Kentucky Bourbon Trail – Road.Travel

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Road Trip Route. Visit Kentucky, the birthplace of Bourbon, See the famous distilleries, Learn the history and methods of making Bourbon, Taste different types of Bourbon, Enjoy the natural beauty.

This trip will bring a lot of new experiences and knowledge, both for those who have long been familiar with the history of American Bourbon, and for those who just startis the exploration. You will see many different industries and methods of preparing the drink, visit several museums that will impress even most refined travelers. Before the trip, check whether all the distilleries are open and pre-book the excursions, since the guided tours may be already fully booked upon your arrival at the site. Be careful on the road, the turns to the distilleries can be easily missed.

History and Culture. From: Louisville

Anastasia Omelchuk. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: The Nature Exploration

Enjoy your study visit to a new place today, go for a walk in the picturesque park and have dinner at a local restaurant.

Belvedere/Riverfront Plaza

Explore the city or just plunge into its atmosphere, if you have already been there. A great place for this is the Ohio River embankment.


Have dinner at the restaurant, which serves dishes from fresh ingredients collected from farms no more than 100 km away from the city.

Day 2: Whiskey Exploration

The day starts with a trip to the first distillery with a mighty bull on the label, the second place is related to the well-known brand of whiskey and you also have an excursion there. Get ready!

Please & Thank You

One of the best places for breakfast in a city with a very friendly atmosphere, as the name suggests.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Over the past decade, Buffalo Trace has won more awards than any other distillery in the world, including the unrivaled seven distillery titles of the year. The plant is still owned by one American family and is located in Franklin County. The rich history of distillery includes legendary names, for example, one of them is Pappy Van Winkle. The alcohol factory covers an impressive area of over 130 acres and is home to four centuries of architecture and is still fully operational.

Jim Beam American Stillhouse

There is nothing like a visit to the factory of the world's largest bourbon brand, Jim Beam. A visit to Clermont, located about 20 minutes south of Louisville, will give you the opportunity to take a tour of the historic Jim Beam American Stillhouse. A visit to Jim Beam American Stillhouse offers many excursion options for those who book in advance. The number of options on site is limited. You can also have lunch here if you are hungry.

Louisville Mega Cavern

If you want to get underground and visit mysterious caves, you can do this even without leaving the city. Today, the former mine, where limestone was previously mined, has been turned into a place for outdoor activities, where you can take a tour on bicycles, or electric bikes and ride a bungee. It is better to buy tickets in advance on the official website, and specify the details by phone, which is also indicated on the website.

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse

Here you can taste the amazing fillet steak, Caesar salad and scallops. Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse offers a good caramel cheesecake, peanut butter pie or chocolate cake for dessert. Be sure to order a good homemade wine, bourbon or martini here.

Day 3: Day Devoted to History

Today you visit two more interesting and colorful distilleries of alcoholic beverages, each of which has an interesting history and rich heritage.

Wild Eggs

Visit Wild Eggs to taste amazing pudding, tapas and hash brown. At this place, be sure to order fine cupcakes, thin pancakes and cinnamon rolls. Here you can try some good fresh juices or wonderful coffee.

Barton 1792 Distillery

Barton 1792 factory was founded in 1879 and is still the oldest fully operational alcohol production in Bardstown. The factory boasts 29 warehouses with barrel aging, 22 other buildings, including an impressive house and the legendary Tom Moore Spring. It is interesting: the year in the name indicates the time when Kentucky joined the United States. Barton 1792 offers three tours of the Distillery: the Barton Tradition Tour, the Bushel to Bottle Tour and the 1792 Estate Tour. You can visit the place from Monday to Saturday.

Old Talbott Tavern

Old Talbott Tavern offers fine fried green tomatoes, ribeye and grilled meat sandwich. Delicious bread pudding, cobbler and cookies are prepared here. The selection of wines is wide, and many visitors often order good iced tea, Americano or juice.

My Old Kentucky Home

Visit the popular historic My Old Kentucky Home State Park, which was the symbol of Stephen Foster's ballad. Do not miss the opportunity to take a stroll through Kentucky's main historic site, which features many antiques with more than two hundred years of history, including paintings and architecture.

Belvedere/Riverfront Plaza

The Belvedere is a small park west of Galt House and south of the main street. The main attraction of the park is two great statues, one of which is George Rogers Clark, the other is York, the slave of William Clark, who went on an expedition with Lewis and Clark. There's a beautiful fountain here, and a pavement tile depicts a map of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois.

Proof on Main

Visit Proof On Main to try a good grilled octopus, chicken liver pate and terrine. Order mouth-watering pecan pie, gelato and cupcakes for dessert here. Great bourbon, homemade wine or gin and tonic is also worth trying.

Day 4: Art Museum, Whiskey and Nature

This day is going be filled with interesting locations. At the beginning of the day you visit the art museum, then go on excursions to the distilleries, and spend the evening enjoying nature.

Toast on Market

Breakfast is the most important meal which should not be skipped, so go to this beautiful cafe. Here you can order a deliciously cooked potato casserole, hash brown and French toast. Regulars note that Toast On Market offers delicious lemon souffle, pancakes with blueberries and bread pudding. Caramel latte, hot chocolate or iced tea are also fine.

Speed Art Museum

The Speed Art Museum is the oldest and largest art collection in Kentucky. From its humble beginnings in 1925, the museum continued to expand its building and keep up its collection. Today you could learn a lot by visiting temporary and permanent expositions, among which there are works of ancient art and works by contemporary authors. On Sundays, the museum opens at noon.

Maker's Mark Distillery

Maker's Mark appeared because of the desire of one family to create a bourbon to enjoy and share with friends. Today, such an idea does not seem revolutionary, but in 1953 it changed the industry. The search for Bill Samuels, Sr., the founder of Maker's Mark, began with the unique copy of a family 170-year-old recipe. The taste of Maker's Mark was significantly different from similar drinks, so co-founder Margie Samuels wanted the bottle to match this unique taste and stand out on store shelves. The shape of the bottle, the label, the signature red wax instead of the cap, and even the name itself - Maker's Mark owes it all to Margie. There is also a restaurant where you can dine.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

One of Kentucky's oldest and smallest whiskey factories. Tce current Woodford Reserve factory is literally steeped in history. It is located on Kentucky's oldest distillation site, where Elijah Pepper began making whiskey in 1812. And after that, Master Distiller James Christopher Crow perfected his whiskey-making methods, which today have become common practice, including the implementation of sour mash into fermentation.

Bernheim Arboretum & Forest

The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a living heritage of the famous local twentieth-century philanthropist. Bought by the German immigrant Bernheim in 1929, the future park was presented to the inhabitants of his new homeland. Today, more than 270,000 visitors from the United States and from abroad visit Bernheim every year.

Martini Italian Bistro

The bar menu features Italian dishes. You should stop by Martini Italian Bistro to try delicious lasagna, veal and chicken in Marsala sauce. Here you can order fine ice cream, cheesecake and tiramisu for dessert. Fine martini, marsala or bourbon is a perfect complement to the dinner.

Day 5: Incredible Distillery Stories

You visit two rather interesting alcoholic productions today. Their stories will definitely impress you.

Quills Coffee

Another wonderful place for a tasty and hearty breakfast.

Four Roses Distillery

The history of the name of this production is saturated with romance. It all started when Paul Jones, Jr., the founder of Four Roses Bourbon, was struck by the charm of the southern beauty. It is said he sent her a proposal. She replied that if her answer were positive, she would wear a dress with 4 roses on a corsage to the upcoming great ball. That evening, at the great ball, when she arrived in her beautiful dress, she wore a corsage with red roses. Later, the founder named his Bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devoted passion for a beautiful girl, the passion that he later transferred to making his beloved Bourbon. Here you can not only buy great whiskey, but also have lunch.

Wild Turkey Distillery

The whiskey factory got its current name only in the second half of the twentieth century, after the merger of two local industries. The first whiskey factory on Wild Turkey Hill founded in 1850 was called Old Moore. And Austin Nichols, founded in 1855 and called Fitts, Martin & Clough, was a grocery store, which bought whiskey and wine on the open market, and bottled it under its own labels. In the seventies, the companies merged, and the brand has eventually evolved into its present form.

Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill is famous not only for its architecture, crafts and traditions, but also for its interesting history, closely connected with the religious community of Shakers. Over a 105-year period, Shakers have built more than 260 structures. Of these, 34 buildings have been preserved until the present day, most of which are located along the mile-long gravel highway. Explore impressive places and priceless artifacts. Then go to the farm to see animals, and to the reserve to be alone with the incredible nature.

Bonefish Grill

It's time for dinner, and you go to the restaurant. Delicious shrimp in coconut, glazed salmon and fish tacos are the highlights of the menu. The desserts are also great, take good brownies, coconut cake and chocolate custard for dessert. The restaurant's wine list is quite diverse.

Day 6: Slugger Manufacturing

Today is your final day on this beautiful journey, you visit another interesting place, namely the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

At the end of the nineteenth century, a small carpentry workshop was located on the site of this rather impressive slugger factory. It is believed that the basis of the current production has been laid by the son of the owner of the workshop, fan of amateur baseball who made bats for himself and his friends. Today you can observe the manufacturing process and see for yourself how a shapeless piece of wood becomes a sports device. Before visiting, be sure to pay attention to the working hours of the museum factory: it is open from 9:00 am to 17:00 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from noon to 17:00 pm on Sunday.