Road Trip: Come Find Bourbon is the must-take road trip for any bourbon fan—from new imbibers to connoisseurs. It links key communities in authentic Kentucky Bourbon Country! The drive route is flexible! Destinations are enjoyable any time of year! Stay a weekend or longer! Visit multiple distilleries or linger at a favorite one! Explore bourbon distilleries, bars, restaurants, retailers, tours, museums, and much more!
One-of-a-KindBourbonExperiences: Come Find Bourbon is rich with bucket list-worthy opportunities for bourbon tourists. From bourbon history to modern innovations, once-in-a-lifetime experiences to long-standing traditions, it’s all here.
Culinary Scene: Bourbon is just one sip of Come Find Bourbon’s taste story. Among the delicious options:
Menus at multiple restaurants in all three cities serve bourbon-infused and bourbon-inspired cuisine. Dozens upon dozens of delicious, award-winning dining destinations are open and ready to serve hungry visitors indoors and out.
Quintessential Kentucky dishes can be found on multiple menus in all three cities, including: The Hot Brown, spoonbread, Benedictine, burgoo, barbecue, Derby pie, and beer cheese.
Northern Kentucky’s MainStrasse Village, which is on the National Historic Register, has German influences that date back to its founding in the mid-1800s. While this heavily residential, cobblestoned neighborhood is known for street festivals, pub dining, and quirky retailers, an infusion of top culinary talent has elevated quaint MainStrasse to a go-to urban neighborhood for foodies and culinary explorers.
Northern Kentucky’s Newport on the Levee is the area’s newest dining and entertainment hotspot.
Northern Kentucky cuisine is a fusion of Germanic and Southern with a dash of bourbon and a craft beer. Savor regional delicacies like goetta (German breakfast sausage), tomato pie, potato cakes, transparent pie, and Cincinnati chili.
Nearly all of the million pounds of goetta produced in the Cincy region each year is consumed locally. Eat all you can get while visiting the area!
Northern Kentucky boasts more than 32 active breweries.
Frankfort’s Rebecca Ruth Candy is the birthplace of the iconic bourbon ball. The sweet delicacy was created by Ruth Hanly Booe in 1938; the candy store opened in 1919.
Frankfort’s Rick’s White Light Diner, a Cajun/Creole eatery, has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Sig Luscher Brewery was launched in 1866 when Sig Luscher came to Frankfort from Switzerland when the Civil War ended and took over the Capitol Brewing Company. He traded yeast with distillery tycoon E. H. Taylor, Jr., and brewed a crisp, light pilsner that by all accounts was a huge hit as far as the horses, railroads, and steamboats could carry it.
West Sixth Farm Brewery in Frankfort crafts beer on site using hops and fruit grown on the property.
Scout & Scholar Brewing Co., Bardstown’s first craft brewery restaurant, opened in 2020.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown offers several culinary tours with focused themes like biscuits (learn how to make the perfect Southern biscuit), mint juleps (learn the cocktail’s history while you sip one), apple cider (step inside a historic kitchen), and lemonade (enjoy a garden picnic).
Bardstown’s Kurtz Restaurant has been dishing up skillet-fried staples since 1937—and is rumored to serve the Bluegrass State’s best skillet-fried chicken!
Festivals: Fun events fill calendars in all three cities. Among the options:
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival, an annual event that’s been held in Bardstown since 1991, is one of the Commonwealth’s leading community festivals. It celebrates bourbon as well as the people and the community that have supported the industry for generations.
Bourbon on the Banks in historic downtown Frankfort each October features dozens of bourbons as well as local beer, wine, and food.
Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival takes place each October in Northern Kentucky. It pairs bourbon with all things Kentucky.
Oktoberfest Cincinnati occurs the second weekend in October and is the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich, Germany.
Kentucky Characters: From master distillers to illegal moonshiners, cigar rollers to artists, furniture makers to chefs and mixologists, candy makers to museum docents, Daniel Boone to George Clooney, the Come Find Bourbon communities have been and are home to a wide range of genuinely fascinating Kentuckians.
Unique Attractions: Distilleries are a key draw, but reasons to linger in the Come Find Bourbon communities abound. In Northern Kentucky, soar on Screaming Raptor Zip Lines at the Creation Museum, model the latest "un-fur" at Donna Salyers' Fabulous Furs (one of Oprah’s favorite things), walk across the Purple People Bridge, visit the World Peace Bell, and cruise on the Ohio River with BB Riverboats. In Frankfort, pedal singletrack trails at Capitol View Park (one of the state’s top mountain bike destinations), explore the Salato Wildlife Education Center (a 262-acre complex that doubles as headquarters for the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources), stroll the Frankfort Public Art Tour, and explore the Josephine Sculpture Park. In Bardstown, visit My Old Kentucky Home State Park, hike the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, explore the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, play golf, go fishing, and so much more!
Hooligans & Outlaws: Delve into bourbon history—with aspects both legitimate and shady, including the impact of Prohibition—at Bardstown’s Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, Frankfort’s Kentucky History Center and Capital City Museum, and the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville where an exhibit details how bourbon was shipped from Maysville into the rest of the country, a story that begins in 1784! Discover the modern gaming industry’s roots in Newport, the little river town across from downtown Cincinnati that once had a gambling reputation bigger than Vegas. Gangster wars raged on these streets, the Tommy Gun was invented here, and all the while the “King of the Bottleggers” George Remus was pulling strings behind the scenes. Prohibition and gangster history linger in Covington and Newport as new bars and restaurants take over former casinos and speakeasies. Covington’s Pike Street District housed bonded whiskey warehouses before Prohibition; now come find unique shops like Grainwell Market that designs and creates wood-centric products.
Archeology & Architecture: In Covington, see the church that bourbon built: The Cathedral of the Basilica is a one-of-a-kind, half-size replica of Notre Dame that features the world’s largest stained-glass window; dating back to 1901, it was literally built by the city’s whiskey producers. In Frankfort, peek at bourbon’s past at Buffalo Trace’s ‘Bourbon Pompeii’—unearthed fermenting vats that date back to 1883—during the distillery’s E. H. Taylor tour. More than 300 buildings in Bardstown are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Accommodations: From national brand-name hotels to independent campgrounds, all three cities offer overnight options to match any visitor’s preferred comfort level. Among the one-of-a-kind places to stay: Northern Kentucky’s Hotel Covington is an award-winning AAA Four Diamond option that ranks among the nation’s best hotels. Frankfort boasts a total of 35 houses and 30 apartments/condos offered via VRBO. Bardstown offers the historic Talbott Inn, the upscale Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast, and the unique Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast where visitors can sleep in a former cell.
Partnership: Rather than competing for visitors, three independent CVBs—meetNKY, Visit Frankfort, and Visit Bardstown—are teaming up to help bourbon explorers plan and complete an authentic bourbon-themed road trip.
Spirits: Bourbon isn’t the only spirit a visitor can come find in Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown. Distilleries also produce award-winning vodkas, gins, rums, and other delicious alcohols. Ghost stories abound, too—from rumors of Jesse James’ spirit lingering in Bardstown to Boone County Distilling’s “Made By Ghosts” boast to ghost tours offered at Buffalo Trace Distillery and so much more!