Buffalo Trace Distillery

The Kentucky Capital

Kentucky's state capital, Frankfort, is filled with Bourbon tradition and the oldest continuously operating distillery in the US calls this city home.

Visit The Capital City

Nestled along the banks of the Kentucky River, Frankfort is perfectly positioned between Louisville and Lexington. The city's rich tapestry of culture and natural beauty captivates visitors and locals alike. Steeped in a legacy that spans centuries, the city boasts architectural marvels like the majestic Kentucky State Capitol and the historic Old Governor's Mansion. At the same time, its picturesque downtown area invites exploration with quaint shops, vibrant eateries, and lively community events. Surrounded by rolling hills and verdant landscapes, Frankfort seamlessly blends the old with the new, which extends to its role in the bourbon industry with nearby distilleries crafting some of the finest spirits in the world, adding another layer of flavor to the city's already rich tapestry. Discover all there is to do over two nights and two days in the capital city.

Day One

Begin your day with breakfast at a local favorite known for its delicious Southern comfort food and featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” Rick’s White Light Diner. Or check out B’s Bakery, situated along Main Street in the heart of downtown, for your fill of made-from-scratch donuts, pastries, muffins, and so much more.

After breakfast, step back in time to a distillery inspired by European architecture. In 1887, Colonel E.H. Taylor built the Old Taylor Distillery, which became the birthplace of Bourbon Tourism. In 2014, the ruins of the grand distillery were brought back to life and given a second life as Castle & Key Distillery.

From there, journey over to Glenns Creek Distillery, where the owners offer hand-crafted, single barrel and barrel strength bourbon, including a special bourbon created from the original fermentation tanks from Old Crow Distillery.

Lunch and Dinner Suggestions:

  • The Stave, a Kentucky Bourbon Trail restaurant and bourbon bar nestled on the banks of Glenn’s Creek halfway between Woodford Reserve and Castle & Key Distilleries, features a Kentucky-inspired menu.
  • Bourbon on Main, a restaurant and bar specializing in Southern cuisine and an extensive selection of bourbons.
  • Serafini, across from the old State Capitol building, sits Serafini, where the menu selections focus on local ingredients that are combined to showcase the best of Italy with traditional southern food.

Day Two

For a grab-and-go breakfast before heading out on day two of bourbon experiences, OMG Donuts is a “sweet” way to start the day. You can also stop by either Kentucky Coffeetree Café on Broadway Street or Pop’s Diner across from Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Now that you are properly fueled, it is time to tour the most award-winning distillery in the world, Buffalo Trace Distillery. Name for the ancient buffalo that roamed the area, Buffalo Trace, a National Historic Landmark, one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in America, and is home to well-known bourbons like Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Jr., W.L. Weller, and Pappy Van Winkle. With various tours to choose from, all the tour experiences are complimentary, but reservations are highly recommended. For a unique tour experience during warmer months, join Canoe Kentucky’s Bourbon Paddle Tour, where guests paddle down the Kentucky River to the distillery for a tour, tasting, and lunch.

From there, it’s a short trip to J. Mattingly Distillery, where the sixth generation has perfected the first-of-its-kind custom bourbon blending process. Guests take on the role of distiller as they blend their own bottle from proprietary barrels and choose their own bottle, label design, wax color to seal the bottle, and name their bourbon blend.

Lunch and Dinner Suggestions Nearby:

  • Limewater Bistro + Bar is a fine dining restaurant in the historic 1815 Glen Willis house that sits on the Kentucky River.
  • Sage Garden Café, combining homegrown with homemade, Sage Garden Café showcases regional favorites.
  • West Sixth Brewery Farm is a unique 120-acre farm experience that combines a taproom, trails, and food trucks.

Wind down each night at one of these Bourbon Bars:

  • HOC: A Bourbon Library, the House of Commons Bourbon Library is a curated, one-of-a-kind experience for everyone from Bourbon novices to Bourbon aficionados.
  • The Cooperage Bar, originally a Wild West-style saloon, the Cooperage Bar was resurrected in 2019 into an upscale bourbon bar in the heart of Frankfort that maintains some of the charm of its past.
  • The Howser Tavern, a flavorful experience is ensured at the Howser Tavern with twists on classic recipes to experimental mixology.
  • Capital Cellars, taste fine Kentucky Bourbon in the heart of the bourbon trail where an unparalleled selection of bourbon awaits.

Looking for more bourbon experiences in the area to add to your “must-do” list? Check out:

Find A Room

Just like enjoying bourbon, there are many ways to experience it by staying in a variety of places from romantic countryside to vibrant downtown cities.