Cheers Sippin Gypsy Travelers! This post comes to you while enjoying my Sippin Gypsy Sorbet Sparklers! For this post my sparkler has gin and raspberry sorbet with fresh mint from my garden, while my sidekicks (my sons) are enjoying the nonalcoholic version of this tasty refresher.
This summer we piled in our Jeep and traversed the country from South to North by way of Atlanta GA, then onto Louisville KY and finally to Chicago IL for a family get together before trekking back home. My boys are turning 12 and 13, and this was their first ‘Road Trip’ vacation. We all had so much fun! To make the drive easier we purposely broke up the drive with overnight stays no more than a 6 hour distance from one city to the next, with time to stop for lunch/dinner after 2-3 hours in. This worked beautifully!
Atlanta was the first stop and a city I love dearly. This would end up being my forth time really enjoying the city. The boys loved the Aquarium and the chance to see all the different habitats and ecosystems influenced by oceans, lakes and rivers. The boys also really enjoyed finding some of the street art sprinkled around the city. They loved that people are allowed to paint pictures and murals on the outside of buildings! I loved watching their appreciation for all types of art and how it inspired them.
For more suggestions of what to do in Atlanta: Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Playin': Atlanta
For dinner we spent time at Ponce City Market trying a little bit of almost everything there. We all agreed that HOPS Chicken was one of the best fried chicken we had ever had. We stocked up on desert between my favorite, Batter and the new Five Daughters Bakery…we had enough sugar pumping through us to certainly keep us awake for another drive, but we wanted to enjoy the city, and Centennial Olympic Park is beautiful at night. Atlanta was only a one-night stay for us on the way up North. It is an easy drive from where we live and decided to give ourselves more time in cities that were a bit further away.
For more suggestions of where to eat and drink in Atlanta: Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Sippin': Atlanta
For suggestions of where to stay in Atlanta: 6 Cool Hotels in Atlanta and Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Restin': Atlanta
We woke up and started into the mountains of Northern Georgia and into Tennessee. I always find the mountains so majestic and humbling. We took turns picking songs on Spotify and sung our hearts out together as we wove through the countryside. Lunch was in Nashville. What a fun city! I am looking forward to spending a few days in this city soon. There were so many restaurant options. We ended up atThe Row which has seen several famous artists over the years.
Louisville Kentucky was our next stop for two nights on the way up, then again for a night on the way back home. One of my top priorities was to visit the Angels Envy Distillery, one my husband’s favorites bourbons. I have just begun to develop my pallet for bourbon, so this was an incredible way to truly understand the art and history of this dark spirit. Our tour guide Julie was fantastic. She not only has a passion for the Angel’s Envy brand, but also for the art of bourbon.
For more suggestions of what to do in Louisville: Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Playin': Louisville
The food in Louisville was incredible. I took my time and did a lot of research before our road trip. I had read that Louisville had some new farm to table restaurants and some really impressive bars. I couldn’t stop eating. Everything was so delicious. A few memorable favorites were Butchertown Grocery and Naïve, both with fresh local foods and delicious well crafted cocktails.
For more suggestions of where to eat and drink in Louisville: Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Sippin': Louisville
In a town packed with distilleries, it really raises the bar (no pun intended at all) for bar programs. Bartenders need to know their history of bourbon and respect the deep dedication to this spirit. Kevin and I used a booklet that also serves as a ‘passport’ to visit the bars and distilleries in Louisville proper, also known as The Urban Bourbon Trail. This guided us to some of the most amazing spots with passionate bartenders and mixologists and artistic and classic cockatils including Proof on Main and the Lobby Bar at the Brown Hotel and of course the Angel's Envy Distillery!
We spent one of the afternoons walking around historic Louisville, and the beautiful Victorian mansions. I picked up a book by local author, David Domine and we used his book to find out more about the haunted homes we walked past. We also really enjoyed The Big Four Bridge. What a great place to walk off dinner or pack a picnic and enjoy the river! Louisville definitely needed more than three nights. There was so much more we wanted to eat and explore. Kevin and I committed to coming back and bringing our bourbon loving friends along for a couples getaway.
The drive to Chicago from Louisville was so easy. The boys especially enjoyed the miles of windmills. We lost count, but it was hauntingly beautiful to drive through.
Then came the bridge into Chicago. What an experience. The boys hadn’t seen a city so big yet. It gave me chills to hear their excitement of the skyscrapers. This was Kevin and my second visit to Chicago. We opted to stay right in the River North neighborhood. We were close to everything.
Exploring Millennium Park was one of my boys favorite things to do in Chicago. We also spent a wonderful afternoon in the Art Institute. My cousin studied there, and has a passion for art, so having him as a tour guide was perfect. We also truly enjoyed the Architecture Tour from the boat. It was fun to ride through the city and sail past the concrete giants that adorn the city’s skyline.
For more suggestions of what to do in Chicago: Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Playin': Chicago
The cocktail and cuisine scene in Chicago is amazing. We had so much amazing food and beautiful cocktails it really was hard to pick favorites. I loved the view of the river and skyline from Raised Bar. The boys really loved the food from Green Street Smoked Meats. Kevin and I enjoyed the sultry ambiance of Bavette’s where we ventured down a candle lit staircase into a speakeasy style hidden bar with incredible cocktails.. We concluded we needed a lot more time in Chicago. We felt we could’ve spent a week there and still not experienced everything on our lists.
For more suggestions of where to eat and drink in Chicago: Sippin Gypsy Quick Tips for Sippin': Chicago
In the end, we loved our road trip. Time in the car was spent enjoying music or playing travel games. The boys had prepared for each city by doing a bit of their own research about the history of each city and at least one attraction they were interested in visiting. This kept their interest in each city as they were constantly on the look out for something they researched. The kids were also great at trying new flavors in each city. Kevin and I decided we will do another family road trip with the boys.
Lover of travel to charming places dusted with unique flavor. Join me as I explore the world sip by sip. Cheers!