Give winter chills the cold shoulder. Head to Bardstown, Kentucky to add some sizzle to the season with options like bourbon tastings, one-of-a-kind accommodations, crackling fireplaces, steamy local cuisine, and the heart-warming thrill of being in bourbon’s most beautiful hometown. Here are just a few ideas to warm up your winter.
Fire up your palate with bourbon experiences at any of 11 different bourbon experiences within 16 miles of downtown Bardstown: Bardstown Bourbon Company, the Napa Valley experience of Bardstown; Barton 1792, the city’s oldest fully-operating distillery; Heaven Hill, the nation’s largest family-owned spirits producer; Lux Row, the newest destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail; Willett, an independent, family-owned producer; Log Still, a 300-acre campus with an amphitheater, event space, cottages, tasting room, and more; Preservation Distillery, the region’s first and only 100-percent pot-distilled producer; Jim Beam, the world’s No. 1 selling bourbon brand; Maker’s Mark, the small batch bourbon known for its iconic red-waxed bottle necks; and the Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Facility, where 10 distinct bourbon recipes are aged and processed.
Warm yourself from the inside out with classic Kentucky dishes like the Hot Brown or burgoo at Old Talbott Tavern, the nation’s oldest bourbon bar. Or try contemporary creations like Kentucky poutine with hot gravy at The Kitchen & Bar at Bardstown Bourbon Company where made-from-scratch is the motto. Cozy up to a small plate like steamed oysters at new culinary hotspot The Bar at Willett. And don’t miss The Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge that pairs bourbon with elevated comfort food.
Spark the feeling of yesteryear at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the place that inspired Stephen Collins Foster’s famous song, “My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!” Tour the house built between 1812 and 1818 with more than two centuries of antiques, paintings, and architecture on display. Delve deeper into local history at the Oscar Getz Museum of Bourbon History at Spalding Hall, which explores the history of American whiskey from pre-colonial days to the Prohibition era through the 1960s.
Watch winter landscapes roll by while riding in comfort on the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train, which has been hosting bourbon tours since 1988 and operates year-round. Each 2.5-hour dinner excursion includes a four-course meal. Bourbon excursions also include a bourbon tasting hosted by a master distiller.
Keep your muscles warm with a brisk walk around downtown Bardstown, “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America,” on a self-guided historic walking tour with 48 points of interest. Need socks, boots, mittens, sweaters, scarfs, or other winter gear? Historic downtown Bardstown has got you covered at stores like Mammy’s General Store, Peacock on Third, At Mary’s Art & Antiques, and plenty others.
Whether you’re traveling with a significant other or the whole family, Bardstown’s roster of seasonal events offers heart-warming, memory-making fun options like the annual Christmas Parade and other holiday happenings, Kentucky Bourbon Festival, musical events, ghost tours, tastings at Springhill Winery, the Arts & Crafts Fair, and so much more.
Cuddle up in front of a fireplace in luxurious guest accommodations at the award-winning Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast or the new Dant Crossing at Log Still Distillery where overnight options include a fully-renovated historic bed and breakfast, lakefront cottage, or Federal-style mansion.
Sink into a steamy deep bathtub or in-room jacuzzi in a guestroom at the stylish Talbott Inn in a renovated historic building, unique Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast where you can sleep in a former cell, or spacious suite at the brand new Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Whatever the weather, Bardstown thaws the winter blahs.