5 Ways to Refresh Your Spirit This Spring in Bardstown KY

Awaken your mind, body, and soul in the Most Beautiful Small Town in America.

 Spring is an ideal time to visit Bardstown, Kentucky, if you’re looking to hit the reset button. You’ll find pleasant temperatures, few crowds, restorative experiences, sprawling estates to explore, ready access to key points of interest, and a chance to see the city dubbed “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America” at is blooming prettiest. Come relax and enjoy some of Bardstown’s absolute favorite springtime spots.

At Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest connect with nature while exploring more than 40 miles of trails, including a four-mile Bike Hike Trail that follows Long Lick Creek, a two-mile Forest Giants trek that weaves along ponds and through prairieland to magnolias and cypress tupelo, and 1.5-mile Arboretum Loop that highlights crabapples, dogwoods, magnolias, and other native Kentucky trees. Spring events include guided nature walks, wildflower treks, moonlit night walks, and more. Don’t miss the family of fantastic Forest Giants constructed by a Danish artist in 2020 using recycled wood from the region.

Explore 1,500 acres with miles of trails across the road from The Abbey at Gethsemani, a monastery where Trappist monks have lived and worked since 1848. Stop by the Abbey’s Welcome Center for trail maps and to shop for goodies like jams, chocolates, honey, fruitcakes, and fudge in mouthwatering flavors like butter walnut bourbon plus other treats handmade by the monks. You can even linger among the silence with an overnight retreat that’s unstructured and includes a simple room plus three meals a day.

Stroll through formal gardens at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the place that inspired Stephen Collins Foster’s famous song, “My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!” You can also play a round of golf, picnic, watch for seasonal birds, and tour the house known as Federal Hill that was completed by 1818 and now displays more than two centuries of antiques, paintings, and architecture. Sign up for a fun demonstration class and learn how to make the perfect mint julep, the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby, then sip the delicious results.

It’s a breeze to enjoy the season without leaving beautiful downtown Bardstown. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride along the historic streets or head out on a self-guided historic walking tour to see 48 points of interest including the 1892 county courthouse, 1820 county jail, and the Old Talbott Tavern that’s been operating since 1797. Visit the eclectic array of downtown shops—many with outdoor displays—selling a wide range of goods from housewares to clothing, dog biscuits to jewelry, art to antiques, and other surprises.

Dine outdoors to take advantage of beautiful weather. Among the options, Scout & Scholar Brewing Co., where beer is paired with international fare, boasts outdoor fire pits and market lighting every evening. Heaven Hill’s new Five Brothers Bar is an upscale place to savor handcrafted cocktails, straight pours, and flights of American whiskeys with a lounge area and outdoor patio. Family-owned Mammy’s Kitchen serves country-style breakfast, burgers, and bourbon with sincere Southern hospitality on its cozy patio. Enjoy upscale dining plus a selection of more than 130 bourbons on the patio at The Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge. Sip a craft cocktail or nibble on seasonal fare at Bardstown Bourbon Company, which has vast walls of glass so it’s easy to see inside the distillery on the patio.

Visit Bardstown this spring to relax, refresh, and restore.