Summer is a great time for new adventures. We decided to take our own family adventure on a road trip down south – to Kentucky & Ohio – for a few days last week to explore.
This trip was especially fun because we went with one of my best friends from college and her family. All of our kids are the same ages, and have a blast together. They don’t live near us, so any time we get to share catching up is time well spent.
We had heard great things about an attraction called The Ark Encounter, located in Williamstown, Kentucky. It’s a life-sized replica of what they believe Noah’s Ark would have looked like. The bulk of our trip was centered around this place.
We rented a small VRBO house not more than 10 away minutes from the Ark. This way we could all stay together, cook our own meals, have access to laundry, room for the kids to play, etc.
It was located on a sleepy hill, overlooking a rather large and historic cemetery.
It was…peaceful, for lack of a better word! And we saw some very pretty sunsets.
I could not get over how cute downtown Williamstown was, especially at night, with string lights hung back and forth between the old buildings. I wandered down to snap some photos right at dusk one evening.
It was at this exact moment that I nearly wet myself as not one, but two skunks ran right in front of me! I guess you know you’re in the country when you see a skunk or two crossing the road!
Speaking of pretty country, the home we rented was located next to a pretty little farm, with a beautiful view. It had a few nods to the country life for us to enjoy.
The farmer next door brought us fresh eggs from his chickens the first day we arrived.
He even had the sweetest little puppy, named Lucy, whom the kids adored petting and playing with while we were there.
The Ark itself was a very cool place.
It’s really breathtaking to see how large scaled it is and to imagine how much work Noah and his family must have put into building something that expansive and grand. Experts think it took him 75 years to complete over his lifetime.
The inside is set up in three different levels, like a museum you walk through. It has everything from the story of creation, exhibits showing what life would be like living on the ark, and how modern world-view science differs from biblical creation-view science.
There’s also a petting zoo on the grounds, large restaurant and playground for the kids. I think the goats were my favorite. Mark my words, someday I will be a goat momma.
We spent the entire day exploring everything it had to offer.
The second day we decided to drive a little further into Ohio – which was about an hour away from where we were staying in Kentucky – and visit the National Air Force Museum.
We figured the kids would like seeing the planes and space exhibits on display here. Not to mention, admission is free, so that was a bonus.
There are so many cool, historic planes on display here. It really was remarkable.
We got to check out the interior of a retired Air Force One plane that was used during JFK’s presidency.
As well as some NASA aircraft that were available to tour the inside of.
The highlight of that trip was a flight simulator that me and the kids did, where we were “flying” as the Red Baron in a fighter jet from World War I. So cool and realistic!
Alas, all good things must come to an end, so after we explored all we could, we headed back to Wisconsin.
There are definitely some other things I would like to explore in this area if we ever got the chance to make the trip out here again.
One would be The Creation Museum, which was located about an hour away from The Ark Encounter. We had been told by people who had made this trip before us, to pick one or the other to see while visiting, otherwise it can be a bit overkill. But I’ve heard from people who say the museum is also really worth visiting.
Then there’s Big Bone Lick State Park, located not far from Williamstown, in Union, KY. Just the name alone on the sign driving by this place had me intrigued. When I did some research into what it was, I was totally enthralled!
I’m such a history nerd, and the story behind this state park is amazing. The name comes from the Pleistocene megafauna fossils found there. Mammoths and other creatures are believed to have been drawn to this location by a salt lick deposited around sulphur springs. But they would often get stuck in the muddy, marshy ground and die, where only their bones would remain. Therefore, this place is known as the birthplace of American paleontology due to the many discoveries of ancient fossils since the late 1700’s.
I would love to go back and visit this place and learn more about it. #rossgeller #dinosaurnerd
Have you been on any recent summer adventures of your own? Road Trips can be great memories made, exploring new destinations with your loved ones. If you can handle 9 hours (or more) in the car without losing your mind, you know you can handle just about anything!