Napa Valley might have the wine industry, but the Bluegrass has America’s only native spirit: Bourbon. Ninety-five percent of bourbon is produced in Kentucky, and, thus, numerous distilleries have popped up throughout the state over the years. From Jim Beam to Maker’s Mark to Woodford Reserve, all the major bourbon players are nestled along a scenic route that has been dubbed the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail.”
Named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of its “Drives of a Lifetime–the World’s Greatest Scenic Routes,” the trail can be picked up in Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville, or any of the Kentucky towns with a distillery. Locals and visitors alike tour the trail not just for its tastings, but also for the Kentucky experience of driving through rolling green hills, winding country roads, and historic towns. The roads to the distilleries are great pathways to see some of Kentucky’s most beautiful horse country. Historic Bardstown, for instance, is considered the “Bourbon Capital of the World” and is home to four distilleries, a whiskey museum, and an annual six-day bourbon festival, which is just around the corner September
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