Village[edit]

College Square[edit]

  • Boone Tavern.  edit
  • Main Street Café, +1 (859) 986-0703. The menu here is ambitious—Indian curries, Danish meatballs, and a surprising amount of seafood—but the final product falls rather short. Your food probably won't be bad, but it probably will be under- or overcooked.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

As noted above, Berea is totally dry. The nearest town that allows alcohol sales is Richmond.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Boone Tavern Hotel.  edit


Get out[edit]

Routes through Berea
LexingtonRichmond  N noframe S  LondonKnoxville

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