Finding a Dinosaur in Kentucky

This is a travel story about Louisville, Kentucky, and how we found a dinosaur.

Life is too short and discovering new places is too important. So, as summer was winding down in Michigan we discussed plans to take a fall trip. Not for leaf watching, but something else. You know when you begin to get antsy for some travel, whether it’s near or far? We had that itch. Kentucky—specifically, Louisville—can be driven to in less than a day, so we thought we’d check it out in October. If you ever visit Louisville, go in October.

Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.

Daniel Boone
Louisville, Kentucky
Camera: iPhone 5

Louisville is probably beautiful in all times of the year. The reason I say October is especially meaningful though, is because that is when the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular takes place. When this event was suggested to us as a must-see happening, we were intrigued to say the least. When we waited, walked and weaved through at least 40 minutes of line, it was difficult to believe anything Halloween related would be worth it. This was.

Louisville, Kentucky
Camera: iPhone 5

Once our access into pumpkin utopia was granted, it absolutely didn’t disappoint. A forest filled with illuminated carved gourds decorated everywhere from trails to treetops. Never in my life has such a scene—especially a Halloween one—unfolded that left me so amazed.

When we traveled to Louisville, we weren’t even aware that this Halloween spectacular was taking place. Needless to say, everything else after was bonus.

Our lodging for the weekend was the Hyatt Regency Louisville. As an avid architectural photographer, this place was unreal. It was built in the late 1970s but has had renovations since then. With that information and considering that there are 18 stories, you may have an image in your head of what this place must look like. You’re imaginary picture of this hotel is probably not too far off. It was a perfect place to call “home” for a couple days so if you go, I’d recommend it.

Hyatt Regency
Louisville, Kentucky
Camera: iPhone 5

On Saturday we traveled to a couple of distilleries to investigate some bourbon establishments. The two we visited were Bulleit Bourbon and Buffalo Trace. Bourbon is the official beverage of Kentucky—or at least, one of them—so if you’re there, try to visit a distillery.

We did tours at both places and they were each fascinating for different, wonderful reasons. The Bulleit grounds were astounding. It was an area filled with history and incredible structures. The same can be said for the Buffalo Trace distillery. At the end of our tour, we were able to samples a few bourbony (it’s a word—now) samples.

Bulleit Bourbon Distillery- Barrel Room
Louisville, Kentucky
Camera: iPhone 5

Whenever we’re in a town, we like to do a little research to make sure I’m not missing any interesting sites and sights. As luck would have it, internet research brought to my attention that a dinosaur lived in Louisville. This dinosaur was a 30-foot fiberglass triceratops from the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.

This kind of stuff is just incredibly interesting, to us at least.

On the website that described the dinosaur, it listed the address so we promptly traveled to it. After a series of roadway bends and turns, we arrived at the lot of an industrial park business. It was even more grand in person than the picture on the internet. What surprised me most was how detailed every crack and crevice on the weathered “skin” looked. For its age, the color was looking great, too. The most important aspect of everything is that the dinosaur remains after all its years since being created.

Louisville, Kentucky
Camera: Mamiya 7

After sipping Kentucky’s finest—maybe not finest, but it was really good—bourbon, walking through a forest of wonderfully-carved pumpkins and seeing a World’s Fair dinosaur, we knew our trip was complete.

After all, any trip that includes a dinosaur is a trip done well.

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