10 Great Stops to Make on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

10 Stops to Make on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Select Registry - April 22, 2021

Experience the Best of Kentucky!

A delicious drink being poured on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

There are certainly plenty of reasons to visit the beautiful and diverse state of Kentucky, not least of which is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  95% of the world’s bourbon is crafted in Kentucky, which has been considered an indigenous product to the United States since 1964. In total, there are somewhere around 9 million barrels of bourbon aging in the great state of Kentucky. No wonder it’s such a great place for fans of this corn-based spirit to visit!

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail was created in 1999 as a means to help visitors more efficiently explore the world of bourbon. In 2021, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour was added to the experience. Combined, these trails bring 2.5 million visitors to the state, leading the way in tourism to Kentucky. 

This spring is a great time to enjoy tours and tastings of this world-famous spirit. Combine it with a few other fun stops at Kentucky’s Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts, and you have the perfect recipe for a great road trip. As always, when you choose a Select Registry branded property, you’re choosing the finest in independent, boutique properties, each of which delivers a level of personalized service you won’t find anywhere else. 

In an increasingly impersonal world, Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts offer you a warm and comfortable place to stay, with made-to-order breakfast and top-notch amenities to make your travel experience the best it can be. Isn’t it time you experienced the Select Registry difference?  Book your getaway with one of our incredible Kentucky Bed and Breakfasts below!

A delicious Flight of Bourbon on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

10 Stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Bourbon production in Kentucky dates back to the pioneering days of Kentucky when it was difficult to transport goods like corn and grains across steep mountains and difficult terrain. Converting these agricultural products into bourbon suddenly made transport easier – and, well, made life on the frontier a bit more enjoyable, too!  The bourbon business has been booming ever since. 

Today, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a bourbon lover’s dream.  In total, there are 38 distilleries along the trail, which spans 70 miles.  There’s something for everyone along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, too, including tours, tastings, activities, big-city nightlife, charming towns, rural countryside, and other more. You can expect to walk away with great memories, a bit more knowledge about bourbon, a more refined palate for this distinguished spirit, and a few bottles of this American product to take home and enjoy.

Many of the most famous Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries lie between Lexington and Louisville, in what is known as the Bluegrass Region of the state.  Here are the 10 must-see stops along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail:

  1. The Heaven Hill Distillery, which owns popular brands Elijah Craig and Evan Williams, is home to the Bourbon Heritage Center. Here, you can enjoy an immersive bourbon-centric experience, which includes tours, tastings, and a gift shop.  
  2. The oldest and smallest distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trails is Woodford Reserve. Don’t let its size fool you, though. This National Landmark property is located amidst the rolling hills of Bluegrass Kentucky and offers visitors a historic, upscale feel to their bourbon tasting experience. 
  3. While Woodford Reserve is the smallest distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you’ll find the opposite at Jim Beam American Stillhouse – the largest producer of Kentucky bourbon in the world. Their 90-minute tour is one of the longest on the trail, and gives you a glimpse into the bourbon-making process from start to finish, including a tasting. 
  4. Maker’s Mark is a truly beautiful stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and, of course, offers a delicious tasting of their product as well. You can even try your hand at hand-dipping your own bottle in the brand’s signature red wax!
  5. Four Roses Distillery, once the most popular bourbons in Japan, used to be nearly impossible to buy in the United States! Now, you can enjoy a tasting at their distillery, and/or a tour of their facility, all while admiring their Spanish Mission-style architecture. 
  6. Bulleit Distilling is a relative newcomer to the Bourbon scene, with their distillery opening to the public in 2019.  Even so, the bourbon is based on family traditions that date back centuries,  making this an excellent stop to make along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
  7. Wild Turkey is home to one of the most popular bourbons in the world. Their tour includes not only some great tastings of their products but a fascinating tour of their barrel rooms inside their rick houses. From here, you’ll also enjoy a beautiful view of the Kentucky River.
  8. With a legacy dating back to the 1700s, Buffalo Trace Distillery is another “must” on your Kentucky Bourbon Trail itinerary. This distillery is also on the National Register of Historic Places, and tastings here include not just bourbon, but rye and vodka as well. 
  9. Castle & Key Distillery was recently ranked as the #1 distillery in the entire country, which is what makes this such a great stop to include on your itinerary. Enjoy tours and tastings in this renovated and historic building, and get a taste for their bourbon, gin, and vodka. 
  10. Head to Old Forester Distillery, which is the only bourbon distillery to offer continuously produced bourbon before, during, and after the prohibition era. Their tour includes a walk through their cooperage where you can see how barrels are made and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the bottling operation. 
  11. Angel’s Envy Distillery, located in Louisville, takes a highly personalized approach to its production.  The owners taste from each and every barrel to ensure quality, which makes all the difference in the world in their products. Tours and tastings here are truly a special experience. 

For a more in-depth look at Kentucky’s bourbon heritage, consider expanding your trip to include stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, which 4 different regions of off-the-beaten-path adventures. For even more great adventures in Kentucky, check out a few itinerary-expanding ideas below! 

Things to do in Kentucky Near the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

More Great Things to do in Kentucky

Kentucky is really synonymous with two things:  Bourbon, and horses.  We have the bourbon part of Kentucky pretty well covered above, so now it’s time to talk about horses!

Every year, thousands of racing fans descend upon Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby in May and all the pomp and circumstance that comes along with it. But beyond just visiting these legendary horse racing tracks, there are plenty of horse-friendly activities to enjoy in the area, along with picturesque farms and magnificent animals to visit.  Even if you aren’t a horse lover now, one trip through Kentucky will likely change that. 

While bourbon and horses rank as “must do’s” during your visit to Kentucky, there’s so much more to this incredible state to see and do, too.  Outdoor adventures are everywhere, the arts and crafts made by local artisans are captivating, and there’s an incredible wealth of history and culture to explore. 

All along the way, you’ll find the Innkeepers at Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts eager to help you plan and enjoy the very best of this incredible state.  What are you waiting for?  Browse our selection of Kentucky Bed and Breakfasts, and start planning an epic adventure on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and beyond.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Lodging

Chateau Bourbon

Chateau Bourbon is the perfect choice for travelers seeking upscale accommodations in a down-home atmosphere. At our award-winning inn, you can expect genuine hospitality, impeccable attention to detail, and contagious southern charm.

Whether you’re a bourbon newbie or a self-proclaimed bourbon nerd, we’ve got the experience you’re looking for, and our east-end Louisville location is just 10 miles from downtown, so you’re only minutes from everything the big city has to offer.

Central Park Bed & Breakfast

Listed on the National Historic Register, this magnificent three-story residence, constructed in 1884, displays an ambiance of fine period furnishings and examples of exquisite hand craftsmanship. The historic neighborhood features America’s largest collection of Victorian homes and is a wonderful step back in time.

Our Louisville bed and breakfast is conveniently located across the street from Central Park, and the Inn is only minutes from top attractions in the Louisville area. 

Charred Oaks Inn

Romance, elegance, and tranquility describe the ambiance at Charred Oaks Inn. This Select Registry Bed and Breakfast is located just minutes from downtown Lexington, Keeneland, Kentucky Horse Park, the Bourbon Trail, and more.

Each Guest room features King size poster beds and private en-suite bathrooms. Exceptional service is our trademark, our food fresh and delicious, and you, our guest, our number one priority! 

A Storybook Inn Bed & Breakfast

At A Storybook Inn, we have a holistic approach to serving our guests with attentive service, unparalleled luxury in our accommodations, hypoallergenic, green cleaning/laundry practices, and tantalizing gourmet breakfasts with as much local and organic foods as available. 

We are conveniently located near World Class Horse farms,  the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and local wineries, and our well-appointed suites invite one to linger, rest & relax.

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