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DETAILS: Kentucky Bourbon Trail

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

GETTING THERE: United, US Airways and Southwest offer nonstop service between the Washington area and Louisville. Round-trip fares start at about $300. From Louisville, take Interstate 65 south to Route 245 east. Bardstown is 41 miles southeast of Louisville.

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WHERE TO STAY: Bardstown has many hotel, motel and bed-and-breakfast options. Two that locals prefer are the Bardstown Parkview Motel (418 E. Stephen Foster Ave., 800-732-2384, http://www.bardstownparkview.com), which has 32 rooms and the well-regarded Kurtz Restaurant on the premises. Doubles start at $60 a night. Another colorful option is the Jailer's Inn Bed & Breakfast (111 W. Stephen Foster Ave., 800-948-5551, http://www.jailersinn.com), which, as the name implies, is housed in the former county jail. There are six guest rooms. Rooms with two double beds start at $115.

WHERE TO EAT: The best place in Bardstown to get a Hot Brown sandwich is Mammy's Kitchen (114 N. Third St., 502-350-1097). The legendary open-faced turkey sandwich topped with Parmesan cheese sauce, created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, goes for $6.49 at lunch. The Old Talbott Tavern (107 W. Stephen Foster Ave., 800-482-8376) is another good bet for lunch. Winners include a bowl of Kentucky burgoo (a spicy meat stew, $5.95), country ham steak and fried catfish (both $9.95). Bardstown might seem an unlikely place to find Bosnian food, but Kreso's Family Restaurant (218 N. Third St., 502-348-9594) is one of the most popular places in town. Favorites include goulash ($14.95), Bosnian salad ($6.95) and the Kentucky-inspired Jaeger schnitzel ($17.95).

WHAT TO DO: The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History (114 N. Fifth St., Bardstown, 502-348-2999, http://www.whiskeymuseum.com), open daily year-round, contains a terrifically large collection of artifacts related to the history and process of making bourbon. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail ( http://www.kybourbontrail.com) leads to seven distilleries (soon to be eight; tours at Tom Moore begin Wednesday) in the area. All are open year-round and offer free guided tours; most also offer free tastings:

· Buffalo Trace (1001 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, 502-696-5926, http://www.buffalotrace.com).

· Four Roses (1224 Bonds Mill Rd., Lawrenceburg, 502-839-3436, http://www.fourroses.us).

· Heaven Hill (1311 Gilkey Run Rd., Bardstown, 502-337-1000, http://www.bourbonheritagecenter.com).

· Jim Beam (149 Happy Hollow Rd., Clermont, 502-543-9877, http://www.jimbeam.com).


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