We all need a girls getaway from time to time. If you're looking for somewhere new to visit with the girls, you need to head to Central Kentucky. A few weeks ago, I was able to hang out with some amazing bloggers on trip hosted by TravelingMom.com and we enjoyed a much-needed girls getaway in Central Kentucky.
I know you're probably thinking there's nothing exciting to do in Kentucky, right? Wrong!
1. Take in the Sights
We travel to Kentucky a few times a year and it's definitely my favorite drive. Seriously, everything is just that pretty. I love being able to drive and just see fields, fences, and horses everywhere you look.
On your drive into Central Kentucky, be sure to slow down, relax, and just take in the sights.
Honestly, whether you're touring a distillery or just driving around, look around you! We found this absolutely beautiful chihuly glass display on a ceiling in Maker's Mark. Don't forget to look up!
2. Get a great night's sleep
For our girls getaway, we stayed at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodburg, KY. There are over 70 guest rooms spread throughout 13 restored Shaker buildings. The Shaker Village Inn rooms include Shaker reproduction furniture, original hardwood floors and spectacular countryside views.
I stayed in a large room on the second floor of the Trustee's Office Building. While my room was plenty large enough to meet my family's needs, it was great for this Mama to have the whole room to spread out and enjoy the quiet.
The room includes a TV and wi-fi, but neither are the best, which is just fine by me! I loved being able to pretty much unplug, close my eyes at night and just get a great night's sleep.
If you're like me and enjoy quiet walks in the morning, Shaker Village is absolutely beautiful. I woke up, showered, got ready for the day and ventured out to explore the grounds on my own a bit.
3. Order a local dish
When in Rome …
Well, you get the point. If you always get chicken fingers and fries when out to eat, try something new! Ask the server what they recommend or what the restaurant is known for and give it a try.
While at the Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, we all shared a few local dishes: Old Kentucky Hot Brown, fried green tomatoes, and Kentucky Burgoo.
I even had my first Kentucky Mule at The Rickhouse in Bardstown and it's what I'd call a troublemaker. It's absolutely delicious and you can barely taste the alcohol! Oh, and don't forget to finish up your meal there with a Bourbon Brownie!
4. See how barrels are made
While I'm super nerdy sometimes and people don't always agree with what I find of interest, this is one I'm sure you'll enjoy! Learning how they make the barrels at ISC – Kentucky Cooperage was really interesting to me.
You'll be able to see a barrel put together, charred on the inside, and then taken apart to be repaired.
If that's not really your thing, I do promise that you'll appreciate watching the men doing the heavy lifting and slinging around the barrels. Those guys have to be in good shape to do this job and you'll get a pretty good view of that.
5. Taste everything
During the distillery tours, there is almost always a tasting! Even if you think you won't like something, give it a shot. This is not something you'll have many chances to do, so go for it.
While I really enjoyed all of the tastings, I think the tasting at Limestone Branch Distillery was my favorite. We were able to make drink combinations based off our our tour guide's suggestions. I did come home with a bottle of Blackberry Sugar shine and Chocolate Moon Pie Moonshine!
You can check out Traveling Mom's Facebook Live of our tasting below:
At Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, we took part in the Connoisseur Experience. It was nice to sit down, hear about the history of the distillery, and try what they're famous for and we even tried some “Bad Bourbon”!
At Maker's Mark, you can take in the grounds, taste several varieties, and finish your tour in the gift shop where you can even dip your own bottle in the iconic red wax!
And don't forget the bourbon balls! We had several bourbon balls at different distilleries (all made from that distillery's bourbon)! Chocolate + bourbon = yum!
This crazy looking contraption is part of the still at Wilderness Trail Distillery. We drank straight from the still here! We had “Kentucky Communion” (washed our hands with a little first) then shared a sip of 140+ proof. Wow! Talk about your Kentucky Hug!
6. Get a History lesson
I'm a history nerd. I have always loved the history and the stories behind the places we visit. Tom and I can't wait until the boys are a little older and will appreciate all of the awesome battlefields around us.
Shaker Village is full of history! If you're like me, you may not be quite sure what a Shaker is. We have a lot of Amish around us, so I thought they were something like the Quakers or Amish and I'm still going to hold by that.
The Shakers were actually pretty progressive though as far as gender equality goes. The women and the men were completely separated from the time they joined the village (yes, completely celibate), but their spaces were of equal size and they did equal jobs.
Did you know Shakers were the first to package seeds in those little packets?
I thought the Hands-On Room was fun to see with the kids toys and dress-up clothes. Let's be honest though, the adults tried on the clothes too!
I really love the simplicity of everything, down to the toys and all.
Shaker Village has plenty of activities you can take part in while there including a riverboat ride, meeting animals, building tours, and music.
7. Wander around Bardstown
While in Central Kentucky, leave yourself some time to wander around Bardstown, the most beautiful small town in America.
Bardstown offers amazing shops, restaurants, bourbon tours and tastings, ghost tours, and lodging!
8. Get a Science lesson
While touring the distilleries, you'll learn a lot about the distillery's history. Not all of the distilleries have all that history though. I really liked hearing about the science behind the process at Wilderness Trail Distillery. They have not been around nearly as long as many of the others, but what they do on site is super cool. Seriously, there are scientists that you can take a peek at through the glass.
We learned that distilleries and fuel companies from all over send their product to Ferm Solutions (at Wilderness Trail Distillery) to test for quality and for help optimizing their product.
9. Take a Tour Bus
Even if you think you know your way around Central Kentucky, I'd still recommend taking the tour with Central Kentucky Tours. Our driver, Bruce, knew a ton about the area and was able to fill in the gaps nicely while driving around.
Taking a tour bus means you'll have more time to chat and catch up, all while making sure you stay on schedule and don't get lost!
We did the Barrel to Bottle Tour with Central Kentucky Tours and I would highly recommend doing the same. This tour picks up at Shaker Village at 8:15am Monday-Friday with another pick-up at Beaumont Inn at 8:30am.
10. Enjoy a Seed-to-Table Meal
Shaker Village is full of history, but it's also big on sustainability! The Trustee's Table restaurant focuses on a seed-to-table menu! We were able to tour the gardens and farm with the farm manager. He was so excited about sharing what he is doing here at Shaker Village and that excitement definitely rubbed off on our group. I love to see people really excited and proud about what they're doing.
Our dinner at Shaker Village was absolutely amazing! This salad is definitely going to be recreated in my house soon because I think it's one of the best salads I've ever had (and I love salad)!
During breakfast one day, we were lucky enough to get a little lesson from the beekeeper. Seriously, it's a cool job, right? Like everyone else we met at Shaker Village, this girl really loves what she's doing! We learned a ton of little tidbits about bees and how their hives work. (Did you know if a Queen Bee dies, the hive turns into a chaotic mess? Honestly, I'm not surprised, because you know… #momlife)
Shaker Village harvests their own honey and sells it as well as uses it in the kitchen. We had fresh honey butter right from Shaker Village with our biscuits one morning!
11. Catch Up with Friends
There are so many quiet places to reconnect at Shaker Village, like this fire pit area. I'm thinking s'mores, drinks, and lots of chit chat deserve to be spent here!
A girls getaway should of course leave you feeling refreshed and caught up with your friends. We all need time away to really slow down and be ourselves instead of just someone's Mommy. Whether you're on a tour bus, tasting bourbon, eating a yummy meal, or hanging out in your room – make sure you take time to catch up.
I would absolutely love to answer any questions you have! Just leave me a comment below.