What are some of the best things to do in Bardstown, Kentucky?
After all, when we think about the city of Bardstown in Kentucky, what typically comes to mind?
Well for starters, the city of Bardstown is situated inside Nelson County of Kentucky. It is a relatively small-sized city as it has a total area of around 12.25 square miles. And with an estimated population of around 13,253 in 2019, the city of Bardstown, Kentucky is considered to be one of the smaller cities in the state of Kentucky.
However, even though the city of Bardstown, Kentucky might be small, it actually is a wonderful place where many people would love to visit.
In fact, visitors who come to this city will find that there are so many things for them to see or explore. For instance, there are numerous buildings listed on the National Historic Register in the historic downtown district. It is also home to one of the largest Civil War museums in the entire country.
And if you’re a fan of bourbon, then you’ll be happy to know that the city hosts an annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival as well for people to enjoy.
But the best part about this place is that it is also home to various parks, delicious restaurants, historical museums, entertaining theaters, and more. All of which makes this city one of the most beautiful small towns in America for people to visit.
Which is why, if you’re wondering exactly what there is to see or do here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, then you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Bardstown, Kentucky.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In Bardstown, Kentucky
- Visit The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum
- Explore The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
- Pray At Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
- Roam Around At The Historic Cobblestone Path
- Take A Ride On the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
- Visit The Old Talbott Tavern
- Explore The Willett Distilling Company
- Take A Tour Of Lux Row Distillers
- Visit My Old Kentucky Home
- Take A Drive To Bernheim Arboretum and Research
- Find Some Deals At The Awesome Flea Market
- Attend The Annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival
- Shop Around At The Blind Pig Bourbon Market
- Eat Some Delicious Foods At Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar
- Relax Around At Bardstown Community Park
- Visit The Women’s Civil War Museum
- Get Scared On The Bardstown Ghost Trek
- Take A Day Trip To Louisville
- FAQS About Bardstown, Kentucky
Things To Do In Bardstown, Kentucky
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Visit The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum
Do you love learning about history? What about the Civil War?
If that sounds like you, then one place you would absolutely love visiting is called the “Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum”.
The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum which is located here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky. It is one of the largest and most complete museums in the country that is dedicated to the American Civil War’s Western Theater.
This entire museum spans a whopping 8,000 square feet in size and features so many things for people to see and explore. For instance, here in this area visitors will find authentic period exhibits that tell the tales of the struggle between the Confederacy and Union forces between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and Georgia.
Not only that, but there are also specialty areas which displays the Navies, Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry, Slavery, and Politics of the era as well. It’s truly an eye opening museum as you’ll feel as if you been transported to the past and seeing first hand what life was like during that time.
With so many things for you to see or do here, it’s no wonder this museum is always recommended as being one of the best places to visit here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky.
Explore The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
Whiskey lovers rejoice!
Here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, there is a place called the “Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History”, that is absolutely a gem of a place to visit.
The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is located inside Spalding Hall, right next to the Bardstown Historical Museum. This amazing museum is dedicated to whiskey and anything that is related to whiskey too.
Visitors who come to this museum will see that this place offers so much in terms of what you can see and explore. For instance, they have a huge collection of rare artifacts that are related to whiskey and dates back to the pre-colonial days through the days of after Prohibition.
The collections that you’ll see here includes things like novelty whiskey containers, advertising artwork, authentic moonshine stills, medicinal whiskey bottles, and even rare antique whiskey bottles. Plus, there are also exhibits for people to see on the former Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Overall, the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is a really fascinating place to visit. It’s a place where you’ll be able to see and learn so many amazing things that you probably never knew about whiskey before. Definitely one of the best things to do in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Pray At Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
If you’re a religious type of person, then one place you would absolutely love to visit is called the “Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral”.
The Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral, which is located in the heart of Bardstown, Kentucky was built back in the early 1800’s. It was actually the first Catholic Cathedral in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains.
After the church was built, it was considered to be the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown. The pastor of the church was Benedict Joseph Flaget, who became the first Bishop of Bardstown.
Today however, this church has become a place of beauty. Visitors are able to come to this church any day of the week and will be met with some of the most beautiful and artistic things this church has to offer. For example, inside you’ll be able to see stained glass windows, beautiful paintings from various eras, and also the magnificent architecture in the way this building was built.
Overall, it’s a really interesting church and one that is totally worth the visit if you ever have the time to spare.
Roam Around At The Historic Cobblestone Path
When visiting the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, one place that many people might not consider visiting is the “Historic Cobblestone Path”.
However, once you actually visit it, you’ll soon realize that this place is something special.
In fact, the Historic Cobblestone Path is one of the oldest paved roads in the entire state of Kentucky. It was estimated to have been built between the years of 1785 and 1825. This road served as the original eastern entrance to Bardstown, and was a part of the “Wilderness Road”.
Now the thing to note about this path is that although it is owned by the city as being part of its street system, the road is actually not open to everyone. In fact, this road is only open to pedestrian traffic.
Visitors who come to this road are able to roam around and explore all that is has to offer. Surrounded by nature on both sides, visitors can see exactly how this road was made and imagine what life was like back for the people living here many years ago.
The Historic Cobblestone Path is a really special road and was even added to the National Register of Historic Places back in 1989, because of its significance to Kentucky’s transportation history. Because of this, the Cobblestone Path makes for a great attraction to visit for people wanting to see and learn more about the city’s history.
Take A Ride On the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Do you like riding a train? How about eating some delicious meals while on the train?
If that sounds like you, then you’ll be happy to know that here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, there is a place where you can do just that.
Known as the “My Old Kentucky Dinner Train“, it offers a two-hour train ride aboard a real train while traveling across the beautiful countryside of Kentucky. And while you are riding, you’ll also be served a luxurious three-course gourmet meal.
It’s one of the most popular things to do here in this area as you’ll be able to see and enjoy so many different things. For instance, by looking out the window, you might be able to see different types of plants and flowers, hills and wildlife, neighborhoods and towns and more. All while sitting in a warm and friendly environment with lush chairs and big bright windows.
Plus, you’re luxurious meal includes many delicious things for you to choose from. For instance, you can choose from things like roasted corn chowder, prime rib, Amaretto chicken, grilled Mahi Mahi, pan-seared pork sirloin, cheeseburger, apple dumplings, salted caramel cheese cakes, and more all made fresh for you to enjoy.
Overall, this train ride is a fantastic experience to try. So whether you are out with friends, on a date, or just hanging around with family, a trip on this dinner train is an experience of a lifetime. You will definitely enjoy it.
Visit The Old Talbott Tavern
One of the coolest and most interesting places you can ever visit while here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, is a building called the “Old Talbott Tavern”.
The Old Talbott Tavern is a historical building that actually dates back to the latter part of the 1700’s. But even though it is old, it is actually still alive and acts as a restaurant and bar where people can come in and enjoy some really delicious alcohol or foods.
For instance, inside this tavern visitors can find a fully stocked bourbon bar as well as traditional Southern food being served. Not only that, but it offers visitors a nice sit-down area in a casual setting with the occasional live-music depending on which days of the week you decide to come.
But the main draw here has to be the food and drinks. Visitors who come here will find a nice menu features entrees like pot roast, bourbon walnut chicken with grits, veggie burgers and more. Plus, their full drink menu includes things like spirits, wine, beer and even a variety of different cocktails for you to enjoy.
With all that being said, the Old Talbott Tavern is a fantastic place to visit. If you’re looking for a spot to relax, enjoy a meal, and just relish in a warm and inviting atmosphere, then this tavern is definitely the spot for you.
Explore The Willett Distilling Company
Do you like drinking whiskey or bourbon?
If so, then one place you would absolutely love to visit is called the “Willett Distilling Company”.
The Willett Distilling Company is located in Bardstown, Kentucky and was built by Thompson Willett back in 1936. This distilling company goal was to help produce all kinds of whiskey and bourbon for the public to enjoy.
Although Thompson Willett is no longer around, his family still carries on this family tradition today making sure that the company continues to make whiskey and bourbon. But not just any whiskey or bourbon, here they make Kentucky Rye Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon for people to drink.
Visitors who come to this distilling company are able to see and do so many different things. For instance, visitors can go on a self-guided tour of the distillery grounds where they can learn how exactly these drinks were made. It’s a real eye opening experience as the process and methods they use are all very interesting to see.
Plus, after the tour, visitors can also take part in some whiskey tastings in the tasting room where they’ll be able to try out all the latest batches and creations of the companies whiskey. There is also an area called the visitor center where you can get an introduction to the company as well as see some of the rare releases of bourbons and rye whiskeys.
So if you’re a fan of drinking whiskey or even bourbon, then the Willett Distilling Company is definitely the spot to visit.
Take A Tour Of Lux Row Distillers
As you know, the city of Bardstown, Kentucky is known as being the “Bourbon Capital of the World”.
Because of that, visitors can be assured to find a bunch of different bourbon distilleries and companies in and around the city.
One in particular which is known as “Lux Row Distillers“, is one of the most popular places to visit in terms of good quality bourbon. Locals and tourists alike who love to drink bourbon all makes it a point to stop by this must-see attraction.
For instance, visitors who come to this distillery can go on a walking tour of the distillery where they can see and learn the entire process of making these fine delicious bourbons to drink. The tour last around 45 minutes and ends with an exciting bourbon tasting of the full range of whiskies they have in stock.
Not only that, but you can also buy a bunch of drinks to bring home as well. For example, some of the drinks they produce includes things like Blood Oath, David Nicholson, Ezra Brooks, and even Rebel Bourbon.
But in the end, no matter what kind of alcohol it is you like to drink, this is one experience which you simply can not pass up.
Visit My Old Kentucky Home
Have you ever heard of the state song for Kentucky?
If so, then you’ll be pleased to know that here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, there is a building here that was actually the inspiration for that song.
Known as the “My Old Kentucky Home“, this home was used as an inspiration for Stephen Foster. He wrote the ballad “My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night” against slavery after trying to find inspiration when visiting Federal Hill.
In fact, the area of Federal Hill used to belong to his cousin who was the United States Senator John Rowan. After the creation of this song, it gained a lot of popularity among the locals and so the commonwealth of Kentucky bought Federal Hill to be preserved as a historical site.
Visitors who come to this home can tour it in its entirety. For instance, this home contains one of the most complete collections of any historical plantation museums in the country. You’ll find things like decorative arts, paintings, personal items, tools, and furniture, are original to the property. Plus, all along the tour you’ll hear stories of fame, horse racing, deadly duels and more.
But not just the home itself, there are also plenty of other things to do outdoors as well. For example, depending on the time you come, the outdoor amphitheater will be host to a wide range of musicals. Not only that, but there is also a popular golf course on site for people to enjoy as well.
With all the things this place has to offer, it’s no wonder it is always being recommended as being one of the best places to visit here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky.
Take A Drive To Bernheim Arboretum and Research
If you’re in the mood to drive around aand check out the surrounding areas, then one place you would absolutely love to visit is called “Bernheim Arboretum and Research”.
Bernheim Arboretum and Research was founded back in 1929 by Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, who was a German immigrant and successful brewer whose whiskey distillery business established the I.W. Harper Brand. It is is located about 20 minutes away from the city of Bardstown, Kentucky.
Visitors who come here will find that there are so many amazing things for them to see or do. For instance, the area is divided into two sections with one being the arboretum and the other being a natural area.
The arboretum features formal and informal plant collections, tons of walking paths, a visitors’ center, cafe, gift shop and more. While the natural area contains most of Bernheim’s hiking trails, and is primarily a beech-maple forest with access via paved roads.
But the best part about this place is that all throughout the year, the entire forest will be host to a wide range of festivals and events to cater to the public. For example, the annual ColorFest in October, Bloomfest in May, CONNECT in August and more.
With everything that this place has to offer, this is one area which everyone should visit if ever given a chance.
Find Some Deals At The Awesome Flea Market
If you love shopping, then one area you have to visit is the “Awesome Flea Market”.
The Awesome Flea Market is actually not located inside the city of Bardstown, Kentucky. In fact, it is located about 30 minutes away in an area called Shepherdsville. It’s one of the most popular markets to visit in terms of what you can see or buy.
After all, flea markets in general are amazing places where you can find some really good deals and buy some really amazing things. And this flea market is no different. In fact, the Awesome Flea Market provides a large shopping arena where as many as 500 shopkeepers and businessmen set up their shop to sell you a whole bunch of amazing goods.
Visitors who come here will be able to find almost everything they can ever imagine. Some of the things include food, clothing, toys, jewelry, books, antiques and more all being sold at affordable prices.
But that’s not all!
In fact, they are not just a flea market where you can see and buy many cheap things. They are also a farmers market too! It is here where you can find fresh produce like corn, apples, oranges, tomatoes and more. Plus, they also have cooked foods like hot dogs, burgers, pies and more all made fresh for you to enjoy.
Overall, if you’re looking for a place to buy some amazing things, then there is no place better than the Awesome Flea Market.
Attend The Annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival
As you know, the city of Bardstown, Kentucky is famously known as being the “Bourbon Capital of the World”.
Because of this, one thing that the city does to celebrate this amazing fact is that each and every year they’ll host a festival called the “Kentucky Bourbon Festival“. This festival is a 4 day long festival that comes each year during the month of September.
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is dedicated to celebrating the history and art of distilling bourbon whiskey. It got its start during the year 1992 as a dinner and bourbon tasting for 250 people. The event now draws more than 50,000 visitors each year from more than a dozen countries, and includes events that may appeal to adults and children alike.
During this festival, visitors are able to come and enjoy a variety of fun activities and events for them to enjoy. For instance, some of the things that happen here at this festival includes stuff like world championship bourbon barrel relay, various tastings of bourbon and whiskeys, food and craft vendors, and even concerts by famous artists.
It’s a fun filled festival that will have you having fun all day long. So if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Bardstown, Kentucky during the month of September, then the Kentucky Bourbon Festival might be something you might want to attend.
Shop Around At The Blind Pig Bourbon Market
If you didn’t know, the state of Kentucky is known for three things. Bluegrass, Thoroughbreds, and Bourbon.
And the city of Bardstown, Kentucky is famously known as being the “Bourbon Capital of the World”. Because of this, visitors can find all kinds of different stores and companies making or selling this delicious drink.
However, there is one store in particular called the “Blind Pig Bourbon Market“, which is the most popular place for people to go and buy some delicious bourbon as well as any bourbon related products and items.
For instance, visitors who come to this shop will find all kinds of interesting things to buy. Here they offer unique bourbon themed gifts, furniture, glasses, clothes and of course bottles and bottles of delicious bourbon. Many of which were made here in this city.
Best of all is that they even have bourbon related foods and candy as well which makes the experience so much more enjoyable. Not to mention that the staff working at this shop are incredibly knowledgeable and will answer any and all questions you may have.
So if you’re ever in the mood to buy some bourbon or any bourbon related items to bring back home, then this is definitely the shop to visit.
Eat Some Delicious Foods At Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar
If you’re ever in the mood to eat some amazing foods, then one place you absolutely must visit is called “Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar”.
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is a restaurant located here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky and specializes in serving up American style breakfast and brunch dishes. It’s one of the most popular places to visit as according to Yelp, it is one of the highest reviewed and highest rated restaurants in the city.
Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that they offer a huge array of items for people to choose from. For instance, some of the food items you can pick includes things like chicken salad, grilled cheese sandwich, country breakfast, ribeye steak and eggs, and more all made fresh for you to enjoy.
But best of all is that all of the food items are being served at really affordable and cheap prices. Not to mention that the portion sizes are actually quite generous as well. And with the staff being so helpful with things, it makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable.
So if you’re ever in the mood to eat some really delicious American style breakfast or brunch type foods, then this is one restaurant which you have to visit.
Relax Around At Bardstown Community Park
Sometimes roaming around and exploring the city can be quite tiring or stressful.
Which is why, one of the best things you can ever do is to simply go to a park. And here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, there is a popular park which many locals and tourists love to visit.
Known as the “Bardstown Community Park“, it is the premiere park for people to visit. This park stretches out for about an acre in size and is an absolute beauty of a place to see and enjoy.
This park basically consists of all the basic amenities you would expect from a park. It offers people a chance to relax and surround themselves in a natural environment. And with things like a basketball court, horseshoe pits, picnic tables and more, this park has everything you can ever need to have fun and relax.
But best of all is that the playground in this park is actually really good as it has many slides and swings for people to use. So there is never a time for your kids to wait as they can simply go on any one of these and have fun.
So if you’re ever wanting to get yourself out of the city life and surround yourself in a peaceful nature, then the Bardstown Community Park is definitely the place for you.
Visit The Women’s Civil War Museum
Did you know that women also played a pivotal role during the Civil War?
And here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, there is a museum here that is dedicated to the beautiful sacrifices these women have made during the times of the Civil War and more.
In fact, the Women’s Civil War Museum chronicles the achievements of women of all backgrounds, races and creeds during the 1800’s and Civil War. Achievements in science, medicine, nursing, writing, journalism, civil rights, suffrage, the arts, military service and more are all documented here.
The Women’s Civil War Museum is located here in the museum row area and features so many things for people to see or do. For instance, this museum documents how women were used in the armies and what they have done during the Civil War. Plus, there are also various artifacts and exhibits that showcases their journey as nurses and more.
Visitors who come to this museum will feel a sense of empowerment for women and get to truly feel and experience what life was like for them many years ago.
It’s one of the few museums of its kind in the country and is definitely worth the visit if you ever have the time to spare.
Get Scared On The Bardstown Ghost Trek
If you love ghosts or just like anything that is spooky, then one thing you would absolutely love to do here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky is something called the “Bardstown Ghost Trek”.
The Bardstown Ghost Trek is a tour where you go around certain areas and hunt down spirits or even talk about various types of ghost stories that have a history with this town.
It’s one of the most interesting things you can ever see or do here in the city of Bardstown, Kentucky and will surely keep you up at night wondering about all the interesting things that you might have seen or heard.
Visitors who go on this tour will be able to travel through areas like the Jailer’s Inn, Pioneer Cemetery and Talbott Taverns where they will be guided by a host who is extremely knowledgeable about the hauntings and spirits that are surrounding those areas.
Best of all is that the ticket price to go on this tour is only around $15 dollars which is amazingly cheap and definitely worth the experience to try out.
So grab your camera, audio recorders or even camcorders, and go out on one of the most fun and exciting ghost hunting adventures you’ll ever try.
Take A Day Trip To Louisville
If you’re looking to do a day trip type event away from the city of Bardstown, Kentucky, then one place you might want to consider is Louisville.
Louisville, Kentucky is the capital city of the state of Kentucky. It is only located about 40 miles away or about under an hour drive from the city of Bardstown.
Because it is the capital city of the state, visitors who come here will be able to find all sorts of cool and interesting things for them to see and do. For example, some of the things they can see here in this city includes stuff like the “Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory”, “Kentucky Derby Museum”, “Louisville Mega Cavern”, and more.
And with plenty of historical museums, delicious restaurants, fun cafes, and more, this place has it all. Visitors will be able to enjoy so many things and will always find something of interest to do here in this city.
So if you ever have the time to spare, taking a drive down to Louisville is something you should absolutely look forward to visiting.
FAQS About Bardstown, Kentucky
Bardstown, Kentucky is known as the “Bourbon Capital of the World”. It is home to many popular bourbon distilleries and even has an annual festival dedicated to bourbon as well.
Bardstown, Kentucky is located about 40 miles away or about under an hour drive from the city of Bardstown.
Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Barton 1792 Distillery, Willett Distillery, Maker’s Mark Distillery. Preservation Distillery, Bardstown Bourbon Company
Bardstown, Kentucky is a wet county.
The city of Bardstown in Kentucky is definitely one of the best places you can ever visit. This place offers so many interesting things for you to see and do. You will definitely enjoy your time here.
So hopefully this post about the “18 Best Things To Do In Bardstown, Kentucky” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Bardstown in Kentucky, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.
Also, if you’re going to be visiting the state of Kentucky anytime soon, then you might be interested in some of my Kentucky posts:
Or you can check out all my blog posts by clicking this link.
Have fun traveling and let me know how it goes~