Every once in a while, Barfly steps out of our beloved city to see what is going on in the greater world of boozing. We’ve been to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, but neither reached the boozy heights of our most recent trip. Ladies and Gentlemen, we just got back from glorious Bourbon Country. We camped out in Louisville, Kentucky for a few days. Horse Racing, Bourbon Bars, Trendy Dining – this surprisingly cosmopolitan city had everything we yearn for while on a libation vacation.
With the economy improving slightly, it’s about time to reach beyond your normal stay-cation destinations and travel a little farther. Louisville isn’t so close that you feel like you aren’t really getting away, but it isn’t so far that you need to worry about heading to the poor house on your return. In Goldilocks parlance, this town is just right. Give Goldilocks some of that bourbon, and she’ll tweak her tempered judgment so it’s more in line with ours. This town is frickin’ awesome.
Over the next week or two, we’re going to chronicle our trip. Fall is coming up, so it's time to plan your September / October getaways. It’s still too expensive to head to Bavaria for October Fest, so head to this area for your very own Bourbon Fest.
Since we love surprises, we’ll start with a few of those. On many levels, Louisville wasn’t quite what we thought it would be. Check it out:
- Before visiting, we lumped this part of the country as “the South”, but that’s decidedly not the case. Nashville is only three hours south of Louisville, but the two areas can’t be more different. Nashville folks love their country music and speak with a southern twang. We didn’t notice that many heavy accents in Louisville, nor did we notice an abundance of wife beaters, beat up pick up trucks, or tears in beers (the stuff of country music, as far as we understand). Kentucky wasn’t part of the Confederacy, which may have tilted the town more toward chic than country. Both cities have plenty of half finished bottles of whiskey though. New England this ain’t.
- Like New York has Bleecker Street and Times Square, Louisville has its share of tourist traps. We thought we’d have to look much harder for the genuine bar experience, but there were plenty of posh options (and the folks at those spots were more than happy to point us toward the town’s many genuine dives). If the people in this town know anything, it’s how to drink.
- We still tear up when we think of this: the town is cheap. Sources tell us that a nice apartment in the center of the city cost less than $600 a month. That’s how much we spent on taxis in July. Perhaps it’s time for a move. One bar had a $5 bottle of wine night. That justifies transplanting one’s life, doesn’t it?
First up, it's on to the Bourbon Distilleries (aka Drinker’s Heaven). Stay tuned.