Linda Bruckheimer and her husband, film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, have traveled the world for work and pleasure, but Kentucky remains one of their favorite places. “We both love Kentucky,” she says.
The couple has a 1,600-acre farm in Nelson County, not far from where Linda grew up in Louisville. Linda says that sometimes when she meets people in Hollywood or elsewhere who learn about her affection for the Bluegrass State, “They say, ‘What do you do in Kentucky?'” she says with a chuckle. She has answers, though the bestselling novelist prefers to show instead of tell. When she’s hosting friends or business associates who haven’t visited Kentucky, Linda often likes to take them on a little road trip.
“I like dirt roads, scary roads, do-not-enter roads,” she says. If her guests are more accustomed to freeways than back roads, she might take it easy on them and just start with a drive along U.S. 62 between her home in Bloomfield and historic Midway. It’s a rich one-hour ride through rolling hills and past the signature dry stone walls built by hand in the 1800s. Afterward, they might look in a few shops or stop for lunch at one of Midway’s well-regarded restaurants like Heirloom or Holly Hill Inn.
From there, Linda and company might drive through horse country. “Everyone wants to know where the horse farms are,” Linda says. There’s also the Bourbon Trail. Maker’s Mark in Loretto isn’t far, and neither is Woodford Reserve just outside Versailles, both of which offer tours Linda recommends.
However, one of her favorite distilleries—at least to drive past and photograph—doesn’t let visitors behind its walls, at least not yet. “I love Old Taylor Distillery,” she says.
Located in the Woodford County community of Millville, Old Taylor has been closed since 1972, though it’s being refurbished and its ornate, castle-like exterior makes it worth a stop and a picture or two. On tours like these, “I take photographs the whole way,” Linda says. In fact, she’s working on a photo exhibit of pictures she’s taken in Kentucky.
Come dinner time, she might take guests to the Old Stone Inn in Simpsonville, Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, or Kreso’s in Bardstown.
For the most part, Kentucky’s engaging people and scenic countryside are the real attractions, Linda says. Whether she’s playing Bluegrass tour guide for friends or just cruising on her own, “When I come back at the end of the day, I’m as happy as I’ve ever been.”
Read the Kentucky Living January 2015 feature that goes along with this Web exclusive. Lights Cameras Bloomfield.