My Kentucky trip using social media

Towards the end of last week I decided to take a little road trip out to Kentucky by myself. The main draw to Kentucky was of course the Maker’s Mark distillery. I made some reservations at a Hilton branded hotel and off I was.

I left New Jersey at 3:30 AM and got to the hotel at 3:30 PM. In entirety I was on the road for just shy of 1,800 miles and almost 29 hours.

I was armed with nothing but my Garmin nüvi and my iPhone 3G. I only programmed the hotel into the Garmin and everything else I was just gonna figure out when I got there.

The drive was long, especially through the mountains of West Virginia and Western Maryland. I drank a lot of water so I had to make frequent potty breaks. I would just type in “rest area” in the Garmin and I would know how long it would be until the next one would arrive and whether I should pit then or not. Also, the Garmin showed the closest gas stations. I felt extremely confident even out in the wilderness.

I made it to Louisville, Kentucky with no problems. I used the Yelp app to find places nearby based on my GPS location and judging by the reviews and ratings I decided on where to go and found a real good tavern/cafe. When I would get to each place I would check-in using Foursquare. Foursquare would then post my check-in to Facebook for all my friends to see. From there, my Facebook friends saw where I was and ended up recommending even more things to me that I would never have thought of by myself.

Having my iPhone 3G really helped me while I was away. It helped me find different places to go eat and it helped me stay in touch with everyone. Using the Garmin as my GPS unit was much better than using the iPhone’s map program. Not only did it get me where I wanted but helped me with the rest stops and gas stastions. Here’s a list of some of the places that I found on Yelp and were recommended to me on Facebook:

Day 1:
Zeppelin Cafe (found on Yelp)
Kentucky Exposition Center (saw from the road)
Liquor Barn (Maker’s Mark posted a list of places that carry Maker’s 46 to Twitter, I searched for Liquor Barn using iPhone’s Google Maps app and found the closest one on that list)

Day 2:
Speed Art Museum (found using the Garmin after searching for art museums)
Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (found using the Garmin)
Muhammad Ali Center (just around the corner from Louisville Slugger)
Churchill Downs (found using Garmin)
Zanzabar (found on Yelp)
Blues and Barbecue Festival (folks at Maker’s Mark sent me a link with things to do and this was listed, used the Garmin to find it)

Day 3:
Maker’s Mark distillery (already programmed into the Garmin)
Jim Beam distillery (saw from the road)
Brown Hotel (friend on Facebook recommended it after seeing my check-ins)
The Highlands (area of Louisville, waitress from Zeppelin Cafe recommended it)
Lynn’s Paradise Cafe (friends on Facebook and Twitter recommended it after seeing my check-ins)

Day 4:
Heading home today, used my Garmin to find the Woodford Reserve distillery after folks I met at Maker’s Mark told me that it wasn’t too far off the road. It wasn’t far but the tour started too late for me to stay. Next time!

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