Fewer crowds. Better deals. All the bourbon.
Midweek travel has everything you want, nothing to miss.
Don’t wait for the weekend! Escape routine now to enjoy Kentucky’s authentic bourbon road trip to Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown during the week. Here are just a few of the fun things you’ll find to see and do along the way.
Located in Northern Kentucky at the edge of Bourbon Country on the Ohio River, Covington offers a mix of venues from boutique distilleries to historic neighborhoods, waterfront dining to nature trails, and so much more.
If bourbon is your focus, don’t miss The B-Line, a tour celebrating local bourbon culture at unique distilleries, bars, and restaurants. Distillery tours and tastings frequently sell out on weekends, so weekday reservations offer the best odds of getting inside Boone County Distilling Co., Neeley Family Distillery, The Old Pogue Distillery, New Riff Distilling, and Second Sight Spirits. Be sure to visit Revival for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to taste and purchase rare vintage bourbons and other spirits—with fewer folks around, it mimics a private tasting.
Keep your taste buds and legs busy on a two-hour, pedal-powered, rolling adventure with Pedal Wagon Covington, which stops at select local establishments (including several on The B-Line). Up to nine passengers share the pedaling effort; if you’re traveling with a group, reserve an entire Pedal Wagon for a private cruise. Or put your arms instead of your legs to work at Flying Axes where you can sip beer and throw axes inside a private throwing lane.
Find flavor and fun at Newport on the Levee, home to several local shops and eateries with waterfront views as well as venues for good times including Second Sight Spirits at the new BridgeView Box Park. Navigate a rope bridge suspended inches above a shark-filled tank at Newport Aquarium. Play bocce, billiards, foosball, life-size checkers, bowling and more at Rotolo Bowling.
From delightful to surprising, discover the unique arts, heritage, and culture of Northern Kentucky and the Ohio Valley at the Behringer Crawford Museum. Meet the area’s most adorable adoptees at Purrfect Day Café, the new cat café where you can sip coffee or a cocktail while cozying up to a friendly feline.
Kentucky’s capital city sits on the shores of the Kentucky River between Covington and Bardstown and also midway between Lexington and Louisville. Frankfort is home to more than 30 attractions within a ten-mile radius of its walkable historic downtown, including distilleries, museums, outdoor adventures, drinking and dining establishments, and much more.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at distilling while downtown at Buffalo Trace, the nation’s longest-running and most award-winning distillery. A short drive away, Three Boys Farm Distillery is a craft producer on a 122-acre farm. Castle & Key Distillery holds more than a century of distilling history. Glenns Creek Distilling crafts new spirits in the former Old Crow Distillery. Drive a bit farther to reach Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve. Whichever distilleries you choose to visit, tour availability is generally greater during the week.
Enjoy the nation’s only boat-based bourbon tour with Kentucky River Tours. Delve into Frankfort’s past with the new bourbon and history walking tour. Walk among art at Josephine Sculpture Park, Kentucky’s only outdoor sculpture park, or downtown on the Historic Frankfort Walking Tour, a self-guided showcase of 40 distinctive works. Hike or bike nature trails in the 240-acre Cove Spring Park.
Dig into local flavor at eateries in the walkable, historic downtown including Bourbon On Main, where burgers are a perennial favorite; Main Street Diner, a family-owned 1950s-style eatery; B’s Bakery, known for from-scratch pastries and quiches; and Serafini, where local ingredients shine across the eclectic menu of dishes from lasagna to fried catfish. Tap into craft beer at Sig Luscher Brewery, a heritage brewery originally founded in 1866, or West Sixth Farm Brewery, where beers are made on site using hops and fruit grown on the property. At Cooperage Bar, pair a tasty sip with a game of pool or shuffleboard.
Bourbon traditions run deep in Bardstown, the state’s second-oldest city. The volume of bourbon made, aged, and shipped out of Bardstown is unrivaled: More than a third of the world’s aging bourbon—2.8 million barrels—is resting in Nelson County right now!
A total of 11 distillery experiences are within 16 miles of downtown Bardstown: Bardstown Bourbon Company, the first-of-its-kind Napa Valley-style campus with upscale experiences; Barton 1792, the city’s oldest fully-operating distillery; Heaven Hill, the nation’s largest family-owned spirits producer; Lux Row, one of the nation’s top independent alcohol beverage producers; Willett, an independent, family-owned producer; Log Still, one of Kentucky’s newest distilleries; Preservation, the region’s first and only 100-percent pot-distilled producer; Old Samuels, a brand first launched in 1844 that’s now offering historic tours; Jim Beam, the world’s No. 1 selling bourbon brand; Limestone Branch, run by 7th-generation Beam family members; and Maker’s Mark, the small batch bourbon readily identified by its iconic red-waxed bottle necks. Distillery tours and tastings routinely sell out on weekends, so come on a weekday for your best chance at getting inside.
During the week you can more readily get a seat at the bar at Old Talbott Tavern to sip among over 240 years of history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Talbott Tavern on Court Square in historic downtown Bardstown has provided shelter, food, and drink to visitors since it opened in 1779!
Head to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History at Spalding Hall to dig into the history of American whiskey from pre-colonial days through the 1960s. Among the items on display see Abraham Lincoln’s liquor license, unique advertising posters, prescriptions used to purchase bourbon and other spirits during Prohibition, moonshine stills, novelty whiskey containers, rare antiques, and more.
Connect with nature at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Explore more than 40 miles of trails, including a four-mile Bike Hike Trail that follows Long Lick Creek and is just 10 minutes from downtown Bardstown that’s handicap accessible and dog-friendly.
Walk historic downtown Bardstown, “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America,” where most of the shops, bars, and restaurants are open, many with outdoor displays or seating. Retailers offer a wide range of goods, from art to clothing, housewares to jewelry, bourbon-branded merchandise to tasty ingredients for cooking and cocktails. There’s much to adore!
Plan Your Escape…
Whether you prefer an upscale hotel, casual rental property, or campground, you’ll find great places to stay when you Come Find Bourbon as well as abundant places to eat and drink local flavor. Why not linger longer? Work from Bourbon Country!