Okay so we left for our long weekend Friday about 3:00 pm we drove to shepardsville KY , we did find a travel coupon book at the Ky welcome center and found a hotel for $35 a night Super 8 no pool but was very pleased with the overall cleaniness of the room and lobby/ dining room for the average continetal breakfast, Can't complain. I had decided to not eat at chains but found that somewhat diffulct when your tired, hungry and dont know the town so we ate Long Johns silvers, oh well
Day one started with a short drive to The Jim Beam Distillery ,we saw a short film about the history a brief walk around the grounds what the consider a self guided tour, we went to the "white house'" where we tasted the whiskey. had a great gift shop for souvenors. Was told that by next year they will have a tour through the actual distillery. If you like seeing how things are made I would wait for that.
We was told that Heaven Hill distillery was on way to Makers Mark so we left and took some back highways and saw some of the debris left from last months hard ice storm. Made our way to Bairdstown about 40 minute drive ,stopped at My Old Kentucky Home statepark Can take a tour ( $ 5.00 ) of the mansion that the song was wrote about . We drove on about 5 minutes out of town to the Heaven Hill distillery. Had to wait for the next tour about 15 minutes 2 other couples was waiting with us.And did I mention it was Cold !!!! We had about 30 degree weather that day. Our tour consisted of another short film and we walked to a Ric building where the whiskey is stored in barrels and aged, our guide knew his stuff and it was very interesting. The distillery actually burnt down in 1996 and the whiskey is brewed off site in Louisville and shipped over . The tour ended back at the visiters center and in the tasting room which was very cool again the guide knew his stuff and we had a good time, great gift shop and own our way again.We arrived to Markers Mark and this was the smallest company and the best tour. we had a very large group this time about 40 people no film but the guide gave us the history of the company and then we moved on to the plant where everything about the whiskey was made. Being Saturday therer was no production that day but we saw everything from where the grains are brought in and ground and mixed with water and turned to sour mash even got to taste the sour mash out of large vats of the stuff onto to the ric buildins where it is stored and aged and on to the the bottling room and ened in the gift shop/tasting room. We was toasted for our 19 th wedding annivesary by the group and tasted the raw white dog ( moonshine) version and the aged version. If you are familar with Markers Mark you know the bottle has wax on the cork and at the gift shop you can dunk your own bottle. pretty cool.
By this time it is about 2:00 and we are starved and I think my husband is a little drunk from all the tasting (ha ha). just a small piece from the distillery is a very small cafe we tried it and it was great bourbon bbq chicken breast sandwich and bourbon bbq pulled pork with xcellent side dishes got to try it if you go, about $20 for the 2 of us including drink and tip.
so on we traveled back to interstate 65 with a small wrong turn and quick stop in hodgensville ky where I " "unfortunally" had to go into a Sweet shop and dessert cafe and ask for directions back to the freeway and just had to buy some homemade fudge and homemade carmel turtles, the poor lady went out of her way to help me I couldnt just leave ...right? www.sweetshoppefudge.com
By the way hodgensville was Abe Lincolns birth place (i think or hometown ) and alot of sightseeing to be done if your interested in that back to the highway and colder still yet. Crossed over to Tenn and stopped at the welcome center for the travel coupons drove right past Nashville ( sure wish I had more time and money ) and stopped at an exit off 65 not very far from Lynchburg, had originally tought about exit 114 but ended up at 111 thought it was a little closer to lynchburg. This was just outside Manchester only about 4 hotels and we picked the cheaper one....Well the room was clean the bed was comfortable but I somehow had a feeling of overall displeasment . the water wasnt real hot the carpet was worn I dont know , Iasked for a xta blanket (because I get cold my husband gets hot) she did not have any xtra. well for $ 34 a night didnt expect much. We had a local pizza place deliver us a pizza for dinner to our room lllong day.
So Sunday morning we wake up aaand we have 6 inches of snow on the van ( see pic ) , my husband is coughing and not feeling well we packed up cleared the snow and headed to the local CrackerBarrell for a hot breakfast I called the Jack Daniels distillery and learned that Lynchburg had 8 inches of snow and was closed down for it..great all that way but the weather reports showed no snow in Chattanooga so off we head . Quick stopp at walmart for cough syrup and tylenol. Arrived at Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls took in the falls and my husband was ready to head home so off we went North to home we did stop for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays for our celebratory anniversary dinner in Powell TN still had some day ligth left so we got off freeway at corbin Ky and went over to Cumberland falls state park and took in the falls there, it was sooo cold
SO we drove on back to southern ohio and arrived home around 12:00 am and by this time my husband is running a fever and feeling miserable but glad to be in his bed.
Over all we had a great time being together just the two of us on vaca for the first time despite the cold weather and the dissappointement of Jack Daniels being closed ( by the way I called again later that day and they was open ..uhh!!!) If your interested in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail plan on two full days for the 7 distillerys and you can pickup a "passport" and if you get all 7 stamped you can send off for a free t shirt
Just search Kentucky Bourbon trail and you can get all the info you need .