Sandra Scott Travels: Exploring The Flavor of Bourbon Country

The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.

The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.

Last week I asked: What state is famed for Bourbon?

It’s Kentucky.

The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.
The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.

I try to make sure every trip includes something interesting to see and do.

John and I were invited to a wedding in Louisville, Kentucky, so we arrived a day early so we could explore Louisville.

It was our first trip to the city.

We headed to the West Main District that has some of the oldest structures in the city including some with cast iron facades.

Evan Williams Bourbon Museum
Evan Williams Bourbon Museum

It is also the district that features Museum Row with several museums within walking distance of each other.

We toured the Evan Williams Bourbon Museum.

It is located on Louisville’s Whiskey Row across from the riverfront location where the Evan William’s distillery once stood.

I am not a bourbon connoisseur but I like to know the history of everything.

Williams was the first commercial distiller.


I thought it was going to be a talk and sip tour but it was very well done.

The tour combines videos, dioramas, and displays to explain the history and distilling bourbon starting in 1783.

I learned that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

The Frasier History Museum.
The Frasier History Museum.

By law bourbon must be aged in brand-new, charred white oak barrels, and it must be distilled in the United States to be called bourbon.

Our tour ended in a “tavern” for a tasting.

Three different bourbons were sampled and we were taught how to sip bourbon like an expert.

It is very well done.

Dedicated bourbon sippers can go on the Bourbon Trail; pick up a passport, get it stamped at all the places and at the end you get a T-shirt.

The Lewis and Clark Experience.
The Lewis and Clark Experience.

We passed on that.

There were too many other things to see.

Just down the street was the Frasier History Museum.

I started on the top floor to explore the Lewis and Clark Experience.

I have always wanted to follow the trail of Lewis and Clark.

Replica of a Sioux tipi.
Replica of a Sioux tipi.

I admire people who explore the unknown.

There was a cut-away replica of a keelboat, a Sioux tipi, and a Mandan earthen hut along with hands-on learning displays.

We had time to listen to one of their free daily historic interpretations.

It was called “Free Frank” and told about Frank McWhorter, a former slave who moved to Kentucky and worked to free the rest of his family from slavery.

There were sections devoted to America’s wars.

And, as you might expect, there was a section on the history of bourbon.

Cherokee Park
Cherokee Park

Museums always have unique displays such as the Frazier’s Toy Soldier Collection.

There are more than 10,000 figures making it one of the largest public displays of toy soldiers in the United States.

On the way back to our hotel we drove through the one of the city’s Olmsted-designed parks.

Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. and his sons, John and Frederick Jr., designed 18 parks and six parkways in Louisville creating an amazing amount of green space for the city.

Cherokee Park was on the way to the hotel so we drove through it.

It was perfect.

A statue of Daniel Boone
A statue of Daniel Boone

We drove along the tree-lined 2.4 one-way Scenic Loop past beautiful residences.

There were several walking trails but we didn’t have time – next time.

We stopped at a statue of Daniel Boone and at Hogan’s Fountain topped with a statue of the Greek God Pan and designed as a dog- and horse-watering fountain.

The 409-acre park is has scenic stone bridges and plenty of recreational areas.

It was a great way to end the day.

Trivia Tease™: What place on the Hudson River was built for defense?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!