What Can We Do in Berea?

“”I only wish I had brought my family. Next year I wil do that. I know that they will enjoy Berea.”
Martin S., Texas

  • Swim, run, walk the indoor track, play racquetball, lift weights, etc. at the Seabury Fitness facilities on Berea College campus. If you are a Boone Tavern Hotel guest, your hotel key is your free admission to the facilities. There is an outdoor track and tennis courts down the steps behind the Seabury Building which are also accessible by sidewalk from Elipse Street.
  • Get a Shiatsu massage from Jane Smith Post. Jane is here for school participants every Wednesday night on a first-come basis beginning at 5:00 PM. Woodworking can create some sore muscles so we think you will enjoy the therapeutic touch. Appointments may be made on a sign-up sheet during the first class day. Jane’s fee is $20/half-hour.
  • Visit the new Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, just 2 miles from Boone Tavern on Rt. 595 (which is Main St. that runs in front of Boone Tavern Hotel). There are sidewalks and a bike/walking path to the Artisan Center for those who enjoy walking. The center has a restaurant and a variety of Kentucky-made items for purchase.
  • For shopping aficionados, Berea has numerous wonderful shops featuring handcrafted items and works of art. Several are on the college square in walking distance of the Boone Tavern Hotel, including Teresa Cole’s Studio, Fireside Gallery, Warren May’s Dulcimer Shop, and the Promenade Gallery. A longer walk down Chestnut Street will take you past Peace Craft, Robie and Robie’s Fine Books, Ground Effects Coffee Shop, and into Old Town Berea. In Old Town you may wish to visit Gastineau Jewelry, Weaver’s Bottom, Doug Haley’s Classic Woodworking, and the Top Drawer Gallery – among other fun and interesting shops. The Tourism Office located at the old train depot in Old Town has been a most helpful source of information for our students.
  • Favorite side trips for our students and their friends or family have included visits to Tater Knob Pottery located 15 miles from Berea’s downtown and featuring the lovely work and hospitality of Sarah Culbreth and Jeff Enge. It is a lovely backroads drive to Tater Knob. The historic Bybee Pottery is another local color foray that has proven to be a fun adventure for those who like simple and earthy styles of pottery that is fun and functional. The Tourism Office has more information to help you find both of the locations above.
  • Tour Berea College and learn about its unusual tuition arrangement and its colorful history. It is a very interesting story and some of the buildings are quite unique. Tour appointments are available at the visitor’s center on Short Street just behind the Boone Tavern Hotel. –Or stroll through the campus on your own on both sides of Chestnut Street. It is great walking and there are spacious views of the surrounding hills from the south side of campus. The science building planetarium has scheduled shows, the Jelkyl Drama Center offers regular plays and performances, free concerts are often available, and the art galleries feature nice exhibits.
  • For hiking and outdoor enthusiasts, a beautiful mountaintop view awaits the ones who hike to the top of the Pinnacles from the trailhead at Indian Fort Theater Parking Lot one mile past our driveway. Give yourself two hours or more for the hike, round trip. It is worth the trip! A shorter and very lovely hike can be made from our property on a maintained trail to the top of the West Pinnacle’s Barton Knob. We can show you the starting point. The hike to the top takes 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour. It is a very nice hike!
  • Eat ice cream or drink coffee or tea at: Berea Coffee and Tea (on the college square by Boone Tavern), or Blondie’s Ice Cream (on Chestnut St., 1.5 miles from Boone Tavern), or The Ground Effects Coffee Shop (on Chestnut St., .8 mile from Boone Tavern). On some evenings local musicians are featured at the Ground Effects and also at the Main Street Cafe’ – along with a nice dose of atmosphere. Check it out! If you are looking for something a little bohemian drop in at The Black Feather Cafe on Adam’s St where organic and local foods make up almost the entire freshly prepared menu.
  • Berea Restaurants: (Please note that Berea is a dry town. Restaurants serving alcohol are located in Richmond – a 15 minute drive from Berea. Richmond restaurant information is available in our hospitality notebook at the school.)
    * Boone Tavern dining room (Try the Spoon Bread.)
    * Papaleno’s (pizza, sandwiches, Italian pastas) on the college square
    * Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
    * Wan Pen (Thai and Chinese, very good) at the Exit 76 intersection next to McDonald’s
    * Dinner Bell Restaurant
    * Cracker Barrel
    * Main Street Cafe
    * Kentucky Artisans’ Center Cafe
    * Various fast-food chains located near both I-75 exits.
  • For more information on what to do in Berea or surrounding towns, visit the Tourism Office in Old Town Berea or ask at the desk in the Boone Tavern lobby or at the Visitor’s Center on the college square. Check out for more information.

Have fun! Bring your family or friends!

What Can We Do in Berea? | What Can We Do in the Region?

What Can We Do in the Region?
Berea is:

  • 40 miles from Lexington, KY
  • 120 miles from Louisville, KY
  • 120 miles from Knoxville, TN
  • 125 miles from Cincinnati, OH
  • Visit Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, a beautiful restored Shaker community situated among 2800 acres of beautiful rolling hills. Working craftspeople and merchants make this a “living history” location. (Many craft workshops are offered during the times that coincide with Kelly Mehler’s Woodworking School of Woodworking class times.) Original Shaker woodworking examples are abundant. The food in the restaurant is very good and lodging is available in the Shaker dwellings. This is a side trip that you will want to take an extra day to do. It is well worth the 45 mile jaunt from Berea.
  • Enjoy the Kentucky Horse Park in the Bluegrass Region around Lexington, the thoroughbred horse capitol! Learn about the history of famous racehorses and take a horse-drawn tour of the 1200 acre park. The park is located 43 miles from Berea just off I-75 exit 120.
  • Country music enthusiasts can visit Renfro Valley and the Renfro Valley Barn Dance at Exit 62 off I-75, 14 miles south of Berea. There are many live concerts and events scheduled. The village offers shops, restaurants, and a museum.

Kentucky features many beautiful state parks with good camping and comfortable lodging and varied recreational opportunities. Mammoth Cave National Park is located 3 hours from Berea and offers cave tours of varying lengths.