Colonel Sanders is a worldwide icon because of his fried chicken, and the Louisville, Kentucky area has three attractions related to him. I love Colonel Sanders Original Recipe of fried chicken, so I just had to visit three certain attractions when I was in Louisville, Kentucky. My three Colonel Sanders attractions in the Louisville area include one gravesite, one figurine to pose with, and one restaurant that he and his wife Claudia opened after selling Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Visiting Colonel Sanders Gravesite
To honor this great man of fried chicken, make a visit to his grave which is located at Cave Hill Cemetery. Besides Colonel Sanders, you can see other notable graves in this close to 300 acre resting spot for many of the dearly departed of Louisville, Kentucky like Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., the founder of the Kentucky Derby. More than 200 Confederate soldiers are buried here, too. Cave Hill is also a botanical garden full of Mother Nature’s trees, flowers, and much more greenery. The cemetery’s website is quite informative, and people can even find the location of specific graves via the online Burial Database. Colonel Sanders’ grave is in Section 33 and Lot Number 57, and he was buried on December 20, 1980. His wife Claudia also lies there. Short biographies of famous people buried there are listed online, too. Cave Hill Cemetery offers walking and driving tours throughout the year. Check the website below in the “Resources” box for details. This cemetery was one of the first such attractions in the nation to implement nature-themes to honor the dead back in the mid-1800’s.
Cave Hill Cemetery: 701 Baxter Ave., Louisville, Kentucky 40204. 502-451-5630. Free entry for the living.
Pose With Colonel Sanders
A life-sized figurine of Colonel Sanders holding a bucket of his famous chicken as well as some Kentucky Fried Chicken exhibits can be found at the Louisville Visitors Center, which is in the downtown area. This Kentucky venue offers information about many of the city’s attractions. Have your cameras handy, because the center allows visitors the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the figurine for free, just as I did (Associated Content’s guidelines say I’m not supposed to submit author portraits, so I won’t show my pose with Colonel Sanders). You can also buy Louisville-themed souvenirs here, too.
Colonel Sanders figurine at the Louisville Visitors Center: 301 S. 4th St., Louisville, Kentucky 40202. 800-626-5646. Free Admission.
Non-Fast Food Style “Kentucky-Fried” Chicken
The old saying goes, “Behind every successful man is a woman. This couldn’t be more true for one Colonel Harland Sanders, whose wife Claudia helped him in making Kentucky Fried Chicken a worldwide success. When Sanders sold his brand in 1964, he and his wife still wanted to share with the world their other recipes, so in 1968, they opened Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, Kentucky. It’s just a quick 30 minute drive from downtown Louisville. This restaurant is not connected to the KFC brand we know today.
Because Kentucky Fried Chicken is probably my favorite food of all time, and because I heard that Claudia Sanders’ chicken is similar in taste to the KFC kind, I just had to go get me some to see for myself how this attraction’s chicken would compare. The verdict: other than the fact that KFC chicken is a bit spicier, it tastes the same. Not only that, the mashed potatoes and cole slaw also tasted the same as KFC’s. But this is where the similarities to KFC basically end. This establishment offers up a whole lot of entrees for lunch and dinner that you won’t find in the fast food joint, and the atmosphere here is partaken of in a room of fanciful high ceilings and pleasant chatter (we dined next to a large group of Red Hat Society ladies who were having a jolly good time). Claudia Sanders is part of a great house whose grounds were once the headquarters of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The original building burned down in 1999, but was rebuilt by the owners. You’ll see pictures of Colonel Sanders and his wife when you enter the establishment.
The Sanders couple was there in spirit (for the Colonel died in 1980 and Claudia passed away in 1996). We received very friendly service, and the menu prices are very fair – actually more economical than the usual KFC rates for their food! Right off the bat, we received some sweet cornbread for an appetizer that was surprising tasty to me, given that I’m not a real fan of cornbread.
For lunch, the entrees range in price from $7.75-$8.95, and include such dishes as Homemade Baked Lasagna, Kentucky Country Ham ‘n’ Biscuits, and Claudia’s Original Country Ham Salad. The entrée sides include a choice of eight vegetables like Corn Pudding and Mock Oysters (which is eggplant-like). Their sandwich selection is vast, and features such goodies as pork chops, BLT’s, and baked fish nestled inside the bread with price ranges of $5.95-$7.75.
For dessert, homemade pies and cobblers reign for selections, and feature a custard-like Chess Pie and apple pie that comes with hot butter rum sauce. The sweet treats range in price from 95 cents to just $2.75. A kid’s menu contains a number of chicken and burger eating attractions.
Next door is a private residence that Colonel Sanders used to live in, but it’s not open to the public and while not one of the attractions for Colonel Sanders per say, you can take a picture of the exterior.
Claudia Sanders Dinner House: 3202 Shelbyville Rd., US 60, Shelbyville, Kentucky 40065. 502-633-5600. Prices and menu items are subject to change.
Note: Websites for Colonel Sanders Louisville, Kentucky area attractions are in the “Resources” box.
- Cave Hill Cemetery: www.cavehillcemetery.com