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4 of the Best Day Trips from Louisville KY

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When you think of Kentucky, you probably think of the legendary Churchill Downs in Louisville or the $6 billion worth of gold held in the underground vaults of Fort Knox. However, “The Blue Grass State” has so much more to offer. Here are 4 of the best day trips from Louisville, all within an hour and a half drive of the Louisville area.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Just an hour and a half from Louisville lie the world’s longest known cave system, Mammoth Cave. With more than 400 miles explored, visitors to Mammoth Cave National Park can visit the cave several different times to explore its vast chambers and complex labyrinths. There are also surface hikes, canoeing on the Green River, picnicking, horseback riding, bicycling, camping and so much more.

In Barren River State Resort Park, you can pass the time boating, fishing, and camping. Plus, there is plenty of opportunities for horseback riding, exploring museums, and golfing. In fact, there’s so much to do and see, it’s the perfect place to spend a fun and relaxing weekend or even a week-long vacation.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Niagara66 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Bardstown, Kentucky – #2 Best Day Trips from Louisville

The second must-see place on our list of the best day trips from Louisville is Bardstown. At just a mere 40 miles and one hour drive from Louisville, Bardstown, Kentucky, is a great spot for a day trip from Louisville. Lovingly nicknamed the “Bourbon Capital of the World,”  if you love bourbon, you’ll want to check out one of the many distilleries or even the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in September.

For those of you that want to do something other than distillery tours, check out the more than 16,000 acres of nature waiting to be explored at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, or explore the history behind the Abbey of Gethsemani and the Kentucky Railway Museum.

French Lick, Indiana

About 60 miles northwest, or a 1.5-hour drive from Louisville, is French Lick, Indiana. Although it may be a small town with a mere 2,000 residents, French Lick is packed with all kinds of adventures including skiing, jet-skiing, indoor karting, ATV tours, and even the French Lick Resort and Casino. Established in 1841, the gorgeous hotel has found the perfect blend of history and modern amenities.

mountains in Brown County Indiana

image via Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

Brown County, Indiana

Last on our list of the best day trips from Louisville yet definitely not the least is Brown County. Yet another destination across the state line, Brown County, Indiana is also just a quick hour and a half or so from Louisville. This small town surrounded by mountains is the perfect destination if you love to shop for arts and crafts. The area’s biggest attraction is its shopping square with hundreds of stores selling handmade gifts, but there is much more to do as well. Spend a romantic day visiting the numerous wineries, get your fill of outdoor adventure at Indiana’s largest state park, and there’s even a smaller replica of Tennessee’s Grand Ole Opry.

All 100 miles and an hour and a half of driving time from Louisville—these four best day trips from Louisville are the perfect distance for a day away from home or for vacation. So pack the car and head out to one of these amazing road trip destinations!

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