THIS is what I want to write...
THIS is what I want to write about...Bardstown, KY -- about 30 minutes from Louisville
EAT: Old Talbott Tavern, one of the first eating and lodging places in Kentucky, great food, sample some bourbon
STAY: anywhere you want but for walking distance either stay at the Old Talbott Tavern, the Jailer's Inn, or if you like a clean motel use The General Nelson Best Western
EAT: Dagwoods, best bourbon steaks I've EVER had anywhere!
BOURBON: visit us (that means I'll be there, and NO I don't live in Ky.) Sept. 12 - 16 at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, for info check out... http://www.kybourbonfestival.com/
Bucca di Beppo
Everything here is absolutely excellent!! From my experience, this is pretty authentic Italian cuisine. It's served family-style, which means you better not go here alone! But seriously... the salads with gorgonzala cheese are excellent, as is the garlic bread, and their Tiramisu is wonderful. Also, the main dishes... chicken marsalla and such.... mmmmmm. The prices are reasonable once you consider how many people one dish will feed. Also... get some Chianti... it is also very good here. Ah, the pizzas are great too.. they're very thin with big toppings and some olive oil to pour over it.
Also, the ambience is especially different. You are first taken through the kitchen on the way to your table, and once at your table, you can look at the myriad of pictures, souveneirs, wine bottles, and other tacky knick-knacks hanging from the walls.
Alas.... more chains!! We seem to have tons of those out here in the burbs. Anywho, there is not a Friday's in Lafayette (area where I go to school), even if it had, at one point, the most number of restaurants per capita of any city. But I digress... the food here is pretty good, and you can always count on consistency in taste! :) Actually, they have a new menu, but it still has a good number of choices.
Maker's Mark Distillery
Probably one of the best tours I have ever been on. You get to see each step of the Bourbon being made described in detail by a very knowledgeable guide. Also, the site is now a KY historic Landmark!
Thunder Over Louisville- More Info
The fireworks are set to music, of course, so hearing the music is part of the show, something you kind of lose even if you could get into the Galt House (difficult to do unless you have a wristband, tickets and so on...) or even if you wanted to watch from the Hyatt. You're better of watching both the airshow and the fireworks from the waterfront, for the best view and proximity to the music. It's an experience in itself just being there... masses of people and all. Now, you could go to the Indiana side of the river, but then you'd have to get back and that's more work than it's worth.
As far as getting a spot early, I don't think you need to be there at 6am... you could get there later in the day. If you do go for the day, make sure to check regulations on coolers and other things like that. But unless you plan on staying the whole day, you can show up any time. If you do want to stay for the whole show, you might get there around 8 or so... you can get there reasonably early and set up somewhere. Plan on a lot of sun and heat, but be ready for rain.
I've never stayed for the whole show, usually showing up sometime closer to the fireworks, (9:30pm or so- whenever it gets dark) so I don't know what most people do. I just don't think you need to get there when it opens to find a good spot.
The best place to see both shows is the great lawn. Just don't be in a hurry to get anywhere, especially when the show is over.