There is currently a cultural resurgence happening in and around Louisville, Kentucky, leading many travel experts, including those of National Geographic Traveler, to include it on their list of must-see cities. Although the city is historically known for horse racing, most of the recent hype has more to do with the booming bourbon business rather than thoroughbreds. So if you’re in the mood to trade your Washington red wine for an Old Fashioned or Mint Julep, here’s where to go and what to see:
Urban Bourbon Trail A self-guided tour of bourbon heritage for travelers who print out a passport or use an app to visit both historic and contemporary bourbon powerhouse bars and restaurants in downtown Louisville. Those who visit at least six venues (there are over two dozen options), receive a special badge of honor. For more information, visit bourboncountry.com/things-to-do/urban-bourbon-trail/index.aspx.
Whiskey Row A section of Louisville’s downtown Main Street is designated as Whiskey Row, named for the birth of the bourbon industry. Complete with cast-iron storefronts, this historic district has some of the best watering holes and stories in town. You can read tales about the storied street here: louisville.com/tags/whiskey-row.
Bourbon Trail Tours If you want to go straight to the source, book a tour of distilleries and allow someone else to chauffeur you from location to location. You can hit all the legendary brands, such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Woodford Reserve, or opt for the craft bourbon tour. For more information, visit bourbontrailtours.com.