Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon

  • Start: Louisville, Kentucky
  • End: Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Last Modified: 2014-08-18 14:13:18
  • Total Mileage: 185 Miles
  • Number of stops: 33


Ah, Kentucky. Home of so many American classics—Bluegrass Country and bourbon among them. Here you’ll also find the birthplaces of both Abraham Lincoln and his wife, of a legendary baseball bat, and of a boxing legend. A journey through this state is truly as iconic as it is idyllic.

It all starts in Louisville, home of Churchill Downs and birthplace of two famous American sluggers of very different types. From here you'll travel south through Elizabethtown to Bardstown, the so-called Bourbon Capital of the World, and the place where songwriter Stephen Foster—famous for such classics as “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” and “Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair”—was inspired to write the state song, “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Next, it’s up to Lexington, home of more than one stately racecourse, and over to Frankfort, home of the state capital. Along the way are stops at the birthplaces of both Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd as well as at several of the historic distilleries that are part of the Bourbon Trail. And all this history and refined tradition unfold amid rolling blue-green pastures—corralled by wooden fences and dotted with grazing thoroughbreds. Nothing captures this aspect of Bluegrass Country quite like a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park.

Worth Noting: Bardstown bills itself as the Bourbon Capital of the World for good reason. In addition to being home to several distilleries and the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, it’s one of the “trailheads” for the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and it hosts the weeklong Kentucky Bourbon Festival, held late each September.

Travel Tips: This trip covers many, though not all, of the distilleries on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail ( For more information and maps (including a bike route), check out its website or, better yet, stop by the Louisville Visitors Center (301 S. 4th St., 888/568-4784, for a trail passport and a special gift. Also note that although this trip is 185 miles point to point, if you close the loop by starting and ending in Louisville, it's a total of 240 miles.

Stop #1:

Kentucky Derby Museum
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #2:

Churchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #3:

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #4:

Muhammad Ali Center
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #5:

The Brown Hotel
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #6:

Stevie Ray's Blues Bar
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #7:

Dish on Market
Louisville, Kentucky

Stop #8:

Jim Beam American Stillhouse
Clermont, Kentucky

Stop #9:

Swope's Cars of Yesteryear Museum
Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Stop #10:

Back Home Restaurant
Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Stop #11:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park
Hodgenville, Kentucky

Stop #12:

Lincoln Museum
Hodgenville, Kentucky

Stop #13:

My Old Kentucky Home State Park
Bardstown, Kentucky

Stop #14:

Heaven Hill Brands
Bardstown, Kentucky

Stop #15:

Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
Bardstown, Kentucky

Stop #16:

Jailer's Inn Bed & Breakfast
Bardstown, Kentucky

Stop #17:

My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Bardstown, Kentucky

Stop #18:

Wild Turkey Distillery
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Stop #19:

Three Chimneys Farm
Versailles, Kentucky

Stop #20:

Woodford Reserve
Versailles, Kentucky

Stop #21:

Kentucky Horse Park and Training Grounds
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #22:

International Museum of the Horse
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #23:

American Saddlebred Museum
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #24:

The Red Mile Racetrack
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #25:

Keeneland Racetrack
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #26:

Mary Todd Lincoln House
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #27:

Eighth Pole Inn
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #28:

Cheapside Bar & Grill
Lexington, Kentucky

Stop #29:

Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History
Frankfort, Kentucky

Stop #30:

Kentucky Military History Museum
Frankfort, Kentucky

Stop #31:

Old State Capitol
Frankfort, Kentucky

Stop #32:

Liberty Hall
Frankfort, Kentucky

Stop #33:

Buffalo Trace Distillery
Frankfort, Kentucky

Vote for

You can only vote once for each town every 24 hours. You can vote again in

Vote for 2013 Best Small Town


Are you a DMO or CVB?
Explore "Best Town Travels" – Rand McNally’s new map-based digital travel guides for your website plus an iPhone and Facebook app! Learn More


Thank you for Voting!

Promote , by sharing your vote or writing a review.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter or Write a Review