Touring the Backway
28 Miles | 4 Days / 3 Nights  | Gateway City: Louisville, Kentucky

We recommend starting your journey in Louisville, Gateway to the South. A visit to Farmington Historic Plantation, the centerpiece of a 55 -acre spread constructed in 1816, lets you begin your visit in the Antebellum era. From there, tour Old Louisville, 1,200 acres of finely detailed, impeccably preserved, massive Victorian homes, where there is a walking tour or an option to drive. Next up, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, a must see, and in the evening enjoy a dinner cruise on the Belle of Louisville, the only authentic steamboat from the packet boat era still on American waterways. Two options for evening accommodations include the 1840 Tucker House, which lets you stay in the Old South, or the Inn at St. James Court, located in Old Louisville. There’s also The Brown Hotel, Louisville’s classic historic hotel built in 1923. On Day Two, you have the option to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum or chose from a selection of 9 other museums in downtown Louisville. Customize this part of your trip however you wish.    

On Day Three, it’s time to head to Bardstown, to visit My Old Kentucky Home State Park and take A Walk Through Time, in town. Museum Row includes the Civil War Museum, the unique Women in the Civil War Museum, and a military museum. Old Bardstown Village, features a collection of 18th and 19th century log buildings, a covered bridge and stone mill. The Wickland Governor’s Home was constructed in 1828. Accommodations at the 1819 Jailer’s Inn, converted into six individually styled guest rooms, lets you stay in the period. The Old Talbott Tavern dating from 1779, is another option.

View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!

Highlighted Attractions

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Park

Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin at Sinking Springs Farm on February 12, 1809. The experiences of his early years on the frontier instilled homegrown values that remained with him throughout his life. Although he did not remember his time at the Sinking Spring Farm some of the landmarks associated with Lincoln’s time and the early farm remain. The centerpiece of the site is a symbolic birth cabin enshrined in a Neoclassical Memorial Building atop a hill that features 56 steps to signify the years of Lincolns life. The 195-year-old white oak tree nearby was the “last living link” to Lincoln.

Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft

Founded to build on Kentucky’s craft heritage, the museums initial success ultimately led to a one-of-a-kind collection of 300 works of American Folk Art now housed in a four-story historic cast iron structure. As you tour, you’ll discover an overview of  Kentucky’s culture in displays featuring items from agriculture, domestic life, religious beliefs and pastimes, that also point out differences in economic participation and social class in the state.

Old Bardstown Village

A collection of ten original 18th and 19th Century log structures from a Colonial settlement, along with a covered bridge and Brown’s Mill.

My Old Kentucky Home State Park

Start your visit in Bardstown at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, where you can hear Stephen Foster’s famous song performed by the park’s talented guides. Learn stories of deadly duels, horse racing, fortune, fame, and demise, that involved the original residents who were surrounded with original fine antiques, paintings and beautiful architecture.

Abraham Lincoln Museum

The museum in the Hodgenville National Historic District explores the life of the 16th President in life-size dioramas and period artifacts, complemented with a superb collection of wax figures representing the major events in Lincoln’s life from the “Cabin Years” to “Fords Theatre.” Galleries are filled with civil war artifacts, a collection of original Lincoln art, a funeral train exhibit and more.

To experience all that My Old Kentucky Home has to offer, download the complete itinerary! 

The detailed itinerary includes: