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Kentucky: A road trip through the state - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Every few years we like to pick a state or region of the U. S. and go on a road trip with only a little planning. What I mean by this is that we pick out some of the places we want to go but do not have a set itinerary apart from the first and last days where we will book a hotel ahead. We always do these trips outside the main tourist times and so far have always found somewhere pleasant to stay.

We decided to start this trip in Louisville, Kentucky as we wanted to take a cruise on a vintage paddle steamer to see what the ‘golden age’ of river transport was really like. After that we want to explore what is said by some to be America’s best Victorian architecture. The state has a lot to offer in a relatively small area so this would be a trip where we covered fewer miles than usual.

Our general plan for this trip was to visit four main areas. We wanted to head towards Rosine in western Kentucky for some authentic bluegrass music, and visit the boyhood home of the genre' s pioneer, Bill Monroe.

Then no trip to this part of the world would be complete a look at how Bourbon is made, for this we headed towards Bardstown with its classic old main street. Many of the big names such as ‘Jim Beam’ overlook the town but there are many other smaller craft distilleries that can offer a more personal view of the process.

While I personally am not really into horses no visit here should overlook a trip to Lexington. Kentucky’s lucrative horse breeding industry can be found in this area’s rolling countryside along with various pampered thoroughbreds. As long as you visit out of season then the Kentucky Horse Park, which covers over 1, 200 acres near Lexington will give you a good flavour of the area.

The final place we wanted to visit on this trip was the Daniel Boone National Forest. We wanted to spend a little time in the unspoiled landscape, including seeing the Natural Bridge, a 25-metre-wide arch of rock.

We had chosen to spend our first couple of nights at Louisville’s original grand hotel, the Seelbach. The whole place is turn of the century elegance, from the brownstone exterior to the amazing lobby. Otto and Louis Seelbach started the hotel in 1869 when Louis came to Louisville to learn the hotel business. Al Capone often visited to play cards and drink bootlegged bourbon, while the bar is name checked in The Great Gatsby. The Hollywood classic, ' The Hustler, ' with Paul Newman features scenes shot in the billiard room, as does the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby. ”

If the Seelbach doesn’t suit you then maybe consider the 21c Museum Hotel. 21c is more than just a place to rest your head for the night. It' s a small boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, and award-winning restaurant of which there are now five to choose from. The brick walled rooms come with iPod docks and downtown views, plus it’s only a block from the river. This is what we had picked for our final few nights’ stay at the end of the trip.

The next section of our trip continues in part 2

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