If you think of Kentucky, you’ll know all about Bourbon, the Derby and even Kentucky Fried Chicken. I bet you haven’t heard of Bardstown, voted America’s Most Beautiful Small Town.
What did we think of our visit?
Slap bang right in the heart of Bourbon country, Bardstown is a great place to investigate all the big hitter distilleries and local enterprises too.
If you think of a quaint small town from TV shows and movies you might have seen, Bardstown hits the nail on the head. From cute independent retailers to bars for locals and family run business. Mass chains don’t feature heavily in the downtown area of Bardstown which help maintain a small-town vibe.
It’s pretty and cute and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It isn’t a destination in itself for a holiday but it is indeed an excellent base camp for exploring other areas of Kentucky.
Getting round in Bardstown would be best by car so you can hit up the main attractions and hot spots such as the Old Kentucky Home State Park, The Kentucky Railway, Civil War Museums and of course the Jim Beam distillery and all the other smaller ones. (Maybe get an Uber for all those drinks you’ll be trying!)
If you have exhausted yourself with booze, you could take the short drive out the Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home or the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Park which is a beautiful place to walk round on a nice day.
If you are up for a slightly longer drive, you can get pretty damn close to Fort Knox which tickled us greatly. Everyone says it’s hard to get in to Fort Knox – it looked pretty easy. Ok ok, it’s just a sign and not the actual grand reserve or military base!
We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and we really struggled to find somewhere to eat or drink in to the evening in walking distance so please be aware of that and make sure you have options prepared in advance!
You can see from our pictures how quiet and closed up the place was on a Sunday – fear not we had food, bourbon and even ice cream!
Our top suggestion would be The Old Talbott Tavern which offers bar meals and a more formal restaurant… as well as a cute gift shop to stock up on bourbon flavoured goodies. The Old Talbott does shut at 7/8pm on a Sunday though.
And as English drivers visiting Bardstown – we were pleased to see a roundabout – even if we had to go round it the wrong way! The rest of our American Road Trip posts can be found HERE.
If you are a fan of Bourbon, you must visit Bardstown.