We’re going to let you on a little secret: now that the craziness of the Kentucky Derby is behind us for another year, this is the perfect time to visit the Bluegrass State, and there’s a lot more to see than just horses running fast and turning left. Kentucky is a state that is rich in culture and history, from the music of Appalachia in the east to the basketball-crazed fans of the big cities of Lexington and Louisville to the famous distilleries that dot the small towns in the center of the state to a river culture along the Mississippi on the western border.
If you want to discover some of the magic of Kentucky, you’re going to need a good guide, and that’s where Mint Julep Tours comes in. Based out of Louisville, the tour company offers a myriad of options for excursions that are open to the public, or you can craft your own custom experience to take advantage of their large fleet of vans and buses that can accommodate any size group from four people to four hundred. (If you’re planning to do some bourbon tasting in Kentucky, it’s always a good idea to let someone else handle the driving!) Mint Julep Tours also offers special elevated behind-the-scenes experiences where guests can discover aspects of the state’s culinary and distilling scenes that aren’t usually available to the general public.
Less than a three-hour drive from Nashville, Louisville is a fantastic spot to spend a long weekend, and Mint Julep Tours can help maximize the efficiency of your visit. You can use The ‘Ville as your home base for tours along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a collection of 16 large distilleries and 13 craft distilleries that open their doors to the public. Or stay closer to town for adventures along what they call the Urban Bourbon Trail where you can sample fine whiskey at historic buildings that have been reborn as production facilities and at some of the best bourbon bars in the world. If you want to learn about the aging barrels that give whiskey all of its color and much of its taste, there’s even a cooperage tour where you can see all those casks being crafted by hand before they offer the sweet whiskey a place to rest for years.
A new addition to the Mint Julep Tours offering is a partnership with Bourbon City Cruisers to show off their city from the back of a tuk-tuk, those three wheeled motorcycle taxis you might have seen careening through the streets of a crowded Asian city during an episode of The Amazing Race” Don’t worry, there won’t be any careening on these entertaining sightseeing tours of downtown. Louisville also has a great craft brewery scene, and you can visit several taprooms to taste flights of beer and tour the facilities while Mint Julep handles the logistics and transportation.
Mint Julep Tours has expanded their operations to Nashville over the past few years, and they have crafted itineraries that should be interesting to visitors and locals alike. We’re as proud of our Tennessee whiskey as our neighbors to the north are of their bourbon, so of course several of Mint Julep’s tours emphasize our version of “brown water.” Tours depart from downtown Nashville seven days a week to travel to destinations like the big boys of Tennessee whiskey at Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel as well as some of the smaller craft manufacturers such as Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. A fun “Barbecue, Beer and Bourbon” adventure highlights Nelson’s Green Brier along with beer from Bearded Iris Brewing and a smoked meat sampler tasting at Edley’s Bar-B-Que. Of course you can choose your own Music City adventure with a customized tour that can focus on whiskey, food, luxury shopping, music, art, history or any combination that you can dream up.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, it’s always smart to leave the driving and planning to somebody else, and Mint Julep Tours is there to take the wheel for you!