JETSET EXPERIENCES: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

“The Kentucky Bourbon Trail” is a Mecca of sorts for bourbon enthusiasts around the globe. Located between Louisville and Lexington, it offers beautiful scenery, quaint southern towns, and enough bourbon brands to suit every taste.

Buffalo Trace, the first stop on our two-day tour, has been in the distillery business since 1787. In fact, it’s the oldest continuously operating distillery in America. During Prohibition the distillery was even permitted to remain operational to make whiskey for “medicinal purposes”.  We took part in the distillery hard-hat tour (hard-hat not actually required), where we witnessed every step of the bourbon making process. Hats off to the master distillers who consistently produce quality product in 100-degree plus heat!

After our initial introduction to the Bourbon Trail we relaxed with a stop for lunch at the beautiful Holly Hill Inn. Built in 1845, it’s one of Midway Kentucky’s oldest homes. The restaurant offered southern refinement, scrumptious food, and of course, excellent bourbon cocktails.

The weekend brought many unexpected surprises, such as the magnificent Dale Chihuly installation at Maker’s Mark as well as the multi-million dollar horse farms dotting the landscape. Our driver-guide, Chuck, suggested we must take his behind the scenes horse farm tour the next time we visited Kentucky. Our interest was piqued as we drove past postcard perfect Thoroughbreds grazing in their paddocks.

In addition to Buffalo Trace and Maker’s Mark, tastings were arranged at Willett, Limestone Branch, Four Roses, and Wild Turkey. We now feel well versed in all things bourbon and fortunate to have spent a lovey weekend in the picturesque Blue Grass state.

To book your own Bourbon Trail weekend experience, contact your JetSet World Travel consultant or

Happy Trails…and tasting!



Although it is the oldest continually contested sporting event in history, the Kentucky Derby is much more than a horse race.  It is a party of extravagance, tradition, and celebrity – with a heavy dose of Southern charm.  Every spring horseracing fans, and those simply looking for a fun time, descend upon Churchill Downs for “the Running for the Roses” – the most exciting two minutes in sports.  Whether you come for the mint juleps, couture fashion, celebrity sightings, or for a sizable wager, Louisville, Kentucky welcomes you with bowties, bourbon, and banjo pickin’!

Held the first weekend in May, the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks (the Grand Prix for 3 year old fillies held the Friday before) are the main stage events; however the black tie galas, champagne breakfasts, thoroughbred farm tours, and bourbon tastings held the week prior are a must to fully understand Kentucky’s heart and soul.  

Seating options at Churchill Downs range from Millionaire’s Row in the Clubhouse (big hats required) to the rowdy infield for a track level view.  

Where to stay: 21C Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville. Half contemporary art museum, half trendy boutique hotel, 21C’s bar features one of the South’s most impressive collections of Woodford Reserve and Van Winkle bourbons.

To experience this legendary event, please contact Lauren Maggard: