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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hint Water founder and CEO Kara Goldin is on a quest to rid the beverage industry of sugary, unhealthy drinks.
Based in San Francisco's Bay Area, Goldin is just as passionate about seeing the cities she visits on her job to promote her company's fruit-infused water, from beyond a conference room window.
"Understanding the food in the city, the music, and overall what makes those cities special is what I always block a little time out to do," says Goldin.
Her latest favorite: Louisville, Kentucky, where Hint's e-commerce fulfillment center is located. "I love the south – the people, the food, the history and the drinks!" says Goldin.
Her tips, gleaned from her most recent visits, are below.
Sleep: Goldin swears by the 21c Museum Hotel (700 West Main St.): "It's a first-class, boutique luxury hotel with a thought-provoking in-house modern art museum that doesn't take itself too seriously, scattered throughout all floors. And right next to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (800 West Main St.), which is a must-see."
You check in. Now what? "Stroll along the Ohio River to reach the Belle of Louisville steamboat (401 West River Rd.) where Travis Vasconcelos plays the calliope. Just seeing the buildings and architecture in this great little city are eye-opening. The buildings almost speak to you."
Power breakfast: Room Service at 21c. "Best French Toast, ever!"
Lunch & Dinner: "Right there in the hotel is Proof On Main. A wonderful restaurant for any meal." (702 West Main St.) "They also have a wonderful wine list and are very knowledgeable of local whiskey distilleries that you might want to tour, as well."
Best place for a local-vibe business meeting: In San Francisco, Goldin likes to do 'walk and talks,' she says. "In Louisville, I call it 'walk and tours.'"
Hire a designated driver or hop on The Mint Julep Tours (140 North 4th St. #326) to see some of "the best distilleries in all of America," Goldin says. Recently, she took a half-day tour visiting distilleries on the 'Whiskey Trail.' "I'm in the beverage industry so figured that was part of the job!" Goldin says.
Take the beverage tour to the next level: Venture out a bit to try Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, which is about an hour's drive away (113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort).
Another unique offering is the "Bourbon Barrel" tour, allowing visitors the rare opportunity to follow barrels during their journey throughout the distillery before finishing in the dump room. A ghost tour – featured on the TV show "Ghost Hunters" – recaps the distillery's visits from the supernatural.
Goldin's next favorite is Woodford Reserve (7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles - also about an hour's drive). "Woodford maintains the oldest working bourbon distillery in the U.S., registered as a National Historic Landmark."
Must-have local delicacy: "A delicious cup of espresso from Blackbeard Espresso Company food truck."
Time for a workout? "Walking the city is great. (The massage at the hotel is also terrific.)"
Tourist trap that's totally worth it: "A quick trip next door to the hotel to the Louisville Slugger Museum is perfect for the first visit. There you can see everything you never knew about baseball."
Souvenir to take home? "A bat from the Slugger Museum. A bottle of Woodford Reserve."
Editing by Lauren Young; Editing by Richard Chang