Welcome to Berea where the mountains of Eastern Kentucky meet the horse farms and bourbon distilleries of the Bluegrass! Most often recognized for being Kentucky’s Folk Arts and Crafts Capital, Berea sits on the southern tip of Madison County, Kentucky, right along I-75 in the heart of the Bluegrass Region. Berea is one of two cities in Madison County, Kentucky’s ninth-largest county with over 90,000 residents. Since 2000 it has been one of the fastest-growing cities in Kentucky, having increased its population by 27.4%. The City is best known for hosting art festivals, having historic restaurants and buildings, working studio artist, and as the home of Berea College, and its 1,600 students. In return for working 10 hours a week at an on-campus job, every student at Berea College receives a tuition-free education.
In addition to Berea College, Madison County is also home to Kentucky’s 4th largest university, Eastern Kentucky University. A state university 15 minutes outside of Berea, EKU, is home to over 16,000 students and a highly renowned school of criminal justice. Madison County is home to the “Pinnacles of Indian Fort” a mountain range that was sacred to the prehistoric people who settled Berea after the last ice age, and the Battle of Richmond Civil War museum. Berea sits beside the trail Daniel Boone blazed on his way to Fort Boonesborough in 1775.
Berea’s central location is one reason why our economy boasts over 3,500 manufacturing jobs. Located just thirty minutes south of Lexington on I-75, at the center of a triangle formed by the cities of Chicago, Atlanta and New York. With housing cost 30% less than national averages residents can enjoy all the amenities of larger cities with the comfort that comes from small town living. The combination of our location and quick drive times allow residents to be in cities like Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Louisville within two hours, and at international airports in Indianapolis and Nashville within 3 ½ hours.
Our location along I-75 also creates a wonderful opportunity for targeting the most qualified workforce necessary. The Bluegrass Region provides access to a labor market of over 745,000 adults, and each year colleges and universities within a one-hour drive produce over 12,000 graduates. Meanwhile, our local school systems have embraced our “Work Ready Certification” to ensure that the future workforce is prepared to take advantage of the job opportunities available to them. Today our schools are providing the next generation of adults with an educational curriculum that includes business management, computer-aided drafting, machine tool technology, and health sciences.
Berea is a truly wonderful place to call home. In addition to watching sunrises and sunsets from the top of the Pinnacles, residents can enjoy kayaking on Owsley Fork, cycling along the Transamerican Bike Trail, catch a movie and shop at the Richmond Centre, view a performance at the EKU Center for Arts, or golf at any of the six golf courses within the county. For more regional experiences you can enjoy horse racing at Keeneland, attend a University of Kentucky basketball game at Rupp Arena, boat along Lake Cumberland, drive the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, or hike, boat or camp at over 30 different state parks.