Located in the heart of the Bluegrass State, Bardstown offers the ultimate getaway with an atmosphere that seems to have magically leaped from the paintings of Norman Rockwell and the pages of Mark Twain. In just an afternoon, one can easily understand why Rand McNally and USA Today declared Bardstown the Most Beautiful Small Town in America.

Settled in 1780, Bardstown is Kentucky’s second-oldest city. Obviously, a lot has changed since then. But a lot has also stayed the same. Throughout Nelson County, there are more than 300 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, with nearly 200 of them located in the historic downtown district. In fact, the stagecoach stop that was built in 1779 still stands today as a tavern, restaurant, and bed & breakfast.

But it’s not just the town structures that have stayed the same. You’ll also find the friendly attitude and Southern charm that can only be found in such a town. It’s a place where neighbors still borrow cups of sugar. Because let’s face it, you can’t make a mint julep without sugar! You also can’t make it without bourbon. Speaking of … who’s ready to come soak up some local culture?

Things To Do In Bardstown

Directions To Bardstown

(40 miles, 35 minutes from Louisville Intl. Airport)

  1. Head south on I-65.
  2. Drive 35 miles to Exit 112 (Clermont-Bardstown exit).
  3. Turn left off ramp onto HWY 245.
  4. Follow HWY 245 for 15 miles into Bardstown.
  5. Turn right at 4th traffic light onto US 31E.
  6. Follow US 31-E downtown until you reach the court square.
  7. The Visitor’s Center is located in the Courthouse in the center of the Square.

(60 miles)

  1. Head west on Bluegrass Parkway.
  2. Drive 60 miles to Exit 25 (the first of two Bardstown exits).
  3. Turn right off ramp onto HWY 150.
  4. Follow HWY 150 for 3 miles.
  5. Pass through 4 traffic lights.
  6. The Visitor’s Center is located in the Court House in the center of the Square.

(158 miles)

  1. Head north on I-65.
  2. Drive 100 miles into Kentucky.
  3. Take Exit 93 onto Bluegrass Parkway East toward Bardstown-Lexington.
  4. Drive 22 miles to Exit 21.
  5. Turn left off ramp onto US 31E.
  6. Drive 2 miles.
  7. Turn right at St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral.
  8. Pass through 2 traffic lights.
  9. The Visitor’s Center is located in the Courthouse in the center of the Square.

  • Cincinnati, OH – 138 miles
  • Indianapolis, IN – 146 miles
  • Chicago, IL – 344 miles
  • St. Louis, MO – 308 miles
  • Memphis, TN – 349 miles
  • Birmingham, AL – 347 miles
  • Atlanta, GA – 398 miles


Bardstown (266)