top of page

Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Sanders and a road trip!

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

KFC, which stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken, is a popular fast-food chain known for its fried chicken. There is a lot of history here, and a few different cities to visit in Kentucky to fulfill everything Kentucky Fried Chicken. We will be visiting Louisville, Shelbyville, Nicholasville and Corbin Kentucky. Learn a little bit about KFC history, Colonel Sanders and neat places to visit. Everyone needs a road trip to Kentucky.

Original building where the gas station was in Nicholasville Ky
Original Building in Nicholasville KY where the gas station was

Harland Sanders was born in 1890 in Henryville Indiana, just across the river from Louisville KY. He held a variety of jobs when he was younger including being a gas pump attendant in Nicholasville KY at a Standard Oil Station. When it went out of business in Nicholasville KY due to the depression. He was then offered a Shell Oil Gas Station in Corbin KY, and that's where this empire begins,

Founding and Early Years: Corbin Kentucky

  • In 1930, Harland Sanders, who was known for his cooking skills, opened a small restaurant called Sanders Court & Café in Corbin, Kentucky. It primarily served travelers on the road.

  • Sanders' unique blend of 11 herbs and spices became popular, and he perfected his secret recipe over the years.

  • In 1952, Sanders franchised his concept, and Kentucky Fried Chicken was born.

One historical site associated with Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC, is the Harland Sanders Café and Museum located in Corbin, Kentucky. This site holds significance as it was the original restaurant where Sanders developed his famous fried chicken recipe and started his business.

The Harland Sanders Café and Museum is housed in a restored 1940s-style gas station and diner. Visitors can explore the museum, which showcases memorabilia, photographs, and artifacts related to Colonel Sanders and the history of KFC. The museum provides insights into Sanders' entrepreneurial journey and the evolution of KFC as a global brand.

In addition to the museum, visitors can also dine at the café and enjoy a meal featuring the original recipe fried chicken. It offers a nostalgic experience, allowing visitors to savor the flavors that made Colonel Sanders and KFC famous.

The Harland Sanders Café and Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the origins of KFC and appreciate the legacy of Colonel Sanders. It serves as a tribute to his culinary contributions and the enduring success of the KFC brand.

This is a great place to visit, whether you are just needing an interstate break to stretch your legs or visit the city for a while. It's not far off of interstate 85.

Expansion and Success:

  • With the help of franchisees, KFC expanded rapidly throughout the United States and eventually internationally.

  • The company introduced its iconic "bucket" packaging in the 1960s, which further contributed to its brand recognition.

  • KFC implemented a distinctive marketing campaign featuring the character Colonel Harland Sanders, portrayed by various actors, which became an integral part of the brand's identity.

Acquisition and Global Presence:

  • In 1964, KFC was acquired by a group of investors, led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey.

  • The first KFC to open after acquisition was in Salt Lake City Utah

  • Under their leadership, KFC continued to expand globally, entering new markets and adapting its menu to suit local tastes.

  • Today, KFC is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world, with thousands of restaurants operating in more than 145 countries.

  • Disappointed after the KFC acquisition Colonel Sanders and his wife Claudia started a new restaurant in Shelbyville Kentucky. Called the Claudia Sanders Dinner House,

Claudia Sanders Dinner House is a historic restaurant located in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Here's some history and information about this iconic dining establishment. Claudia Sanders Dinner House was founded in 1968 by Claudia Sanders, the wife of Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). After the sale of KFC, Claudia and Colonel Sanders pursued their dream of opening a restaurant together. The restaurant is housed in a charming and historic building that dates back to the 18th century. Originally a stagecoach stop known as "The Tavern," the building has been lovingly restored to retain its old-world charm and character. The restaurant is attached to the house that they lived in.

Statue in Museum at Corbin KY
Statue at Museum in Corbin KY

Claudia Sanders Dinner House is known for its warm and welcoming Southern hospitality. The menu features classic Southern dishes made from scratch, including fried chicken, country ham, catfish, and homemade desserts. The recipes are inspired by Claudia Sanders' own family favorites. Claudia Sanders Dinner House proudly serves Colonel Sanders' original recipe fried chicken, which showcases the same delicious taste and crispy texture that made KFC famous. The restaurant also offers other signature dishes, such as the Kentucky Hot Brown and the Southern Fried Catfish. Claudia Sanders Dinner House remains a family-owned and operated restaurant, with a commitment to providing quality food and exceptional service. The restaurant has become a beloved gathering place for locals and visitors alike, known for its warm and inviting atmosphere. In 1999 there was a fire that destroyed the restaurant, but it was such a well-loved place they rebuilt and reopened.

As you dine at Claudia Sanders Dinner House, you'll be surrounded by fascinating memorabilia and photographs that tell the story of Colonel Sanders' and Claudia Sanders' lives. This adds to the overall ambiance and provides a glimpse into the rich history of the restaurant and its founders.

If you're looking for a taste of Kentucky's culinary heritage in a historic setting, Claudia Sanders Dinner House is definitely worth a visit. Experience the warm hospitality, savor delicious Southern cuisine, and immerse yourself in the history of this iconic restaurant.

The final resting place: Louisville Kentucky

Me a few years ago at Colonel Sanders Grave- Louisville KY
Me a few years ago at Colonel Sanders Grave- Louisville KY
  • Colonel Sanders' final resting place.

  • Located in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. (Muhammed Ali is also buried there)

  • Visitors can pay their respects to the founder of KFC at his graveside.

  • His wife Claudia is buried beside him, she died in 1996.

Random Fact. After death he laid in state in Frankfort Kentucky, in the rotunda of the capitol building. Then he was taken to Louisville and people could pay their respects at the KFC headquarters, as he remained there for a week, for memorial.

You can visit the grave side like I did, and you will notice I am not the only one who had this idea. Look at my picture, people have laid chicken legs down on the grave. See the grease stain. It is a beautiful graveyard with lots of cool statues and monuments.

Check out the statue of Colonel Sanders at KFC Headquarters in Louisville Kentucky. And of course, YUM! Stadium in Louisville is named after KFC.

I hope you have enjoyed this little trip through Kentucky. And that you learned a little about Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken. So now all you have to do is take a road trip and take pictures with every statue of the Colonel that you can find!

Cruise Critic
Crystal Travel


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page