Bourbon Trail, Kentucky
The bluegrass byways winding through bourbon country make for a great road trip. These lanes, including 31E, 52, 127, 60, among others, connect Louisville, Bardstown, and Frankfort in a large triangle, taking in numerous distilleries offering free tours and tastings and revealing pockets of rich southern history. A drive along the Bourbon Trail provides glimpses of white-water rapids and grazing Thoroughbreds—both great for riding—and even whiffs of mint growing wild along the roadsides, lending the landscape the aroma of a perfect julep. City RV rentals suggests starting your road trip in Louisville where the Ohio River beckons. Louisville Louisville is the gateway to the Bourbon Trail, connecting the stillhouses of the surrounding bluegrass, Louisville has a surplus of top-shelf bars and restaurants pouring the state’s finest, any way you like it. Bourbon is what Kentucky does best, and to prove it, there’s an Urban Bourbon Trail through Louisville that takes to you nine of the city’s celebrated bars. Unlike other trendy meatpacking neighborhoods, meat is still very much being packed in the Butchertown section of Louisville. A quick trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is also a must before your trip continues. Guests now have the opportunity to see bats being made seven days a week. Bat making demonstrations will take place in the factory when full production is not scheduled. Visitors normally allow 2 hours for the entire museum and factory experience. Everyone receives a miniature souvenir bat at the end of the tour!
(Louisville, photo courtesy of a2ua.com)
Knob Creek, heart of Bourbon Country The heart of bourbon country lies about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Louisville, where Knob Creek winds through low, cave-pocked hills to join the Rolling Fork River. At this site in 1780, Waddie Boone, a relative to Daniel, established a small distillery, one of the first in Kentucky. Three decades later, in 1811, a farmer named Thomas Lincoln moved into a farm on Knob Creek, not far from the distillery, along with his wife, daughter, and young son, Abraham. That cabin formed some of the earliest lasting memories for our nation's 16th President. Today Knob Creek is better known as the name of one of several boutique bourbons produced along the route that have gained popularity over the past decade. Many aficionados of America's native drink have turned away from mass-produced brands to hand-crafted spirits that better capture the authentic flavor of the place.
(Knob Creek whiskey, photo courtesy of knobcreek.com)
Bardstown Your spirit will come alive when you experience My Old Kentucky Home and The Stephen Foster Story. See first-hand how bourbon is made when you enjoy a distillery tour or take a trip back in time with an excursion on one of our vintage trains. Educate your spirit at museums dedicated to the Civil War, railroads and bourbon. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is just one of the more than 35 annual events that draw people from around the globe to sample the spirits, sounds and flavors that are quintessentially Bardstown. The area boasts restaurants to suit just about every mood, from a burger to go to an old-time drug store soda fountain to local, family-owned restaurants to fine dining in historic surroundings.
(Downtown Bardstown, photo courtesy of travelsouthusa.com)
Georgetown In Georgetown, 19 miles east of Frankfort, you'll find historic homes and inns like Blackridge Hall. At the center of town, a spring emerges from a cave to form the municipal water supply. Baptist minister Elijah Craig built a classical school here in 1787 and began making whiskey two years later. According to local tradition, a fire damaged his stock of white oak barrels, but when he saw they were merely charred, he used them to store a fresh batch of corn squeezings. The charcoal worked wonders on the aging process of his whiskey, and bourbon was born—to the delight of generations that followed. Uncover the religious origins of the Cardome Centre and St. Francis de Sales Mission. Everywhere you look, you’ll find Southern architecture, antiques and museum artifacts. Each location weaves a tale of history, mystery or cultural uniqueness. Treasures for the entire family; treasures you will find nowhere else.
(Downtown Georgetown, photo courtesy of georgetownky.gov)
Elkhorn Creek Except for tasting the bourbon itself, there is no better way to enjoy the water it's made from than by white-water rafting on Elkhorn Creek. Nearby is the Buffalo Trace Distillery, where visitors can tour aromatic wooden warehouses packed with whiskey barrels.
(Elkhorn Creek Falls, photo courtesy of carolmattinglyphotography.blogspot.com)