Oldham County, Kentucky, is home to all things Kentucky in one convenient location. The county is known for its customized Underground Railroad history programs, 15 educational farm tours, a new horse farm restaurant and speakeasy, bourbon tours, tastings, cocktail classes, and the quaint downtown shopping and dining district in La Grange, the only town in the United States with a freight train running on its Main Street. All things Kentucky can be found 25 minutes from downtown Louisville on Interstate 71 and 70 minutes from the Ark Encounter.
“Oldham County offers lower hotel room taxes and complimentary itinerary planning with group perks that are available only through the Oldham County Tourism office, such as the one-payment option for all things in your Oldham itinerary and gratuity-only step-on guides,” says Kim Hydes, executive director of Oldham County KY Tourism & Conventions. “Oldham County is Kentucky’s go-to destination for customized, small-town charm with big attractions, yet it is close enough to Louisville and many other regional attractions to enjoy those, too. These memories can be made in one place in Kentucky, only in Oldham.”
Oldham County holds two Underground Railroad designations from the National Park Service Network to Freedom. Learn about Oldham County freedom seekers and Underground Railroad conductors who, at great risk, sought to abolish slavery. Tour the new parlor exhibit of slaveowners James and Amanda Mount, visit cemeteries, operate a printing press, and enjoy a Kentucky-comfort-foods buffet with a local author, Underground Railroad expert speakers, and re-enactors.
April through November in the “Farm Tour Capital of Kentucky,” groups will find 15 different farm tour experiences! New to the flock is a tour of a thoroughbred farm that converted a barn into a farm-to-table restaurant serving food grown on-site. Tours range from horses of all types, bison, an artisan cheese dairy, sheep, organic foodie farms, botanical gardens, nature preserves, and a barn speakeasy for an old-fashioned cocktail class. Your group will enjoy Southern hospitality and experiences that create memories lasting a lifetime.
As an alternative option to Kentucky bourbon, Oldham County offers groups the chance to visit Kentucky’s largest beer garden (8-plus acres) and to sample fresh meads and ciders from the state’s only meadery, Hive & Barrel Meadery. Of course, the meadery also has bourbon. Kentucky Artisan Distillery is a one-of-a-kind ice-cream-factory-turned-distillery offering tours as uncommon as the craft bourbons it produces.
Oldham County has many connections to the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby pie was created in Oldham. Two of Oldham County’s horse farm tours are owned by the CEO of Churchill Downs and operated by racehorse nonprofits. Groups can tour a thoroughbred training center through Oldham’s farm tours. And in 2023, groups can design their own Derby fascinators, or meet and greet an official milliner of the Kentucky Derby with a tour of her shop in Oldham County.
Downtown La Grange is where guests can experience shopping and dining in the only town in the country with a freight train running on its historic Main Street. Streets are lined with plenty of seating to catch sightings of the passing train. La Grange is the perfect place to meander through two blocks of Mayberry-esque shops, galleries, and restaurants.
Oldham County farm tour bourbon tasting
Credit: Oldham County KY Tourism