Experience Kentucky: Bourbon, Horses and Chef-Driven Cuisine

A Sponsored Message by Kentucky Department of Tourism


Our brains thrive when we try something new. The rush of dopamine from novel sights and activities not only feels good, it actually helps us learn better and be more creative. This is exactly the kind of mindset you want your attendees to be in while at your event. In Kentucky, the opportunities for new and unique experiences are seemingly endless.

The Bluegrass State sits at a unique cultural crossroads—part midwestern, part southern, part country, part big city. But one thing’s for sure: Planning an event in Kentucky is guaranteed to impress. The state-of-the-art convention centers in both Lexington and Louisville are excellent places to start, but the real fun begins when you take your attendees outside the conference room and give them the chance to immerse themselves in authentic local adventures centered on three Kentucky icons: bourbon, horses and delicious cuisine.

On the Bourbon Trail
In Kentucky, bourbon is a way of life. Home to about 70 distilleries, this is where 95% of the world’s bourbon comes from, so it stands to reason that it’s also where you’ll find some of the industry’s biggest names, including Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Jim Beam. One of the best ways to give your attendees a true taste of the spirit of Kentucky is to plan a trip along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. Start in Louisville and make your way through the 18 distilleries that have defined the state’s bourbon heritage, meeting master distillers, taking behind-the-scenes tours and tasting select bourbons you can’t find in stores all along the way.

Saddle Up
Few places are as synonymous with horses as Kentucky. Take your team to the famed Churchill Downs for an unforgettable gathering under the iconic Twin Spires or an exciting race-day event. You can also invite them to saddle up and feel like a real cowboy or cowgirl while riding horseback through the wooded trails around Whispering Woods Riding Stables, or with an event at the rustic Windy Meadows Equestrian Event Center, located just 30 minutes from Louisville and one hour from Lexington.

Beyond Barbecue
From Western Kentucky barbecue to bourbon balls to blackberry jam cake, Kentucky is filled with culinary traditions that are as varied as they are delicious. Dig into an open-faced hot brown sandwich at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, or treat your group to the slow-roasted pork, chicken or mutton served with a vinegar-based dip in any of Owensboro’s Western Kentucky-style barbecue joints. For an elevated farm-to-table experience, head to Midway’s Holly Hill Inn to sample chef Ouita Michel’s renowned southern cuisine featuring the best local ingredients that Kentucky’s farmers and artisans have to offer.

What happens outside the conference room can have a big impact on what happens inside of it. Give your attendees an inspiring Kentucky experience they’ll never forget.