A Bourbon-Filled Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky

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Bardstown, Kentucky, is a bourbon-lovers paradise filled to the brim with history, charm, and, of course, bourbon. State-of-the-art bourbon distilleries, museums, and bourbon-flavored foods await you in the Bourbon Capital of the World®.

So, if you’re searching for an adventure including bourbon from start to finish, look no further.

Where to Stay

Charm, sophistication and a dose of history await at the Old Talbott Inn. A 15-room boutique hotel located in a historic building from 1913, it’s just a short walk from the 200-year-old Talbott Tavern (the oldest bourbon bar in the world), boutique shops and historical landmarks. Or, check in at the Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast, which features ten bourbon-themed guest rooms, a bourbon bar, and a spa.

Day 1: Eat, Breathe, and Drink Bourbon


The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. Photo Credit: Rebecca Longworth.

Bourbon before noon? Yes, please! If you’re staying at the Bourbon Manor Bed and Breakfast, kick off the day with bourbon-infused breakfast dishes, from french toast to cinnamon rolls. If sweet treats aren’t your thing, grab a bite at Pat’s Place. This cute diner-style restaurant serves up classic breakfast staples like biscuits and gravy and eggs your way.

Next, take a trip to the past at the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. Located inside the historic Spalding Hall, the museum is home to exhibits that showcase life during Prohibition in Kentucky throughout the 1920s. From flapper dancers to speakeasies with liquor-tasting passwords, visitors will learn about the trials and tribulations of illegal distilling. See a life-size moonshine still, check out a vast selection of whiskey bottles from before the Prohibition and explore rooms filled with pre-Colonial to post-Prohibition documents and artifacts like unique advertisements from the 1920s and 30s.

Your bourbon journey continues at The Bardstown Bourbon Company, just east of downtown Bardstown. Located on 100 acres of farmland, guests can take a guided tour with a certified bourbon steward and learn about the distilling process as well as sample spirits straight from the barrel in the new tasting room. Upgrade your tour with the Shaken & Stirred experience, where you’ll concoct bourbon cocktails with a spirit specialist. Be sure to grab a bottle of their award-winning Origin Series before you leave, a classic bourbon with a hint of rye spice.


For lunch, dine on classic Southern cuisine at Mammy’s Kitchen. From steak burgers topped with homemade pimento cheese to fried green tomatoes and pinto beans with grilled cornbread, this no-frills restaurant will have you loosening your belt.

Your day continues with another distillery tour at the Willett Distillery. First built in 1936, the historic buildings have been renovated and modernized to continue the tradition of producing exemplary bourbons. Underground spring-fed lakes fuel a collection of aged whiskeys like Willett Pot Still Reserve, a small batch straight bourbon with vanilla lemon cake notes. Tours can book up to 90 days in advance, so make your reservations early.

Willett Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Photo Credit: Chris Nelson.

After your tour, stop by The Blind Pig Bourbon Market. Located in the heart of Bardstown on North Third Street, the market has the largest selection of bourbon in the area, along with spirits like Irish whiskey, scotch, and rums. Grab a ready-to-go canned cocktail and a bourbon cigar on the way out the door.


Round out your day with dinner at Rickhouse Restaurant and Lounge. Order a custom bourbon flight, sample the fresh steamed mussels with lobster sauce or indulge on their signature blackened burger topped with bourbon-infused mushrooms.

End the evening with a spectacular show at Bardstown’s outdoor amphitheater. From The Stephen Foster Story – the only outdoor musical about Kentucky – to concerts and Broadway-style shows, it’s a great way to bring your day to a close.

Day 2: Explore and Experience Bardstown History and Distilleries


Start off the day with a delicious breakfast buffet at the Stephen Foster Restaurant, a casual eatery that’s been considered the best buffet in Bardstown for more than 40 years. Or, grab a pastry to go at Fresh Coffee, Pastries & More.

Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Photo Credit: Irina Mos / Shutterstock.com

Your first stop of the day is the Heaven Hill Distillery for a tour and tasting experience. A guide will not only fill you in on the history and heritage of bourbon making, but you’ll enjoy a film in the 1935 Distillery Theater highlighting the story of the Heaven Hill Distillery. After the tour, explore the exhibits and galleries highlighting the Prohibition, Bourbon 101 (all you need to know about American Whiskey), the Heaven Hill family history and Elijah Craig, who’s considered the “Father of Bourbon.”

One distillery down, another to go. Next on the agenda is the Preservation Distillery, a small-batch distillery built on a historical tobacco farm. The distillery offers two tours to choose from, their Educational Tour and Tasting, where you’ll enjoy a flight of unique bourbons, learn the history of the brand and enjoy a guided tour of the grounds. The Overproof Tasting and Tour provides a take-home souvenir and the chance to sample bourbon from the distillery’s award-winning casks. 


After a morning of tastings, grab lunch at either Bardstown Burger for some classic American grub or enjoy pizza and pasta at Café Primo.

Walk off your lunch with an afternoon exploring My Old Kentucky Home State Park. Take a guided tour of the historic 1923 mansion and farm grounds that feature 200 years of paintings, antiques and Federal-style architecture. You’ll also explore the gardens, kitchen, smokehouse and carriage house while your costumed guide serenades you with a rousing rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home.” After your tour, you can explore the grounds on your own, where you’ll find interpretive panels detailing the history of different sites. There’s also an 18-hole golf course if you’d like to practice your swing.


As your weekend in Bardstown comes to a close, take an evening walking tour of historic Bardstown. You’ll see iconic sites like Courthouse Square, The Jailer’s Inn (the old Nelson County Jail) and the Mary May House, the home of Virginia Governor Patrick Henry’s niece.

The historic Talbott Tavern, Bardstown, Kentucky. Photo Credit: Ryan_hoel / Shutterstock.com

End the night with dinner at the historic Talbott Tavern featuring a menu of cleverly named dishes, such as the Stagecoach Fries (a pile of seasoned fries topped with melted cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and bacon bits) or the Daniel Boone Pot Roast (a hearty dish of slow-cooked roast beef, carrots, onions, and potatoes with gravy). After dinner, take a seat at the bourbon bar and order a local whiskey to cap off a fun, boozy weekend in Bardstown.

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