Bardstown Travel Guide

  • Heaven Hills Rickhouse
    Heaven Hills Rickhouse
    by charlenemixa
  • Pioneer Village - Explore this colonial settlement
    Pioneer Village - Explore this colonial...
    by charlenemixa
  • Abbey Gesthesmani Chapel - Serene!
    Abbey Gesthesmani Chapel - Serene!
    by charlenemixa

Bardstown Things to Do

  • Women's Civil War Museum

    Thank you women of the Civil War! Whether as nurses, spies, soldiers in disguise, plantation and factory workers, women had a major impact in the war and are recognized for their roles in the Women’s Civil War Museum.

  • My Old Kentucky Home State Park

    This is a wonderful State Park on the very edge of downtown Bardstown. We golfed in the morning at the Golf Course, which was challenging, all the while smelling Kentucky Bourbon being distilled. Then we did the tour of the house, where it is stated that Stephen Foster visited and wrote the infamous song "My Old Kentucky Home". Yes we all recall...

  • Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum

    Great Historical Civil War Museum:The museum does a great job of bringing together in one location the historical times, lives, and conflicts of the Civil War. They have a plenty of documents and artifacts to educate visitors onthe war. We could definitely have had more time to study the depth the museum offers. Interesting to learn that both...

  • A Beautiful Cathedral with an Amazing...

    Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral Being the first cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains the story of the cathedral is fascinating. Touring it we learn how the cathedral was constructed with native yellow poplar beam. A beautiful historical building that has gone through changes but still has historical significance. Take time to tour or...

  • Barton 1792 Distillery! Tour & Taste!

    We enjoyed the tour of this Distillery and its interesting history. Our tour guide shared a lot of good information on Barton 1792 Distillery and the making of bourbon. While this was our third Bourbon Tour in Bardstown, we still picked up more insight into bourbon and distilling. This was the only distillery we toured that took us into the...

  • Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

    The museum is a delightful and amazing collection of the history of whiskey making. Just strolling through each room with the wealth of memorabilia brings one closer to understanding the distillery process, the fascination with making bourbon and all the history associated with it. While it started from a large collection of Oscar Getz, it...

  • Family Owned Willet Distillery -Premium...

    Having visited other large Bourbon distilleries, we were so glad we stopped in at Willet's. This family owned distillery has a great tour. In fact we had the privilege of taking our tour with Drew, the Master Distiller and family member, who now oversees the distillery. Growing up in the distillery business, Drew has a passion for his craft. Being...

  • Heaven Hill: Beautiful Center! Great...

    The Center is a beautiful building with a great gift shop, a very good film on distilling and Heaven Hill heritage, along with a tour of a working rickhouse and tasting. Initially we were going to skip the film but glad we took time to see it as it gave a lot of history and information on the distillery. The tour was very good giving us a good...

  • Historic Markers

    This was a cold raw day, and my objective was to take the trolley tour of the town. When we got there at 1:20, the trolley was sitting there with blinking lights and there was a piece of paper sticking out of the door that said next tour 1:30. The driver never came. We wandered around , but the old courthouse which was now the visitor's center in...

  • My Old Kentucky Home State Park

    We drove out to My Old Kentucky Home State Park. This was Federal Hill, the home of John Rowan who was a cousin of Stephen Fosters and where he was supposed to be staying when he wrote "My Old Kentucky Home". The house was being renovated but the tours were going on anyway. No pictures inside of course, and they wouldn't even let you take a picture...

  • tour Maker's Mark Distillery

    Kentucky is famous for bourbon whisky and Maker's Mark has a great tour of thier facility that explains the process from begining to end. Maybe you'll want to hand dip and seal your personal bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey in their signature red wax. The tours are free, but the whiskey is not.

  • Oscar Getz Bourbon Museum

    Even if you don't like bourbon you'll find this an interesting place.The museum has bottles of bourbon from all over the place. It also describes how it is made.


Bardstown Hotels

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Bardstown Restaurants

  • Good Ol' Tavern! Stop in!

    We stopped in the bar for a drink and to watch a baseball game. It was a Wednesday and very quiet in the bar. The lady bartender was friendly and very accommodating. It is an old bar with plenty of history. Not fancy just a good place for a drink. We didn't go in the restaurant. The history and friendliness makes this a special tavern to visit when...

  • Great Homey Restaurant”

    We had a terrific lunch on our visit to Bardstown. My husband had their Baby Hot Brown, their specialty. It was delicious and plenty filling. I loved the pimento cheese sandwich. Reminded me of growing up when we often had pimento cheese. We shared the butterscotch pie. Ummm good! Wonderful!The restaurant is very casual with good food and downtown....

  • Fabulous & Elegant Dining!

    The Circa is a truly fine dining restaurant in Bardstown run by the owners Bill and Donna Ellis. Located in an old home that has been elegantly redone, all of the paintings/artwork were done by Donna Ellis. The dining room is warm and upscale with comfy, cushioned high-back chairs and large tables with crisp tablecloths. We had a fabulous dinner!...

  • Great Restuarant in the Bourbon Capital!

    The Rickhouse is a unique restaurant in the basement of a historical building. It has a décor resembling the Rickhouse (where bourbon is aged). They have an active lounge but we opted to dine in the dining room. While it is a steakhouse they still had a couple of seafood entrees. The Salmon with bourbon sauce was excellent and perfectly prepared....

  • Rebecca's Pepperoni Grill

    Sort of hard to the main drag...but we found it. I had a blow out on the Bluegrass Parkway so we had to get off at Bardstown to get the tire replaced at WalMart..3 hrs wait time on a crowded Sunday...After we got the tire fixed..I pulled up my Yelp app on my cellphone and did a search for Pizza in the area, and woot directed me...

  • Home of The Greatest Show on Earth!

    I haven't eaten here, but I gather that the so-called "Greatest Show on Earth" at the Old Stable Restaurant isn't the circus, although that's where I've always heard that phrase applied. The Great Show is the "Mountain Dew Hillbillies" The website says: .."but maybe being from where you are, you do not know what Hillbillies look like. But I will...

  • Best BBQ IN Bardstown, KY

    Home cooking, Real Smoked BBQ, Family owned and operated. Ribs, Pulled Chicken sandwich, Smoked Chicken, awsome Baked Beans

  • On the Square

    I have been in this building when I was looking for the trolley driver, but have not eaten here.Town website said:Open daily. Built in 1779, this restaurant is the oldest Western stagecoach stop in America. The historic stone building has been a silent witness to an amazing panorama of events and an unending parade of visitors from kings to...

  • Local but with a nice touch - NOT just ...

    Dagwoods -- two blocks NORTH of the town center on Spring Street -- West side of the streetMore expensive than some other local eateries but many locals and visitors find it their favorite! Great Bourbon Steaks!! and other fare


Bardstown Transportation

  • Around The Town Carriage

    The trolley had been stalled for lack of a driver, but the horse-drawn carriage was doing tours. Bob felt that it was too cold for that, even though they had plastic over the carriage to protect from the wind.There does not appear to be a website for this organization, but town website says: Open daily. Go back in time with a narrated, horse-drawn...

  • thanks go the Old Talbott...

    thanks go the Old Talbott Tavern for directionssince the Talbott Tavern provided them this will get you to their place which is on the circle or square in the heart of town from locations N S or EFrom LouisvilleTake I65 South to Bardstown/Berheim Forest Exit. Turn left off exit. This is highway #245. Go approximately 15 miles. Turn right at 3rd...

  • Bardstown Hotels

    11 Hotels in Bardstown

Bardstown Shopping

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    My Old Kentucky Home State Park: Visitor's Center

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 25, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There was a big painting or quilt in the visitor's center and it was not allowed to take a picture of it. I can't find it on the internet anywhere either. It was a kind of collage of S. Foster's life.

    I looked for a gift for my mom, but didn't find anything, and I can't find anything specific on the internet about what they have for sale here. It just says

    Gift Shop
    The park’s gift shop features Kentucky handcrafts for gift-giving and decorating.

    What to buy: You can now purchase the new Kentucky Unbridled Gift Card at the Kentucky History Center, Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Artisan Center and all the Kentucky State Parks. This offers a unique way to give the gift of great history, great champions, great arts and crafts and great getaways in the state of Kentucky.

    View into the store Model horses for sale Monument outside on the grounds My Old Kentucky Home Lithograph ($10.00 and up) Governors Choice Basket $161.00
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel
    • Music

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Bardstown Local Customs

  • gkitzmil's Profile Photo

    Here are some eventsTHANKS...

    by gkitzmil Written Oct 4, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here are some events
    THANKS -- to the Bardstown Tourism Folks

    2 0 0 2

    My Old Kentucky Home Festival of Quilts
    Over 125 juried quilts represent the 2002 show. Events include Quilted Fashion Luncheon, Quilter's Trade Show, Downtown Merchant's Walking Tour of Quilts and Educational Workshops. Located at Hillbilly Heaven. Contact: Dixie Hibbs.

    March 21-24, 2002

    P.O. Box 867Q, 107 E. Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown, KY 40004, (502) 348-4877 or 1-800-638-4877


    Bardstown Antique Show and Sale
    35th annual show. Over 100 dealers from 12 states. Featuring furniture, china, cut glass, books, clocks, coins, Indian relies, jewelry, knives, primitives, lamps, textiles, vintage clothing, and all sorts of collectibles - a buyer's market. Located at Nelson County High School. Contact: Don Comer,

    April 6-7, 2002

    PO. Box 334, Bardstown, KY 40004, (502) 348-8503


    Colonel's Barbecue
    Trying to start your own Derby tradition? Get involved with the historic Kentucky Colonel Barbecue at Bardstown's own Wickland estate. Scheduled for the day after the Derby festival - May 5 - the Kentucky Colonel Barbecue has been a distinctive Derby tradition for 25 years. The menu includes burgoo, barbecue and pork chops prepared by the Kentucky Pork Producers. Ask for Kentucky's famous drink, the Mint Julep. For more information, click on the link above.

    May 5, 2002

    (502) 459-5352 or the Visitor's Center at (800) 638-4877


    Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial & Museum

    The Wall that Heals exhibition features a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. It is approximately 250 ft. in length, and is erected in a chevron-shape. The replica is complete with the 58,220 names of those killed or missing in action from the conflict. The Museum displays memorabilia which tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall, and the era surrounding the conflict. The rear of the Museum includes a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the continuing conflict in Vietnam spanning several thousands of years.

    May 16-19, 2002

    107 E. Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, 502-348-4877 or 1-800-638-4877


    Stephen Foster - The Musical

    44th Season. Performances Tues. - Sun. at 8:30 pm. Saturday indoor matinee at 2pm. Enjoy lively dance, beautiful costumes and more than 50 heartwarming melodies of Stephen Collins Foster such as, 'Beautiful Dreamer' and 'My Old Kentucky Home.' Outdoor theatre the J. Dan Talbott Amphitheatre (indoors in inclement weather.) Call for reservations. Contact: Stephen Foster Drama

    June 8, -September 1, 2002

    P.O. Box 546, Bardstown, KY 40004, (502) 348-5971 or 1-800-626-1563


    Pioneer Craft Show & Civil War Living History

    Professional craft people will demonstrate and sell a variety of 1700's style crafts including: Weaving, dulcimers, rug making, leather making, soap making, early types of carpenter tools and more. Located at Bardstown Village and Civil War Museum. Contact: Rita Herrmann

    June 15-16, 2002

    310 E. Broadway, Bardstown, KY 40004, (502) 349-0291


    Bluegrass Music Festival

    Hosted by Gary Brewer, the 8th annual Bluegrass Music Festival will feature two days of bluegrass music, arts and crafts and concession booths. Located at White Acres Campground. Contact: A.R. White

    June 21-22, 2002

    3022 Boston Rd. Bardstown, KY 40004, (502) 348-9677


    Civil War Living History
    A Civil War Living History encampment at Old Bardstown Village & Civil War Museum. Soldiers will demonstrate different aspects of the conflict, including demonstrations of camp life, musket firing, cooking, mounted drilling, saber fighting and much more. Soldiers in full uniform accompanied by their ladies dressed in period costumes. Contact: Joe Masterson.

    August 3-4, 2002

    109 Eastland Drive, Bardstown, KY 40004, (502) 348-6093


    'Spirit Fire' Native American Music Festival

    Third annual festival featuring Native American traditional and contemporary music. Festival to be held at the Bardstown Airport on Hwy. 62.

    August 18, 2002

    Contact: Lynn Lorenzen, email:, 502-348-0425 after 4pm


    Kentucky Bourbon Festival
    Visit the 'Bourbon Capital of the World.' Celebrate the history and making of Kentucky's finest product, Kentucky Bourbon. Enjoy distillery tours, displays, musical entertainment, good southern food and contests. Contact: Pam Gover

    September 18-22, 2002

    P.O. Box 867, 107 E. Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown, KY 40004, email: , (502) 348-4877 or 1-800-638-4877

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Bardstown Warnings and Dangers

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Trolley Tour Derailed

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    When we got to Bardstown at 1:20, the trolley was sitting there with blinking lights and there was a piece of paper sticking out of the door that said next tour 1:30.

    The driver never came.

    We wandered around , but since it was Sunday, the number listed in the visitor's guides didn't answer and the old courthouse which was now the visitor's center in the center of the square was locked up tight. Someone let me and another couple in. She suggested that the driver might be watching the UK vs Miami basketball game. I asked in a nearby pub/bar but he was not there.

    The website says:

    Trolley departure times change seasonally. No Tours on Monday

    Hop on-board this vintage-style trolley and tour around the sites of Historic Bardstown (Kentucky’s second oldest city) including Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center. The new Heaven Hill Distilleries Trolley operates year-round; fully narrated tours last approximately one hour and 15 minutes.

    Jan. – Feb. no Sunday tours - It was Sunday, but this was March

    Fare Prices:
    $5 Adults
    $3 Children
    (2-12 years old)

    Trolley parked Trolley from the website Map of town in the square Key for map
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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Bardstown General

  • History

    I love to take photos of historic buildings and identify them with their histories. I was disappointed in the State Park because photography wasn't allowed and I thought the connection with Stephen Foster was tenuous at best. Although it was very cold, I did wander around the Bardstown Historic District, which is a registered historic district on...

  • Welcome Center

    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...

  • gkitzmil's General Tip

    Bardstown is BEAUTIFUL, small town America. Bardtown has beautiful homes, Kentucky history, the Stephen Foster Story, a Civil War Museum, and enough bourbon history to make the average person's head spin! ------Friends and I gather each year for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival


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