Baseball, Horses, Caves, and Bourbon

In no particular order of course. We add a new state and a celebrate Thanksgiving in Kentucky.  We spent our Thanksgiving hiking in caves.  From hiking caves, viewing a horse race at Churchill Downs, seeing how baseball bats were made and tasting some of the Kentucky Bourbon, we journeyed into the state of Kentucky and just scratched the surface of what this beautiful state has to offer. We jammed backed our 2 weeks here. Join us for our reviews of the western part of Kentucky. We will be back to visit the eastern part soon.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the Crossroads RV Park.  Located right off Hwy 65 in Elizabethtown.  This park is an old KOA and has all the comforts of home.  We arrived after dark and did not see the grounds till morning.  We were spending Thanksgiving here and we have a long weekend planned of adventures. The RV park has clean hot showers, accepted our amazon packages, clean laundry room and good wifi.  Many spots were available and only a few permanent residents.  Grocery was close and we had little to no highway noise. Pets are accepted with the normal restrictions on breed. Our weekly cost for this park was $225, we pay extra for Amber to come along. She is a requirement when it comes to our stays. We would recommend this place as it does fit our needs and requirements for our stay.

Places we Visited

The Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln – The is a National Historic Park.  Easy access and lots of history and Lincoln himself.  A short film and a short hike up the log cabin where he was born.  Even though this was a replica, it was still fascinating that our 16th president was born in such a tiny home.  He only lived here a short time before moving onto Indiana and then onto Illinois, this place holds a special place in American history.  Worth the stop if you are visiting the other parts of the area.  Its take about an 1 hour to visit the park, there is no admission and a small gift shop in the visitors center.

Jim Beam Distillery – You can’t go to Kentucky and not see a Bourbon Distillery.  We chose Jim Beam.  We are not drinkers, but this was a really neat place to see how bourbon is made.  We learn the 5 rules of bourbon. The first rule is that it has to be made in Kentucky otherwise it’s called whiskey.  We were able to create our own bottle of Knob Hill Bourbon.  At the end of the tour was a tasting room.  Here you can taste all the Jim Beam varieties.  A tour cost $14 per person and takes about 1.5 hours.  Well worth the stop and tour. Tour includes a Jim Beam shot glass as a souvenir. Even met another semi full-time RVer there – David and Suzy at Blue Moon Journeys

Fort Knox and Bouillon Dispensary – This was a very different kind of visit.  We did a drive-by and here’s why.  In order to get onto Fort Knox to visit the General Patton Museum, you have to get a pass in the visitor center before the gate on the base.  This consists of getting out of the car, getting a number to get vetted before receiving clearance to the base.  It was not worth our time to wait in line just to see the Dispensary.  You can drive-by the building and see it.  Going north on 31W you can’t take pictures, but going south you can, just don’t stop.  Worth the drive-by.

The State Capital – Frankfort – Our 8th capital tour. This capital offered a self-guided tour. When you enter the building, you will be greeted with some Southern Hospitality and offered a program to guide through the capital building. As we journeyed through, you can see the staff was diligently working on getting ready for the holiday season and the lighting ceremony happening the next morning. This building is the 2nd in Frankfort, the first becoming a museum for the state. This building was finish being built in 1910. It is the 3rd capital location within the state and houses all 3 branches of government. The building recently went under renovation and updated with a unique feature we have yet to come across. Inside the rotunda, the lighting changes color with new LED lights. For the holidays, they change the color to red and green. It is a neat feature for a capital building. Overall, the visit was exciting to see and interesting to learn about Kentucky history. The visit will take about 1.5 hours and free.

Rebecca Ruth Chocolate Shop – When we visited the capital building, we were recommend to visit Rebecca Ruth’s. This is home of the original Kentucky Bourbon Ball. Yes, bourbon in chocolate is very yummy. Located just down the street and over the river, you can get a tour of the factory where they make the bourbon balls and other chocolate candies. Queue the scene from I Love Lucy and her candy job where she ate the candies. The factory has a similar feel. All the chocolate is made here is this factory and makes over 5 million per year. At the end of the tour, you are greeted with a sample of said bourbon ball and given the opportunity to purchase more (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) to take home, or just to the car and not share with anyone 🙂 Tours lasts about 30 minutes, costs $5 per person and the tour guide was very animated. Worth the stop!

Mammoth Cave National Park – Wow, Wow and more Wow. With every National Park we visit, we are simply amazed by the wonder of spectacular views. This park is mostly underground. Over 400 miles of underground caves to explore. Needless to say, we only experienced 2 miles of it. Thanksgiving weekend we went on our first tour, the Domes and Dripstones tour. We got to see many of the offerings the cave had to offer and traveled about 300 steps, mostly just getting to one of the main domes. You of course have a park ranger with you, and they will tell about how the caves were formed and how they were found. There are stories about the caves that only that the rangers can give flawlessly.

Well, we could not get enough of the caves. We decided that on travel day (headed to Nashville) we were going to do another tour. This time we went on the Gothic tour. This tour is only offered one time per day. Only 36 people allowed per tour. This makes for a more intimate time exploring and learning about the cave. Entering through the main entrance, we saw the rotunda and learned how they excavated the salt peter for weapons used during the war. We visited parts of the cave that were preserved for future generations to come and visit. Visiting Mammoth Cave is a National Park however the tours are fee based and we would recommend that you make reservations in advanced online. The Domes and Dripstones tour was $17 per person and the Gothic Tour was $15 per person. This is a must do in Kentucky and experience the underground of nature.

Louisville Slugger – We love visiting factories to see how things are made. The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory has a guided tour to see how the bats are made for pro players and the general public. In the museum, you learn the history of the baseball bat and be able to visit a batting cage. There are many tour options here to visit. The factory tour runs about every 10-15 minutes and $15 for admission. There is a gift shop that you can get a bat with your name on it. Tour price includes a mini bat souvenir. Allow 2 hours for maximum enjoyment.

Churchill Downs – Originally, we just wanted to visit the museum but when we arrived the parking lot was full and closing was at 5pm. We were just a bit bummed by this, but with a little research and time, we figured out there was horse races taking place. We found a parking spot, paid our $5 admission and went in to see a horse race in Churchill Downs. This experience was awesome and amazing. We did not bet on a horse, only because we don’t know how. We saw the horses as they were being showcased before the race. Then we went on saw the race on the track. Approx. a minute and half later the race was over. But the rush of excitement and yelling our head off to root on a horse was really awesome. We saw 2 races out of 10 and it was so enjoyable to spend a late afternoon. Check the website for details on events happening at Churchill Downs.

This wraps up our stay in Kentucky. We have many photos of our adventure in Kentucky, you can find them on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We spent 2 weeks here and we need to come back to spend more time exploring and enjoying what Kentucky has to offer.

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