You chose them. We tallied the entries. Here are the winners of Kentucky Livingï¿½s 2010 Best in Kentucky.
In truth, these are the winners among winners because all the places you named in your entries are uniquely Kentucky. Sometimes the difference in first and second place was as close as an Olympic race. Such was the case with your favorite antiquing spot, as Berea edged out Glendale by only one vote. In other categories, there was a clear favorite. In the category of local merchant, we couldnï¿½t declare a winner because there were so many different merchants recognized. That means as a state we have lots of good businesses as well as places to go.
There was stiff competition in this category: more than 125 golf courses were nominated. The winner, state-run Dale Hollow, features fairways with 61 bunkers, large undulating greens, and to make things interestingï¿½moderate to severe elevation changes throughout. Bring your camera. Dale Hollow is one of the most scenic courses in the country and is in the top 10 on Golf Digestï¿½s national list of Best Courses You Can Play in Kentucky. Year-round pro shop, lodge, restaurant, and camping; (866) 903-7888 or www.parks.ky.gov (click on Golf tab).
Second Place Valhalla
Third Place Burnside
Lake Cumberland has 1,255 miles of irregular shorelines, shoals, and small tributaries, making this huge lake an ideal habitat for crappie, bream, walleye, trout, channel catfish, and a variety of bass, including striper. Perhaps thatï¿½s why the McElheneys find it ideal for fishing. ï¿½We go as a family, catch any kind of fish we can, and then have a family fish fry,ï¿½ says Myra McElheney of Union. Fishing information: (606) 678-8697 or www.lakecumberland.com.
Second Place Kentucky Lake
Third Place Green River/Lake
RED RIVER GORGE
ï¿½Around every corner, there is something to see,ï¿½ says Gabe Gabehart of Campbellsville about Red River Gorge. ï¿½The landscape changes and it is very interactive. You can climb on the rocks and get different views.ï¿½ Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the gorge is known for natural stone arches (more than 100 of them), unusual rock formations, and striking sandstone cliffs. Find out more at the Gladie Learning Center at (606) 663-8100 or www.redrivergorge.com.
Second Place Natural Bridge
Third Place Mammoth Cave
ï¿½As I walked around the landmark, I had such a deep sense of joy that a man who rose to such great heights, both as a president and a man with such integrity, had such a humble beginning,ï¿½ says Andy Cable of Campton. ï¿½It touched my heart thinking about his life.ï¿½ Learn more about our 16th president by visiting this National Park Service site, the Lincolnï¿½s Memorial, his birthplace, and his boyhood home. Please note: the inside of the memorial is closed for renovations until further notice; call or check the Web site for updates; (270) 358-3137 or www.nps.gov/abli/index.htm.
Second Place Mammoth Cave
Third Place My Old Kentucky Home
LAND BETWEEN THE LAKES/KENTUCKY LAKE/LAKE BARKLEY
Kentucky Lake is the largest manmade lake in the eastern United States, covering 160,300 acres, and is 184.3 miles long. Lake Barkley is 118.1 miles long with 57,920 surface acres. The lakes run parallel for more than 50 miles, and in the middle is Land Between The Lakesï¿½a 170,000-acre national recreation area with camping, hiking, wildlife, a planetarium, nature programs, and presentations, as well as a host of nearby attractions. For Julia Swim and her husband, Tommy, of Wallingford, ï¿½It is beautiful for miles and miles,ï¿½ she says. ï¿½It is so big
itï¿½s like being on the ocean and really peaceful.ï¿½ For information: (270) 924-2000 or www.lbl.org.
Second Place Mammoth Cave
Third Place Lake Cumberland
Start with 45 bushels of apples, the first ingredient for the 10-foot baked apple pie that is served free with ice cream at the Casey County Apple Festival, held in downtown Liberty the fourth weekend of each September.
And speaking of 10-footers, the festival also features a 10-foot chocolate cookie and a 10-foot pizza. Add free live music, more than 300 vendors, contests, youth events, pageants, a parade, and a carnival. This year it will be held September 22-25; (606) 787-5355 or www.caseycountyapplefestival.org.
Second Place World Chicken Festival, London
Third Place (three-way tie) Court Days in Mt. Sterling, the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, and the Owensboro BBQ Festival
Horse Farm to Visit
KENTUCKY HORSE PARK
From September 25ï¿½October 10, the equine world will turn its attention to the Kentucky Horse Park as host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. They will learn what Kentuckians have long known: this 1,200-acre working horse farm is a mecca for horse lovers. Donï¿½t miss the parade of breeds, Man oï¿½Warï¿½s burial site, the museum, theater, and, oh yeah, nearly 50 breeds of horses. Special events throughout the year; (800) 678-8813 or www.kyhorsepark.com.
Second Place Calumet
Third Place Claiborne
ï¿½You can go from shop to shop to shop,ï¿½ says Trina Davis of Hustonville. ï¿½They are close together so you can walk.ï¿½ Antique lovers particularly enjoy Chestnut Street. Berea is also known for exquisite crafts. While in Berea, see the last L&N station still standing, serving as the Welcome Center; (859) 986-2540, (800) 598-5263, or www.berea.com.
Second Place Glendale
Third Place Smiths Grove
Boating Lake or River
ï¿½I had so much fun at Lake Cumberland that I ended up buying a place there,ï¿½ says Alexandria resident Don Johnson. ï¿½Although I live in northern Kentucky, this is my favorite place to boat and fish.ï¿½ Visitors will find 50,000 acres of water, and 10 marinas with approximately 5,237 slips. For information: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resource Managerï¿½s Office, Lake Cumberland, (606) 679-6337 or www.lakecumberland.com.
Second Place Green River
Third Place (tie) Cave Run Lake and Kentucky Lake/Lake Barkley
Itï¿½s hard to describe Cumberland Falls better than the state parks do on their Web site: ï¿½Imagine a wall of water falling 60 feet into a boulder-strewn gorge, a whispering mist that kisses the face, and a magical moonbow visible on a clear night under a full moon.ï¿½ Stephen Woods of Richmond says it is everything combined that makes it such a great place to get away. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park: (606) 528-4121 or www.parks.ky.gov.
Second Place Mammoth Cave
Third Place Natural Bridge
Watch the elephants do aerobics, drop in for tiger training, and then join the giraffes for lunch. Donï¿½t forget the gorilla program (a new baby was born February 6) and then learn about meerkats. Itï¿½s all in a day at the Louisville Zoo; (502) 459-2181 or www.louisvillezoo.org.
Second Place Beech Bend
Third Place Kentucky Down Under
GALT HOUSE HOTEL & SUITES
Location. Location. Location. The Galt House has it with two 25-story buildings overlooking the Ohio River, and an easy walk (or horse carriage ride) to any of Louisvilleï¿½s downtown attractions. For reservations: (800) 843-4258 or www.galthouse.com.
Second Place Boone Tavern
Third Place DuPont Lodge at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Performing Arts Local
KENTUCKY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Dance. Theater. Comedy. Variety. Itï¿½s all at the Kentucky Center. Legally Blonde: The Musical comes in June and Jersey Boys arrives in late July. To keep up to date on new events, register for the Centerï¿½s e-club at www.kentuckycenter.org. For tickets, call the box office at (502) 584-7777 or (800) 775-7777.
Second Place Kentucky Repertory Theatre
Third Place Stephen Fosterï¿½The Musical
Your second choice for best Kentucky author wrote a biography about your first choice. David Dick wrote Jesse Stuart, the Heritage, a biography about Jesse Hilton Stuart, Kentuckyï¿½s Poet Laureate in 1954 and an author who published 2,000 poems, 460 short stories, and more than 60 books, mostly about Southern Appalachia. Stuartï¿½s book The Thread that Runs So True has been in print continuously since 1949. For more information contact the Jesse Stuart Foundation in Ashland, (800) 504-0209 or www.jsfbooks.com.
Second Place David Dick
Third Place Silas House
You know it immediately when you see it: that unusually shaped bottle with the even more distinctive red wax seal. Makerï¿½s Mark even holds a U.S. trademark for that wax seal with drips. Of course, itï¿½s the taste that ultimately matters, and that taste is part of a storied history. Take a tour to learn more about this uniquely Kentucky product distilled in Loretto; (270) 865-2099 or www.makersmark.com.
Second Place Ale-8-One
Third Place Jim Beam
CORRECTION: The Whistle Stop in Glendale is OPEN FOR BUSINESS. We sincerely apologize for the error in the printed April magazine that said The Whistle Stop was closed due to a fire. This is incorrect. As noted in the feature, The Whistle Stop received the most votes in this category.
THE WHISTLE STOP
The Whistle Stop is a family-owned restaurant cooking up good southern foods just like your mom or grandma cooked. They are located on Main Street in Historic Glendale where they’ve operated since 1975. Specialties are country ham, fried chicken, pot roast, hot brown (their best seller), meatloaf, pork tenderloin, catfish, and numerous country sides. But definitely save room for their award-winning desserts. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call (270) 369-8586 or go online to www.whistlestoprestaurant.net.
ï¿½The country ham and the old-style serving style,ï¿½ says Eric Strode of Center, about why he nominated The Lighthouse in Sulphur Well as his favorite restaurant. It is known for homemade cooking with heaping helpings of fresh vegetables served family style. Menu favorites also include fried chicken, catfish, and country ham, says manager Tammy Deckard. Donï¿½t forget the desserts. Fried apple and cream pies are most requested, she says. For more information, call (270) 565-3095 or go to http://www.eatatlighthouserestaurant.com/.
Second Place Moonlite Bar-B-Q
Third Place (tie) Doe Run Inn and Pattiï¿½s
MOONLITE BAR-B-Q INN
ï¿½Mm, mm,ï¿½ says Jim Effner of Elizabethtown at the mention of Moonlite Bar-B-Q. ï¿½I travel a lot, and when I am in Owensboro, I always go there. I like the ambiance of the place, and the fact that they have all different kinds of barbecue and pork, mutton, and spare ribs. And they have desserts.ï¿½ (Pecan pie is his favorite). ï¿½They are usually busy, but they get you in and out; itï¿½s clean, and itï¿½s casual.ï¿½ For more tasty bites: (270) 684-8143, (800) 322-8989, or www.moonlite.com.
Second Place Sonnyï¿½s
Third Place Bootleg
Cumberland Falls is often called the ï¿½Niagara of the South,ï¿½ and that is true not only for the beauty of the falls but also for the romance of the place. Every year, a myriad of couples choose Cumberland Falls as the site for their wedding. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park has two sites for the ceremony and two venues for the reception, accommodating up to 225 people; (800) 325-0063 or www.parks.ky.gov.
Second Place My Old Kentucky Home
Third Place Doe Run Inn
BARNES & NOBLE
You might not be able to quickly find Ella Jean Carmichael and husband Jerry when you go to Barnes & Noble in Dry Ridge. They regularly visit the food, gardening, travel, music, and history sections of the bookstore. Jerry also likes the coffee shop. The national chain is known for its vast selection of not just books, but also music and book-related items. For locations: www.barnesandnoble.com.
Second Place Joseph-Beth
Third Place (tie) Carmichaelï¿½s in Louisville and Half-Price Books
TV News Anchor/Meteorologist
ï¿½My interest in weather took on a whole new perspective when the ï¿½super outbreakï¿½ of tornadoes occurred April 3-4, 1974,ï¿½ writes T.G. Shuck on his Web site (www.wkyt.com/station/ bios/news/3573877.html). Shuck was about to turn 6, and the event at first frightened him and then sparked a desire to learn more about the weather. Now the chief meteorologist at WKYT TV in Lexington, Shuck has won tons of awards for his weather reporting, including three Emmys; (859) 299-0411.
Second Place Bill Meck, WLEX TV, Lexington
Third Place John Belski, WAVE TV, Louisville