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Bardstown, Kentucky
The Top 10 Things To Do in Bardstown, Kentucky

The Top 10 Things To Do in Bardstown, Kentucky

Bardstown, Kentucky offers a wealth of activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a day of outdoor adventure or a night of culture and entertainment, this small town has something to offer everyone. From local wineries and distilleries to historic sites and spooky ghost tours, there is no shortage of things to do in Bardstown.

about matthew
Updated February 17, 2023
Hey there! I'm Matthew, I'm a passionate traveler who loves to explore the US with my family. I'm excited to share my experiences and tips on how to make the most of your trips while traveling in the US.
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1. My Old Kentucky Home Museum

Paid, Indoor, Historical

My Old Kentucky Home Museum

My Old Kentucky Home Museum is one of the most iconic 19th-century homes in America. Located in Bardstown, Kentucky, this Federal-style mansion was built in 1818 by John Rowan Sr. and is the namesake of Stephen Foster’s sentimental ballad, “My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!”. 

The museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the history of the home and its surrounding 1,300-acre plantation. Tour guides provide a detailed insight into the history of the home and its grounds, from the architecture to the lives of the people who lived there. Visitors can explore the grounds of the property, including the gardens, the slave quarters, and the final resting place of the Rowan family. 

My Old Kentucky Home Museum is a must-see destination for history buffs and anyone seeking to learn more about the early days of the United States. With its stunning architecture and its rich history, this museum is a destination that should be on everyone’s list.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 348-3502

Address: 501 E Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004 

2. Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

Paid, Indoor, Historical

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

The Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience is a must-visit destination for whiskey enthusiasts. Located in the heart of Bardstown, Kentucky, it is one of the largest and most respected distilleries in the world. As a family-owned business, Heaven Hill is proud to offer more Bottled-in-Bond brands and produce more Bottled-in-Bond products than any other American whiskey distiller. This commitment to quality is evident in every drop of their whiskey, making the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience a true celebration of the art and tradition of whiskey-making.

For those unfamiliar with Bottled-in-Bond, it is the world’s highest quality standard for spirits. This designation dates back to the late 19th century and is a testament to the whiskey’s authenticity and purity. At Heaven Hill, the Bottled-in-Bond tradition is not only upheld but celebrated, making this distillery a true treasure trove of whiskey history and knowledge.

Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of bourbon, the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience offers a unique and unforgettable opportunity to taste, learn, and appreciate the finest American whiskey. From the historic Bottled-in-Bond tradition to the modern and innovative products, there is something for everyone at Heaven Hill. So why not come and join us for a tour, a tasting, and a journey through the world of American whiskey at its very best?

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 337-1000

Address: 1311 Gilkey Run Rd, Bardstown, KY 40004 

3. Women’s Civil War Museum

Free, Indoor, Historical

Womens Civil War Museum

The Women’s Civil War Museum is a must-visit destination for those interested in American history and the Civil War. This museum, located in downtown Bardstown, Kentucky, is one of the largest and most comprehensive museums dedicated to the Western Theater of the American Civil War. With over 8000 square feet of authentic period exhibits, visitors can learn about the struggle between the forces of the Union and Confederacy, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi and south to Georgia and the Gulf of Mexico.

The museum collection includes a vast array of artifacts, including flags, swords, and other items belonging to notable figures of the Civil War. Visitors can explore specialty rooms dedicated to the politics of the time, slavery, infantry, cavalry, artillery, and the brown and salt water navies. In addition to the Civil War Museum, the Women’s Museum of the Civil War is a compelling experience that chronicles the achievements of women of all backgrounds during the 1800s and Civil War. The museum is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country and highlights the achievements of women in science, medicine, nursing, writing, journalism, civil rights, suffrage, the arts, and military service.

Located in the heart of bourbon country, the Women’s Civil War Museum and its adjacent Old Bardstown Village, a collection of ten original 18th and 19th century log structures, make for a unique and educational experience. The museum is conveniently located just one hour west of Lexington and 45 minutes south of Louisville, making it a must-visit for any history buff or traveler passing through the area.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 349-0291

Address: 204 E Broadway St, Bardstown, KY 40004   

4. The Stephen Foster Story

Paid, Outdoor, Historical, Entertaiment

The Stephen Foster Story

The Stephen Foster Story is a unique and entertaining experience that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Kentucky. As the official outdoor musical of the state, this production takes place in the heart of Bourbon Country, in the charming town of Bardstown. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and music of the area, and to enjoy a truly unforgettable performance.

The Stephen Foster Story is a musical that tells the life story of the famous American songwriter, Stephen Foster. With a mix of humor, drama, and memorable songs, this production offers a glimpse into the world of the 19th century and the music that shaped a nation. The talented cast brings Foster’s timeless tunes to life in a way that is both engaging and entertaining, making this a must-see for anyone who loves music, history, or theater.

Located in the heart of Kentucky, Bardstown is the perfect setting for this musical. The town is well-known for its beautiful architecture, its charming streets, and its rich cultural heritage. Visitors to Bardstown can also explore the many nearby attractions, such as historic sites, museums, and distilleries, or simply relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. With The Stephen Foster Story, visitors have the opportunity to experience the best of what Bardstown and Kentucky have to offer.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 348-5971

Address: 411 E Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004  


5. Wickland, Home of Three Governors

Paid, Indoor/Outdoor, Historical

Wickland Home of Three Governors

Wickland, the Home of Three Governors, is a historic property located in Kentucky. With nearly 200 years of history, the house has served as the site of many family gatherings, weddings, and celebrations. Built in the Georgian-style in the late 1820s, the house is considered one of the finest examples of its architectural style in the state of Kentucky.

Tourists visiting Wickland can step back in time and immerse themselves in the history of the property. The house is open for tours, offering guests the opportunity to admire the magnificent architectural details and learn about the families who have called Wickland “home”. In addition, the property is available for rental for a variety of events, including weddings, receptions, showers, parties, meetings, and corporate gatherings.

Wickland is a unique destination for those looking to experience a piece of history while enjoying a memorable event or simply taking a tour of the property. Whether you are a history buff, a fan of Georgian architecture, or just looking for a picturesque location for your next event, Wickland is the perfect destination. Book your visit today and experience the beauty and hospitality of this historic property.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 275-6731

Address: 550 Bloomfield Rd, Bardstown, KY 40004  

6. Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest

Free, Outdoor, Park, Experience

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a 90-year-old conservation area located in Bullitt and Nelson County, Kentucky. The forest is a haven for nature lovers and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plants, including federally endangered Indiana bats, northern long-eared bats, Kentucky glade cress, and the globally imperiled bluff vertigo snail.

The forest is managed and protected by the Isaac W. Bernheim Foundation, a volunteer nonprofit that champions economic growth in the region. The Board of Trustees opposes any use of Bernheim as a shortcut for pipelines, such as the proposed LG & E Pipeline, which would cut directly through the forest. An alternative route would protect Bernheim forests and conservation lands and preserve the area’s clean air, water, and scenic beauty. Bernheim is an ideal destination for those looking to escape into nature and explore the beauty of the great outdoors.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 955-8512 

Address: 2075 Clermont Rd, Clermont, KY 40110   


7. Bardstown Art Gallery

Free, Indoor, Experience

Bardstown Art Gallery

Bardstown Art Gallery is a vibrant and welcoming space located in the heart of Bardstown, KY. This unique gallery showcases the work of over 30 local artists, including a rich selection of paintings, photos, sculptures, jewelry, fiber, clay, and wood art pieces. 

Visitors to the gallery are sure to find something to admire, whether it’s a simple postcard or an intricate oil painting. The gallery also offers a variety of special events, including artist receptions and workshops, giving visitors an opportunity to meet the artists and learn about the creative process. 

The Bardstown Art Gallery is a must-see destination for art lovers looking to discover the work of some of the finest local talent. With its wide selection of art and frequent special events, it’s sure to please art aficionados of all ages.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 348-6488 

Address: 214 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004   

8. Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral

Free, Indoor, Historical

Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto Cathedral

The Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral is the first Proto-Cathedral in the United States west of the Allegheny Mountains. Serving the Diocese of Bardstown, it is a place of worship for people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Built to welcome pioneers and serve their spiritual, physical and intellectual needs, the Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral continues to be a place of refuge, peace, and reflection. The church offers daily Mass services, as well as many other activities and events. Those who visit can also share their prayer requests and join in the church’s mission of strengthening the faith of all who come.

For those interested in history, the Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral is a must-see. As the oldest Proto-Cathedral in the United States, it stands as a reminder of the courage and spirit of the pioneers who built it and who shaped what we know as America today.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 348-3126

Address: 310 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004   

9. Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

Free, Indoor, Historical

Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is a unique and fascinating destination located in Spalding Hall in Bardstown, Kentucky, USA. Originally opened in 1826 as St. Joseph College and Seminary, the building has served many purposes over the years and is now home to two museums.

At the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, visitors can explore the history of whiskey in America and learn about the fascinating process of whiskey-making, from the early days of whiskey production to modern-day distilling practices. The museum also features a wide variety of artifacts, including rare bottles and documents from the 1800s, and a special Whiskey Tasting Bar, where guests can sample a range of whiskeys from around the world.

Whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or simply looking for an interesting and educational experience, the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History is definitely worth a visit. Immerse yourself in the history of whiskey-making and enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 348-2999

Address: 114 N 5th St, Bardstown, KY 40004    

10. Around the Town Carriage

Paid, Outdoor, Experience

Around the Town Carriage

Around the Town Carriage is an ideal way to spend a romantic evening with your special someone. This company offers private horse-drawn carriage rides through the city, with a variety of packages available to suit your needs. The carriage rides are offered in the evening, when the city is lit up and the stars twinkle in the sky. The drivers are knowledgeable and friendly and will point out the sights of the city, ensuring that your experience is as magical as possible. 

The carriages are comfortable and cozy, and the horses are well-trained and gentle. There is also a selection of refreshments available on board, so you can truly relax and enjoy your journey. You can choose from different routes, depending on the sights you would like to see, or you can let the driver suggest a route for you. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening or a fun way to explore the city, Around the Town Carriage is the perfect choice. 

You can also book a package that includes a tour of the city with a guide, allowing you to learn more about the history and culture of the area. This is an ideal way to get to know the city better, and to really get the most out of your visit. So if you’re looking for a romantic and memorable experience, Around the Town Carriage is the perfect choice.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (502) 348-0331
Address: 223 N 3rd St, Bardstown, KY 40004

About the Author
about matthew
Matthew Mellinger
Hey there! I'm Matthew, and I'm a passionate traveler who loves to explore the US with my family of four. I'm excited to share my experiences and tips on how to make the most of your trips while traveling in the US.

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