We went to Louisville, Kentucky for the culmination of the Maker’s Mark faux Cocktail Party campaign and we stayed for horse races, fining dining, a surprise viewing of Princess Diana’s wedding dress and of course, more Bourbon Trail tasting.
The sights and sounds we loved. More importantly, we were smitten with the Kentuckian hospitality. Fred Minnick (Bourbon critic/author), Susan Dallas (Louisville Tourism), Lisa Higgins (Owner of Mint Julep Tours), Gary Lewis (Mint Julep Tour Guide), Victoria MacRae-Samuels (the Bourbon industry’s sole woman VP from Maker’s Mark) and Chef Dean Corbett were just a few of the locals we were most impressed with.
Also, to go along with the “With Love from Louisville, Kentucky” Postcard, we’d like to give you a quick guide on where to eat and play when in Louisville:
Where to Eat
Corbett’s – A five-star dining experience worth the drive as it’s about a 20-minute drive from Downtown Louisville. Chef Dean Corbett is a multiple award winning chef with a dedication to perfection.
Proof on Main – Uber trendy, experimental cuisine to match the slick 21C Hotel’s art-centric decor. A recent menu redesign was recently completed at the hands of new chef and Nashville transplant Levon Wallace.
Jack Fry’s – Serving American comfort food since 1933. Don’t leave without trying the fish sandwich or the shrimp n’ grits.
Harvest – The love that exudes for local Louisville farmers cannot be denying. The freshness of the ingredients is also undeniable. We’re not dessert girls, but couldn’t resist the caramel bourbon bread pudding!
Toast – Right next door to Harvest in NULU (short for new Louisville district), Toast is the go-to place locals rave about for breakfast and brunch.
Please & Thank You – Spin some records while getting a great cup of coffee/baked goods.
Where to Play
Bourbon Trail – Need we say more? Over a dozen distilleries located within an hour or less of Louisville give tours and tastings. Some of our favorites were Four Roses Bourbon, Buffalo Trace and Maker’s Mark. And don’t go without Mint Julep Tours, it’s not only informative but so much more enjoyable to let someone else do the driving so you can drink Kentucky’s golden liquid freely and safely.
Churchill Downs – Home to the Kentucky Derby, a day at the races is a must. Two dollars is the minimum bet so you can still have the thrill of cheering for your horse without breaking the bank. If you can get a reservation in the Turf Club and go on a Sunday, during brunch you’ll be treated to the live bluesy jazz tunes of none-other than Phil Kelley, one of the original guitarists in the The Drifters!
MEGA Cavern Zipline – It’s not the scariest but it is certainly the most unique zip line course we’ve ever encountered. Zip lining in the the huge former mining cave is definitely a must do when in Louisville. Side note: looking for Iroquois ghosts or the original film from Disney’s “Wizard of Oz”? You’ll also find those in this 100-acre cave!
Where to Stay
21C Museum Hotel – Anyone who is anyone that comes to Louisville stays here for its progressive art gallery, excellent food at Proof and overall hip factor. When we were staying there, Bruce Springsteen, whose tour made a stop at the KFC YUM! Center, was also a hotel guest. Warning: watch for the moving penguins.
Historic Bed and Breakfasts in Old Louisville – Although we can’t personally recommend one as we didn’t go that route on this trip, we’d definitely stay in one next time. There are many gorgeous Victorian B&Bs throughout Old Louisville.
Head here for more ideas on what to do in Louisville, Kentucky.