Think of all the European travel you could enjoy and never leave Kentucky. Tell all your friends you're planning trips to London, Rome, Berlin, Dublin, Warsaw, Glasgow, Athens, and Paris. Then take pictures from those locales and do a photo dump at the end of the trip.

Just a thought. Could be fun.

OFF WE GO TO PARIS...KENTUCKY

PARIS, Kentucky certainly looks like a charming stop on your pseudo-European excursion. Part of the Lexington metropolitan area, Paris is one of the Commonwealth's oldest cities, having been established in 1775...nearly two decades before Kentucky was admitted to the Union as its 15th state. And if you're a fan of small-town exploration, throw Paris on your list.

LOTS OF HISTORY IN VERY OLD PARIS, KENTUCKY

If you ever wanted to walk in the "footsteps" of DANIEL BOONE, you'll find that opportunity in Paris. It's a place called the Duncan Tavern, and it's been there since the late 18th Century. A century later it became the Burr House, a boarding house that fell on hard times and was condemned in 1940 only to be rescued by the Kentucky Society Daughters of the American Revolution. These days, it's open for tours, meetings, and banquets. Plus, there's a gift shop.

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THE BURIAL SITE OF SECRETARIAT

Your next stop should be the burial site for, arguably, the greatest thoroughbred that ever lived. When Secretariat passed away in 1989, the Triple Crown champion that won the Belmont Stakes by a record-shattering 31 lengths was laid to rest at Claiborne Farms in Paris.

As someone who takes photos of headstones or memorials of celebrities, I really need to get up there and add Secretariat to my collection.

PLENTY TO SEE AND LOTS TO EAT IN PARIS, KENTUCKY

Speaking of photos, you CAN'T leave Paris without taking advantage of the Eiffel Tower photo op--like these folks from Nebraska. (Hey, OUR Paris is a lot closer than France's.)

When you get hungry, there are a lot of choices in Paris. But maybe you'd like to kick it old school and eat at Jerry's. YES, there's a Jerry's in Paris, Kentucky. I'd get the spaghetti, but that's me. I ALWAYS got the spaghetti. (Yeah, I know you'll want to find someplace local, but it's JERRY'S.)

By the way, that video walk-through at the top is just about a perfect virtual tour of beautiful Paris, but I'd bet these suggestions on how to enjoy a weekend in Paris from a  member of the Paris-Bourbon County Chamber of Commerce would be just as good as if not better than Trip Advisor.

EXPLORING SMALL-TOWN AMERICA

When I was a kid, I loved it when we drove through the big cities--those skyscrapers were and are endlessly fascinating--but now, I think you get the real lay of the land and a real feel for the people of any state when you drive through and hang out for a while in SMALL TOWNS. I love how a well-maintained downtown area in a smaller city looks, and Paris fits that bill very nicely.

I've been close by, but have never visited and it's time I check it out.

Vive le Kentucky!

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