Historic Attractions in Downtown Bardstown

historical attractions in Downtown Bardstown

It’s not surprising that there are a great deal of historical attractions in downtown Bardstown, KY considering it’s the second oldest city in the state, founded in 1780. With nearly 200 buildings in the historic downtown district that are recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, it seems like at every turn or curve in the road you’ll encounter a place with a deep connection to the past.

One of the easiest and best ways to start exploring the historical attractions in downtown Bardstown is by strolling along the Historic Downtown Walking Tour. Detailed maps with routes are available and our Bardstown Bed and Breakfast just happens to be a perfect starting point to take in the sights and history of this charming old town. Plus, no walking tour is complete in the birthplace of bourbon without a taste or two from one of the local downtown distilleries.

The Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast has a long historical past as well. Erected in the 1820s, the stately home was built in the Greek Revival-style and has served many purposes before being renovated into the luxury lodging that it is today. While many tasteful and modern touches have been added over the years, the original architecture and details are still present and each guest room has antique and timeless decor. Book your room at our historical Bardstown Bed and Breakfast today!

historical attractions downtown bardstown

Come Explore: Historical Attractions in Downtown Bardstown

Thankfully, when you stay at our Kentucky Bed and Breakfast you’ll be a mere minutes from all of the attractions in downtown Bardstown. There’s something for any history buff, from museums and historical mansions to bourbon tours and railways, you won’t be able to cover it all in just one weekend. Better extend your stay for a little longer!

Here are 7 historical activities in downtown Bardstown, KY that you shouldn’t miss:

  • My Old Kentucky Home State Park: The American composer Stephen Foster (pictured above) is honored at this state park and historical mansion with a musical called The Stephen Foster Story. The outdoor show runs throughout the summer. You’ll also be able to tour the 200 year old mansion filled with antiques and rich stories.
  • Old Talbott Tavern: Built in 1779, this tavern and bourbon bar is known as the oldest in the world. The historic pub in downtown Bardstown offers hearty fare with traditional southern dishes like hot browns, fried catfish, and bourbon bbq ribs. Rumor has it that the space is haunted, so be on the look out for an event of the supernatural kind.
  • Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History: Located in the historic Spalding Hall you’ll find an extensive collection of liquor related memorabilia and prohibition-era artifacts. Make sure to set up a reservation for a fancy steak and bourbon dinner at The Rickhouse Restaurant in the bottom level of the museum building.
  • My Old Kentucky Dinner Train: This railway ride takes guests on a culinary adventure while touring the beautiful countryside of downtown Bardstown and beyond. Make a reservation for a lunch or dinner ride and you won’t be disappointed.
  • Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral: Known as a national landmark in downtown Bardstown, this Catholic Church was completed in 1819 and is the oldest standing cathedral in the United States. The architecture is stunning.
  • Museum Row: Here you’ll find a few museums dedicated to the Civil War, including a Women’s Museum chronicling achievements of heroines of the 1800s. Check out Old Bardstown Village for a look at 10 old log cabins from the 18th and 19th centuries.

historical attractions downtown Bardstown

Learn about the History of Bourbon and Take a Distillery Tour

Last but not least, you’ll want to taste some bourbon, which is one beverage that has a rich history of its own. With more than 10 local distilleries you’ll have more than enough to choose from, especially if you follow one of the routes on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

  • The Willet Distillery: This is one of our favorite distilleries for a tour and a tasting. The history dates back to 1936, but the family began in the distilling business as early as the late 1600s. Tours at this distillery were on pause for a bit, but as of May 1st they are back up and running. Book your reservation for a tasting and tour, and don’t forget to stop by The Bar at Willet for a classic whiskey cocktail and small plates.
  • Barton 1792 Distillery: Stop by one of the oldest downtown Bardstown Kentucky distilleries still operating today. Thankfully, it’s only about five minutes drive from our Bed and Breakfast and this well-known bourbon maker offers the tours and tastings on the house!

historical attractions downtown Bardstown

Find the Best Downtown Bardstown Lodging at our B&B

For those who are here to explore the historical attractions in downtown Bardstown, you’ll absolutely want to choose our historical bourbon-themed bed and breakfast for your lodging. Not only will you be incredibly close to all of the action in downtown Bardstown, you’ll be fully immersed in the rich history of our stately Bourbon Manor. Additionally, our staff is as welcoming and hospitable as they come.

Our 10 guest suites are pristine and classically tailored, from the antique decor and modern amenities to the designer linens and cozy fireplaces, you’ll want to make our Inn a yearly tradition for a special getaway. Join us for a bountiful breakfast spread in the mornings and come on back for happy hour for a taste of our favorite bourbon cocktails. After a day strolling the historic streets and town square in downtown Bardstown, you’ll feel like you’ve come home. Book your room today!


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