5-7 Day Itinerary - Lincoln Immersion

Immerse yourself in a total Lincoln experience during a weeklong stay visiting the Lincoln states. You’ll be amazed at what you can do, learn and explore about the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.

Day #1:

Begin your Lincoln tour in Lexington, KY

The Mary Todd Lincoln House, 578 West Main Street, Lexington, KY, was the family home of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife President Abraham Lincoln. It was originally an inn and tavern before being purchased by Mary's father, Robert S. Todd in 1831. Mary lived in this home from 1832 until 1839, when she moved to Springfield, Illinois to live with her sister and subsequently met Abraham Lincoln. After their marriage, the Lincolns visited her family here. The house museum includes period furniture and artifacts from the Todd and Lincoln families. (Approximate tour length: 1 hr.)

Travel to Nicholasville (Approximate travel time: 35 minutes)

Camp Nelson Heritage Park, 6614 Danville Rd, Nicholasville, KY, tells the story of Camp Nelson, a Union Army Supply Depot during the Civil War. It was the largest recruiting, mustering and training center for African American troops in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and one of the largest in the United States. 10,000 African Americans were emancipated from slavery in exchange for service in the Union army here, and the stories of the depot, escaped slaves, African American soldiers and their families is told here. (Approximate tour length: 1.5 hrs.)

Travel to Perryville (Approximate travel time: 50 minutes)

Perryville Battlefield State Park, 1825 Battlefield Rd, Perryville, KY, is the site of the most destructive Civil War battle in Kentucky, leaving more than 7,600 killed, wounded or missing. The battlefield is one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation, and the park museum tells the story of the battle that was the Confederacy’s last serious attempt to gain possession of Kentucky. (Approximate tour length: 1.5 hrs.)

(Overnight in Bardstown)

Day #2:

Travel to Knob Creek (Approximate travel time: 22 minutes)

Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek, 7120 Bardstown Rd, New Haven, KY, is the site of the second home Lincoln lived in as an infant, and the first home that existed in his memory. The farm at Knob Creek was the homestead of the Lincoln family from 1811 to 1816. Lincoln's brother, Thomas, was born and died here, and Abraham Lincoln himself almost died here when he nearly drowned in Knob Creek. He was rescued by neighbor and friend Austin Gollaher. This site includes the Gollaher Cabin, built around the year 1800, where Austin Gollaher's family lived during Lincoln's time at Knob Creek Farm. The cabin was moved to its present location to reflect what the Lincoln cabin would look like had it survived.  (Approximate tour length: 20 minutes)

Travel to Hodgenville (Approximate travel time: 8 minutes)

The Lincoln Museum, 66 Lincoln Square, Hodgenville, KY,  features historically accurate exhibits depicting scenes from Abraham Lincoln's life as well as rare newspaper clippings, campaign posters, and Lincoln memorabilia. The second museum level includes an art gallery of Lincoln related works. A gift shop is located on the main level. (Approximate tour length: 1.25 hrs.)

Abraham Lincoln’s parents, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln, settled on the Sinking Springs Farm, the current site of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, 2995 Lincoln Farm Rd, Hodgenville, KY,  in the fall of 1808. On February 12, 1809 in a one-room log cabin, Abraham Lincoln was born. The Lincolns lived and farmed here for two years before moving a few miles away to Knob Creek. The birthplace area was established by Congress on July 17, 1916. An early 19th century Kentucky cabin, symbolic of the one in which Lincoln was born, is preserved in a memorial building at his birth site.  (Approximate tour length: 1.5 hrs.)

Travel to Louisville (Approximate travel time: 1 hr)

Farmington Historic Home, 3033 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY, is the 19th century hemp plantation and home of John and Lucy Speed,  completed in 1816 using the labor of enslaved African Americans. The house has been fully restored. Abraham Lincoln, a close friend of John Speed’s son Joshua, spent approximately three weeks at Farmington in 1841. (Approximate tour length: 1.5 hrs.)

(Overnight in Louisville)

Day #3:

Travel to Lincoln City, Indiana. (Approximate travel time: 1 hr 15 minutes)

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, 3027 E S St, Lincoln City, IN, is the preserved site of the farm where Abraham Lincoln lived with his family, growing from childhood to manhood, from 1816 to 1830. His mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln is buried at this site, and his sister Sarah is buried in a nearby cemetery.

Lincoln State Park, 15476 North County Rd 300 E, Lincoln City, IN, located just across the road from the national memorial, offers a series of walking/hiking trails as well as other recreational facilities including a lake.

The Colonel Jones Home, 620 E County Rd 1575 N, Gentryville, IN, located in nearby Gentryville, is the house museum of the former home of Colonel William Jones, a local merchant and farmer who employed Abraham Lincoln periodically during his time in Indiana.

Travel to Indianapolis. (Approximate travel time: 2 hrs 50 minutes)

(Overnight in Indianapolis)

Day #4:

The home of the Indiana Historical Society, 450 W Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN, features exhibits and collections that tell the story of the history of Indiana from the frontier Old Northwest and Indiana Territories to 19th and 20th century history. Exhibits include Indiana Ethnic History, Civil War Soldiers and Civilians, 19th and 20th-century Indiana African American History and more. The museum also includes a visual collection featuring Abraham Lincoln.

Travel to Charleston, IL (Approximate travel time: 2 hrs.)

The Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum, Coles County Fairgrounds, 416 West Madison Ave. , Charleston, IL, was built on the site of the fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate, but the exhibits retrace all of the debates and describe the significance of the issues and how they shaped opinions in the entire country. The museum includes exhibits and interactive displays, a children’s area and gift shop.

Lincoln’s father and step-mother finally settled just outside of Charleston where they both lived until they died. They are both buried nearby. Never successful financially, Thomas Lincoln’s life as a farmer was tough and his relationship with his son seemed to be a distant one. The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, 402 S Lincoln Hwy, Lerna, IL, is a subsistence farm where Lincoln’s parents lived. The farm has been recreated and offers a first person interpretive experience. The site also includes a second farmstead, a new museum, a gift shop and an orientation theatre.

(Overnight in Charleston)

Day #5:

Travel to Springfield (approximate travel time: 2 hrs) The drive to Springfield from Charleston goes through an area of Illinois that is populated by Amish Farmers and several places that might provide an interesting side trip.)

The first stop in Springfield should be the state-of-the-art Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 112 N 6th St, Springfield, IL, which provides visitors with an emotional, evocative and immersive journey through Lincoln’s life plus two Multi-media theatres, special changing exhibits and the Treasures Gallery.

The museum is within a very easy walk of the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, 1 SW Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL. This majestic structure dominated by imposing porticoes allows visitors to believe that they have stepped to Lincoln’s years in Springfield. Lincoln’s Law Offices State Historic Site, 1 SE Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield, IL, is a quick walk across the square. These sites are surrounded by shops and restaurants to lunch and take a break from touring.

(Overnight in Springfield)

Day #6:

Lincoln’s Home National Historic Site, 426 S 7th St, Springfield, IL,  is within about 3 blocks of the downtown area. Lincoln, Mary and their children lived here from 1844 until he left for Washington. The house and the neighborhood around it provide a glimpse of Lincoln the father, husband and neighbor.

Lincoln, Mary and 3 of their 4 children are buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery. This imposing structure stands on a slight rise and provides a dramatic image as visitors enter the cemetery. People from all over the world come to the Lincoln Tomb and War Memorials State Historic Site, 1500 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL , to pay respects to Lincoln. Next to Arlington Cemetery it is the second most visited cemetery in the country.

(Overnight in Springfield)

Day #7:

Travel to New Salem (Approximate travel time: 1.5 hrs.)

Lincoln’s New Salem State Park, 15588 History Ln, Petersburg, IL ,is a 23-building reconstructed pioneer village. Lincoln spent 7 years in New Salem. He served as a legislator, studied law, owned a store and became a surveyor. A trip to New Salem reveals the hard prairie life of Illinois and traces Lincoln’s growth from a self-educated drifter to young lawyer with significant potential.

(Overnight in Springfield)