Dancing Down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Feel the rhythm of Louisville, USA on a journey of taste to the birthplace of America's native spirit

Itinerary

Destination

Start

Louisville Kentucky, USA

Finish

Louisville Kentucky, USA

Early 2023

Duration

4 Days

Format

Guided

Group Size

Small group

Overview

It’s said that every barrel of Kentucky Bourbon contains the history of America itself. A legacy of land and spirit, rooted in family traditions, innovation, and a dedication to excellence. From the female bootleggers of the past, to the master distillers and bold mixologists of today, the bourbon stories are as rich and evocative as the caramel-colored spirit itself. At the heart of it all is vibrant Louisville and one of the most exciting small city scenes in America.

Highlights

Come to the heart of bourbon tradition and learn a thing or two from the horse’s mouth on this deep dive into the curious history, smoky specialities, and sweet charm of Louisville’s warm southern hospitality.  

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01 |BOURBON BARONS

Jump in or an immersive distillery tour and extended tasting at Rabbit Hole Distillery to see how simple grain transforms into superlative whiskey

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02 |HORSING AROUND 

Hit the road for new pastures and a farm visit that highlights horses and the rural side of Kentucky life before an organic farm-to-table lunch and bourbon tasting

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03 |HOT BROWNS 

Keep tasting on a fun and friendly food tour of NuLu, Louisville’s trendiest and tastiest neighborhood to sample Kentucky classics like bourbon balls

Itinerary

Day 01

BOURBON BARONS

Louisville walking tour ⋅ Bourbon flight ⋅ Barbeque feast    

Our spirited journey begins in Louisville, the heart of Kentucky bourbon country and a cheerful riverside city with a mashup of neat neighborhoods ripe for exploration. Together with new friends and the local Tastemaker who will bring this extraordinary trip to life, we’ll hit the streets for a walking tour of historic Old Louisville, hearing the stories of bourbon barons, racetrack royalty, and tobacco titans. Built between 1885 and 1905, and today one of the nation’s largest historic preservation districts, Old Louisville is a veritable time capsule of late-Victorian and early twentieth-century architecture. As our thirst for knowledge grows, we’ll make our way to a woman-owned watering hole for a bourbon flight and masterclass on Kentucky bourbon in warm and welcoming surroundings.

This evening, we’ll roll up our sleeves to chow down at a BBQ spot that features perfectly smoked meats paired with scratch made sides and rounded out with a classic banana pudding so delicious it could be outlawed. Later, we’ll raise a glass to new friends and a music scene on Whiskey Row that is absolutely buzzing. 

Day 02

DISTILL IT DOWN   

NuLu food tour lunch  ⋅ Rabbit Hole tasting ⋅ Axe warfare happy hour 

After your kind of Kentucky breakfast, we’ll come together in NuLu, Louisville’s trendiest neighborhood, for a tasting tour of Kentucky classics like bourbon balls, fried chicken, hearty burgoo, and sorghum cookies. Along the way we’ll visit a historic home once occupied by Thomas Edison and take in the colorful streets painted with vibrant murals whose art galleries and eclectic shops are a feast for the senses. Brains and bellies brimming, we’ll join some master distiller friends for an immersive distillery tour and extended tasting at Rabbit Hole Distillery. Here, among these architecturally significant surroundings, we’ll learn how grain transforms to whiskey and how the founder’s jump ‘down the rabbit hole’ has changed the bourbon landscape forever. 

After time to refresh at the hotel, we’ll come together to raise a glass and an axe at an axe-throwing happy hour with a sharp learning curve. Dinner this evening will be the opportunity to choose your own adventure at one of Louisvilles’s delightful restaurants. Whether you want a full-blown Southern spread or the ‘hot brown’ sandwich that Louisvillians love, there is something delicious here for everyone.

Day 03

HORSING AROUND 

Museums or market ⋅ Farm-fresh lunch ⋅ Horses of course 

This morning we’ll have the chance to follow our own Louisville passion. Besides the liquid arts there is much to see and do in this vibrant town – head to Logan Street Market for a look at what’s on offer, visit the derby’s Churchill Downs, or see where Cassius Clay lived before he became Muhammad Ali. Also highly recommended is the newly opened Roots 101 African American Museum, which explores issues of identity and social justice alongside displays of West African sculptures and the brass instruments of the blues.  

Early afternoon, we’ll hit the road for new pastures. Our destination will be historic Hermitage Farm for an exploration of the rural side of Kentucky life and the unique agricultural heritage and signature industries of the area. Our day on the farm will start with an organic farm-to-table lunch before we sample some bourbon, learn about thoroughbred culture from the horse’s mouth, and get high on the hog with a tour of the farm’s contemporary art collection. 

This evening after a final round of bourbon cocktails expertly blended by a mixologist friend, we’ll head to dinner at Proof on Main, a place beloved by local bourbon-makers due to a locally-sourced menu that expertly pairs with the hefty list of bourbons on offer. Together we’ll raise a glass to new friends, rich flavors, and the dedication to tradition that keeps the good times flowing. 

Day 04

UNTIL NEXT TIME

This morning after a leisurely breakfast it will be time to say goodbye for now.

Accommodation

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Accommodations are hand-selected for each and every trip from a portfolio of rigorously-vetted hotels. Our Trip Design team prioritizes location, comfort, and design to ensure your stay is a winning mix, every time. In Louisville, we often stay in hotels such as 21c Museum Hotel.

21c Museum Hotel

The spacious guest rooms at 21c Louisville were designed to feel like a residential respite from the thought-provoking art and activity that fills the museum galleries below. Featuring original historic features such as exposed brick walls, custom-designed furniture, and Malin + Goetz bath amenities, a stay at 21c is as relaxing as it is stimulating.

What's Included

Almost everything.

Curated activities, local cuisine and libations, new knowledge, delightful travel companions – and so much more.

  • Three nights hotel accommodation

  • Daily breakfast

  • Meals per the itinerary

  • Nightly round of drinks

  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary

    • Walking tour of historic Old Louisville
    • NuLu food tour lunch to sample Kentucky classics 
    • Tour and extended tasting at Rabbit Hole Distillery
    • Axe-throwing happy hour 
    • Farm visit, organic lunch, and bourbon tasting at Hermitage Farm
  • Return transportation to from all scheduled activities when required

  • Services of a brilliant local Tastemaker (=Trip Leader)

  • Tips and gratuities at hotels and at group meals

  • All local taxes

What's Not Included

  • Flights are not included

  • Tours, events, and activities outside those noted in the itinerary

  • Airport transfers

  • Any food or drinks outside except where specified/detailed

  • Personal items and expenses

  • Any additional services at the hotel (room service, phone calls etc)

  • Travel insurance

FAQs

Question

  • What is a Spirited Stories trip and what makes it different?
  • Who are Spirited Stories trips for?
  • My friends and I want to book a private trip, is that possible?
  • I have never done a group trip before. What is the group like?
  • Is Spirited Stories a travel agent?
  • How do I contact you?
  • Where can I submit a press inquiry?

Answer

  • Spirited Stories are traveling celebrations. Over three to five days we bring people together in a casual way around food and drink. Think the dreamiest long weekend you can imagine, with great local friends doing all the curating. You just turn up and enjoy the fun.

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