17 Best Places and Things To Do in Bardstown, Kentucky

Bardstown, Kentucky, known as the “Bourbon Capital of the World” and the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America,” is a charming destination with a rich history, bourbon heritage, and a variety of attractions for visitors to explore.

1. My Old Kentucky Home State Park

Trees at My Old Kentucky Home State Park

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Step back in time at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, where you can tour the Federal-style mansion that inspired Stephen Foster’s song, “My Old Kentucky Home.” The park also features beautiful gardens, picnic areas, and hosts various events throughout the year.

2. Cobblestone Path

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The cobblestone path in Bardstown, Kentucky, is a picturesque feature that adds to the town’s charm and historical ambiance. Nestled amidst the historic downtown area of Bardstown, you’ll find a quaint and inviting cobblestone path. This well-preserved pathway, made of rounded stones carefully arranged in an interlocking pattern, is a testament to the town’s rich history and serves as a charming reminder of the past.

3. Taste Authentic Bourbon at Heaven Hill Distilleries

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If you’re a bourbon enthusiast or simply curious about the rich heritage of Bardstown, Kentucky, a visit to Heaven Hill Distilleries is a must. Heaven Hill is a renowned distillery that offers visitors the opportunity to taste authentic bourbon and learn about the art of bourbon-making.

4. McIntyre’s Winery

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McIntyre’s Winery is located in the heart of Kentucky’s wine country, just a short drive from downtown Bardstown. The winery is nestled in a picturesque setting, surrounded by vineyards, and offers breathtaking views of the countryside McIntyre’s Winery is a delightful destination for wine enthusiasts visiting Bardstown, Kentucky. Situated amidst the rolling hills and scenic beauty of the Bluegrass State, McIntyre’s Winery offers a unique and inviting experience.

5. Civil War Museum

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Bardstown, Kentucky, is home to the Civil War Museum, a fascinating attraction that offers a glimpse into the tumultuous era of the American Civil War. The Civil War Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits that depict various aspects of the Civil War. From uniforms and weaponry to personal letters and photographs, the museum presents a comprehensive view of the war’s impact on both soldiers and civilians. Explore the displays to gain a deeper understanding of the events, battles, and individuals who shaped this pivotal period in American history.

6. Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

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The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is a captivating destination for whiskey enthusiasts and history buffs visiting Bardstown, Kentucky. Located in the heart of the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” this museum offers a comprehensive exploration of the fascinating history and heritage of whiskey production.

7. Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral

Front view of Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown

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The Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral is a historic and architecturally significant religious landmark located in Bardstown, Kentucky. As the first Catholic Cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains, the Basilica holds great religious and historical significance. The Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1816. It served as the primary Catholic church and the seat of the Bishop of Bardstown during the early years of Catholicism in the region. The cathedral witnessed significant events and played a pivotal role in the growth of the Catholic Church in Kentucky and the western frontier.

8. Bardstown Ghost Trek

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The Bardstown Ghost Trek is a thrilling and immersive experience that takes visitors on a journey through the haunted history of Bardstown, Kentucky. Led by knowledgeable guides, this ghost tour explores the town’s eerie legends, supernatural occurrences, and spooky tales. The Ghost Trek will take you to some of Bardstown’s most haunted locations, each with its own intriguing backstory. From historic buildings to eerie alleyways, you’ll visit places that have been the subject of paranormal activity and ghostly encounters. As you explore these sites, your guide will share chilling tales and legends associated with each location, adding to the spine-tingling atmosphere.

9. Fine Arts Bardstown Society

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The Fine Arts Bardstown Society is an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Bardstown, Kentucky, and the surrounding region. With a focus on fostering creativity, showcasing local talent, and enriching the cultural landscape, the Fine Arts Bardstown Society plays a vital role in nurturing artistic expression and appreciation.

10. MISSION Wickland

Front View of the Famous Mansion at Wickland

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MISSION Wickland is a historic site and museum located in Bardstown, Kentucky. It is dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of Wickland, a magnificent Federal-style mansion that has served as the home of prominent figures and witnessed significant events throughout the years. MISSION Wickland is a historic site and museum located in Bardstown, Kentucky. It is dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of Wickland, a magnificent Federal-style mansion that has served as the home of prominent figures and witnessed significant events throughout the years.

11. Bardstown Community Park

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Bardstown Community Park is a popular recreational area located in Bardstown, Kentucky. Spanning over 30 acres, the park offers a wide range of amenities and activities for individuals and families to enjoy. The park features a well-maintained playground area, perfect for children to have fun and burn off some energy. The playground includes slides, swings, climbing structures, and other play equipment. Adjacent to the playground, you’ll find picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, allowing visitors to enjoy a picnic lunch or gather for outdoor meals with family and friends.

12. Willett Distillery

Exterior of Willett Distillery

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Willett Distillery, also known as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), is a renowned bourbon distillery located just outside Bardstown, Kentucky. With a rich history dating back to the 1930s, Willett Distillery is known for its exceptional craftsmanship, traditional distilling methods, and dedication to producing high-quality bourbon. Willett Distillery is situated on the family-owned Willett Farm, which has been in operation since the late 18th century. The distillery itself is housed in a picturesque, traditional-style distillery building, adding to the charm and ambiance of the experience.

13. Museum Row

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Museum Row in Bardstown, Kentucky, refers to a cluster of museums and historical sites located along a stretch of Bardstown’s downtown area. This concentration of museums offers visitors a diverse range of cultural, historical, and educational experiences. The Civil War Museum, previously mentioned, focuses on preserving artifacts and exhibits related to the Civil War era, providing insights into Bardstown’s involvement and the impact of the war on the local community.

14. Hal Moore Military Museum

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The Hal Moore Military Museum, named in honor of the renowned military leader Lieutenant General Harold G. “Hal” Moore, is a museum dedicated to preserving the military history and honoring the sacrifices of American service members. Located in Bardstown, Kentucky, the museum provides a comprehensive look into the life and military career of Hal Moore, as well as the broader history of the U.S. military.

15. McIntyre’s Winery & Berries LLC

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McIntyre’s Winery & Berries LLC is a charming winery and berry farm located in Bardstown, Kentucky. It offers a delightful combination of wine tasting experiences and the opportunity to pick fresh berries. The winery specializes in producing a variety of wines made from local fruits and berries. You can indulge in a wine tasting experience where you’ll have the chance to sample their selection of wines. From sweet and fruity options to more complex and robust flavors, there’s something to suit every palate. Knowledgeable staff members are usually available to guide you through the tasting process, explaining the different wines and sharing insights into the winemaking techniques.

16. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

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The My Old Kentucky Dinner Train is a unique and nostalgic dining experience that takes place aboard a beautifully restored historic train. Departing from the Bardstown Train Depot in Bardstown, Kentucky, this dinner train offers a combination of scenic views, delicious cuisine, and a touch of old-world charm.

17. Old Talbott Tavern

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The Old Talbott Tavern is a historic landmark and iconic establishment located in Bardstown, Kentucky. With a history dating back to the late 18th century, the tavern has served as a gathering place, inn, and restaurant, welcoming guests from all walks of life. Stepping into the Old Talbott Tavern is like taking a journey back in time. The building itself exudes history and charm, with its well-preserved architecture and vintage furnishings. The tavern’s interior features rustic beams, cozy fireplaces, and antique décor, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that pays homage to its rich past.

Bardstown, Kentucky, has to offer. Whether you’re interested in bourbon, history, nature, or simply enjoying the charm of a small town, Bardstown is sure to provide a delightful experience.