Baby it’s cold outside! Chilly, gray, unusually rainy; February in Louisville is always rough. Regardless of the weather, we say keep exploring this great city! Trust us. Follow our advice and we promise you will be rewarded. Did someone say Bourbon?
While the South End has long been at the heart of Louisville’s role within the bourbon industry, many of the city’s urban distilleries have recently gone through a revitalization. One such distillery is the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller (3860 Fitzgerald Road). Who needs coffee when you can begin your day with a sample of Bulleit’s finest? Visitors can catch founder Tom Bulleit working at his desk in the same room where the legendary Pappy van Winkle once sat. Talk about bourbon royalty! The distillery gift shop features items such as the classic “y’all” t-shirt from the unique Kentucky For Kentucky line (kyforky.com), and you can walk away with a bottle of your very own.
To continue your urban bourbon education, why not eat lunch where distillery workers eat? Bud’s Tavern (4014 Dixie Highway) is an area favorite with classic bar food including their famous Fried Baloney Sandwich that will put the sunshine back into your gray day heart.
Nearby is Harbor House of Louisville (2231 Lower Hunters Trace, hhlou.org). Harbor House has long been a fixture of the South End, providing support to adults with disabilities and their families. This inspiring organization enriches the lives of those it serves through education, employment and community building. You can get in on the fun and help support Harbor House by participating in their annual Ken-Ducky Derby Fundraiser. Cheer on your very own rubber duck as it races 24,000 other rubber ducks down the Ohio River as part of the city’s Kentucky Derby Festival.
Another South End fixture is Mike Linnig’s Restaurant (9308 Cane Run Road). If traditional bar food isn’t your thing, make sure you try the fish sandwich at this family owned institution. Since 1925, they have been frying up fish using the same recipe. It’s that good! Located on the south bank of the Ohio River, Mike Linnig’s is a hit no matter what the weather is outside. Although you might catch yourself dreaming of summer days on their patio, you will leave with a full warm belly.
If you skipped your morning coffee, now is a great time to visit the friendly baristas at Stomping Grounds (10019 Dixie Highway) to prepare for a late night at The Waverly Hills Sanatorium (4400 Paralee Lane). Waverly Hills has received plenty of attention over the years as one of America’s most haunted locales. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this place is not for the faint of heart. Check it out yourself by joining one of their night tours! What we can promise is that you will be happy you bought that bottle of bourbon earlier in the day!