As much as we love traveling internationally, sometimes we forget what gems we have in our own backyard. We experienced one of those treasures this weekend. With a drive southbound– down I-65 through Indianapolis & Louisville, and a short ride on I-64, we discovered Kentucky Bourbon Country. This was going to be a weekend of bluegrass, bourbon distillery tours and southern cuisine.
Our home base would be Woodford Inn, located in the historical town of Versailles, Kentucky. Our drive took us through gorgeous farmlands dotted with renowned stables known to bear champion Kentucky thoroughbreds and Kentucky Derby winners.
When we arrived, much to our surprise, a band was setting up on the front lawn for an evening of bluegrass music under the old oak trees! After a long day of driving, we decided to relax outside while enjoying good southern cuisine via Addie’s Restaurant at the Inn, along with flavorful southern beats provided by Shades of Grass. Area folks arrived and settled themselves on the lawn outside of the Inn. Shades of Grass plays a variety blend of bluegrass and country music. It was a beautiful evening.
After a restful stay at the inn, we embarked to the Woodford Reserve Distillery the next morning. Woodford is surrounded by endless green rolling hills and a short ride from the Inn. The Woodford reserve distillery is a national historic landmark as the distillery has been in existence for about 200 years! They only produce small batches of bourbon that are aged in the last stone warehouse in America. We really enjoyed our tour here.
A late lunch of crawfish pie and fried oysters at Rick’s White Light Diner in Frankfort was just what we needed after the tour and tasting at Woodford. Most of the meat served at RWLD is from Kentucky family farmers and all of the seafood is fresh from US coasts. Rick stands behind the organic way of cuisine. The diner has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with host Guy Fieri who left his trademark signature on the diner wall.
We needed to walk off our fulfilling lunches so we drove to Midway for the Francisco’s Farm Arts
Festival. The farm is at Equus Run Vineyards, the official licensee of the 138th Kentucky Derby Commemorative Wines. The juried fine art festival was spread out across the vineyard. It made for an enjoyable afternoon strolling among the vines and art with a cool glass of chardonnay.
The drive back to the Inn from the arts festival took us through rolling pastures and oak tree lined roadways. With the windows down, we were immersed in the spirit of horse country. Tomorrow we were going to explore Makers Mark Distillery.