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Events

Oct3

Keeneland Fall Race Meet

No racing on Mondays or Tuesdays. See live Thoroughbred racing at the most elegant race... more
Oct24

Haunted Train Ride

Haunted Halloween Train Ride!  Enjoy an 11 mile, 90 minute round trip train... more
Oct28

Alltech National Horse Show

The National Horse Show is America’s oldest indoor horse show, firmly established... more
Oct29

The Kentucky Experience

A partnership of the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, Phelps Media Group, Rood... more
Nov20

Comedy Mania

Fun for the entire family! An incredible lineup includes comedians Sinbad, Bill Engvall,... more
Nov21

21st. Annual Southern Lights

The 21st. Annual Southern Lights includes a self-guided 4-mile journey through a... more
Nov29

The Blessing of the Hounds

Join Shaker Village and the Woodford Hounds fox hunters for their annual Blessing of the... more
Dec7

Holiday Candlelight Tour

Enjoy live music on a self-guided tour of the mansion and refreshments in the Keeper's... more

Apple Picking

by Mindy, Cuisine Blogger

It’s Fall Y’all! That means cooler temps (sometimes…), beautiful fall colors in the trees, pumpkins, corn mazes…and my favorite-Apple Picking!

 

This past ...

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Keeneland and Much More

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES The opening week of Keeneland's Fall Racing Meet wasn't a lucky draw as far as the weather went, but there was still plenty of excitement for fans who bundled up and braved the ...

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It's Keeneland Time

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES Keeneland's 2014 Fall Racing Meet breaks from the starting gate in full stride starting today, October 3, and continuing through Saturday, October 25.Post time is 1:05PM and there is ...

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Paso Finos and More

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES The Paso Fino Annual Grand National Championship Show returns to the Kentucky Horse Park September 28-October 4.This show brings Paso Fino owners and riders from across the country and ...

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CRAVE Highlights

by Mindy, Cuisine Blogger

CRAVE is one of Lexington's biggest culinary events of the year. Rolling into it's second year, CRAVE hosted over 50 local restaurants, food trucks, and caterers alongside local Kentucky vendors. ...

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Itinerary

A two night, two day bourbon itinerary discovering five BourbonsBGRegion bourbon distilleries, all within 25 miles of Lexington, Kentucky.

The Bluegrass Region's reputation for fine horses and fine bourbon whiskey is known world-wide. Magnificent horse farms and charming bourbon distilleries share a place in this extraordinary landscape of gently rolling hills. Here is a suggestion for discovering the heritage of America's only native spirit.

Night One

Arrive in Lexington in time for dinner. Start your bourbon tour at one of Lexington's downtown restaurants for some great regional cuisine. Be sure to stop off at the newly opened Belle's Cocktail House at 156 Market Street, name after one of Lexington's most notorious citizens. Take a stroll through nearby Gratz Park or Triangle Park, then head for your hotel.

Restaurant suggestions:

Jonathan at Gratz Park
Bellinis on Main Street
Dudley's on Short Street

Get more Lexington restaurant suggestions here.

Day One: Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace

For early risers, make your first stop Keeneland Race Course for the early morning workouts. Come around 7:30 a.m. to be sure you see horses out on the track. Then go over to the track kitchen and enjoy a hearty and inexpensive Southern breakfast. From Keeneland, continue out U.S. 60 to Woodford Reserve Distillery. A National Historic Landmark, this bourbon distillery is nestled between Thoroughbred horse farms.

Woodford Reserve is a premium small batch bourbon. Tours cover the process from cooking the grains in limestone water to the distillation process in copper stills made in Scotland. You'll also learn about the special barrels required for bourbon, and see the warehouses. Take advantage of Picnic on the Porch (April through October) before heading to your next stop. The adventurous should take the back roads to Buffalo Trace, past the fascinating remnants of two old distilleries: Old Crow Distillery and Old Taylor distillery. (Follow 1659 all the way to Main Street in Frankfort. Turn right on Main and left on US 60. Buffalo Trace will be on your right.)

Buffalo Trace, like all bourbon distilleries, carefully guards its unique mash bill--its own secret combination of corn, rye and malted barley. In addition to its flagship bourbon, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the distillery produces other finely crafted bourbons including Blanton's, W.L. Weller, Old Charter and Eagle Rare. A variety of bourbon tours cover the history of the distillery (there has been a working distillery on the grounds since 1787) and differences between whiskey and bourbon. You'll get to visit the hand bottling hall and a century old aging warehouse.

Take the scenic route back to Lexington. From US 60, take 1681, just after crossing under I 64. This is Old Frankfort Pike, one of Kentucky's best scenic byways. You'll pass farms and fences made of dry laid limestone, the same limestone that underlies the pastures of the Bluegrass Region, helping to build the strong bones of championship horses.

Bluegrass Note: Discover more bourbon distilleries near Lexington at www.kentuckybourbontrail.com, the site of the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Night Two

Dinner Suggestions:

Portofino for great Italian cuisine and a fine selection of bourbons at the bar
Ramsey's for comfort food, including a great Hot Brown
Malone's for fine steaks

For evening entertainment, take a carriage ride through downtown Lexington. Need something a little move lively? Check out the calendar at www.visitlex.com and see what's going on while you're in town.

Need to sample more bourbon?? These hot spots have more bourbons than you can possibly experience on one trip:

Winchell's
Bluegrass Tavern
Henry Clay's Public House

Day Two: Four Roses and Wild Turkey

Head out US 60 again. If you couldn't manage to rise early enough yesterday, here's a second chance to stop at Keeneland on your way to Lawrenceburg. Note the unusual castle just before you enter the Bluegrass Parkway. The small Bluegrass Region town of Lawrenceburg claims two distilleries.

Four Roses is not your typical Kentucky bourbon distillery. Situated on the banks of the Salt River, its Spanish Mission-style architecture of the early 1900s is unusual for Kentucky. For a time in the 30s, 40s and 50s, their bourbon was only produced for export in the European and Asian markets. It's now sold in 21 U.S. states as well as Spain, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. Learn about the process that produces this mellow bourbon with its rich, fruity flavors on one of their distillery tours.

For a great lunch stop in Lawrenceburg, try Talk of the Town, on Broadway, for soups, sandwiches and Hot Browns.

The last stop on your tour will be Wild Turkey. Bourbon making at this site on the Kentucky River goes back to the mid 19th century. The tour you take today reveals an intriguing combination of tradition and modern mass production. For example, in the fermentation room, 70-year-old cypress tanks, still in use, stand next to modern stainless steel tanks.

Try to make it back to Lexington in time to tour the first Bourbon distillery to be built in Lexington in over 100 years: Town Branch Distillery.

Planning your trip

For hotels and B&Bs in the Lexington area see Where to Stay on www.visitlex.com.

For driving directions to any of the bourbon distilleries near Lexington, take advantage of the "Map It" button when you click on any of the distilleries mentioned in this bourbon itinerary.

During the summer, some distilleries will modify their tours. Call before settling on your travel dates. Most tours are free.

Discover more bourbon distilleries near Lexington at www.kentuckybourbontrail.com, the site of the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail.