Kentucky: Horses, Bourbon and the Great Outdoors
Experience “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” taste world-class whiskey and soak up the beautiful surrounding topography. Kentucky truly does offer it all.
Horse Racing Culture
Kentucky, commonly referred to as the Bluegrass State, has a long and rich legacy of horse breeding and racing, which have become essential components to the culture in Kentucky. If you’re interested in learning more about the world-famous horses in the Bluegrass State you must visit Claiborne Farm, a thoroughbred horse breeding operation and home to some of the fastest horses in the world. Book a private stallion tour and check out the breeding shed which has produced more than 80 champion racehorses.
Known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” the Kentucky Derby is without a doubt one of America’s most iconic sporting events dating back to 1875. The Derby, which takes place at the legendary racetrack Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is more than just a horse race, it is a treasured tradition and a celebration of Southern culture. In every direction, people are donning extravagant hats, sipping delicious mint juleps and exuding excitement and anticipation leading up to the big race.
On the hunt for an adventure? Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, Red River Gorge just outside of Lexington, Kentucky offers a variety of fun outdoor activities including hiking, climbing, ziplining and biking.
Put on your hiking shoes and explore the amazing arches along the trails. If you’re interested in hiking, this is the place to do it! Climbers from around the globe come to the Red River Gorge to experience the large variety of climbing areas offered here. And after a fun-filled day of outdoor adventure head to Miguel's Pizza for delicious, fresh and reasonably priced food and drinks with a great atmosphere right near Red River Gorge.
World Famous Whiskey Bourbon
Kentucky is known around the globe for its bourbon, and if you’ve ever had a taste of the bourbon whiskey here, you’ll quickly understand why. The state is famous for distilling distinctive corn-based, barrel-aged whiskey, and there is no shortage of distilleries to tour. According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Bluegrass State produces and ages approximately 95 percent of the world’s bourbon whiskey.
Willett Distillery is a must-visit distillery on the outskirts of charming Bardstown, Kentucky, which has been named the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” The independent and family-owned distillery, dating back to 1936, offers an incredible distillery tour. Discover just how unique the distillery and its surroundings are, from the underground lakes to the turn-of-the-century belt and pulley systems that run throughout the distillery.
“If You Go” Hit List
Where to stay:
- Courtyard Louisville Downtown
- Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa
- Louisville Marriott Downtown
What to eat:
- The handmade crust and homemade sauce at Miguel's Pizza in Slade, KY makes this restaurant a must-go spot after a day of fun outdoor activities at Red River Gorge.
- Delight your taste buds at Seviche in Louisville, KY, where Latin flavors marry southern-inspired dishes.
- Mayan Café in Louisville, KY offers some of the best Mexican food in Louisville, and not to mention delicious cocktails.
What to see:
- Visit Claiborne Farm in Paris, KY and walk the shed rows of our iconic stallion barns which have been home to a world-renowned roster and is home to current stallions.
- Soak up the natural splendor at Red River Gorge in Slade, KY and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking and climbing.
- Take a tour of Willett Distillery in Bardstown, KY and taste Kentucky’s world-famous whiskey bourbon.