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Events

Mar28

Beauty and the Beast

Presented by the Kentucky Ballet Theatre.  Beauty, a young girl pure of heart, whose... more
Apr24

The Kentucky Reining Cup

Now in its fifth year, the Kentucky Reining Cup will be in conjunction with the esteemed... more
May1

Derby Eve Lexington

The Inaugural Derby Eve Lexington, Central Kentucky's Largest Derby Party, will be held... more

Road to the Horse 2015

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES There's a lot on the line in this year's Road to theHorse, the world championship colt starting event going on now throughSunday, March 29, at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The winner will ...

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A Remuda of Colts

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES The colts are coming! Not the Indianapolis pro football team,but a group of young American Quarter Horse colts who have had minimal contact with people.

These colts are part of a remuda ...

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Tony's of Lexington

by Mindy, Cuisine Blogger

The newst addition to The Square is the much anticipated, fine dining establishment from the Cincinnati icon, Tony Ricci: Tony's of Lexington.

Opening just a few weeks ago, Tony's will quickly become ...

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Harness Horse Festival

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES Finally winter's grip has loosened and it's warm enough for a special equine event at the Kentucky Horse Park!

The Harness Horse Festival will be held Friday, March 13, to Saturday, ...

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Go For Gin

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES Whenever I'm at the Kentucky Horse Park I take the time to walk up the hill to spend some time with the horses who are members of the Hall of Champions

Their barn is attractive ...

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The Weekly Juicery

by Mindy, Cuisine Blogger

The Weekly Juicery, located on Old Vine Street, was one of the first of now three locations in the state of Kentucky (with locations also in Louisville and Cincinnati). While there are many different ...

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American Mustangs

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES These two friendly-looking horses are Gilligan and Desan. The two American Mustang geldings are recent additions to the Kentucky Horse Park.

American Mustangs are descended ...

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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.