Kentucky Bourbon Trail 2020

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Celebrating 12 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
2020
 

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  • Just bring your bike to take in the World-Recognized Bourbon Trail – what more could you need? Your bike, your friends and Bourbon!
  • Kentucky has much more than meets the eye! 
  • According to Travel & Leisure Magazine, Kentucky is known for many things including the capital of Bourbon Country, producing 95% of the world’s Bourbon. 
  • Also, Kentucky is the self proclaimed Horse Capital of the World with a horse population of 300,000.
  • "Better in the Bluegrass," according to the Kentucky Department of Tourism.
  • Unpack just one time, staying at the same hotel for the entire bicycle tour.
Day 1, Saturday - September 19, 2020
 
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Welcome Dinner & Louisville, Kentucky
 
The bicycle tour will begin in the most vibrant city in the state of Kentucky, the birthplace of Bourbon. We start the bike tour in Louisville (named after King Louis XVI of France), which was settled in 1778, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Of course Louisville is also know for the Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Downs (located a few miles from the starting hotel). Oh by the way, Muhammad Ali is from Louisville as well as KFC (or known to many of us as Kentucky Fried Chicken) started in Louisville. Also, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is only about a mile away from the hotel. Most importantly, Louisville is now known for its bicycle friendly areas with bike paths encircling the city. The area is beautiful and the people are friendly. What a wonderful way to begin our Bourbon Trail Bike Tour. Within Louisville, we are staying in the NuLu area known for its art galleries, specialty stores and restaurants. In fact the NuLu area was just named one of the 18 Best Food Neighborhoods in America. Saturday morning, venture over to the opening day of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown on your own before joing Vacation Bicycling welcome dinner and get together scheduled for 4:30pm in the evening.
 
Dinner:
 
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Cast Iron Steakhouse
Ranked #1 out of 100 area restaurants by TripAdvisor in October 2019
Jeffersonville, Indiana (Just across the Ohio River from Louisville)
 
Salad:
  • House Salad - Crispy iceberg and romaine lettuces with cheddar, bacon, grape tomatoes and shoestring onions
Entrée Choices:
  • New York Strip -12 oz seasoned choice strip steak. Served with choice ofSautéed Spinach, Baked Potato, Baked Sweet Potato, Giant Potato Cake, French Fries, Mashed Potatoes, Applesauce, Sautéed Green Beans or Coleslaw
  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast - Chicken Breast topped with Parmesan crust and a tomato relish. Served with choice ofSautéed Spinach, Baked Potato, Baked Sweet Potato, Giant Potato Cake, French Fries, Mashed Potatoes, Applesauce, Sautéed Green Beans or Coleslaw
  • Salmon - Blackened with cucumber dill sauce or sweet chili style. Served with choice ofSautéed Spinach, Baked Potato, Baked Sweet Potato, Giant Potato Cake, French Fries, Mashed Potatoes, Applesauce, Sautéed Green Beans or Coleslaw
  • Four Cheese Pasta - Rigatoni pasta tossed with marinara and fresh basil with mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano and a dollop of our very own Parmesan cheese mix on top 
  • Colossal Burger - Its Four Sandwiches in One! The buns are grilled cheese sandwiches made with three different kinds of cheese. Next they load on a 3/4 pound burger with three different cheeses and then add a BLT with shoe sting onions and all the fixings – then topped with a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce 
Lodging:
 
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Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown NULU
Louisville, Kentucky
(Stay at the same hotel for the entire trip)
  • Internet
  • Full kitchen with refrigerator
  • Seating area with sofa 
  • Microwave
  • LCD TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming Pool
 
Day 2, Sunday - September 20, 2020
 
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Ride through farmlands and quarter horse ranches to Castle & Key Distillery + Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour.
 
We begin our day's ride from Asbury University and start bicycling through the low traveled back roads of Kentucky. We pass by horse farms, cattle ranches and even a small vineyard. We will end our ride after passing through the well manicured pastures grounds of Ruis Racing (formerly Woodford Thoroughbreds) at the Castle & Key Distillery. The Castle & Key Distillery is ranked the #1 Thing to Do by TripAdvisor. Where you will have the opportunity to have a quick bite to eat at their newly opened mini-cafe or take a distillery tour ($30). We then proceed to Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky and situated in a valley alongside the Kentucky River. After a quick shower at the hotel, tour the Buffalo Trace Distillery, ranked the #1 Distillery Tour by Yelp ($No cost). Dinner in downtown Frankfort at Serafini in the evening just a short walk from the state capital with its beautiful buildings and well manicured grounds.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 27 miles, riding from Asbury University to Castle & Key Distillery. [The route is a combination of flat and rolling hills.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown NULU
Louisville, Kentucky
(Stay at the same hotel for the entire trip)
 
Dinner:
On your own
 
Day 3, Monday - September 21, 2020
 
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Big Four Bike Bridge & Indiana's Ohio River Greenway
 
Today we bicycle from our hote in Louisville. As we road our bicycles through horse country yesterday, you never know if you were riding in view of the past or next derby winner. We bicycle from the hotel across the Big Four Bike Bridge into Indiana. In Indiana we ride on the Ohio River Greenway passing through the Loop Island Wetlands, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Park and the George Rogers Clark home site in the Falls of Ohio River Park. As we return back over the Ohio River we ride through various Louisville parks, including the Caperton Swamp Pak and the Louisville Champions Park before arriving back at our hotel.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; 17 miles, riding over Big Four Bike Bridge to and through Indiana; 26 miles riding over Big Four Bridge to and through Indiana and then riding through the various parks east of the bridge in Kentucky.  [The route is primarily on paved flat bike paths. The only hills are riding on the ramps to the bridge, which is circular on the Kentucky side.]
 
Dinner:
On your own
 
Lodging:
 
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Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown NULU
Louisville, Kentucky
(Stay at the same hotel for the entire trip)
  • Internet
  • Full kitchen with refrigerator
  • Seating area with sofa 
  • Microwave
  • LCD TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming Pool
Day 4, Tuesday - September 22, 2020
 
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Louisville Riverwalk & Loop (westside) Trail Bike Paths
 
When you look a little closer are Louisville, you will see that Louisville is a city that has many twists. The Southern cuisine there has made Louisville one of the “10 Best New Food Cities” in America. In addition to the numerous distilleries there is Churchill Downs, the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Muhammad Ali Center are other highlights of the city. We travel alongside the Ohio River for the beginning of the ride today. Then we traverse the various old neighborhoods and parks including the Lanna Memorial Park, the Portland Warf Pak and Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing. At the furthest part of the ride we ride atop the levee with views of the city and Ohio river.
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel; or 15 miles, riding to Shawnee Park and back to the hotel; or 44 miles, riding to Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing and back; or 50 miles riding to the end of trail and back to the hotel.  [The route is primarily on paved bike paths with some road riding to transition between the bike paths. The route is mostly flat.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown NULU
Louisville, Kentucky
(Stay at the same hotel for the entire trip)
  • Internet
  • Full kitchen with refrigerator
  • Seating area with sofa 
  • Microwave
  • LCD TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming Pool
Dinner:
On your own
 
Day 5, Wednesday - September 23, 2020
 
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Free Day or Louisville Loop (eastside) Trail Bike Path and Floyds Fork Park
 
Take a day off to enjoy a fee day. (Or ride the optional Route.) You may not realize, but Top Chef Kentucky premiered on Bravo with Louisville and Kentucky at the backdrop and culinary inspiration. Bourbon and Biscuits of course can be found at almost every restaurant. Then experiment with the latest restaurant cuisines and drinks, including Bourbon cocktails and Mint Julep Bunt Cakes that are the current trending foods. If you decide to take part in the day's ride, you will experience the longest completed section of the Louisville Loop bike trail, which will one day encircle the entire city. Luckily we will start bicycling at the Pope Lick park which is midway on the bike path, so you can ride just ride the north or south part of the trail or if you are feeling adventurous, you can ride both. The bike path runs next to the Pope Lick river, Floyds Fork river and through forests as we also ride through various parks that include Beckley Creek Park, Big Beech Woods and Broad Run Park. 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, exploring Louisville on your own; 12 miles round-trip riding north on the Louisville Loop bike trail to Angler Lake and to the end of the path; or 27 miles round-trip riding south on the Louisville Loop bike trail to Broad Run Park and the end of the path; or 39 miles riding round-trip on both routes. [The route is on a paved bike path which is mostly flat with some hills.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown NULU
Louisville, Kentucky
(Stay at the same hotel for the entire trip)
  • Internet
  • Full kitchen with refrigerator
  • Seating area with sofa 
  • Microwave
  • LCD TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming Pool
Dinner:
 
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Churchill Downs - The Millionaires Row and Skye Terrace 
Sit down in the same seats as the world’s most revered racing enthusiasts! 
Louisville, Kentucky
 
Salad choices:
  • Garden Green Salad - Mixed field greens and fresh vegetables with buttermilk ranch
  • Chef’s Market Salad
  • Spring Tomato Cucumber Salad - Dill, red onion and apple cider vinaigrette   
Entrée Choices:
  • Herb Brined Roasted Chicken - chicken demi-glace Bluegrass
  • Braised Pork - Kentucky Cheese Grits, greens and pickled mustard seeds
  • Southern Pasta Carbonara - Country ham, tomatoes, collard greens in a garlic cream sauce
  • Sides: Red Roasted Potatoes Spring Vegetables Sweet butter Rolls and Butter – Italian Arborio Rice with seasonal ingredients (vegetarian)
Dessert Choices:
  • Cookies, Brownies  and Warm Fruit Crisp
Day 6, Thursday - September 24, 2020
 
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Maker's Mark & Heavenly Hill
 
Today we take a short van ride into the heart of the Bluegrass state of Kentucky, the birthplace of Bourbon. We start our bike ride in Bardstown, which was settled in 1780 and is Kentucky’s 2nd oldest city. Bardstown has been declared by USA Today and Rand McNally as the Most Beautiful Small Town in America. What a wonderful way to end our Bourbon Trail Bike Tour in Bardstown, the Bourbon capital of the World. We then bicycle to the world famous Maker's Mark distillery. Be sure to take home a souvenir for yourself or your friend that is a Bourbon fan. At Maker’s Mark, you get to dip your own personal bottle of bourbon in wax to as a souvenir and along with your memory of a fun journey through Bourbon Trail that will last a lifetime. We bicycle to Maker's Mark distillery, passing by Heavenly Hill. Heavenly Hill's visitor center is ongoing a massive renovation, which should be completed by the time we arrive. If you have not taken the time to participate in a distillery tour and tasting, many people say Maker's Mark is the best one. After bicycling to Maker's Mark we will take the SAG vehicles back to the hotel
 
Breakfast provided by the hotel each morning.
 
Bicycling Route: 0 miles, staying at the hotel or taking the SAG vehicles to Maker's Mark; or 21 miles, riding past Heavenly Hill to our final destination, Maker's Mark distillery. [The route is flat with a few bigger hills.]
 
Lodging:
 
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Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown NULU
Louisville, Kentucky
(Stay at the same hotel for the entire trip)
  • Internet
  • Full kitchen with refrigerator
  • Seating area with sofa 
  • Microwave
  • LCD TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming Pool
Dinner:
 
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Bella Italia
Ranked #2 out of 100 area restaurants by TripAdvisor in October 2019
Jeffersonville, Indiana (Just across the Ohio River from Louisville)
 
Beginning:
  • Avocado & Spinach Salad - Baby Spinach, avocado, strawberry, gorgonzola cheese and toasted almonds; tossed in a poppy seed dressing
Entrée Choices:
  • Chicken or Veal Parmesan -  Pan fried chicken or veal cutlets with mozzarella, marinara & linguini pasta
  • Chicken or Veal Marsala - Lightly dredged chicken or veal with onion & mushrooms finished in a Marsala wine over spaggetti
  • Rigatoni Ala Vodka - Rigatoni pasta tossed with homemade creamy vodka sauce, mushrooms and pancetta
  • Pan Seared Salmon - Served with a spinach and caper cream sauce over linguini
Day 7, Friday - September 25, 2020
 
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Enjoy the beautiful Bluegrass state before heading home from your vacation.
 
Breakfast provided by hotel each morning
 

Please note all trip information is based on previous trips and/or contracted lodging and restaurants and is subject to change based on availability or specific trip needs.
 
Riding difficulty:
  • Riders who are comfortable riding at least 10 miles per hour should have an enjoyable trip. The routes are primarily on back paths or low traveled, designated bike routes. Please see the daily routes descriptions for additional information. Of course, if a rider is tired or does not feel like riding, the SAG vehicle will transport the rider to the hotel. All riders may ride at their own pace, slow or fast or anything in-between. For those days that riders choose to participate in a bourbon tastings, we will transport the riders back to the hotel after visiting the distillery.
Arriving by Automobile:
  • Drive to the starting hotel: Home2 Suites, Louisville, Kentucky, 240 S Hancock St, Louisville, KY 40202, leaving your car at the starting hotel for the duration of the trip. Parking is free at the hotel for us.
Arriving by Plane:
  • Fly directly into Louisville International Airport (SDF) and then rent a car, driving 6 miles to trip start; or take Uber or Lyft to trip start.
Deposit:
  • $200 to reserve your spot and the remainder due 45 days before the trip start.
What is Included:
  • Hotel lodging
  • Ride packets, including maps & cue sheets (directions)
  • Fully sagged, including ride leaders, luggage transport, SAG vehicle transportation and rider assistance
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Dinner with the group three evenings (see above)
  • Great riding, scenery, fun and enjoyment!
Bicycles:
  • Most participants bring their own bicycles
  • To ship your bike, we would suggest using shipbikes.com or bikeflight.com for shipping. To ship your bike to the hotel:  Home2 Suites, Louisville, Kentucky, 240 S Hancock St, Louisville, KY 40202 
  • If you fly, most major airlines including Delta, American, United and Alaska Air now waive the oversize fee for bicycles (sporting equipment) and just the standard luggage fee applies. Please contact your airline for all the details.
  • To rent a bicycle, please contact Wheel Fun Rentals, 1001 E. River Road Big Four Bridge - in Waterfront Park (Red Lot), Louisville, Kentucky 502-589-2453, wheelfunrentals.com
Weather September in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail area:
  • Average Low 61° & Average High 80° 

 

Contact Information:

Vacation Bicycling, LLC
1860 Barnett Shoals Rd, Ste 103-514
Athens, GA 30605
Phone: 706-363-0341 or email your question on our short Contact Form
 
Celebrating 12 years leading bicycle tours in the best of all 50 states, where will you go next?
 
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