Shop in Kentucky and you’ll come home with more than gifts. Wandering through stores in the Bluegrass State can offer a peek into the heart of the city.
At a favorite local bakery in Danville, visitors can discover a traditional Appalachian bread. In Louisville, chocolate shops showcase the work of pastry artists. The Bowling Green Farmers Market offers interactive group demonstrations to enhance the shopping experience.
In historic towns like Midway and Maysville, a downtown shopping excursion also provides a way to admire the interesting architecture of buildings that house local businesses. Much of the charm of a city comes from shopping experiences authentic to the area.
These towns allow groups to learn about Kentucky by engaging in some retail exploration.
From 1785 to 1792, Kentucky officials met in a series of conventions in Danville that ultimately led to Kentucky’s separation from Virginia. Kentucky owes its existence to Danville, which served as the state’s first capital; the state’s first constitution was also signed there.
Groups can discover this history at the Constitution Square Historic Site, an open-air museum that celebrates the early history of Kentucky. The Gift Shop at Constitution Square features history-inspired gifts, such as history books, historic Danville photo prints and CDs with music composed during the early 1800s.
Danville’s shopping options don’t end in the past. The town prides itself on its moniker, “Where Preservation Meets Progress.”
“Our history is what draws people,” said Jamee Peyton, assistant director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We not only want to preserve our history, but we want to make history. We’re very much an art-friendly community. You’ll find art everywhere. You’ll go into someone’s shop and find local art there.”
Groups often start at the Constitution Square Historic Site, then move on to tour the quaint and historic downtown. Many first stop at Burke’s Bakery, a Kentucky institution that is featured in travel magazines such as Delta Sky. The bakery is known for salt-rising bread, a traditional Appalachian bread, as well as doughnuts and gingerbread men.
Shoppers can pick up a caramel treat at Cerci on Main or get health-related items at Plank on Main and a handbag at A&L Accessories. Travelers also enjoy touring downtown’s local pubs, microbreweries and historic landmarks.