A few days after our wedding, we took a mini road trip down to Kentucky to do some of the bourbon trail! We love a good glass of bourbon/craft cocktails, so why not vacation where 95% of the world’s bourbon is made? We took a simple 6 day road trip to Louisville and Lexington and had lots of tasty food and drinks along the way.
The first half of our stay was in Louisville. After a lot of research, we booked our stay at The Seelbach. It was near downtown and walkable to many attractions. Within the hotel itself, there is so much charm and history. F. Scott Fitzgerald often visited the hotel, pulling inspiration from the hotel for writing “The Great Gatsby.” Al Capone and other gangsters used to frequent the hotel as well and roamed the secret passageways. Be sure to check out the Rathskeller if you ever visit!
WHERE WE ATE
We had two nights to have dinner during our stay in Louisville. Both nights we walked down to Main Street, which is full of many restaurants and bars. Our first night, we had delicious cocktails and casual barbecue at Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar.
The following night, we had reservations at the modern, eclectic Proof on Main. The restaurant is a part of the 21c Museum Hotel downtown, full of artwork and bold colors. Dinner and cocktails were delicious, the most entertaining part was probably when they brought out cotton candy with the check! We followed up dinner with drinks at a random local bar on the way back to our hotel.
Those delicious dinners aside, our favorite meal spot in Louisville was Royals Hot Chicken. We went there for lunch in the middle of exploring the shops on Market Street (highly recommend checking out this area!) We still dream of this amazing chicken and can’t recommend it more!
WHERE WE DRANK
We planned on saving our distillery experiences for Lexington, but drank at some great bars while we were in Louisville!
Of the two cities, Lexington was definitely our favorite. The drive there was through the beautiful Kentucky countryside and Lexington is a college town, which reminded us of Madison and Ann Arbor. We loved driving around and being so close to all the major distilleries we love!
We stayed at the Kentucky Derby-themed hotel, The Campbell House. The hotel had an all-white exterior, with the interior filled with horse artwork, leather accents, and rich colors.
WHERE WE ATE
We had three nights in Lexington and went to two restaurants. We loved one of the restaurants so much that we went there two nights in a row. Our first night, we had some of the best barbecue at Blue Door Smokehouse. Alex couldn’t get enough of their brisket and their sauces were to die for!
The following two nights, we had affordable (yet delicious) dinners at Pasta Garage Italian Cafe (basically a fancier Noodles & Co with homemade noodles and delicious sauces). We also went out to breakfast at one of the Wild Eggs locations, where we treated ourselves to delicious scrambles and pancakes.
WHERE WE DRANK
Like I mentioned before, we saved our distillery tours until our Lexington stay since a lot of our favorites were in the countryside outside of town. We also hit up a lot of great bars and even checked out a local brewery to give us a break from all the bourbon. We didn’t visit all of our favorite distilleries, but those could be for another time!
Bluegrass Tavern - the collection of bourbon they have is impressive!
The Village Idiot - Lexington’s first gastropub!
Creaux - New Orleans-inspired cocktail bar
Mirror Twin Brewing - we went here twice, great atmosphere!