We had a trip planned months ago for Labor Day weekend, but at the last minute, we decided our original destination was too far away. With a week before the holiday weekend, we scrambled to plan a trip to Louisville. We found a spot between Louisville and Bardstown that would allow us to explore both locations, and to bike, taste bourbon, and explore festivals.
The Louisville South KOA delivered on a site for us last minute. This KOA is in Shepardsville, KY,, and is about 30 minutes to both Louisville and Bardstown. This was a large campground and was a KOA Holiday. The kids enjoyed a movie both Saturday and Sunday night and they also spent a lot of time biking, playing at the playground, and doing tricks on the jump pillow. There was also putt-putt golf and a pool. We also explored the nature walk. This impressive walk took us to a fishing pond, the Salt River, and a limestone cave.
Our water and electric site had gravel and was a pull-thru on the end of the row. We were close to the playground and a bathhouse, but far enough away to be out of the action.
Bardstown was our destination on Saturday. Bardstown was voted most beautiful small town by USA Today in 2012. Bardstown is home to a charming downtown surrounded by historic homes Bardstown is also home to six distilleries. We started out day by walking the downtown and grabbed a cup of coffee at newly opened Fresh. We decided biking through the neighborhoods would be a good way to see the homes. There are not bike paths, but traffic was light enough that we felt safe with the kids on bikes.
We previously toured many of the distilleries, so these were not a priority, but we did decide to tour Barton's 1792. Our guide at Barton's did a nice job teaching us something new that we hadn't heard on other tours. We learned that Kentucky whiskey was popular on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. People would ask for that Bourbon Street Whiskey, which eventually became Bourbon Whiskey. This early Bourbon aged in the barrels during the long transport down the Mississippi River in the many months of transport, giving it the distinct color and flavor that would become America's Native Spirit.
Sunday we wanted to explore Louisville on bike. After a great breakfast at the downtown Wild Eggs, we parked on the east end of Riverside Park and headed out along the Ohio River. We rode over the Big Four Bridge, a former rail bridge that has been converted for pedestrian and bicyclist use. The bridge is 2525 feet and connects Louisville to Jeffersonville, IN.
Jeffersonville is a charming town with a downtown filled with dining, shops, river overlook, and a park. We crossed back into Kentucky and continued toward downtown Louisville. Along our route, we passed a Lincoln Memorial, several playgrounds, food trucks, a lot of greenspace, and then into downtown Louisville.
Our biking destination was Louisville's WorldFest. In its 15th year, WorldFest celebrates Louisville's 150 nationalities that call the city home with four days of music, culture, education, and food. We saw Celtic dancers, Cameroon performers, and of course enjoyed great food.
The Greater Louisville area really has it all - Bourbon Country, great festivals, charming neighborhoods, good eats, and convenient camping options.
Shane and Jessica
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