A Kentuckymoon wasn’t our original plan. In fact, we weren’t originally going to go on a honeymoon at all. Gasp! I know, right? Mr. Adams insisted that we had too much going on, he had used up his vacation time for farm work and we were spending too much money on the wedding. I agreed, but still hated the thought of not going on a honeymoon with a burning passion. Ok, fine, I was mad. Why does he always have to be so practical?
After a considerable amount of harassment from family and friends Nick finally agreed that we should go on a honeymoon. The caveat was that it had to be inexpensive and close to home. So, that got me thinking…One week, touring The Bluegrass State, what could be better?
Day 1: Louisville Recovery
Our first breakfast as a married couple was a trip through the drive-thru at the Hardee’s in Junction City. It’s a happening place due in part to their incredible biscuits. I’m convinced that little old ladies dressed in floral housecoats descend from the knobs each night to make the biscuits from scratch.
Anyway, we had breakfast, took a nap and then headed to the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. They were so kind and upgraded us to a suite overlooking the river! Our big plans of dinner at Proof on Main and drinks out on the town turned into “it’s gross outside…there’s a restaurant in the hotel…I’m tired…these beds are comfy…good night.”
Day 2: Baseball & Bourbon
- Breakfast: You cannot go wrong at Wild Eggs. Everything was delicious and by everything I mean the 3 full meals that we ordered and split.
- Lunch: I’m all about hole-in-the-wall restaurants, but Nick is a bit hesitant at times. I had to force him to try Game, but luckily the food was amazing. Willing to try anything, I had bone marrow for an appetizer and the wild boar burger with fries. The bone marrow and fries were delicious, but the wild boar had a spice in it that just didn’t work for me.
- Dinner: Talbott Tavern was probably one of my favorite eateries along our tour route. Located in Bardstown, Talbott Tavern was built in 1779. I loved reading the history on the menu and then getting to walk around the tavern hoping to see some sort of paranormal activity! The food was great, the setting was great and the service was friendly and informative.
- I’m so glad that I finally went to the Louisville Slugger Museum; it was actually really fun! My dad is a huge baseball fan so it’s odd that I’d never been to before. We toured the factory, checked out all of the Louisville Slugger history and picked out our mini bats. The factory machines were amazing, but unfortunately photos weren’t allowed.
- Right up the street from Louisville Slugger is the Evan Williams Distillery, our first stop on The Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The tour gives a lot of history, with lots of videos. It’s kind of the Disney World of the distilleries. I would recommend it if you’re in town for a day and want to do a tasting, but it really wasn’t the authentic Bourbon Trail experience I’d hoped for.
- Four Roses in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was our nest stops on the Bourbon Trail. The Spanish inspired architecture was absolutely beautiful. I must also say that I nearly passed out while walking around the distillery because a couple of rooms were pretty hot and smelly. So just brace yourself for that if you go.
- We had no choice but to stop at a giant John Deere store out in the middle of nowhere….yeah, no choice. Why would we pass up a perfectly good opportunity to shop for a tractor just because we’re on our honeymoon?
Maple Hill Manor, Springfield, Kentucky: The farmland of Springfield makes for such a beautiful setting for this historic home. Maple Hill Manor was a Civil War hospital and the Clara Barton room we stayed in was right next to the room where they had to paint the floors to cover the blood stains. Not creepy at all.
Day 3: Kentucky Bourbon Trail Continued
Food on Day Three was blah; nothing to rave or rant about. For example, Nick had a sandwich while I ate Doritos with lackluster pimiento cheese sitting in the parking lot of the Bardstown Civil War Museum, which we didn’t end up touring. Left unsatisfied, we ended up eating Baskin Robbins ice cream and visiting the local humane society instead….totally normal.
- Loretto, Kentucky is home to Maker’s Mark, my favorite of the distilleries we’ve visited so far. I just loved the all black buildings with red accents, perfectly manicured grounds and attention to detail. My absolute favorite part was the Chihuly glass installation in the last rick house we toured.
- The Heaven Hill tour is perfect for someone who is interested in amazing machines and large operations. They have a HUGE manufacturing plant/distribution center. Not what I was expecting at all! Also located there is the Bourbon Heritage Center, which offers up a great visual history of Kentucky bourbon.
- Jim Beam was a bit of an amusement park set up with high-tech tasting methods. The scenery was beautiful and the tour was well worth it!
Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Cadiz, Kentucky: The lodge is right on the lake and offers beautiful views! All of the rooms are nice and I believe all have balconies.
Day 4: Land Between the Lakes
- Breakfast: We ate at the Lake Barkley Lodge, which I cannot recommend to even my worst enemies…it was terrible 🙁
- Lunch: Patti’s 1800’s Settlement was on and poppin’! It was October, so I’m not sure if the place is always decorated with Christmas decor, but wow! Oh and they had a mini pig. The food was very good. Don’t pass up their rolls. I would definitely recommend the stop just for the sheer entertainment factor if nothing else.
- Dinner: El Bracero in Cadiz, Kentucky. Your standard Mexican/American eatery. Salsa was good!
- Yup, still raining. At this point it has rained our entire trip. And as a result we had to cancel our plans to go horseback riding. Who wants to go horseback riding in the pouring rain? Not. Me.
- Due to the rain, we did a lot of driving in Land Between the Lakes and didn’t hike the trails I had planned. Here’s a list of where we went:
- Golden Pond Visitor’s Center: Offers a quick, visual history of the area. I loved the old photos.
- Elk & Bison Prairie: You are guaranteed to see elk and bison. Seriously, stay in your vehicle.
- Woodlands Nature Station: Great stop if you have kids and/or like birds of prey.
- The Kentucky Dam has unfortunately been closed to the public since 9/11. Guests are not allowed to tour the property, but we stopped at a little visitor center for some history and good photos.
- We puttered around downtown Paducha a bit and stopped at a bargain shopping place I’d heard about. It was a major let down, but then we went to an outdoor store, found a pink camo collar for our dog, Dakota Belle, and all was was right with the world. Nick has been wanting one for her since we got her 3 years ago…she has worn it once.
We stayed another night at Lake Barkley Resort.
Day 5: Spelunking
- We’re obsessed with the ice cream served at Four Generations Ice Cream Parlor in Stanford so when we realized that we’d be passing close by the source, Chaney’s Dairy, we needed to stop. I nearly cried when we pulled up to the cute little barn and the dang place wasn’t open yet! So Sad.
- No fun eateries to report for Day 5.
- The drive between Lake Barkley Lodge and Mammoth Cave was absolutely beautiful and it was actually sunny for part of the trip!
- We checked out Bowling Green and the Western Kentucky University campus. We also had time to check out a few places in Cave City before our Mammoth Cave adventure.
- If you’ve never been to Mammoth Cave, make time and GO. We did the Domes & Dripstones Tour. Make sure you schedule your tour in advance and remember there are no bathrooms in the caves!
- Oh and of course we stopped at another farm machinery store.
Cumberland Falls State Park, Corbin, Kentucky: The cottages here are perfect. The setting is beautiful and the little one bedroom cottage was just the cutest little nugget! With a cute front porch for lounging, a kitchen and a fireplace, these cottages are really a great lodging option at a reasonable price.
Day 6: Cumberland Falls & Sickness
Instead of going on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway Tour, I decided to get sick because that’s obviously more fun. It was actually the first sunny day of the trip so I managed to force myself to briefly check out Cumberland Falls. Oh and of course we made time to stop to buy a tire, because that’s what farmers do when they find a used tire for the right price on their honeymoon. “You know those tires are hard to come by these days,” says Farmer Nick.
We ended our Kentucky honeymoon a day early. Nothing is worse than being sick away from home. I can’t lie, I was a sad to end our Kentuckymoon early, but I couldn’t have been more excited to start our lives together as husband and wife.