Plan Your Ideal Weekend in Bourbon City | Explore Louisville's Best -

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Curate Your Perfect Weekend in Bourbon City

In addition to nearly a dozen different distillery tours offered in Downtown Louisville, curate your perfect weekend in Bourbon City with these additional Bourbon-themed experiences.

While it's important to book your upcoming Bourbon distillery tours in advance, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a variety of other Bourbon and whiskey experiences available to help round out your Bourbon City getaway. From accommodations to tastings to tours, here are a variety of options for your upcoming spirited adventure.

1. Frazier History Museum

As the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Frazier History Museum is a great place to get your start. Guests have access to all the exhibits throughout the museum, including learning the history of Bourbon in The Spirit of Kentucky exhibit. A Craft Your Own Cocktail Experience allows guests to learn how to make the official cocktail of the city of Louisville during a 45-minute Old Fashioned class and tasting. The museum gift shop is also a treasure trove of specialty Bourbon bottles for sale, often offering those hard-to-find collector bottles.

A second tour option is the Ready, Set Go! Bourbon experience, offering first and second-day admission to the museum and a spot in one of their guided, multi-brand Bourbon tastings conducted in the Order of the Writ Room.

Welcome Center at Frazier History Museum in  Louisville KY

2. Kentucky Derby Museum, Bourbon & Bridles Tour

Combine two of Kentucky’s most treasured icons: bourbon and Thoroughbreds. This hour-long experience starts with an exciting tour at Churchill Downs, intertwining the history of bourbon and horse racing in Kentucky. At the end, learn how to make a mint julep, and of course, sip one! The tour ends inside the Derby Cafe Express at the Museum, an official stop on Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail, where guests can get their Urban Bourbon Trail passport stamped. There, guests will enjoy a bourbon tasting along with an interactive lesson on making the famous Mint Julep and taste one.

3. Justins’ House of Bourbon

Owned by two Justins – Justin Sloan and Justin Thompson, who began collecting Bourbon 10 years ago, with Thompson also starting the well-known Bourbon magazine, “The Bourbon Review” in 2008. You know they mean business with a whiskey historian on staff. Not only does Justins’ House of Bourbon have a bar to belly up to, but also offers a cozy tasting room along with the ability to sell bottles from their two walls worth of bottled Bourbon. If you contact them in advance, they will put a tasting flight customized to your budget –including rare sips. They also double as a Bourbon museum as they have quite the collection of hard-to-find and antique bottles along with memorabilia on display, with everything for sale for the right price. If you are looking to scour the shelf for specialty Bourbon, you’re bound to be able to find something here.

Display case of varieties of bourbons at Justin's House of Bourbon in Louisville KY

4. Trouble Bar

Owned by Nicole Stipp and Kaitlyn Soligan Owen, two women who delight patrons with flights, fancies and events designed for whiskey enthusiasts and the Bourbon curious – with beer, wine and margaritas for everyone else. The dynamic duo refer to the bar as the “Rainbow Palace of Whiskey Dreams.” And you really can dream, not only do these two ladies offer Bourbon tastings and event space, but they also want to serve tourists by booking trips through their travel company, Matson & Gilman.

Flight of whiskies from Trouble Bar in Louisville KY

5. Urban Bourbon Trail

Save time to traverse Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail®️, a mouthwatering cocktail and culinary experience highlighting the city’s best Bourbon bars and restaurants. This elevated “pub crawl” will have you sipping Kentucky’s finest at more than two dozen local establishments, each stocked with at least 60 different Bourbons. Don’t forget to bring your appetite as you can savor Bourbon-infused food dishes from appetizers to desserts. Check in from at least six different locations to receive a coveted UBT t-shirt and become an official Urban Bourbon trailblazer.

Two women enjoying bourbon drinks in Louisville KY

6. Westport Whiskey and Wine

This is another place to discover Bourbons that are hard to find and those you’ll come to appreciate as day-to-day favorites. Stop by their tasting room and chat with co-owner Chris Zaborowski, noted whiskey authority and Executive Bourbon Steward. They offer special classes with tastings led by Master Distillers. Be sure to check their calendar for ‘Thursday Night Socials’ where they offer a special cocktail and promote flights of the week. Pro tip: Sign up for their emails at the bottom of their website to be in the know on upcoming events.

7. Oak and Smoke

For centuries, whiskey connoisseurs have known the pleasure of sipping a barrel-aged spirit while enjoying a fine cigar. Have local cigar expert J. Shepherd guide you through a pairing combination based on your unique flavor profiles. A visit to J. Shepherd Cigar Boutique on Bardstown Road in the eclectic Highlands neighborhood is a fun way to stock up on the cigars you’ll want to add to your humidor. Just tell Jason your favorite whiskeys and he will perfectly pair them with personally selected cigars based on the nuances of taste and aroma in both. You’ll also get the tasting notes to share with your smoking buddies. Or stick around and join the regular crew that are typically puffing away the afternoon on the porch.

Cigars and whiskey drink from JJ Shepard Smoke and Oak in Louisville KY

8. Taste Fine Wines & Bourbons

Located in the vibrant NuLu neighborhood, Taste looks for Kentucky distillers who produce in smaller batches, controlling quality and creating bourbons with smooth, rich flavors. The wine and bourbon tasting menu changes weekly and they have more than 290 bourbons and whiskeys open to taste, along with charcuterie boards and cheese plates.

9. Hermitage Farm

Just 20 minutes from downtown Louisville awaits a 19th-century estate, working thoroughbred farm, and farm-to-table restaurant reimagined through 21st-century eyes. Join their tasting guides in learning about Kentucky’s rich bourbon heritage while enjoying flights of select bourbons in Barn-6, an active horse barn with two resident Thoroughbreds.

The Bourbon Bar & Lounge is located inside Barn8 Restaurant and offers bourbons from every distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, plus exceptional small-batch selections and an assortment of unique craft distilleries.

10. Hermitage Farm / Derby Museum Tour

From a foal’s first steps to the final turn of the track at Churchill Downs, you’ll be able to explore every facet of a Thoroughbred’s life on the Hermitage Farm / Derby Museum Tour. Guests will start at the Museum and watch Thoroughbreds thundering down the stretch at Churchill Downs during their morning workouts, and then view the Museum’s epic 18-minute film “The Greatest Race” which immerses you in the Kentucky Derby. A shuttle then takes you through beautiful farmland to Hermitage Farm. Here you will experience its renowned Thoroughbred operations, sustainable, organic farm-to-table lunch, a bourbon cocktail class, and contemporary art.

Couple walking up to barn located on Hermitage Farm property in Louisville KY

Bourbon-themed Lodging

Why not make your stay soaked in a Bourbon experience from sunrise to sundown by staying in one of these themed accommodations:

Bourbon Inn

Experience this magnificent Victorian Mansion in Louisville’s classic Old Louisville neighborhood, restored with all modern amenities. A stay at the Bourbon Inn offers a look at the genuine Bourbon heritage of Kentucky including the Bourbon-themed décor, Bourbon-infused breakfasts, desserts and gift shop offerings. Plus, overnight guests may also purchase and enjoy Bourbon cocktails on-site. Old Louisville has the largest collection of restored Victorian homes in the country and is the third-largest Historical Preservation District in the U.S.

Chateau Bourbon B&B

A great choice for travelers seeking comfort with a splash of Bourbon in a down-home atmosphere from the welcoming front porch to the comfortable backyard swings. Located in the heart of Norton Commons, a unique and vibrant walkable community just 10 miles from downtown Louisville. Whether you’re a Bourbon newbie or a self-proclaimed Bourbon nerd, they have the ‘spirited’ experience you’re looking for.

Hotel Distil, Autograph Collection

Opening on Louisville’s Whiskey Row in October 2019, Hotel Distil is a Marriott Autograph Collection boutique hotel celebrating Louisville’s Bourbon heritage. Hotel Distil incorporates an original 1860’s era façade, which was saved following a fire in 2015, and was the original location and barrel house for J.T.S. Brown and Sons. The hotel’s décor pays homage to the Bourbon culture, along with offering a unique guest cocktail experience with a nightly toast to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. The hotel’s three dining options include Repeal, an oak-fired steakhouse, Bitters End, an open-air rooftop bar, complete with a retractable glass roof and The Barrel Room, a private 15-person space with a separate bar.

Louisville Marriott East

Settle in for some serious southern hospitality in the heart of the East End. Drink your way through the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and find sanctuary in their Bourbon-inspired rooms. Dine at Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge, a stop on Urban Bourbon Trail®, where you can sample some of their 200 Bourbon varieties and indulge in Bourbon-centric dishes.

For dining options (reservations suggested), use check out our Louisville Eats page.

For more things to do in Louisville be sure to check out our calendar of events.

About The Author

Rosanne Mastin

Communications & Public Affairs Manager

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