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Come Find Bourbon in Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown.

Pack a whole lot of bourbon-related fun into a three-night getaway! Loaded with authentic bourbon experiences, Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown are the best answers to the common question of where to stay when exploring Kentucky Bourbon Country.

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Day 1 or 3: Start or End Your Bourbon Adventure in Bardstown

Driving from points south or west? Make Bardstown your first stop. If your adventure began in Covington then Bardstown is your third overnight destination. Either way, visit Frankfort on Day 2.

 

Bourbon traditions run deep in Bardstown, a historic small town nestled in the rolling Kentucky hills. Named “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America” by Rand McNally and USA Today in 2012, Bardstown is the state’s second-oldest city yet boasts small town charm.

 

Our tagline “Bourbon comes from Bardstown” is no mere boast: the sheer volume of bourbon made, aged, and shipped out of Bardstown is unrivaled. Consider that 2.8 million barrels of bourbon are aging in Nelson County—that’s more than a third of the world’s aging bourbon!

 

As your bourbon headquarters, choose the grand Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast, the nation’s first bourbon-themed bed and breakfast, or the stylish Talbott Inn, located on the corner of Courthouse Square right downtown in a recently renovated historic building (circa 1913).

Suggested Itinerary

[Drive 1 hour from Frankfort]

Noon

Enjoy lunch at Old Talbott Tavern, one of the nation’s oldest bars, or Kurtz Restaurant, which has been open since 1937. Both restaurants are known for fried chicken, country ham, and indulgent desserts.

[Drive <5 minutes]

1:30 p.m.

Tour Barton 1792 Distillery, the oldest fully-operating distillery in Bardstown which was established in 1879. Boasting 29 barrel aging warehouses and 22 other buildings, a total of eight different bourbons are made here: Very Old Barton, 1792, Kentucky Tavern, Kentucky Gentleman, Col. Lee, Tom Moore, Ten High and Zachariah Harris. All complimentary tours are about an hour long and include a tasting.

or

Tour the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, which is getting a $20 million renovation but remains open for tours, tastings in the barrel-shaped tasting room, and gift shopping. The nation’s largest family-owned spirits producer makes Elijah Craig, Larceny, and Henry McKenna among other brands. Several different tours are available that range from 45 minutes to three hours. You can also browse the museum-quality displays at your own pace. For this three-day itinerary, we suggest selecting any tour that lasts up to an hour—plan on enjoying a longer experience on a future visit to Bardstown!

[Drive <10 minutes]

2:45 p.m.

Tour Preservation Distillery and Farm, the region’s first and only 100-percent pot-distilled producer (where tours run 45 minutes to an hour).

or

Tour Lux Row Distillers, one of Kentucky’s newest distilleries (where four tour options are offering, ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours).

[Drive 5-30 minutes]

4 p.m.

Relax at the hotel or explore some Bardstown treasures like the newly renovated Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the beautiful small town’s historic streets. Stock up on Bourbon Country souvenirs, including bottles of your favorite examples of “America’s Native Spirit,” at Toddy’s Liquors and the Blind Pig Bourbon Market. Tour the Federal Hill mansion at My Old Kentucky Home State Park. Hike the trails at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.

[Drive <10 minutes]

6 p.m.

Dine at Bottle & Bond Kitchen & Bar, Bardstown’s newest and most upscale dining experience (located at the ultra-modern Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery) known for craft cocktails and scratch cooking.

or

Enjoy dinner at long-time local favorite The Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge, known for its steaks, 11-cheese macaroni, and selection of more than 130 bourbons.

[Drive <10 minutes]

9 p.m.

Slip into The Blind Pig Bourbon Speakeasy for a nightcap. Just like during the 1920s Prohibition, you’ll need a code to enter (but it’s easy to find near the door).

[Drive <5 minutes]

10:30 p.m.

Relax at your hotel before slipping into sweet dreams of Kentucky Bourbon.

[Drive <5 minutes]

9 a.m.

Start your day with a hot cup of coffee at Fresh and a delicious doughnut from Hadorn’s Bakery.

[Drive 5 minutes]

10 a.m.

Tour Willett Distillery, which is both historic (circa 1936) and new (renovated in 2004). This independent, family-owned distillery produces Willett Family Estate, Johnny Drum, Rowan’s Creek, and Noah’s Mill bourbons.

or

Tour another distillery option skipped yesterday.

[Drive 1 hour to Frankfort]

11 a.m.

Keep exploring Kentucky Bourbon County and drive to Frankfort. Or, if Bardstown was your last stop on your Come Find Bourbon adventure, head home. Depending on your drive route and time schedule, you might stop at Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Limestone Branch, Independent Stave Company, Maker’s Mark, or Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Facility along the way.

There’s more to explore in Bardstown—including seasonal fun like excursions on My Old Kentucky Dinner Train and “The Steven Foster Story” at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the official outdoor musical of Kentucky—so plan a return visit. We’re confident you’ll want to Come Find Bourbon [link to microsite] in Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown again and again, sometimes for longer periods of time. That’s fine. We’ll just keep getting better with age.

Thirsty yet? 

Come Find Bourbon in Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown, Kentucky. With their deep range of authentic bourbon experiences, Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown are the best answers to the common question of where to stay when exploring Kentucky Bourbon Country.

Plan a weekend getaway or longer visit.

Do more. Drive less.

Start at either end of the drive route. Spend a night or more in each stop, depending on how much time you’ve got.
We’re confident you’ll want to return again and again. That’s fine. We’ll just keep getting better with age.

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