A screenshot of the National Geograpic’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail post. (Click to enlarge.)

This seems to be shaping up to be the year that the national media finally realizes what a fantastic travel destination Louisville has become.

First we had the Lonely Planet designation of Top US Travel Destination for 2013, and now National Geographic Traveller has taken notice too.

National Geographic Traveller Magazine counts the Bourbon Trail from Lexington to Louisville among its Best Spring Trips for 2013, alongside the Holi Festival in India, spelunking in New Zealand and tulip season in the Netherlands.

From the website:

Guided tours and tastings (don’t miss the chocolate-covered bourbon balls) are included at most stops, many of which are tucked away on Bluegrass State back roads. The tour isn’t a geographic route (distilleries are clustered mid-state from Lexington west to Louisville), so plot your own path past thoroughbred horse farms and historic small towns. Allow about three days to visit all seven, plus a few micro-distilleries on the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Spend a night at the Woodford Inn in Versailles (pronounced ver-SAYLZ) where the Friday night fish fry includes live bluegrass music on the lawn.

The Bourbon Trail is also featured in the National Geographic publication: Drives of a Lifetime, 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips.

The online adapted itinerary from “Drives of a Lifetime” only includes a brief stop in Louisville to take a trip down the river on the Belle of Louisville, our 99-year old floating historic landmark.

Also making the online rounds is Fodor’s “5 Reasons to Visit Louisville Now” by Louisvillian Dana McMahon. Chef Edward Lee’s new restaurant, Milkwood, makes the list, as does Insider Louisville’s downstairs neighbors Why Louisville II, Electric NuLu.

All of these reasons to visit Kentucky and Louisville this spring and not a single one involves the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Nice that the message that we’re more than the Derby is catching on.

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