Like any right-thinking person, you’ve made the decision to visit Bardstown, Kentucky, the Bourbon Capital of the World and winner of the title “most beautiful small town in America.”
Obviously, a tour Lux Row Distillers is at the top of your list. But where do you go from there?
Here are five things you need to know before bopping into Bardstown.
Bardstown is home to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, with more than a dozen distilleries (and counting). For even the stoutest bourbon pilgrim, that’s a lot of ground to cover. Spread out your distillery tours over a few days so you can savor each and every one.
Bourbon is unquestionably the main event of any Bardstown jaunt, but the area has plenty of amusements to fill the gaps between sips. Consider Louisville’s Museum Row, where one ticket gets you entry to six places, including the baseball-themed Louisville Slugger Museum and a museum dedicated to Muhammad Ali.
Stay in Louisville
Bardstown has cute B&Bs and charming boutique hotels, such as the Talbott Inn in the center of town. But you’ll want to stay at least a night or two in Louisville, which gives you access to restaurants, museums, and nightlife that Bardstown does not. The hipster 21c Museum Hotel is currently buzzy, while the Seelbach Hilton offers historical ambience at an affordable price.
Go for the Hot Brown
Louisville is known the world over for two signature culinary items: the “hot brown,” an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and Mornay sauce, and the mint julep, the refreshing bourbon cocktail and Kentucky Derby trademark. Get classic versions of both at the legendary Brown Hotel Lobby Bar, rife with history and Southern hospitality.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Take some time to drink in the Kentucky countryside. Just outside Louisville lies Tom Sawyer State Park, with hiking trails and picnic tables, and the Yew Dell Gardens, a botanical garden center of historical significance. If you’re in downtown Louisville, hoof it over to the Big Four Bridge (shown above), a 2-mile pedestrian walkway across the Ohio River that lets you step into the state of Indiana. That surely merits a toast.