Kentucky’s Original KFC Museum: Should You Visit?

Corbin, Kentucky is a town of less than 10,000 people; but every small town has a large history. Corbin, Kentucky’s history claims a major part of United States restaurant history with the still-operating Original KFC Museum. (In actuality, it’s also called the Sanders Court & Cafe. Or, as the old-time sign says, merely Sanders Cafe.) Not only is this piece of history a unique view into U.S. restaurant past, but it’s also a view into restaurant present with a fully operational Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Brush up on history while filling my stomach with fast food? Count me in! Should you count yourself in as well? Read on and find out!

Original KFC Museum – Seven People Who Should Visit

KFC Sanders Cafe

By my count, approximately seven groups of people may be interested in visiting this particular restaurant and museum. Are you one of them? I was five of them!

  1. World Chicken Festival Attendees – It happens once per year, but the World Chicken Festival is an amazingly fun festival with a full day (or two…or more!) of entertainment! Parades, rides, contests, bands, and some famous chicken fried in the world’s largest frying pan are among the activities and novelties that await you! And a short drive on I-75 South will earn you some more fun at this great museum! Keep the good chicken times rolling with this short trip. You’re in the area. You might as well do it.
  2. Kentucky Fried Chicken Fans – There are over 21,500 KFC restaurants in over 130 countries worldwide generating over $3.1 billion in revenue. Are there some fans of this chicken out there or what? If you’re a megafan, you may want to make the journey to the place that started it all! You’ll be treated to one of the most unique restaurants in the KFC system with amazing history. Just don’t expect any special menu items; they all seem very standard.
  3. American History Buffs – Speaking of history, American history buffs will revel in the artifacts, unknown stories, and recreations of Colonel Harland Sanders’ pursuit of the American Dream. KFC has created several display cases and cultural recreations of the business’ past. You’ll feel like you’re in a blend of the current KFC and the Original KFC Museum (because it is a blend). It’s a delightful juxtaposition, and you can study the history easily in less than half an hour if you have time constraints.
  4. Entrepreneurs – Will business inspiration strike you during your visit? It might! Colonel Harland Sanders was a model entrepreneur, creating a restaurant and hotel, running for political office, and constantly trying. I left my visit surprised about the backstory of how innovative he was and how many different tactics he tried to become a successful businessman. He was inspirational for me as I continue to build my blog, life, and other endeavors. Visit and leave rejuvenated about your personal endeavors like me!
  5. Hungry People – Are you hungry? Corbin, Kentucky has approximately 60 restaurants including a large number of fast food and chains. If you’re going to eat, you could do much worse than partnering your meal with some rich history. That’s an unusual combination for an eatery, and you should take advantage of that opportunity!
  6. Cumberland Falls State Park Visitors – Approximately 20 miles away, Corbin, Kentucky is the largest town nearby with 7,000 people (or 21,000 if including the Corbin-North Corbin city cluster). If you’re not staying in the park, Corbin is one of the best nearby options. Plus, you get to visit two major area landmarks!
  7. I-75 Road Trippers – Are you taking a road trip up or down I-75? It’s not the Overseas Highway, Route 66, or the Pacific Coast Highway; but I-75 is known as a Canada border-to-Southern Florida mid-American road trip. And the Original KFC Museum is a perfect slice of Americana. AmeriCANya visit? (See what I did there?! I do jokes!) You sure can! And you should! Make this one of your roadside America hot stops and refuel with some history with a side of fried chicken.


Original KFC Museum Display

I mentioned that I was a member of five of those specific groups. Truth be told, I attended the World Chicken Festival and was already in the area. In addition to that, I was slightly hungry as my visit occurred around lunch. As an entrepreneur and American history buff, the Original KFC Museum was a draw. And finally, I was also visiting Cumberland Falls State Park later in the day. (And, naturally, I was a travel blogger with a natural cultural curiosity if you’re searching for a sixth group!)

Have you visited the Original KFC Museum, and were you one of the representative groupings? Comment below, and let me hear your thoughts on the landmark! Until next time, toodles!

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