Bourbon themes abound in Kentucky inns and B&Bs
As the popularity of Kentucky’s native spirit has soared, bourbon-centric attractions are likewise booming. Folks are flocking to the experiences on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour; to Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail and the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience; and to Bardstown’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival. They’ve even been signing up for bourbon classes at the Distilled Spirits Epicenter’s Moonshine University in Louisville.
If you’re a bourbon enthusiast seeking your favorite libation, you’ll want a place nearby to put your feet up overnight, so you can sip to your heart’s delight. Following are a few in some prime spots.
Spending time in the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, is a given. And Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn is the place to stash your bags.
“Bourbon Manor is the world’s first completely bourbon-themed B&B,” says Todd Allen, owner and innkeeper with Tyler Horton. “Our award-winning, luxurious accommodations are on an original, early 1800s Bardstown plantation.”
The property features a beautifully restored 1810 Federal-style home and 1830 antebellum Greek Revival mansion, day spa, and bourbon bar, where folks can sample flights of bourbon, wine, or microbrewed beers and groove to classics on an old jukebox. All 10 guestrooms, including three in its 1,900-square-foot Guest House and one in the refurbished, original smokehouse, are named for bourbon drinks.
You’ll arise to a full breakfast with locally grown, Kentucky Proud ingredients. Lemon soufflé pancakes, anyone?
While you’re nosing out bourbon in southern Kentucky, Hidden Cave Ranch Bed & Breakfast in Burkesville provides a comfy horse farm experience on 156 acres in the Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation area. Made of timber beams and logs, the 6,000-square-foot home is filled with log furniture handcrafted from on-site trees by owner Jaro Huurman, who rustles up eat-till-you-can’t-move country breakfasts.
Sharing the homestead are more than 60 animals, including 30 American Bashkir Curly horses, a rare and ancient breed ridden by Native Americans, according to Huurman’s wife, Marion, who is in charge of the horses. A gentle breed, Curly horses sport hypoallergenic coats, so even people allergic to horses can hop aboard for a trail ride. Guests can explore a cave, boat on Dale Hollow Lake, or chill in a porch rocking chair.
“We’re on a secluded hillside in Cumberland County,” Jaro says. “All you see are rolling hills. It’s beautiful.”
Another country experience awaits near Louisville at an official Kentucky Farm Stay. Located in the Meade County RECC area, Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast in Brandenburg combines pure elegance—a 6,000-square-foot home with 23-foot ceilings and crystal chandeliers—and pure farm, where guests can hand-feed animals, gather eggs, and help garden. Amenities include in-room massages, a swimming pool, and a stocked catch-and-release pond for reeling in 24-inch catfish and 8- to 10-inch bass. Guests have a choice of breakfast times and menu.
“To complement our Southern resort feel, I use our farm-fresh foods whenever possible,” says Theresa Padgett, who owns Southern Grace with her husband, David. “Guests love our sweet potato pecan waffles with local organic maple syrup and homemade whipped cream served with our free-range organic eggs.”
If you’d rather be close to the Louisville urban bourbon action, check in downtown at 21c Museum Hotel, a sumptuous, 91-room boutique hotel and contemporary art museum with artsy red penguins on its roof and throughout the hotel.
Founded in 2006 by preservationists and art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, the property supports urban renewal and area agriculture, providing a place where art stimulates and spurs ideas. Its award-winning restaurant and bar, Proof on Main, uses locally grown produce and stocks more than 75 of Kentucky’s finest bourbons. In 2015, the bar garnered Best American Hotel Bar honors from cocktail festival series Tales of the Cocktail.
“Our spot on the Urban Bourbon Trail gives us the chance to tell the story of bourbon’s rich cultural heritage,” says Rachel Cutler, Proof on Main’s food and beverage director. “We have a lot of fun educating our guests about bourbon.”
Expand your bourbon country experience with a cozy stay.
• Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn–Bardstown, bourbonmanor.com, (502) 350-1010.
• 1852 Hall Place Bed & Breakfast–Glasgow, bedandbreakfast.com, search 1852 Hall Place, (270) 651-3176. National Historic Register home, former Underground Railroad stop, six fireplaces, antiques, billiards, daily high tea by reservation only.
• 21c Museum Hotel–Louisville, 21cHotels.com, (502) 217-6300.
• Futrell House Bed & Breakfast–Cadiz (Pennyrile Electric), futrellhouse.com, (270) 522-9214. National Historic Register, 1878 Queen Anne home steps from downtown Cadiz, near antique shopping, Land Between The Lakes, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley.
• Grand Victorian Inn–Park City (Warren RECC),bedandbreakfast.com, search Grand Victorian Inn , (270) 590-1935. On the National Historic Register; 11 antique-filled guestrooms, café, breakfast on wraparound porch, bike and hike trail to Mammoth Cave, trains pass nearby.
• Hidden Cave Ranch Bed & Breakfast–Burkesville, hiddencaveranch.com, (270) 433-3225.
• Kentucky bourbon house and Colonel’s Cottage Inns–Bardstown, colonelscottageinns.com, (502) 507-8338. 1787 Federalist house and five cottages (1830– 1903) furnished with antiques; offering Bourbon University, Bourbon Cocktail Mixology, and Connoisseur Bourbon Tasting.
• Myrtledene Bed & Breakfast–Lebanon, myrtledene.com, (270) 692-2223. Designated Kentucky Landmark home, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s Civil War headquarters (he rode his horse up the indoor stairs and it left hoofprints on the treads), antiques, gardens, wisteria arbor, fish pond, hammocks.
• Paducah Bed and Breakfast–Paducah, paducahbedandbreakfast.com, (270) 978-1202. 1895 Queen Anne home, once owned by George Washington’s nephew, near The Moonshine Company distillery, National Quilt Museum, river wall murals.
• Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast–Brandenburg, southerngracebb.com, (855) 589-7829.
• 1840 Tucker House Bed & Breakfast–Louisville, tuckerhouse1840.com, (888) 297-8007. National Historic Register, 1840 Federal-style home with antiques, seven fireplaces, wooded grounds, summertime pool, yoga retreat weekend.
• Wren’s Nest Bed & Breakfast–Russellville (Pennyrile Electric), wrensnestbandb.com, (270) 542-6315. One hundred acres with scenic hiking trails, perennial gardens, woodlands, fishing pond, gardening, and birding retreats.
Most Bourbon Country overnight stays offer extras that range from fee-based add-ons to discounted offers.
Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn offers a Bourbon Tour and Tasting Package, with a $50 dining certificate to a bourbon-themed restaurant, tickets to your choice of distillery tours, a master distiller meet-and-greet, and more. Hidden Cave Ranch Bed & Breakfast offers an indoor grilling experience in the Dutch tradition on special occasions.
Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast has a Kentucky Bass Fishing Getaway and a Soldiers’ Rest and Relaxation Package, while 21c Museum Hotel offers Yoga with Art classes and free guided art tours.
For extras, check Web sites or ask the innkeepers.