Named after its pioneering fathers, Davis and William Bard, Bardstown is one of Kentucky’s smallest, with a population of 11,700 as of 2010.
Also, Bardstown is the county seat of Nelson county and is known for producing the best bourbon, hence it is known as the “Bourbon capital of the world”.
Despite the size of this place, there are a lot of things to do here.
It is a crucial location for Nelson County because it is located in the heart of Kentucky.
There are a plethora of historical landmarks and museums to visit.
There are also beautiful parks, shopping malls, antique shops, restaurants, and several shops you can grab bourbon and whiskeys in Bardstown.
To have an enjoyable and unforgettable moment in this city, here is the list of top things you can do in Bardstown.
Things to do in Bardstown
1. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
If you don’t know what to do first after arriving at Bardstown, then you can try dining on a train.
“My Old Kentucky Dinner Train” will take you on a two-hour tour of the countryside while having a wonderful meal.
Typically, you have the option of going on a lunch or supper excursion.
Check-in is quick and easy, and coming early allows you to get a drink at the bar or a souvenir from the gift store.
For your tour, you’ll find a lovely interior on board.
Throughout your tour, you’ll be treated to scrumptious dishes like a cheeseburger, pan-seared pork sirloin, salted caramel cheesecakes, roasted corn powder, Mahi Mahi, and prime rib, apple dumplings, and more.
Furthermore, the prime rib dinner is really good as melts in your mouth, especially when you dip it in horseradish.
Aside from the delectable dishes, gazing out the window at the lovely wildlife, plants, flowers, and trees is a truly rejuvenating experience.
My Old Kentucky Dinner Train offers delicious meals, a relaxing atmosphere, and a memorable experience.
Best part? Even if you are a couple or even if you came to Bardstown with your whole family, you are covered.
Address: 602 N 3rd St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
2. Heaven Hill Bourbon
In case you want to have another wonderful excursion around Bardstown, here is a nice place to have it.
The world’s second-largest bourbon whiskey holder and the largest privately-owned distillery in the U.S will undoubtedly provide you with the best whiskey for tasting.
This family-owned company makes a variety of distilled beverages, but Heaven Hill Distilleries’ whiskey is still the best.
The grounds of this distillery are phenomenal as the rest of the distilleries on the bourbon trail.
Firstly, when you enter the center, there is a bourbon chair on the right that can easily be missed due to all the bourbon distractions all around you.
Next to the left, there is a little hallway museum that ends with beautiful barrel racks.
Furthermore, to the right of the entrance, there is a gift shop and 1 of two tasting rooms.
There’s even a great gift store with good prices too.
The entire experience and tasting are superb and a must if you are in Bardstown.
Visit them for a fascinating tour and to learn more about this complex process.
While you are there, you can also purchase a bottle or two to take home with you.
Address: Bardstown, United States
3. My Old Kentucky Home State Park
Kentucky’s most famous and treasured historic property is “My Old Kentucky Home”.
Located at Bardstown right off the Bluegrass Parkway about 1 hour west of Lexington, this place is beautiful even in the winter.
The three-story home, originally dubbed “Federal Hill” by its initial owner Judge John Rowan, was built between 1812 and 1818 and became Kentucky’s first historic shrine on July 4th, 1923.
The house and grounds are extremely well maintained. In short, it is a lovely glimpse into the past.
The peace and tranquility of the grounds are astounding.
Sit quietly and reflect on yesteryears. Stop at the hill near the mansion. Or peacefully reflect while visiting the small cemetery.
It is such an experience to be here.
Address: 501 E Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
4. The Women’s Civil War Museum, Bardstown
Want to learn of the long and honorable service of women in the Military while in Bardstown?
The Civil War Museum and the Women’s Museum of the Civil War are the country’s largest and most comprehensive museums dedicated to the American Civil War’s Western Theater.
This is an excellent way to not only educate yourself on little-known and often overlooked history.
It has many interesting items on display and is very educational.
The Women’s Civil War Museum is one of the most interesting things to see in Bardstown; you will enjoy being here, especially if you are a history buff.
The Museum reveals a great deal about the tremendous sacrifices made by women during the Civil War.
In addition, you will learn about women who played important roles in journalism, medicine, suffrage, military duty, writing, the arts, and many other fields throughout the Civil War.
The Women’s Civil War Museum also has relics and exhibitions depicting their experiences as nurses, among other things.
Even Guns, Confederate swords, cannons, union uniforms, and other artifacts are on display in the museum.
In summary, you will learn about the women who dressed as men to serve, led their units, and were recognized for their bravery and combat, as well as surgical skills.
This historical site is a place you don’t want to miss in Bardstown.
Address: 204 E Broadway St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
5. McIntyre’s Winery
Mcintyre’s Winery in Bardstown is a great place to enjoy a good old fashion wine tasting.
The winery makes fruit wines from juice from locally grown blackberries and blueberries.
With a vast variety of flavors and scents, McIntyre has something for everyone.
McIntyre’s Winery offers wine tastings and tours, as well as the opportunity to purchase fresh fruit and try the winery’s handcrafted fruit wines.
In addition, the interior of the winery is nicely decorated with a great patio outside to enjoy wine while taking in the scenery.
Rolling hills and vineyards to walk around are a beautiful touch, and the area is so quiet and serene.
Although food is not served on the property, you are welcome to bring food and there is a gas grill for customer use.
McIntyre’s Winery offers vineyard tours and wine tastings for both amateurs and experts, allowing you to learn about the art and science of winemaking while sipping our handcrafted fruit wines.
You can also buy wine from the Winery’s online store or visit in person for a tour and tasting.
Address: 531 McIntyre Ln, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
6. Cobblestone Path
This ancient path winds across eight acres of land at the eastern edge of the Bardstown Historic District in Bardstown, Kentucky.
In 1785, the Cobblestone Path was constructed. The inhabitants of Bardstown constructed the path.
Non-minister males (ages 16-50) were required by law to participate in the construction of this and other roads, or face a fine of $1.25 per day if they did not show up for work on time.
It has stood between Flaget Avenue and Broadway in Bardstown, Kentucky, directly across from the Bardstown Civil War Museum.
Although the Cobblestone Path is currently only used by pedestrians, it is owned by the city of Bardstown because it was once considered part of the city’s roadway system.
The Historic Cobblestone Path reveals a lot about the villagers’ way of life at the time.
Similarly, the walkway boasts a stunning outlook and is surrounded by lovely natural features.
Because of its importance to Kentucky’s transportation history, the Historic Cobblestone Path was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Address: 209 E Broadway St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
7. The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum
The old Bardstown village civil war museum is a place to go if you really love museums and you will also find the women’s civil war museum here.
This museum is a real gem located in historic Bardstown, Kentucky.
Your ticket gives you access to several venues, one of which is the Women’s Civil War Museum and the Lieutenant General Hal Moore exhibit.
If you are a history buff, you will truly enjoy what they have to offer.
The genuine historical relics on display at the Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum relate the stories of the battles between the Gulf of Mexico and Georgia, united forces and the Confederacy, and the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.
You’ll also get a sense of how hard people struggled to survive and how tough it was to find food and water throughout the horrible conflict.
Furthermore, other sites of the Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum communicate messages about slavery, cavalry, politics, navies, infantry, and artillery during the war.
There is a wonderful, large collection of Union & Confederate Uniforms, weapons, & equipment.
Showcases displaying complete sets of artifacts from various soldiers on both sides.
In addition, there are also Naval uniforms, band uniforms & instruments, and medical equipment on display.
Also vintage art prints of various battles.
The log building village next door is well laid out to depict 1800s life on the Kentucky frontier and interaction with native tribes.
In short, the Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum is one of the country’s largest museums dedicated to the Western Theater of the American Civil War.
This museum will open your eyes. Visit to learn more about the Civil War; it is well worth your time.
Address: 310 E Broadway St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
8. The Rusty Rooster
Voted the best antique store in Bardstown in 2017, the rusty rooster is an awesome place in Bardstown to shop if you are looking for rustic furniture or trinkets for your home.
The shop has everything you could possibly want and the best prices, so one of the best places to shop in Bardstown is to go shopping at the Rusty Rooster.
You’ll find one-of-a-kind and rare artifacts at Rusty Rooster, and there’s always something new and exciting on display.
Additionally, the shop is well-kept, neat, and well-organized, and everybody who enters in will be charmed by its beauty.
You can also browse for wonderful and unique products that you won’t find anywhere else at a reasonable price at the Rusty Rooster.
One good thing also is that the staffs are friendly when it comes to serving customers.
So, if you need somewhere to pick up some antiques on your visit to Bardstown, then here is one of the best places. Don’t miss it!
9. Bardstown Peddlers Mall
Perhaps you want something more than antiques or rustic furniture, you should consider the Bardstown peddlers Mall.
The Bardstown peddlers Mall is a comfortable place to shop.
Peddlers Mall is a family-owned and operated shopping center that specializes in antiques, oddities, collectibles, vintage things, furniture, and more.
In addition, there are a lot of varieties and it’s not so large that you get lost in a maze and the booths are what you’d expect to find in most places like this.
In short, there’s something for everyone.
They sell at a fair price and provide excellent customer service and a welcoming environment in which you may enjoy a pleasant shopping experience.
Similarly, you can also order online through their app or website, with a low shipping price.
Address: 1020 Granite Dr, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
Planning a road trip outside of Bardstown? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in Williamstown, Paducah, and Bowling Green!
10. Shaq & Coco
Shaq & CoCo, located in the center of downtown Bardstown, offers stylish furniture, bright lighting, and gorgeous gifts, to name a few items.
There’s also the clothes section. You may see new styles and patterns that you haven’t seen before.
In addition, you can also buy high-quality shoes and other fantastic products to give to yourself or your family as a gift.
The shop also provides excellent customer service and a welcoming setting in which customers can feel at ease while perusing the store’s merchandise.
You will enjoy every bit of this place, so come prepared with your decorating budget and save yourself a trip to Manhattan!
Address: 111 N 3rd St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
11. Bardstown Community Park
Are you in Bardstown and you need some place to have fun, cool off, and forget worries? The Bardstown community park is a great choice.
Additionally, it is a great place to bring your kids if you want them to have a lot of fun as there are multiple fun activities and a basketball court.
The park offers a fully equipped playground for children to enjoy, with multiple swings and slides; the park is large, giving the kids lots of room to play.
There are also designated picnic areas with numerous picnic tables, as well as a basketball court, horseshoe pits, and other amenities.
Sand volleyball courts and woodland pathways are available in Bardstown Community Park for walking and hiking.
There are multiple trails with bridges and new signs, making it a lot easier for you to gather information
Bardstown Community Park is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week, and it’s really a nice place to have fun with your families too.
Address: 407 E Halstead Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
12. Fine Arts Bardstown Society
Even if you aren’t a big fan of art, it’s worth taking a look/walkthrough because there’s a good chance you’ll see something that appeals to you.
The Fine Arts Bardstown Society, or FABS, was founded in 2005 and has since become a home for artists, and it is a nice space showcasing the work of local artists.
There are many works of art, such as pottery, stained glass, woodwork, and photography, that are extremely stunning.
You should definitely visit here if you enjoy supporting local artists.
There are a variety of styles from which to choose. It’s also well-ventilated and furnished.
Many professional artists teach the younger artists in the community how to be creative and bring their ideas to reality.
The Fine Arts Bardstown Society also exhibits their artists’ work, such as ceramics, fiber arts, wearable art, sculpture, paintings & drawings, and more.
If you are in Bardstown, check it out!
Address: 407 E Halstead Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
13. The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
The Whiskey Museum is a great stop in Bardstown to get you oriented to the history of the area.
The museum includes information on the distilleries, distilling whiskey, prohibition, and a display of bottles.
It’s one of the most enjoyable places to go to in Bardstown.
You may see and explore a variety of historical objects, most of which are tied to history; you can also see medical whiskey bottles, actual moonshine stills, antique whiskey bottles, and much more.
In addition, the exhibits are thoughtfully done, and informational.
Though the museum is small and doesn’t take too long to go through but you’ll love it.
The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is both educational and entertaining; you’ll learn things about whiskey you didn’t know about.
There are also exhibits dedicated to former US presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
Admission is free! But they do accept donations.
There’s also a gift shop if you need to pick up some souvenirs.
Address: 114 N 5th St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
14. The Old Talbott Tavern
Stepping into the World’s Oldest Bourbon Bar is something you shouldn’t miss while in Bardstown.
The Old Talbott Tavern is a tavern and restaurant that serves delicious drinks and delicious food and is located on Court Square in historic Bardstown.
Additionally, unlike McIntyre’s Winery, the tavern has been providing refuge, food, and drink to Kentucky visitors since the late 1700s.
Previously, travelers arrived on horseback or in buggies; now, they arrive in automobiles. It is a spot to rest and refuel before continuing on to their eventual destination.
You can choose from a tasty menu that includes vegetarian burgers, pot roast, bourbon walnut chicken with grits, and more.
Drinks from their vast menu, which includes great wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails, are also available.
There is also a nice place where people can relax and listen to live music on occasion.
The Old Talbott Tavern is a great spot to visit with your family and friends while enjoying a delicious meal and refreshing drinks.
Stay, eat, and enjoy the show!
Address: 107 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
15. The Willett Distilling Company
Perhaps you want someplace more recent than the old Talbott tavern, come here.
When it comes to making whiskey and bourbon, the Willett Distilling Company is one of the greatest in Bardstown.
Thomas Willett founded the company in 1936, and it has since produced a variety of whiskey and bourbon.
Whiskey fans will really enjoy it here.
The campus of Willett may be a bit eerie, but the distillery itself is quite cool.
This Distilling Company also offers tours of the facility, showing visitors how whiskey and bourbon are made from start to finish.
In fact, the Distillery & Production Tour takes visitors to the fermentors, the iconic pot still, the historic bottling line, and the warehouse.
This tour could easily pass as one of the best distillery tours you would be to.
The best part of the tour is that the tastings are done throughout the tour, so you get to enjoy a whiskey while you learn about how it’s made. Plus, you get to keep the glass as a souvenir!
There is also a tasting room where you may sample all of their new goods and concepts.
The bar has great food as well, its appetizer style, but delicious.
You can also try the single barrel “Purple top” bourbons in the bar. They are unlike anything you will taste in the rest of the distilleries.
The staffs are friendly and helpful, and they are there to help you every step of the way.
Don’t miss the Bar at Willett for great food, cocktails, and of course whiskey.
Visit the Willett Distilling Company if you enjoy whiskey or bourbon, and not just any whiskey or bourbon, but the traditional Kentucky Rye whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon.
Address: Bardstown, United States
16. Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is one of Bardstown’s best and most highly rated restaurants, which is all the more reason to visit.
It’s a family-run establishment with welcoming personnel and a warm atmosphere.
Depending on when you drop in, there’s also live music to keep you entertained.
So if you are looking to sample some of Kentucky’s finest bourbons, they have a phenomenal selection!
You can get steak and eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, ribeye, country breakfast, chicken salad, and much more from their extensive menu.
In addition, for a reasonable price, Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar delivers tasty and high-quality American-style breakfast and brunch items.
One good part is that you can drop in for a cocktail and live music for a nightcap and then get up the next morning and get a cup of coffee and a pancake.
Furthermore, the employees and owners are really kind and accommodating, and the meals are served in generous and reasonable portions.
It’s also worth noting that their cooking has received numerous accolades, so you know you’re getting the best.
Address: 116 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
17. Bardstown Art Gallery
The Bardstown Art Gallery opened in 1971, making it Kentucky’s oldest private art gallery still in operation.
The gallery specializes in original watercolor and oil paintings by Jim Cantrell, a well-known artist. Woodcuts, drawings, pottery, collages, and etching are all on display at the exhibition.
They also offer framing, art conservation & restoration.
Another sideline-Books by and about Thomas Merton, who was a Trappist monk.
The late Thomas Merton, who served as a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, has a large collection of wonderful books, DVDs, and CDs at the Bardstown Art Gallery.
So, one of the best things to do in Bardstown if you love arts is to pay a visit to the Bardstown Art Gallery.
Address: 214 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
18. Spalding Hall
If you enjoy American history or Bourbon, you will enjoy your time here, and there is enough to see and do.
This old structure, which previously housed private boys’ schools and a civil war hospital, is now home to this fantastic museum dedicated to the history of bourbon.
Spalding Hall is an educational facility that teaches about the history of whiskey; one interesting aspect of the structure is that it is almost 200 years old.
Furthermore, collections of bourbon bottles, advertising, and tools for making it are amazing and the rich history around the drink, both legal and illegal, is very interesting.
The museum has a remarkable whiskey artifact collection dating back over 50 years, from colonial times through prohibition.
In addition, the museum offers a well-organized gift shop where you may find that one-of-a-kind gift for your loved ones.
This place is well worth your donation as you exit.
Address: 114 N 5th St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
19. The Blind Pig Bourbon Market
Asides from the old Talbott and willet distillery, the blind pig bourbon market is another beautiful place you can visit to enjoy the great taste of bourbon and related products.
This delightful little market epitomizes the phrase “good things come in small packages.”
The Blind Pig Bourbon Market is one of the best places to go for wonderful bourbon and other bourbon-related items and they are located right in the heart of beautiful historic downtown Bardstown!
This is a bourbon-tasting bar with a great little gift shop attached that makes for a great stop on any trip to Bardstown.
An extremely comprehensive selection of bourbon, whiskey, and whisky that extends its borders far beyond just Kentucky.
This business also has other lovely products such as clothing, furnishings, glasses, bottles, and other bourbon-themed items.
Furthermore, blind Pig Bourbon Market specializes in bourbon, and the owner and staff are very knowledgeable about the bottles and everything else in the store.
They sell bourbon cuisine, decanters, whiskey sweets, caps, and a variety of other items in addition to bourbon gifts.
You do not want to miss here!.
Address: 212 N 3rd St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
20. Lux Row Distillers
Are you a luxury fan? are you also a fan of bourbon and wine, then you are in the right place.
Just as the name suggests, this is a nice place for those who like to have a/some touch(es) of luxury in their bourbon.
Bardstown is a den of bourbon and Lux Row Distillers is a favorite hangout for residents and visitors looking for high-end bourbon.
Lux Row is a beautiful place.
It’s well-maintained and if you’re lucky, you’ll see some beautiful peacocks on the farm!
It’s home to several brands and has a good gift shop. The tour is similar to others but is still informative.
Visitors are taken on a 45-minute tour of the facility, where they can observe how the beverages are made and packaged, as well as sample their whole whiskey selection.
Other cocktails available at Lux Row Distillers include David Nicholas, Rebel Bourbon, Blood Oath, Ezra Brooks, and more.
You can take your drink there or take it home; either way, your satisfaction is guaranteed.
The tasting at the end is in a nice bar area that is scenic.
Lux is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday).
Address: 1 Lux Row, 3050 E John Rowan Blvd, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
21. The Bardstown Ghost Trek
Something entertaining to do in Bardstown is taking the ghost walk.
The Bardstown Ghost Trek is a trip where you will be brought to a spooky location to look for ghosts; you will also learn more about ghosts and their connection to the town.
Outside the Talbott Tavern, the ghost search, walk, and history tour begins.
In addition, if you want to participate in collecting proof of the always active spirits who love being photographed on the tour, you are welcome to bring your cameras, audio recorders, and video recorders.
During the guided tour, you will hear true accounts about people who have witnessed ghostly activity that is now occurring in the trek’s locations.
The team is well-informed and knowledgeable about haunted locations and the ghosts that inhabit them.
Visit Bardstown Ghost Trek if you’re looking for a thrilling ghost-hunting trip, and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture every moment.
22. Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
The Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral, which is located in the center of Bardstown, was built in the early 1800s.
This historic church envelopes you into a warm embrace the moment you walk in.
This church has a striking history.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown referred to the church as the Mother Church. It’s a charming church that’s a great spot to visit, especially if you’re devout.
Stunning artwork and bright glass windows adorn the Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral, which is surrounded by beautiful natural surroundings.
Just being open during the day, there are individuals there that will walk you through the church and even point out its architectural details gives you an appreciation for the missions here.
This is an excellent area for meditation and reflection on God’s mercy and the importance of his word to you and the rest of the world.
Do a quiet reverence and don’t overlook the pipe organ.
Come and feel the love of Christ in this amazing church!
Address: 310 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States
Start planning your trip to Bardstown
Even though Bardstown is not a big town, but you will have an enjoyable and unforgettable moment here.
You can even come here with family and friends.