Berea, Kentucky, celebrates the creativity of Kentucky’s artisans. “Berea is the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky, where you will find talented artists all throughout the city that have perfected their craft,” says Ethan Cima, motorcoach specialist at Berea Tourism. “When visiting Berea, you will not only fall in love with the scenery and attractions, but also with the people who make up the community.”
As Berea comes out of the recovery period of the COVID-19 pandemic, Berea Tourism wants to continue to participate in the group-travel market. Berea Tourism offers step-on tours and guided tours throughout the city at no cost to a tour operator. Cima notes these five attractions are just a few of the many offered in Berea. “I want tour operators to know,” he says, “that we are able to accommodate all groups, and if one of these five attractions is not a fit for their group, then we will work hard continuously to make their time in Berea one that they will never forget.”
Artisan Village, located at Old Town, is home to several of Berea’s finest artists, who have storefronts that welcome guests to come see crafts made live! Artists offer live demonstrations to show groups what goes into the process of creating their artwork. With motorcoach accommodations for parking, Old Town is a wonderful first stop in Berea.
Historic Boone Tavern, a hotel and restaurant owned by Berea College, welcomes guests to stay and dine while enjoying Berea. Guests from all over the world have come to Boone Tavern through the years, such as the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, and Robert Frost. Try the delicious “spoonbread,” which has been served at the hotel since its beginning. Boone Tavern was built in 1909 at the suggestion of Nellie Frost, the wife of William G. Frost, the Berea College president.
Berea offers “Master Artist Classes,” which give group members the chance to become artists themselves! Learn how to make wonderful gifts for your loved ones or yourself to remember your trip to Berea and cherish for years to come. Offered are candle-making classes, jewelry design classes, and much more that groups can enjoy while staying in Berea.
Groups can tour Berea Urban Farm, a project of Sustainable Berea, founded in 2005 to support the development of a resilient local food system. The nonprofit organization provides workshops, demos, and presentations, in addition to material support such as seeds, raised beds, and fruit trees.
Does your group love to shop? Head to College Square in Berea for a variety of local and southeast Kentucky art. Shops aligning the street are the perfect destination for group members to find a small gift to bring back to their loved ones. Also located in College Square is the Berea Fudge Shoppe, which features homemade fudge and hand-scooped ice cream, as well as other items that are found only in Berea.
Artist Tim Wade works at The Cabin of Old Town Artisan Gallery.
Credit: Berea Tourism