Spend a Fall Day at Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest

Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest showing off stunning fall colors

Fall in Kentucky is one of the most beautiful seasons, and you’d be remiss if you didn’t add a visit to the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest to your itinerary! There are more than 16,000 acres of land under protection where visitors can completely indulge and relax in nature. This vast terrain is divided into two distinct areas: a 600-acre Arboretum that contains thousands of carefully selected and natural plant species and a natural area with hiking trails and exquisite outdoor sculptures—including a forest giant family created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo.

The land where the Bernheim Arboretum resides today was almost completely uninhabitable due to contamination from the iron ore industry. Thanks to visionary and philanthropist Isaac W. Bernheim, a German man who immigrated to Kentucky in 1867, the land was transformed into the natural oasis it is today. The nature area now stands as a testament to land conservation and an education center for future generations. For those who enjoy getting outdoors, the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest is a fantastic place to spend a crisp fall day. 

Before you start planning your itinerary, you’ll want to get your lodging in Bardstown KY on the books! The charming and historic small town of Bardstown may be best known for its bourbon distilleries, but it’s also an ideal romantic getaway destination, especially when the Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast is your homebase. Each of our ten luxurious guest rooms offers the perfect reprieve, especially after a beautiful day full of adventure at the Bernheim Arboretum. Make your reservations today! 

Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest for a perfect a fall day

Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest: Fall Itinerary

There’s so much to explore at the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest! As a guest at our luxurious lodging in Bardstown, KY, you’ll be just a quick scenic drive (especially when the fall colors are on display along the way). After hiking and exploring the outdoor art installations, we’ll be ready to welcome you back with a bourbon cocktail and warm fire.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest before you go: 

  1. Hiking Trails: The Bernheim Arboretum offers over 40 miles of hiking trails that cater to outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities, ranging from leisurely to challenging. The Forest Giants Trail is an excellent choice if you prefer a relaxed two-mile stroll. You’ll encounter Danish artist Thomas Dambo’s colossal Giant sculptures, tranquil Olmstead Ponds, and expansive prairie along the way. You’ll also enjoy majestic forests that showcase breathtaking native tree species, such as Magnolia.
  2. Canopy Tree Walk: Stroll on the 75-foot boardwalk above the hardwood forest and enjoy the vibrant colors of the fall foliage.
  3. Public Art Displays: There are numerous art exhibits available for public viewing beyond the three majestic Forest Giants that draw in visitors. One can explore oversized sculptures made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials, as well as petite inventive installations scattered throughout the park, by simply following the art map.
  4. The Fire Tower: Ascend 961 feet above ground level on the oldest structure in Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest to witness breathtaking panoramic views. On a clear day, the picturesque view stretches as far as Louisville.
  5. Tour the Edible Garden: The Bernheim Forest boasts a picturesque 4-acre garden that showcases impeccable sustainable practices and provides a tranquil escape for visitors seeking to reconnect with nature. The wholesome produce cultivated in the garden is exclusively utilized in the on-site Cafe. At the same time, 16 state-of-the-art solar panels efficiently power the garden, and water is locally sourced nearby.  
  6. Isaac’s Cafe, located in the LEED Platinum Visitor’s Center: If you have a passion for locally grown food, you will thoroughly enjoy Isaac’s Cafe in the picturesque Bernheim Forest. This exquisite eatery sources vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers from the on-site Edible Garden, barely 200 steps from the kitchen. You can grab a savory sandwich or salad to go and enjoy a leisurely picnic in the natural surroundings. Moreover, the visitor’s center boasts a marvelous gift shop, where you can find exquisite souvenirs worth taking home.
Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest is the perfect outing when you're a guest at the best lodging in Bardstown KY

The Best Lodging in Bardstown KY for Your Fall Getaways

The Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast stands out from all the other options when looking into lodging in Bardstown KY, for your fall getaways. We’re known for our welcoming Southern hospitality, hearty breakfast service (included with your stay), and elegant guest rooms and suites perfect for romantic getaways, friend’s trips, and solo retreats. Guests are welcome to use any of our comfortable shared areas during their stay, both inside and outside the Manor.

We often see our guests strolling on the garden grounds, socializing in our Player Piano Parlor, relaxing in expansive sitting halls, hitting our on-site gym, or being pampered in our Day Spa. You may never want to leave the property! However, heading out to the Bernheim Arboretum and the local Bardstown bourbon distilleries are genuinely some of the best things to do in the area. You’ll have a memorable and magical adventure in Kentucky that you won’t soon forget! 

Fall is a popular time to visit Kentucky, so it’s best to get your lodging in Bardstown KY on the books sooner rather than later. From our more than 450 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, you’ll see that we have many return guests and welcome familiar faces time and again. We can’t wait to host you at the best lodging in Bardstown KY, this fall and beyond! Book your room today. 

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