Monday, August 9, 2010

See Kentucky.

If you're looking for a good late summer, early fall getaway, may I suggest Kentucky's bourbon country.

If you are a whiskey fan who would love to see where most American whiskey is made, but is married to or otherwise affiliated with one or more individuals who don't share that enthusiasm, this post is for you.

If you have to limit yourself to a couple of distillery tours, Maker's Mark and Woodford Reserve are good choices. Both are attractive facilities in attractive locations, very visitor-friendly, but they also let you see all steps in the process, "from corn to cork."

The Woodford distillery is near Lexington, Kentucky, which is horse country. Many horse farms welcome visitors and there are other horse-related attractions in the area.

Bardstown, Kentucky, is a very quaint town with excellent bed-and-breakfast lodging. The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is there as well as the Heaven Hill Visitors Center, which is a whiskey museum in its own right. You can forgo the tour at Heaven Hill and just do the Visitors Center, but do participate in the tasting. You can taste at Maker's and Woodford too.

Depending on the season and how outdoorsy you are there are some fine opportunities for hiking in the Bardstown area. One is Bernheim Forest, a gift to the people from a distiller (I. W. Bernheim, who created I. W. Harper Bourbon), that happens to be right across the road from the Jim Beam Distillery.

Also depending on the season, just driving around the countryside can be very enjoyable, especially in the horse country near Woodford. (Be forewarned that the 2010 World Equestrian Games are in Lexington and will monopolize most of the area's tourism infrastructure for the entire month of October.)

If your lodging and dining tastes are more urban, Louisville is a good place to base your visit. You can easily daytrip from there to any of the distilleries or other major attractions and Louisville has its own attractions, from the Louisville Slugger Museum to the Kentucky Kingdom theme park.

The area has many historical attractions related to Abraham Lincoln, who was born there, and to the period of the late-18th, early-19th centuries when Kentucky was part of America's western frontier.

Kentucky has put a lot of emphasis on whiskey tourism lately but if your party is mixed there is plenty for the non-whiskey members to enjoy too.

1 comment:

Doctor Tarr said...

Kentucky Kingdom has closed, but there are plenty of other things to do in Louisville.