In the 7,368-person town of Corbin, KY, an hour and a half south of Lexington and east of Daniel Boone National Forest, is the Kentucky Fried Chicken to end all Kentucky Fried Chickens. A nine-foot-tall metal sign of Colonel Harland Sanders hangs in the entrance of the Harland Sanders Café and Museum. It was here that the Colonel operated a roadside restaurant and motel from 1940 to 1956. Back in the day, passers-by liked to check out a room before checking their family in for the night, so Sanders set up a model motel room right in the middle of his cafe. You’ll see this, a rebuild of the kitchen where Sanders developed his secret fried chicken formula, and loads of Kentucky Fried ephemera in the glass display cases encircling the old-fashioned dining room. In the attached KFC, it’s business as usual, with folks lining up for super-sized buckets of chicken, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. However you feel about fast food, it’s neat to see where it all began and a welcome diversion on an otherwise dull stretch of highway.
688 U.S. Highway 25 W., Corbin, KY; 606-528-2163.