Situated in the middle of Bluegrass Kentucky, the city of Bardstown is the state’s second oldest city and home to many different places to see and things to do, including numerous buildings listed on the National Historic Register in the historic downtown district. Named as one of the most beautiful small towns in America, it offers a pleasant destination for a getaway, particularly for any bourbon enthusiasts, as the city hosts the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Bardstown is also home to one of the largest Civil War museums in the country. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum
© Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum
The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum is one of the most complete and largest museums in the United States dedicated to the American Civil War’s Western Theater. More than 8,000 square feet in size, the sprawling museum features authentic period exhibits that share stories of the struggle between the Confederacy and Union forces between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and Georgia. The massive Civil War collection is balanced carefully between both Confederate and Union displays and there are specialty rooms for Navies, Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry, Slavery, and Politics of the era.
310 E Broadway St, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502-349-0291
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2.Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
© Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is located inside Spalding Hall, along with the Bardstown Historical Museum. The museum devoted to whiskey features an extensive collection of rare artifacts related to whiskey, dating back to the pre-colonial days through the days of after Prohibition. This unique collection includes novelty whiskey containers, advertising artwork, authentic moonshine stills, medicinal whiskey bottles, and rare antique whiskey bottles. There are also exhibits on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is open Tuesday to Sunday from November through April and seven days a week from May through October.
114 N 5th St, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502-348-2999
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3.Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
© Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
The Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral in the historic city of Bardstown, Kentucky was built between the years of 1816 and 1819 and was the first Catholic cathedral in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains. During the church’s time as the cathedral mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown, the pastor of the Basilica of St. Joseph was Benedict Joseph Flaget, who became Bardstown’s first Bishop. The historic church is open to visitors seven days a week and contains several fine paintings, gifts of Pope Leo XII and Francis, the King of the two Sicilies.
310 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502-348-3126
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4.Historic Cobblestone Path
The Historic Cobblestone Path of Bardstown, Kentucky is one of the state’s oldest paved roads. Between the years of 1785 and 1825, this historic path served as the original eastern entrance to Bardstown and was a part of the “Wilderness Road.” While the Cobblestone Path is owned by the City as part of its street system, the road is only open to pedestrian traffic. The path was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 because of its significance to Kentucky’s transportation history. The Cobblestone Path was built by the people of Bardstown themselves in 1785.
209 E Broadway St, Bardstown, KY 40004
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5.My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
© My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
The My Old Kentucky Dinner Train offers a memorable, two-hour ride aboard a train traveling through the scenic countryside of Kentucky while dining on a three-course gourmet meal. A great thing to do for special occasions, a day with friends, or a date, guests aboard the dinner train can see historic spots in the state’s Bourbon Country during their meal as they relax in the comfortable dining cars. The My Old Kentucky Dinner Train runs on Fridays at 5:00pm and Saturdays at noon and 5:00pm throughout the year, as well as on select additional days.
602 N 3rd St, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502-348-7300
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6.Old Talbott Tavern
© Old Talbott Tavern
The Old Talbott Tavern dates back to the latter part of the 1700’s and features an extensive bourbon bar and traditional Southern food. Located in the second oldest city of Kentucky, the tavern today offers American fare in a sit-down, casual setting with live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Along with a menu that features entrees like pot roast or bourbon walnut chicken with grits, the Old Talbott Tavern provides a full drink menu consisting of spirits, wine, beer, and a variety of different cocktails. There are also several gluten-free options on the menu as well, such as the bourbon barbecue ribs.
107 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502=348-3494
7.Willett Distilling Company
© Igor Normann/stock.adobe.com
The Willett Distilling Company was founded by Thompson Willett back in 1936 and his descendants still carry on the family tradition today of making Kentucky Rye Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon in the same spot more than eighty years later. Daily tours of the Willett Distilling Company production process are offered, as well as self-guided tours of the distillery grounds. As part of offering a memorable distillery experience, visitors can also take part in whiskey tastings in the tasting room and get an introduction to the company in the visitor center, which sometimes carries rare releases of bourbons and rye whiskeys.
1869 Loretto Rd, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502-501-9699
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8.Lux Row Distillers
© Lux Row Distillers
With several brands under its roof, a tour of Lux Row Distillers provides guests with a unique perspective on the process of making whiskey. The distillery produces Blood Oath, David Nicholson, Ezra Brooks, and Rebel Bourbon and is a must-stop destination along the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Walking tours of the distillery site are offered to visitors, typically lasting around 45 minutes and ending with an “educational” bourbon tasting of the full range of whiskeys. Located in the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” Lux Row Distillers has become a must-see attraction in Bardstown, Kentucky for anyone who enjoys bourbon.
1 Lux Row, 3050 E John Rowan Blvd, Bardstown, KY 40004, Phone: 502-337-7420
8 Best Things to Do in Bardstown, Kentucky
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