I had hoped to be able to do the trolley tour (tickets available at the Welcome Center, One Court Square, Bardstown, KY 40004, 800-638-4877 or 502-348-4877), or the Walking Tour (also based at the Welcome Center) where self-guided tour maps of Historic downtown Bardstown were supposed to be available. But since the Welcome Center was closed, we were disappointed in all respects.
Things that we could have seen (on a Sunday in March), but did not were
Abbey of Gethsemani Visitor Center
Trappist, KY 40051, 502-549-3117. Hours are Mon.and Fri., 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., noon-4 p.m.
Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral
310 W. Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown; KY 40004, 502-348-3126. Open year round. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Sun., 1- 5 p.m. First Catholic cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains, the church was built in 1816-1819.
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Hwy. 245, Clermont, KY, 40110, 502-955-8512 Open 7 a.m. until sunset daily except Christmas and New Year's day. Free admission, Mon.-Fri.; $5 per vehicle on weekends, holidays.
Civil War Museum of the Western Theatre
310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004; 502-349-0291 Contact: Joe Masterson. Open Mar.-Dec.1, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Four Roses Distillery
624 Lotus Rd., Cox's Creek, KY 40013; 502-543-2264 Contact: Mike Bullock. See bottling done by hand and smell sweet aging bourbon in white oak barrels. Gift shop and free private tours Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Jim Beam American Outpost
Hwy. 245, Clermont, KY 40110; 502-543-9877. Contact: Doris Calhoun. Open year round. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1-4 p.m.
Maker's Mark Distillery
3350 Burk's Springs Road, Loretto, KY 40037; 270-865-2099. Contact: Sydina Bradshaw. Open year round. Mon.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tours are hourly on the half hour Chapeze House
107 East Stephen Foster, Bardstown Kentucky 40004; call for ticket- local 349-0127; toll free 800-704-4917
Old Bardstown Village
Museum Row, 310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291. Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
War Memorial of Mid-America
Museum Row, 202 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291. Contact: Joe Masterson. Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wickland - Home of Three Governors
Experience a self-guided architectual tour of Wickland-Home of Three Governors. Considered one of the best Federal-style houses in Kentucky, it was built about 1825-1828. Exhibits focusing on the three governors, the Civil War and black history are also available. Tour hours are Friday-Sunday, 12pm-4pm; Monday 9am-1pm. Admission Fees are Adults $3, Seniors (55 and older) $2, Children (ages 6-14) $2, Children (under 6) free. Contact 502-507-0741, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildlife/Natural History Museum
Museum Row, 310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291 Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Women of The Civil War Museum
Museum Row, 310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-349-0291 Contact: Joe Masterson. Open Mar.-Nov., daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
I Live in Balltown, Ky! Yall Com
If you like old world charm then this would be a fairly nice place to visit. Bardstown was founded by The Biard Family in 1775. Lot's of changes over the years, but the local Historical Society is working hard at keeping this place as antique as possible and still make a buck! It is without a shadow of a doubt a full fledged Tourist Town. I hate to stand in the way of progress, but there is a few changes that I would love to see happen here. One is, I think the Courthouse and surrounding blocks should restrict, (totally ban), any vehicles over 2 tons. The roar of the big trucks viberate the the windows of these old building and that really twists you right out of the peace and serenity of trying to escape to another time. Dispite the obvious flaws it is nice, still. A Wonderful place to visit! Many places to go see, like the old courthouse in the center of the old part of town, west on the court square is the old, (rebuilt, due to a nasty fire in 98), Talbot Tavern- most famous for being one of the first and biggest slave auction houses east of the Mississippi, [that was then], now it's just a great pub for catching brow-raising stories, elbow bending some local brews, getting your picture taken by tourist, watching the world go by, and later listen and dance to some, maybe not so local band, music that could remind you of something else. [I have actually played back up fiddle in a band there myself. A "fiddle" is just a country version of the violin.] A tobacco spit to the west next door is the Old Nelson County Jail. It even has stocks in the front yard. if'n ya dont no what a stock is, com' on over to stik youl head in an get real nice photy graf to sho the folks back home! The Jail is now converted to a "bed-n-breakfast" Inn. The bars are still there to give you the feel of what it must have been like... I had the misfortune of spending over eight hours there against my will years ago and you don't want to know what it was like! Back east and on down the hill is the world famous Stephen Foster Musical, (use to be called The Stephen Foster Story for nearly 40 years), located in the J. D. Talbot Amphitheater, out doors for us back woods folks. Then just a few blisters away in the northerly direction is three stores that have been in operation for many, many years. The buildings are somewhat modern. You will do good to stop by and get some grub. Onward and upward is the Civil War Museum. The history buffs will enjoy this place and hopefully something for everyone else too. On up the hill turning west is a dedication to the Veterans. It has bricks in the ground with the names of folks from here that have served our country. If you stop by see if you can find my brick! Next, from there you will find Bardstown's first indoor theater. Maybe, it will be completely renovated when you visit. I forget the name, but I have been by there thousands of times. Funny how you tend to take town with a blind eye when you live here. You know like you do your own home town. Which I guess is why you like to travel and be a tourist! Traveling back into town there are lot's of shops to visit for local artistry, crafts, and goodies to eat. The real thickin' stuff you only splerge for when you are away from home, routine and can worry about dieting later, kind of stuff. You know the "GOOD STUFF"! This is very tourisy town and it promices to have something for everyone. Depending on the time of year you might find exactly what you have been yerning for. There is plenty to walk and see right around the few blocks of the courthouse, but you may have to get back in the horseless carage to venture on out to the bigger, fancier, more modern parts of the city. On out of town, north on 31E, (which is 3rd street), you will find The Dinner Train. I have not been on it, (yet), but it is billed as the cream of the fancy. It is a bit pricey for me which is part of the reason I have not been. I hear that the moonlight ride is to die for. Well maybe not, I have not been there and done that yet.
It is always growing and yes we have major chain stores like Kroger, Winn Dixie and Save-a-Lot for those who just have to have milk and the like from "a real store"! Oh, yeah there is a Wally-World. Also, there is a place geared for taking the kids to eat and play inside, very modern and has a "all you can eat". I will get back to you on this one.
Well, I could go on and on, (and I will later), but I have to go for now. Anyone who lives here or has visited please feel free to drop me a line to help with the mistakes...LOL! Anywhen, Have A Great Day! Catch Ya Later, John