Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

This living-history destination in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, offers a place where travelers can slow down and savor the simple lifestyle 

Located about 30 miles south of Lexington in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill offers a living-history destination where travelers can slow down and savor the simple lifestyle of the Shakers, an industrious sect that arrived in Kentucky in 1805.  Endeavoring to create their version of heaven on earth, they started a frontier settlement called Pleasant Hill that blossomed into one of the nation’s largest Shaker communities.

Today, Shaker Village’s bucolic setting — with 3,000 acres and 200-year-old buildings -— provides an inviting environment for family fun. Activities range from hiking trails through a nature preserve to relaxing riverboat rides to following in the Shakers’ footsteps by climbing the twin spiral staircases inside the 1839 Trustees’ Office. That beautifully preserved structure was once Pleasant Hill’s hub, but it now houses overnight guest rooms outfitted with Shaker-style furnishings and The Trustees’ Table, a restaurant that serves farm-to-fork meals and a classic Shaker dessert: lemon pie.

During Family Farm Days in April, kids get the opportunity to feed lambs, chicks, piglets and other barnyard babies that were born on Shaker Village’s farm. From May through August, Family Fun Days offer themed programming that introduces youngsters to Shaker innovations such as seed packets and the famous flat brooms that swept the nation during the 1800s. A Father’s Day Weekend Escape presents a trio of events — a vintage baseball game, a classic car show and an antiques-and-garden show — that deliver a winning getaway for the entire family. 

In fact, some parents (and even grandparents) use Shaker Village’s weekly day camps as an opportunity for a family vacation. They book a room or an on-site cottage to spend the night. Then, while the kids are busy at camp, the grown-ups explore Shaker Village on their own, visit nearby thoroughbred horse farms or tour the Bourbon Trail. 3501 Lexington Rd., Harrodsburg, Kentucky 40330, 859/734-5411,