Located on the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the state capital. Be sure to see the graves of Daniel Boone and his wife in the Frankfort Cemetery, the capitol buildings (old and new) and the lieutenant governor's mansion. The city's real show-stopper, though, is the huge Kentucky History Center. Its interactive exhibits include a replica of a coal mine that you can walk through, and there are thousands of artifacts on display. Costumed actors are stationed in the museum to help make the state's history come alive.

You can also get a feel for Kentucky's past by visiting some of the vintage buildings located elsewhere in Frankfort. The Liberty Hall Historic Site is a good choice: It contains both Liberty Hall (built in 1796) and the Orlando Brown House (built in 1835). The entire downtown area is beautifully preserved and well worth a stroll—a walking-tour brochure that highlights important sites is available from the tourist office.

Another chapter of history is the subject of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This unusual monument is a sundial inscribed with the names of Kentuckians who died in Vietnam. Each hour on the sundial represents a year during the war, and it's constructed so that a shadow falls on a soldier's name on the anniversary of his death. It's a touching memorial and an amazing mathematical design.

If you have time, visit the Game Farm at the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, which has buffalo, elk, deer, eagles and wild turkeys. The farm's Salato Wildlife Education Center has instructional displays on animals. Rebecca Ruth Candies is based in Frankfort, and the factory tour gives you the opportunity to sample the wares, including chocolates made with 100-proof bourbon. 30 mi/50 km northwest of Lexington.

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