Combine Berea College, Boone Tavern visit in Kentucky

Q: We are going to be in Kentucky on our way to Tennessee and want to stop for the night at a place called Boone Tavern and Hotel. I think it's near Lexington. We plan to tour the campus of Berea College in Berea while we're there. Is Boone Tavern near Berea? I'd appreciate any information you can give me, and thank you.

A: You will find Boone Tavern and Hotel on the campus of Berea College, just off Interstate 75, about 35 miles south of Lexington, Ky. Rooms in the white-pillared hotel are charming and furnished with period-style furniture made in the college's woodcraft shop. Each room has a private bath, color television and air conditioning.

The hotel is reopening in March, following renovation, but its ambience remains the same. The lovely dining room is furnished with tables, chairs and sideboards made by Berea College students, all of whom are required to work on campus in lieu of paying tuition. Tipping is not permitted because all students work the same hours for the same pay on campus, and tipping obviously would make the dining room work more lucrative, unacceptable under the Berea system.

Berea's 140-acre campus rests on a ridge bordering the Cumberland foothills in the heart of the bluegrass country. Founded as a nonsectarian one-room school in 1855 by the Rev. John G. Fee, an abolitionist, Berea offers tuition-free education to mountain youth. Rev. Fee chose the name Berea from the biblical town mentioned in The Acts of the Apostles, where men were open-minded.

By fall of 1869 the school had grown enough to register its first college class. Today some 95-plus buildings house classrooms, dormitories, residences and student industries. In addition to the 140-acre campus, 900 acres are used for instruction in crop production and animal husbandry. A 7,000-acre forest also is part of the college.

The Berea College Museum has interactive exhibits covering 200 years of Appalachian history and culture where visitors can learn the history of the college and explore regional craft and music traditions. The Berea College Forest has an eight-mile hiking trail near Indian Fort Mountain just off Ky. route 21. Campus tours take place Monday through Friday at 9 and 10 a.m. and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Saturday tour times are 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Here are two web sites to help you out: and The college's phone number is (859) 985-3000; you can reach the hotel at (800) 366-9358.

Send your questions at least sixweeks prior to travel to MadelynMerwin in care ofTravel,Daily Herald, P.O.Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006, or

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.