Situated close to Cincinnati and Louisville in Northern Kentucky, Williamstown is easy to reach and packed with things to see and do. War veteran William Arnold founded the city in 1795, however, it wasn’t until the arrival of the Cincinnati Southern Railway that the town started to gain prominence.
From New York Shakers to biblical reenactors, Williamstown has long been attracting people from far and wide with its unique small-town feel and beautiful surroundings. So whether you’re stopping by to see a life-size Noah’s Ark, an 18th-century fort, or a forever home for some of the world’s greatest racehorses, you’ll love many of these things to do in Williamstown.
- Williamstown, Kentucky
- 20 Things To Do In Williamstown
- 1- Visit The Ark Encounter
- 2- Get Outdoors In General Butler State Resort Park
- 3- See The Animals In Ararat Ridge Zoo
- 4- Enjoy The Scenery At Lake Williamstown
- 5- Discover History At William Arnold Log Home
- 6- Shop For Unique Gifts In Williamsburg Vendors Mall
- 7- Meet Retired Racehorses In Old Friends Farm
- 8- Discover Marinelife At Newport Aquarium
- 9- Step Back Into History At Fort Boonesborough State Park
- 10- See Endangered Wildlife At Salato Wildlife Education Center
- 11- Explore The Creation Museum
- 12- Relax In Frank Webb Memorial Park
- 13- Go Wine Tasting At Elk Creek Vineyards
- 14- Go Fishing In J.B. Miller Park and Lake
- 15- Discover The Shaker Village
- 16- Wander Around Downtown Williamstown
- 17- Get An Adrenalin Rush At Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures
- 18- Take The Kids To Williamstown Family Fun Park
- 19- Visit Webster’s Woodworking
- 20- Watch A Show At Stage Right Musical Theatre Company
- 21- Hike The Grant County Trail System
- 22- Learn The Art Of Distillation At Grant County Distillery
- 20 Things To Do In Williamstown
20 Things To Do In Williamstown
1- Visit The Ark Encounter
Home to a life-size replica of the biblical Noah’s Ark, the Ark Encounter is Williamstown’s biggest and most popular attraction.
Situated in Kentucky’s Grant County roughly halfway between Cincinnati and Lexington, this 510 feet long (155 m), 85 feet wide (26 m), 51 feet tall (16 m) structure is truly a modern-day marvel of engineering, soaring high above the Williamstown countryside.
The ark is a fully-fledged theme park featuring a small animal zoo, zip lines and a restaurant, all born out of the curiosity of how big Noah’s Ark must have been if it existed today.
This fantastic landmark is a Williamstown must whenever you’re in Kentucky, filled with tons of things to learn and see both inside and outside this hulking wooden vessel.
The Ark Encounter is at 1 Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown, KY 41097.
2- Get Outdoors In General Butler State Resort Park
The General Butler State Resort Park is a sprawling 791-acre (320 ha) outdoor oasis named after General William O. Butler, a veteran of the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812.
Opened in 1931, the park is a haven for hiking, fishing, camping, and skiing in the winter.
The historic Butler-Turpin house, built in 1859, is also situated within the park for visitors to see and tour, making this Williamstown park one of the best public parks in Kentucky.
General Butler State Resort Park is at 1608 KY-227, Carrollton, KY 41008.
3- See The Animals In Ararat Ridge Zoo
The Ararat Ridge Zoo is a sizeable family-friendly zoo that’s home to many animals, such as kangaroos, camels, ostriches, sloths, zebras and lemurs.
One of the many attractions near The Ark Encounter, the zoo ties in with the ark’s biblical theme and is an excellent attraction to visit before or after the ark itself.
The zoo offers a wide range of unique activities for visitors, including camel riding, making it a unique Kentucky attraction that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.
Ararat Ridge Zoo is at 1 Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown, KY 41097.
4- Enjoy The Scenery At Lake Williamstown
Lake Williamstown is a public 330-acre (134 ha) recreational reservoir owned and operated by the local community surrounding the lake.
The lake spans roughly 7 miles (11 km) from end to end and features a 28-mile-long (45 km) shoreline perfect for fishing or swimming.
It offers lakeside activities and beautiful scenery all around the lake.
Created in 1955 to provide Williamstown with a more dependable water supply, the lake has grown into a top attraction in Williamstown.
5- Discover History At William Arnold Log Home
The William Arnold Log Home is one of the oldest structures in Williamstown still standing, built for town founder and former lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, William Arnold.
Rebuilt in 1986 and recently renovated, the house is perhaps Williamstown’s most significant historical landmark.
It is decorated with periodically-correct furniture, 18th and 19th-century books, old photographs, and various other trinkets and items to discover.
A must-visit Williamstown destination for history buffs and war historians, the house is guaranteed to entertain and educate visitors of all ages and interests.
William Arnold Log Home is at 224 S Main St, Williamstown, KY 41097.
6- Shop For Unique Gifts In Williamsburg Vendors Mall
The Williamsburg Vendors Mall is the number one destination to find all sorts of wacky and unique trinkets and gifts in Williamstown during your visit.
The mall prides itself in offering one-of-a-kind items handmade by local crafters and artisans that you’ll find nowhere else, making the mall a unique shopping experience to try in Williamstown.
Williamsburg Vendors Mall is at 1000 N Highway 25 W, Williamsburg, KY 40769.
7- Meet Retired Racehorses In Old Friends Farm
The “Old Friends Equine”, better known as the Old Friends Farm, is a haven for old and retired racehorses.
Established in 2003 by former movie critic Michael Blowen, the facility looks after several well-known former racehorses, many of whom competed in the famed Kentucky Derby in their glory days.
This non-profit venue spans over 236 acres (96 ha) and is the only Thoroughbred retirement facility in the United States that regularly accepts stallions.
Today, the facility is home to over 240 horses and doubles as a horse racing museum, which visitors are welcome to tour and discover.
Old Friends Farm is at 1841 Paynes Depot Rd, Georgetown, KY 40324.
8- Discover Marinelife At Newport Aquarium
Opened in 1999, the Newport Aquarium offers visitors to Kentucky the unique opportunity to see and discover colourful marine animals and organisms in a landlocked Southern state.
The award-winning centre is home to a wide array of animal species, from penguins to white alligators.
It is situated just across the river from Cincinnati, roughly 40 miles (64 km) from Downtown Williamstown.
The venue’s convenient location near Williamstown and Cincinnati makes it incredibly simple to visit, even if you’re planning to see more of Cincinnati than Williamstown.
Home to themed exhibits such as the one-of-a-kind “Shark Bridge” and the “Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels”, the aquarium is one of the best in the United States, so be sure not to miss out on this fantastic Northern Kentucky attraction.
Newport Aquarium is at 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071.
9- Step Back Into History At Fort Boonesborough State Park
Established by Daniel Boone in 1775 as a settlement when his regiment first arrived in the area, Fort Boonesborough, situated inside the Fort Boonesborough State Park is one of Williamstown’s most important historical landmarks.
The park features the fort’s original cabins, furnishings and blockhouses for visitors to discover and tour, with expert history reenactors on hand to help guests visualise what life looked like back then.
Perhaps the most intact 18th-century site left in Kentucky, this unique Williamstown attraction is truly a spectacular place to stop by.
Fort Boonesborough State Park is at 4375 Boonesboro Rd, Richmond, KY 40475.
10- See Endangered Wildlife At Salato Wildlife Education Center
The Salato Wildlife Education Center was established to help educate visitors about protecting and maintaining Kentucky’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife in a fun, family-friendly venue outside Downtown Williamstown.
Opened in 1995, the venue is home to a vast assortment of animals such as alligators, turtles, bobcats and bald eagles, and over two miles (3 km) of pristine nature trails to explore.
Whether it’s stopping by for an afternoon picnic or learning about caring for endangered animals, the centre is one of Williamstown’s best outdoor attractions.
Salato Wildlife Education Center is at 1 Sportsman’s Ln, Frankfort, KY 40601.
11- Explore The Creation Museum
Combining botanical gardens, a planetarium, a zoo and zip lines to take visitors of all ages on a biblical journey through time, the Creation Museum is one of Williamstown’s most visited attractions.
The venue features over 75,000 square feet (6,968 m2) of exhibition space for visitors to tour and is situated just outside Downtown Williamsburg in nearby Petersburg.
The museum and its sister attraction, the Ark Encounter, are two must-see landmarks in Williamstown that can easily be combined into an afternoon activity for anyone interested in religion and the history of Christianity.
Creation Museum is at 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd, Petersburg, KY 41080.
12- Relax In Frank Webb Memorial Park
The Frank Webb Memorial Park is among Williamstown’s best public parks to stop by, featuring several scenic grassy lawns, picnic areas, and paved trails.
Despite not being the largest or most popular Williamstown outdoor venue, the park is the perfect size to spend an afternoon lazily relaxing or jogging without feeling completely removed from civilisation.
The park has several playgrounds for kids to unwind and features amenities such as bathrooms and basketball courts.
Named after Frank Webb, a former marathon runner from Williamstown, the multipurpose park is an excellent destination to visit that’s an ideal free attraction to bring the entire family to.
Frank Webb Memorial Park is at 326 406 Park Dr, Williamstown, KY 41097.
13- Go Wine Tasting At Elk Creek Vineyards
The Elk Creek Vineyards have quickly grown into Kentucky’s premier winery since being opened in 2006, offering over 20 wine varieties.
Not only is the venue a wine lover’s dream location, but the on-site café serves up delicious gourmet sandwiches and pizzas for visitors to indulge in.
Thanks to the vineyard’s meteoric rise in a state not renowned for producing wine, the venue is among the most popular wineries in Kentucky, organising various events and tours to enhance the overall wine experience for visitors.
Even if you’re not much of a vinophile, the venue is filled with enough stunning natural beauty and quintessential Southern charm to make it a must-visit attraction with something to see and do for everyone.
Elk Creek Vineyards is at 150 KY-330, Owenton, KY 40359.
14- Go Fishing In J.B. Miller Park and Lake
Surrounded by thick woodlands and varied landscapes, the J.B. Miller Park and Lake are among Northern Kentucky’s best natural landmarks.
Situated just outside Williamstown, the park is open during daylight hours and offers great fishing and birdwatching opportunities.
Complete with a 1-mile-long (1.6 km) nature trail that cuts through mystic forests and a large freshwater lake, the free-to-visit park has more than enough activities to keep you entertained all day.
J.B. Miller Park and Lake is at 703 Waterworks Rd, Williamstown, KY 41097.
15- Discover The Shaker Village
The Shaker Village was created shortly before the Civil War when groups of Shakers from New York began moving to Kentucky, where they could live peaceful, celibate, and prejudice-free lives.
Starting from the end of the Civil War, the village began shrinking as more and more members left the lifestyle, and by the 1910s, the village closed its doors for good.
Following a long period of decline, the village was restored to its former 19th-century self, turning it into a beautiful historic landmark in Williamstown.
Shaker Village is at 3501 Lexington Rd, Harrodsburg, KY 40330.
16- Wander Around Downtown Williamstown
Downtown Williamstown is littered with quaint shops, inviting cafes and independent clothing shops to discover as you stroll past the city’s cultural and economic heart.
Chances are that the city’s downtown area is among the first places you’ll see in Williamstown, as most of the city’s hotels and guest houses are scattered in and around the district.
Regardless if you’re visiting the city’s downtown area for fun or accommodation, it’s a beautiful area to explore, filled with a ton of attractions and landmarks.
17- Get An Adrenalin Rush At Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures
Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures operates a range of adrenaline-pumping activities throughout Kentucky, however, it’s their Williamstown location that is perhaps the most spectacular and popular.
Situated next to the Ark Encounter, the venue features zip lines and free falls, which visitors can join to get a unique aerial view of the ark and the surrounding Kentucky landscape.
Organised and led by trained and experienced attendees, the venue caters to visitors of all ages and is one of Williamstown’s most thrilling activities to try out.
Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures is at 1 Ark Encounter Drive, Williamstown, KY 41097.
18- Take The Kids To Williamstown Family Fun Park
Situated roughly 1 mile (1.6 km) west of the Ark Encounter, the Williamstown Family Fun Park is one of Williamstown’s premier entertainment venues.
Offering an 18-hole miniature golf course, zip lines, and even a Chutes and Ladders adventure course, the park has plenty in store to keep visitors of all ages entertained.
If you’re looking for a quick, action-packed venue to visit that’s near Downtown Williamstown, this family-friendly adventure park more than has you covered.
Williamstown Family Fun Park is at 605 KY-36, Williamstown, KY 41097.
19- Visit Webster’s Woodworking
Selling antique furniture and handmade wooden items, the family-run Webster’s Woodworking is a real treat to stop by.
This woodworking shop/antique museum sells vintage items made in-house and restores wooden items and furniture to their former glory.
The store is a fantastic place to simply stroll around in, marvelling at all the unique items made with labour and love by the shop’s friendly staff.
Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, repair or simply browse, Williamstown’s favourite woodworking store is the place to go to.
Webster’s Woodworking is at 261 Redwood Dr, Dry Ridge, KY 41035.
20- Watch A Show At Stage Right Musical Theatre Company
The Stage Right Musical Theatre Company is a non-profit centre for the performing arts that was established in 2016 to help inspire and educate locals about all things related to theatre.
Organising various Broadway-quality shows, the venue is the perfect destination to visit to support the local arts scene and catch a great theatrical performance all in one.
Be sure to check the venue’s calendar to learn all about their upcoming shows so you’ll know exactly what to watch whenever you’re in the area.
Stage Right Musical Theatre Company is at 1418 N Main St, Williamstown, KY 41097.
21- Hike The Grant County Trail System
The Grant County Trail System is a network of trails located in Williamstown, Kentucky.
The trails offer a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and rollerblading, and are perfect for people of all fitness levels.
The Grant County Trail System consists of trails ranging from easy, flat trails to more challenging hills and rugged terrain.
The trails pass through various landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and prairies, and offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition to being a popular spot for outdoor recreation, the Grant County Trail System also serves as an important transportation corridor for the city of Williamstown.
It is used by commuters, tourists, and residents looking to explore the city.
22- Learn The Art Of Distillation At Grant County Distillery
The Grant County Distillery is a local distillery located in Williamstown, Kentucky.
The distillery is known for its high-quality spirits, including bourbon, vodka, and whiskey.
The Grant County Distillery prides itself on using traditional distillation techniques and only the finest ingredients to produce its spirits.
The distillery sources its grains from local farms and uses a combination of modern and traditional equipment to craft its products.
In addition to producing top-quality spirits, the Grant County Distillery also offers tours and tastings to visitors.
These tours allow guests to learn about the distillation process and taste a variety of spirits.
The Grant County Distillery is a great place to learn about the art of distillation and enjoy some of the best spirits in the region.
If you’re a fan of bourbon, vodka, or whiskey, the Grant County Distillery is worth a visit.
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