A Town With Spirit: Why Bardstown, Kentucky, Should Be Your Next Weekend Getaway
There’s a lot to love about Bardstown, Kentucky. Some come for the history, some come for the food, but most come for the bourbon. Known as the Bourbon Capital of the World®, Bardstown is home to a distinguished collection of world-famous distilleries, as well as a number of newer craft distilleries.
Here’s our guide to a few of Bardstown’s must-see distilleries, along with some other places you won’t want to miss while you’re in town.
Bardstown Bourbon Company™
Set on 100 acres of active farmland, this American whiskey and bourbon destination experience features a state-of-the-art distillery, vintage whiskey library and a unique educational experience. End your visit with a meal at Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar, which offers expertly crafted cocktails and superb food in a hip, modern setting. (Hint: try the boozy milkshakes!)
Lux Row Distillers™
One of Bardstown’s newest distilleries, Lux Row blends timeless craft and modern innovation to create some of Kentucky’s most regarded bourbon brands, including Rebel Yell®, Ezra Brooks®, David Nicholson® and Blood Oath. With a 43-foot custom copper still, six barrel warehouses and the capabilities to produce three million gallons of spirit a year, Lux Row Distillers is a must-see.
Independent and family-owned since 1936, the historic Willett Distillery specializes in handcrafted, small-batch and single-barrel selections of distilled spirits. Visitors to its historic property can choose from more than a dozen different tour and tasting experiences, including access to specialty products like the elegant Willett® Pot Still Reserve.
Barton 1792 Distillery
While Barton 1792 was named in honor of the year Kentucky joined the United States, the distillery itself was established in 1879, making it the oldest fully-operating distillery in Bardstown. The 192-acre grounds include 29 barrel-aging warehouses, an impressive stillhouse and the legendary Tom More Spring that supplies the water for 1792 Bourbon. Visitors can choose from three different tours, each of which includes a complimentary tasting.
Classic Southern Dining
Bardstown’s picturesque downtown features a vibrant food scene offering old-fashioned Southern classics. Try Kurtz Restaurant, where they’ve been dishing up home-cooked, skillet-fried staples since 1937, and Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar, where locals enjoy flavorful plates like bourbon pork chops in a relaxed atmosphere.
Built in 1779, the historic stone building is one of the oldest western stagecoach stops in America and, as such, welcomed a parade of visitors ranging from kings and presidents to pioneers and renegades. Overnight rooms are named after famous (or infamous) guests of the Tavern, including Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone and Jesse James, and are furnished with period antiques and modern amenities.
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Explore more than 15,000 acres of Kentucky’s beautiful outdoors through 40 miles of hiking and biking trails in this pristine national forest. For the best views, check out the elevated Canopy Walk and climb the 961-foot fire tower. Wrap it up with a visit to the LEED-Certified Nature Center, where you can take a peek at the Edible Garden and hit Isaac’s Café to sample the flavors of the forest’s produce bounty.
With so much to see, do and sip in Bardstown, our advice is to pour a drink and start planning your getaway today.