Looking for the best and most fun things to do in Bardstown, Kentucky? Located in Nelson County, Kentucky, Bardstown is known for producing the finest bourbon and is therefore referred to as the “Bourbon Capital of the World.”
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This city is considered one of the smallest cities in Kentucky. Located right in the very heart of Kentucky.
It is true the city is small, but then, there are a lot of things to see and explore.
Bardstown has many beautiful parks, history museums, shopping centers, antique shops, and restaurants to visit and enjoy quality time with family and friends.
For a fun vacation, here are the best things to do in Bardstown, KY.
Fun Things To Do In Bardstown Kentucky
1. Join The Bardstown Ghost Trek
A ghost trek is fun in Bardstown, KY, especially if you like spooky or scary stories, objects, and places.
The Bardstown Ghost Trek is a tour that takes you to some spooky area to hunt ghosts; with the city, you will also learn more about the ghosts and their history.
The staff are well informed and know extensively about haunted places and the spirits that haunt these places.
If you’re up for an exciting ghost hunting adventure, visit the Bardstown Ghost Trek, and bring your camera or recording device to capture every moment.
2. Visit Fine Arts Bardstown Society
The Fine Arts Bardstown Society, commonly referred to as FABS, was founded in 2005; since then, it has become the home of art.
Many professional artists teach young local artists how to be creative and bring their ideas to life.
The Fine Arts Bardstown Society also showcases artwork created by their artists, such as ceramics, fiber art, stained glass, photography, wearable art, sculpture, paintings and drawings, stained glass, etc.
The staff is very pleasant and kind, always ready to attend to you and answer any questions you may have.
At the Fine Arts Bardstown Society, you’ll always find something unique and exciting that suits you and can be used as a gift for yourself, family, and friends.
3. Go Fishing at Sympson Lake
Sympson Lake is a dam in Kentucky at a depth of 157 meters. Samuels Field is located west of Sympson Lake.
Despite the lake’s importance as a water source, water sports such as boating and fishing are popular recreational activities.
Its boat ramp is still a popular fishing spot, and you can find plenty of anglers daily.
In addition to largemouth bass and scavenger, canyon catfish and white sparrow are other common catches in the area.
Use your best judgment when deciding where to hunt, and be careful to respect local rules and restrictions.
Things To Do In Bardstown (KY) At Night
1. Grab Some Whiskey at The Willett Distilling Company
This is one of the best whiskey and bourbon companies in Bardstown.
The company was built in 1936 by Thomas Willett; since then, they have been producing various whiskeys and bourbons.
Willett Distilling Company also takes guests on company tours, showing them every step of the way in making whiskey and bourbon.
The staff is friendly and helpful, available to guide you every step.
If you are a whiskey or bourbon lover, not just any whiskey or bourbon, but quintessential Kentucky Rye whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon, be sure to check out Willett Distilling Company.
2. Visit the Famous Mansion at Wickland
This huge three-story Georgian mansion served as the warm residence of three governors.
There were two from Kentucky and one from Louisiana. The sprawling estate is an architectural beauty with many rooms built in classical ways.
The kitchen itself is two-story and consists of equipment. There is also a library, a large living room, and a sufficiently spacious attic.
3. Taste the Famous Jim Beam Whisky at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse
Jim Beam is a very famous whiskey brand and is loved by many people worldwide.
Their secret lies in their perfectly distilled bourbon, and they’ve been making quality liquor ever since.
This place is a must-visit if you want to learn more about your drinks. Guided campus tours deserve a special place on your itinerary.
The guided tour includes the distillation area, bottling plant, and limestone well. Try some of the famous whiskey and take some back home.
Things To Do In Bardstown, Kentucky For Couples
1. Make a Trip To The Women’s Civil War Museum
The Women’s Civil War Museum tells so much about the great sacrifices women made during the Civil War and how hard they fought to survive.
During the Civil War, women were instrumental in journalism, medicine, suffrage, military service, writing, the arts, and much more.
The museum has many historical artifacts that show how brave women were during the war and how willing they were to join the armies and fight.
The Women’s Civil War Museum also contains various artifacts and exhibits depicting their journey as nurses and much more.
The museum presents a good collection of guns, Confederate swords, cannons, union uniforms, and several others.
People who visit this museum tend to understand how strong women are when they are united and how important they are in every industry.
2. Shop at The Rusty Rooster
Shopping at Rusty Rooster is one of the best things in Bardstown. Rusty Rooster is the number one place to go if you want something unique.
The Rusty Rooster has a fantastic collection of unique and rare items, and there is always something new and unique to shop for.
The store is well maintained, neat and orderly so that anyone who enters will be mesmerized by its beauty.
At Rusty Rooster, you can shop for excellent and unique items that you can’t find anywhere else at a reasonable price.
The staff here are friendly and helpful in customer care; Rusty Rooster is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Sundays).
3. Grab a Meal at Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is your best bet for mouth-watering meals in Bardstown.
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is one of the best and highest-rated restaurants in Bardstown; that’s another reason you should stop by.
They have an extensive menu, including steak and eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, ribeye, country breakfast, chicken salad, and much more.
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar offers delicious, high-quality American-style breakfast and brunch at a reasonable price.
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6:30 am to 9 pm and on Sundays from 6:30 am to 9 pm.
Make sure Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is on your list so you don’t miss out on their delicious dishes.
Things To Do In Bardstown, Kentucky For Kids
1. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train
Dining on the train is one of the fun things to do in Bardstown; you can also enjoy delicious food.
“My Old Kentucky Dinner Train” takes you on a two-hour journey as it travels through the Kentucky countryside.
Along the way, you will be treated to sumptuous dishes such as a cheeseburger, pan-seared pork tenderloin, salted caramel cheesecakes, roasted corn, Mahi Mahi, ribs, apple dumplings, and much more.
Apart from the fantastic food, the view of the outside environment when you look out the window is refreshing, full of beautiful wildlife and hikes, plants, flowers, and trees.
My Old Kentucky Dinner Train offers fantastic food, a wonderful atmosphere, and a great experience.
My Old Kentucky Dinner Train is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed on Saturdays and Sundays).
2. Bardstown Community Park
The park has a fully equipped children’s playground with many swings and slides for great fun; the park is large and provides enough space for children to play.
There are particular areas ideal for picnics with many picnic tables and a basketball court, horseshoes, etc.
Right in the Bardstown Community Park are sand volleyball courts and wooded trails perfect for walking and hiking.
Bardstown Community Park is open every day of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; it is the best place to have great fun with family and friends.
3. Visit My Old Kentucky Home State Park
My Old Kentucky Home State Park is the inspiration behind Kentucky’s state song.
Stephen Foster wrote the anti-slavery ballad “My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night” while visiting Federal Hill. Federal Hill belonged to his cousin John Rowan, a United States Senator.
Foster’s song gained great popularity then, so the Commonwealth of Kentucky purchased Federal Hill to preserve it as a historic site.
Around this time, the national song was also officially announced. Federal Hills thus became an important historical monument.
It is a great place to visit with beautiful trees and lush green grass.
The mansion itself is majestic with many intricate details. It is also possible to picnic and watch birds on the palace grounds.
Indoor Activities To Do In Bardstown, Kentucky For Adults (Indoor Activities)
1. Learn About The Civil War At The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum
The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum is one of the largest museums dedicated to the Western Theater of the American Civil War.
The museum is highly recommended, especially if you are a history buff. There are many things to see or do in the museum.
The Civil War Museum in Old Bardstown Village displays original historical artifacts that tell the stories of the battles between the Gulf of Mexico and Georgia, Union forces and the Confederacy, and between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.
You can also see and understand the terrible war, how hard people fought to survive and how difficult it was to get food and drinking water.
The Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum has other sites that post accounts of slavery, cavalry, politics, navy, infantry, and artillery during the war period.
This museum serves as an eye-opener. It is worth a visit to learn more facts about the Civil War.
2. Catch Some Fun At Bardstown Bowling Center
Bowling is fun when you play with family and friends, giving you a fantastic bonding experience.
Bardstown Bowling Center has a place where you can get delicious food, tasty drinks, and an arcade room.
Various bowling leagues are usually organized for all age groups where you can compete with people of your age group.
Bardstown Bowling Center hosts birthday parties and celebrations of all kinds for all ages; bowling parties are always the best preparation for a fun night.
Bardstown Bowling Center is an excellent entertainment center for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy a unique, fun experience.
3. Meditate at Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral
The proto-cathedral of the Basilica of St. Joseph was built at the beginning of the 19th century, located in the heart of Bardstown.
The church was referred to as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bardstown.
It is a very charming church and a great place to stay, especially if you are religious.
The Proto-cathedral of the Basilica of St. Josefa is decorated with beautiful paintings and colored glass windows, and there is lovely natural equipment around the church.
Romantic Things To Do In Bardstown Kentucky
1. Shop At Bardstown Peddlers Mall
Perhaps you need a great and fancy place to shop while in town; Peddlers Mall is just the place you would love to visit.
Peddlers Mall is a family-owned shopping center specializing in antiques, oddities, collectibles, vintage items, furniture, and more.
They sell reasonably and offer excellent customer service and a friendly atmosphere to ensure you have a great time shopping.
There also is an active online presence, so you wouldn’t have to leave your house if you don’t want to; it is also affordable.
Peddlers Mall is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm.
2. Check Out Beautiful Displays at Bardstown Art Gallery
Visiting the Bardstown Art Gallery is one of the best things to do in Bardstown, KY, for a fantastic experience.
The Bardstown Art Gallery was built in 1971; it’s not wrong to say it’s the oldest private art gallery still active in Kentucky.
The gallery focuses on authentic watercolor or oil paintings created by Jim Cantrell, the famous artist.
The gallery also exhibits woodcuts, drawings, ceramics, collages, and etchings.
Bardstown Art Gallery also offers a comprehensive collection of fine books, DVDs, and CDs by the late Thomas Merton, who served as a Trappist monk at Gethsemani Abbey.
3. Go Winetasting at McIntyre’s Winery
McIntyre’s Winery uses juice from locally grown blackberries and blueberries to make its fruity wines.
McIntyre’s has something for everyone with a wide variety of flavors and aromas.
Wine tastings and tours are available at McIntyre’s Winery, where you can sample the Winery’s handcrafted fruit wines or purchase fresh fruit.
You can buy wine from his online Winery or come to the Winery for a tour and tasting in person.
McIntyre’s Winery provides vineyard tours and wine tastings for both novices and experts, allowing you to discover the art and science of winemaking and the opportunity to sample our handcrafted fruit wines.
Free Things To Do In Bardstown Kentucky
1. Take a Walk Along The Historic Cobblestone Path
The historic cobbled path may sound dull and unexciting to most people, but the moment you visit it, you will understand how unique this place is.
The Historic Cobblestone Path is a path steeped in history; this paved road is said to have been built around 1785 and 1825; is one of the oldest in Kentucky.
This road is owned by the municipality but has some restrictions and is only open to pedestrian traffic.
When you visit this route, you will see and understand how the first inhabitants lived and survived.
The historic cobbled path tells so much about the way of life of the local people at that time. The road has a picturesque view surrounded by beautiful nature.
The historic cobblestone road was valuable to Kentucky’s transportation history, so it was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
The historic paved path served as the main entrance to Bardstown many years ago. The historical trail is open every day from 7 am to 7 pm
2. Attend the Annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a 4-day festival that began in 1992, with approximately two hundred and fifty (250) people gathering to dine and taste bourbon; over the years, the festival is now visited by more than fifty thousand (50,000) people from different parts of the world.
This festival has tons of fun activities, such as whiskey and bourbon tasting, concerts by famous artists, the World Bourbon Barrel Championship Relay, food and craft vendors, and much more.
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival was created to honor the state’s art and history of bourbon and whiskey distillation.
3. Take a Walk at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Founded in 1929 by the founder of the same name, Isaac Bernheim, this beautiful park was opened to the public in 1950.
A successful brewer and his family were buried in this forest.
The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest have beautiful conifers and pines, which are beautiful sights.
There is also an intricately carved bronze statue that stands tall.
Volunteers also run many workshops and courses.
The vast research forest hosts many events and festivals, such as the annual ColorFest in October, Bloomfest in May, and CONNECT in August.
These are all quirky festivals celebrating science and nature.
Cheap Things To Do In Bardstown Kentucky
1. Make a Stop at the Blind Pig Bourbon Market
For delicious bourbon and all things bourbon-related, Blind Pig Bourbon Market is the best place to go.
In this store, you will find other beautiful items such as clothing, furniture, glasses, bottle, and other bourbon-themed items.
Blind Pig Bourbon Market is focused on bourbon; the owner and staff are pretty knowledgeable about the bottles and everything in the store.
Not only do they offer bourbon gifts, but they also offer bourbon food, decanters, bourbon candies, hats, and a few more.
Blind Pig Bourbon Market is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.
Visit the Blind Pig Bourbon Market with your friends and family for a fantastic bourbon experience.
2. Have Lunch at the Old Talbott Tavern
A visit to the Old Talbott Tavern is a great way to spend a day in Bardstown, a historical building built in 1700.
The Old Talbott Tavern includes a bar and restaurant that offers excellent drinks and fantastic food.
There is an excellent menu to choose from; it includes veggie burgers, roasts, bourbon chicken with grits, and much more.
You can also choose from their incredible drinks menu, including fine wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails.
There is also a cozy area where visitors can relax and enjoy live music, although not regularly.
The Old Talbott Tavern is the perfect place to visit and spend time with family and friends while enjoying good food, tasty drinks, and a friendly atmosphere.
The Old Talbott Tavern is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm.
3. Taste Authentic Bourbon at Heaven Hill Distilleries
You’re sure to get the best whiskey to taste when you visit the second-largest bourbon whiskey holder in the world.
The family business produces many distilled spirits, but Heaven Hill Distilleries whiskey remains at the top.
Learn the facts about this complex winemaking process by visiting them.
Don’t forget to buy a bottle or two to take home for you and your friends.
Cool Places To Visit In Bardstown Kentucky
1. Shaq & Coco
How about visiting Shaq & Coco, a store with significant collections of different items such as furniture, jewelry, and clothing.
Shaq & Coco is a beautiful store decorated with unique items; in the clothing sections, you will see different patterns and designs that you have not seen before.
Here, you can also shop for high-quality shoes and other beautiful items that can be used as gifts for yourself or your loved ones.
Shaq & Coco is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed on Sundays).
2. Spalding Hall
Spalding Hall is an educational center that teaches about the history of whisky; an interesting fact about Spalding Hall is that it was built over two hundred (200) years ago.
Here is a rare collection of whiskey artifacts from over 50 years, from colonial times to the prohibition era.
Spalding Hall was used as a hospital during the Civil War; it was converted into a museum after the war, which houses many valuable historical artifacts.
The museum is also home to a well-organized gift shop where you can get a unique gift for your loved ones. Spalding Hall is open to everyone for free, but you can donate if you choose.
The Spalding Hall is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm (closed on Mondays).
3. The Original Lincoln Home
Here in this park is where Lincoln and his family lived from 1811 to 1186. In 2001, Lincoln’s Boyhood Home was added to the national park system.
Lincoln Homestead State Park is now part of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site.
The park has a fully equipped playground for children to explore and have great fun. The golf course has about eighteen holes spread over the hills.
Lincoln Homestead State Park also has a gift shop where you can get beautiful souvenirs and items.
This park has a lot of history and is well maintained, making it ideal for families with children.
Bardstown is a small town and may seem so quiet and boring, but once you visit, you will find yourself exploring many exciting facilities and activities.
The city has plenty of historical monuments and museums ideal for history buffs; if you’re a fan of bourbon and whiskey, you’re sure to find something you like here.
You can hang out in parks and game centers with family and friends and have an unforgettable experience.
The city offers many delicious traditional dishes; you can visit local restaurants and taste various delicacies in the city.
Bardstown is a great place to take your kids, with lots of educational museums, art galleries, gardens, theaters, and much more for them to explore.
Plan a trip to Bardstown with family and friends for a fun-filled vacation, and don’t forget to bring your camera to capture every moment.