Berea, KY

Historic Southern Hotels: Berea's Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant

JC Phelps

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Berea, Kentucky – or are looking for an overnight road trip – look no further than The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant. Nestled in the midst of an artistic, Appalachian community, the southern hospitality, food, and property are true embodiments of Kentucky culture.

Photo Credit: JCP Eats

The History of The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel

I love the history of the property. To quote, “A historic Berea hotel, Boone Tavern was built in 1909 at the suggestion of Nellie Frost, the wife of the College president, William G. Frost. As the reputation of Berea College grew, so did the number of guests that Mrs. Frost received, reaching a total of 300 guests in one summer. Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant– named for Appalachian hero Daniel Boone – has been hosting visitors of Berea, Kentucky, ever since, including the Dalai Lama, Henry Ford, President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Robert Frost.Construction of Boone Tavern began in 1909 based on designs by the New York architectural firm of Cady & See at a cost of $20,000. The building, made of bricks manufactured by students in the College’s brickyard, was constructed by the College’s Woodwork Department. The “Tavern” portion of the name is derived from the historic definition that refers to a public inn for travelers rather than the modern definition related to the sale of alcohol.Built at a prominent location on the College Square in the heart of Berea where the old Dixie Highway intersected with the campus, Boone Tavern is one of the most famous Kentucky hotels.”

The Property

Photography via JCP Eats

With 63 guest rooms, guests have ample options to stay at a property chock-full of history. Boone Tavern is a member of the Historic Hotels of America; furthermore, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The decor of the hotel is just stunning. Elegant, enduring, and southern to the greatest extent of the word.

When you stay at a property like Boone Tavern, you realize that all details – even the small ones – are thought about. One of my favorite parts of the experience is that you use an actual key to enter your room. However small, the thoughfulness is obvious.

The rooms are gorgeous. Large and comfortable, they feel like home -- just as a hotel should in the South.

The Food

Photography via JCP Eats

Fried deviled eggs – yes, you read that correctly.

Fried green tomato salad

Local tomatoes, sweet peaches, and the most magical, creamy ricotta - delicious!

Bass — a Kentucky classic.

A signature of the restaurant: Chicken Flakes In a Bird’s Nest.

And, of course, bread pudding!

Plan A Visit

You can visit the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant at 100 S Main St North, Berea, KY 40403. Make reservations here.

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JC Phelps is a Kentucky-based food + southern lifestyle writer.

Louisville, KY

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