Top 18 Things To Do In Berea, Kentucky - Updated 2021

things to do in Berea KY

Berea is referred to as the Arts and Crafts Capital and hosts many workshops throughout the year. There is also the annual festival celebrating the arts in July which visitors will undoubtedly enjoy experiencing. The town of nearly 14,000 citizens is popular for its natural beauty, being surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, Berea Pinnacles, and Owsley Park where water activities and trails can be enjoyed by all. Take time to visit the local shops and restaurants to taste the unique cuisine while listening to musicians play Kentucky Bluegrass tunes. Before arriving in this natural gem known for its craft heritage, check out the following list of things to do in Berea, Kentucky.

1. Visit Berea Welcome Centre for travel brochures

Welcome Center, Berea, KY
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris Light used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Upon arriving in Berea make certain to drop in at Berea Welcome Centre. Here you can ask employees their opinion on which attractions are worth your time and effort to visit during your stay as well as pick up some brochures. Check out the centre for any tours or directions to local shopping, dining, attractions, and outdoor nature excursions to visit during your time in Berea.

Berea Welcome Centre

Address: 3 Artist Circle, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Berea Welcome Centre

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

2. Learn folk dances at Russell Acton Folk Centre

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Round up a partner to enjoy an evening of folk dancing at the volunteer-built activity centre and help in preserving this form of dance. Visit the centre every last Saturday each month to enjoy watching or participating in the contra dances or have a share in fun-filled workshops put on by the community. The centre is an ideal locale to host receptions, weddings, special occasions, talent shows, etc. as it features a kitchen, washroom facilities, a large deck, spacious hall, and green space to be enjoyed by large groups.

Russel Acton Folk Centre

Address: 212 W Jefferson Street, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Russel Acton Folk Centre

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

3. Share in community dances with Contraire Dance Association

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Oh Contraire Contra Dance Series on Sunday, September 30, 2012

Contraire Dance Association encourages the community to join them every fourth Saturday each month except for December to join in traditional American contra, quadrille, and other social dancing. Participate in folk dancing, square dancing, Celtic dancing, and various other group dances at Russell Acton Folk Centre. Beginners to advanced dancers are welcome to spend an evening out connecting with one another and to their community through dance.

Contraire Dance Association

Address: 128 N Broadway Street, Berea, KY 40403

Website: Contraire Dance Association

Opening hours: Sat: 8pm - 11pm (closed from Mon - Fri)

4. Purchase fresh produce at Berea Urban Farm

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Enjoy taking one of the classes at the farm to learn about how to get the most out of your garden. The urban farm helps in educating the community about sustainability techniques to aid in the production of high quality produce with little impact to the environment. Enroll in numerous classes offered to visitors and the community at the sprawling urban farm site or drop by to pick up some high-quality produce to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal.

Berea Urban Farm

Address: 201 Adams Street, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Berea Urban Farm

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 6:30 pm; Sat: 10am - 6:30pm (closed on Sun - Mon & Fri)

5. Browse through the stalls at Berea Farmers' Market

Berea Farmer'sMarket
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user IMCBerea College used under CC BY 2.0

Take a summer afternoon to browse through the many stalls before purchasing farm fresh produce at the farmers’ market. Indulge in seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat, and poultry grown and raised by local farmers. Visit one of the numerous vendors year-round to purchase homemade bread, canned fruits or vegetables, jams, and artwork produced by homegrown local artisans.

Berea Farmers' Market

Address: Fee Park, 401 Chestnut Street, Brea, KY, 40403 United States

Website: Berea Farmers’ Market

Opening hours: Sat: 9am - 1pm (closed from Sun - Fri)

Price: Free

6. Indulge in an evening of theatre at The Spotlight Playhouse

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by The Spotlight Playhouse on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Take time out of your busy schedule to spend an evening at Spotlight Playhouse to enjoy a Broadway-themed dinner show. Purchase single show tickets or a season’s pass to enjoy the talented troupe perform family-friendly plays throughout the year. Even Shakespeare would be proud to watch some of his plays re-enacted on the stage alongside Hollywood movies stylized to create a memorable theatre experience. Spotlight Playhouse, with its enthusiastic, high-energy performances, is a definite must-see attraction during a visit to Berea and will provide theatre-goers with many laughs and smiles throughout an evening.

The Spotlight Playhouse

Address: 214 Richmond Road N, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: The Spotlight Playhouse

Opening hours: Fri: 6:30pm, 8pm; Sat: 7pm; Sun: 2pm, 8pm (closed from Mon - Thu)

Price: 6 - 12 USD

7. Camp under the stars at HomeGrown HideAways

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Pitch your tent to spend time sleeping under the same onyx star-filled sky pioneer Daniel Boone slept under while taking in the sounds of the surrounding natural environment. Book a modern cabin or treehouse to escape the elements during cooler fall and winter stays. Enjoy relaxing in a hammock under the shade of a mighty oak tree or rent a kayak to paddle across the Owsley Fork Reservoir during a visit to the great outdoors. Let the kids run free over the green space to play while you take time to unwind on your cabin’s deck with a refreshing mint julep in hand.

HomeGrown HideAways

Address: 500 Floyd Branch Road, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Price: from 75 USD

Book Now

8. Sleepover at the historic Boone Tavern Hotel (from USD 85)

Enter through the white marble columns and marvel at the gorgeous interiors of this historic hotel. Spend a weekend in one of their spacious and well-appointed rooms. Enjoy soaking in the soaker tub after a day exploring the surrounding area’s shops. Feel the cool marble floor underneath your feet on a hot day in the floor-to-ceiling, marble-accented bathroom. Visit the historic tavern to indulge in Southern comfort cuisine before returning to your room to fall asleep under the cotton duvet on your comfortable and capacious queen bed.

Historic Boone Tavern

Address: 100 Main Street North

Garden Allergy-free room Shops (on site) Board games/puzzles Fax/photocopying Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays Free parking Fire extinguishers

9. Join a craft tour at Berea College Visitor Center and Shoppe

Berea College
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user IMCBerea College used under CC BY 2.0

Sign up for a craft tour led by one of Berea College’s students and learn about the program that started in 1893 to educate students in design and craftsmanship in special areas including wood, ceramics, and weaving. Watch as the outreach craft program touches the lives of the community’s children as their eyes light up as they learn how to produce pottery, brooms, and other items from natural materials found in the Appalachian region. Before departing the centre, make certain to stop by the shop to purchase one of the artworks or a Berea emblazoned sweatshirt to show support for the enriching program.

Berea College Visitor Center and Shoppe

Address: 104 S Main Street, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Berea College Visitor Center and Shoppe

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 11am - 4pm

Price: Free

10. Admire local creativity at Kentucky Artisan Centre at Berea

Kentucky Artisans Center
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris Light used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Admire the creativity of 800 of Kentucky’s artisans during a visit to Kentucky Artisan Centre where you will find modern and traditional crafts, glassworks, music, film, and woodwork. Check out locally produced speciality items such as bourbon-infused fruitcakes, fudge, sauces, and other delicious items. After savouring a Philly steak sandwich or fried catfish sandwich in the rock wall-accented cafe, finish off the day at the gift shop. Take time to browse through the locally produced bee-inspired products such as honey, beeswax candles, and beauty products before departing the centre.

Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Address: 200 Artisan Way, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free

11. Hike Indian Fort Mountain Trails at Berea Pinnacles

Berea Pinnacles
Source: Photo by Flickr user Anthony used under CC BY-ND 2.0

If you’re looking for an adventure in the great outdoors, look no further than the numerous trails found throughout the Berea Pinnacles. Join a group or go solo as you hike trails ranging in difficulty from beginning to challenging through the dense forest woodland. Admire the stunning views at the end of each trail of the surrounding forest or valleys from rocky cliffs. Enjoy walking along dirt or paved trails while listening to songbirds and squirrels chirp throughout the canopy. Make certain to be cautious as some of the trails are narrow and the rock platforms offering these spectacular vantage points can be slippery due to changing weather conditions.

Berea Pinnacles

Address: 2047 Big Hill Road, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Berea Pinnacles

Opening hours: 6am - 8pm (daily)

Price: Free

12. Delight in a picnic at Memorial Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Take the kids out to the park to let off some steam. Stand by as the kids go swinging and sliding in any of the two age-appropriate playgrounds while racing through the large open green space at Memorial Park. Get your basket ready and put down your blanket on the grass or sit at one of the tables to enjoy a picnic on a warm summer day. Enjoy the cool breeze as it winds through the trees providing a refreshing break from the sweltering Southern heat. During the warmer months, visitors to the park can enjoy performances on the small stage and classic car shows.

Memorial Park

Address: W Jefferson Street, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Memorial Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

13. Kayak the serene waters of Owsley Fork

Get your kayak ready to paddle the serene waters of Owsley Fork Reservoir where you can enjoy views of the surrounding, thick evergreen forest. During the summer months, listen to the calls of native birds such as warblers, hawks, and thrashers while paddling through the waters. You might be lucky enough to see a bald eagle soaring the skies while surveying the water for bass before diving in for the kill. Watch out for deer drinking along the water’s edge and local fisherman sharing the waters alongside them. Keep your eyes peeled for other beautiful wildlife residents of the area.

Owsley Fork

Address: Owsley Fork Road, Berea, KY

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

14. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Old Town Candy Kitchen and Fudge Factory

Editor’s note: establishment is permanently closed

Drive down the streets of Berea until you reach a red brick building shaped like an old barn. Instead of livestock when you open the doors, you will be pleasantly surprised to see a display filled with gourmet fudge, bourbon balls, truffles, caramels, and chocolates. The owner will be all too happy to help satisfy your sweet tooth with hand-dipped ice cream, in such popular flavours as black walnut in addition to milkshakes. Before departing the store, make certain to take home some soft freshly made fudge, turtles, and a jar of fudge sauce for homemade sundaes.

Old Town Candy Kitchen and Fudge Factory

Address: 128 N Broadway, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm

15. Grab a cup of coffee at Berea Coffee & Tea Co.

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by BC&T : Berea Coffee & Tea on Thursday, June 2, 2016

Stop by Berea Coffee & Tea Company for a sticky cinnamon bun dripping with icing for a quick pre-shopping breakfast. Make yourself at home and order a jasmine chai or one of their many specialty teas or coffees to enjoy with a freshly made pastry as you relax in this local tea salon. Berea Coffee & Tea serves sandwiches, paninis, and salads to patrons which is perfect for those needing something a little hardier before heading out on a day adventure in the surrounding area. This charming coffee shop is the perfect answer to those missing their Starbucks fix. This is a great place where guests can sit back and read a book while indulging in a hot latte.

Berea Coffee & Tea Co.

Address: 124 S Main Street, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 7pm; Sat: 8am - 7pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm

16. Savour Papa Leno's mouthwatering pies

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What more could you ask for on Cinco de Mayo a mountaineer pizza an a frozen Margarita!! Hits the spot every time.

Posted by Papaleno's Restaurant on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Make sure to stop by Papa Leno’s, a local institution since 1984, for mouthwatering classic Italian fare. Sit down at a rustic wooden table alongside the exposed brick and prepare to experience flavourful, freshly made classics such as baked spaghetti, stromboli sandwiches, crisp salads, pizzas, and other favourites. Try one of their fresh-out-of-the-oven, mouthwatering pizzas such as The Mountaineer loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, beef, black and green olives, mushrooms, onions, green and banana peppers. After finishing the family favourite dinner of chicken parmigiana, make certain to indulge in a slice of espresso-soaked tiramisu.

Papa Leno's

Address: 108 Center Street, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Papa Leno’s

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 11:30am - 10pm

17. Satiate your comfort food cravings at Dinner Bell Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Dinner Bell Restaurant on Saturday, May 14, 2016

Join local patrons in the dining room which has been serving up comfort food favourites for over 30 years in Berea. Before starting off your day exploring the local area, enjoy a breakfast of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, eggs, sausage patties, and bacon. If you prefer to share dinner with your family, there is no shortage of hearty dishes to indulge in including roast beef and mashed potatoes, dumplings, fried chicken, etc. Lovers of catfish will want to stop by every Friday for specials while those who enjoy homemade meatloaf will want to drop in Wednesday for a meatloaf meal for 7.95 USD accompanied by two side dishes.

Dinner Bell Restaurant

Address: 127 Plaza Drive, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Website: Dinner Bell Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 9pm; Sun: 7am - 8pm

18. Find bargains at Boone Square Mini Mall

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Boone Square Mini Mall on Monday, June 28, 2021

If you’re looking for antiques, crafts, books, art, or toys while visiting Berea you might be able to find something to your liking in Boone Square Mini Mall. Scour through the stands of local vendors searching for unique artwork or jewellery amongst many other items. Those who delight in collecting antique furniture to accent their homes will find items ranging from desks, chairs, tables, and other handcrafted furnishings.

Boone Square Mini Mall

Address: 254 Mini Mall Drive, Berea, KY 40403, United States

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm

Explore the famed Arts and Crafts Capital, Berea

Berea Spoonbread Festival Hot Air Balloon Glow (44714154442)
Source: Photo by user PEO ACWA used under CC BY 2.0

After walking in the very same footsteps that Daniel Boone strode which made the discovery of Berea and the American West possible, stop by Dinner Bell Restaurant for a delicious dinner of Southern cuisine. Visitors can have a unique time travelling through this quaint historic town and experience folk dances, arts and crafts festivals, distinct Southern hospitality, and much more. Don’t depart this charming Appalachian town without experiencing the community-sponsored hot air balloon festival and tasting some soft pecan fudge from Old Town Candy Kitchen and Fudge Factory.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Writer living in British Columbia who loves to travel and explore new destinations. I also enjoy engaging in new activities during my travels such as Hydrospeeding in France. Solo travelled to...Read more

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