Romantic Getaway

Spend Valentine’s Day in the Bourbon Capital

On February 14th, America’s Most Beautiful Small Town becomes America’s Most Romantic Small Town.

Whether you opt for a sentimental journey on a vintage train, a moonlit cabin on a lake, a candlelit dinner at a historic restaurant, a couples’ massage or a couples’ bourbon mixology class, Bardstown has something to take the sting out of Cupid’s arrow.

   “It’s Not the Destination; it’s the Journey” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  A sure way to make your honey’s heart skip a beat is to book a special evening aboard a vintage 1940s rail car on My Old Kentucky Dinner Train.

     The evening will start off with a champagne toast (you can keep the flutes as a souvenir), and continues with a 5-star, 4-course meal.

     Feast on an appetizer of Boursin cheese and crackers, a Golden Spike salad, either a Prime Rib or Stuffed Lobster entrée and a choice of – count ‘em – five dessert options.  It didn’t take as long to pick out her engagement ring as it will take to choose from strawberry cheesecake, apple cobbler, Kentucky Treasure, chocolate cake or chocolate choo-choo.

     The soundtrack to your evening will be a selection of romantic melodies courtesy of a violinist and a harpist.

     The two-and-a-half hour round trip excursion to nowhere in particular proves that it is indeed the journey and not the destination that makes for a sweetheart of a ride.

     Price of a private table for two is $278.

     What could be more romantic than cozying up under a blanket on a horse- drawn carriage?  Around the Town Carriage Company will take the two of you on a different kind of journey – a 30-minute narrated tour of Bardstown’s beautiful historic downtown. 

     You will pass the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, the Nelson County Courthouse, Pioneer Cemetery, dating back to 1852, and a collection of architecturally significant buildings.

     Cost of the carriage ride is $100 per couple.


  “All You Need is Love, but a Little Bit of Chocolate Now and Then Doesn’t Hurt” – Charles M. Schultz


     Most women have learned that a home-cooked meal is the way to a man’s heart, and most smart men have learned that booking an early dinner reservation so as not to be disappointed is the way to a woman’s heart.

     If you’re the forgetful type, we’re here to help.

     Candlelight and Chocolate Bourbon Bread Pudding at the Rickhouse.

     The Rickhouse, located on the ground floor of Spalding Hall, a National Historic Site, makes for a romantic tryst (book early for Valentine’s).

     In the glow of candlelight, give your Valentine and your taste buds an elegant evening out.  Start with a shrimp cocktail before ordering one of their signature steaks.  End the meal with that chocolate bourbon bread pudding, and since you are in the Bourbon Capital of the World, accompany it with a bourbon flight.

     As a barrel of bourbon gets its rich color, flavor and aroma from aging in a distillery rickhouse, the Rickhouse Restaurant prides itself on a dining experience “bursting with beautiful colors, delicious smells and full flavor.”

     Average cost of a dinner for two with a bourbon flight, but without tip, is $120 to $150.

     The Rickhouse isn’t the only Bardstown restaurant that will offer a smorgasbord of Valentine goodies.  Food and beverage-loving lovebirds should try for a table at The Bar at Willet Distillery or Scout and Scholar Brewing Company.

     Specifics are not yet available, but two  restaurants – Talbott Tavern and Toogie’s Table (how’s that for alliteration?) – will offer special Valentine’s Day menus.

     While the restaurants showcase two different aspects of Bardstown – the former being an homage to the city’s rich history, and the latter, a kitchen devoted to modern American fare, you can count on both to have inspiring menus and a few heart-themed surprises.  Stay tuned.


     “The Couple That Plays Together Stays Together” – Unknown


      Some experts believe a good relationship should contain a healthy dose of competition – whether it be teeing off side by side on the golf course, or trying to best your significant other in a game of gin rummy.

     In Bardstown, we believe in collaboration rather than competition.  Nowhere is this more apparent than at Bardstown Bourbon Company’s “Shaken & Stirred” curated cocktail classes.

     Working in tandem, the two of you will craft two iconic bourbon cocktails – the Sazerac and the Kentucky Mule.

     At the conclusion of this uniquely Kentucky experience, you’ll be shaken and she’ll be stirred.  Better yet, you’ll have a chance to consume what you created, and who knows where that will lead.


     “You Know I’m Having Sweet Dreams About You” – Patsy Cline


     For an overnight delight, Bardstown has no shortage of romantic spots from which to choose.  Here are two of our Valentine picks.

     Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast has a complete library of packages designed for couples to suit every price range.

     If you have to consider your budget as well as your love, you might opt for the one-night VIP Package ($249) which includes deluxe accommodation; turn down service with a Sweet Dreams treat; choice of champagne, wine or non-alcoholic sparkly and two souvenir glasses.

     If you got a healthy Christmas bonus last year, book the Pampered Partners Package ($499).  In addition to a one-night deluxe accommodation, the package includes chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne with two souvenir flutes, a couples’ massage, and a $50 dining credit at any Bardstown restaurant.

     For the really big spenders, go for broke (figuratively, not literally) with the Bourbon Lover’s Extravaganza ($4,999.00).

     Among the package’s highlights are two nights in a deluxe accommodation; Welcome Bourbon Basket; Adventure in the Air (a narrated 40-minute flight over four counties) with Bourbon Air Tours; a private tour and tasting with a Master Distiller and a signed bottle of the distillery’s latest release; cocktail master class at Bardstown Bourbon Company; bourbon-themed dinners each evening, and private limo transport to tours and dinners.


     Poplar Cottage Retreat at Dant Crossing, a rustic yet elegant cottage surrounded by trees and overlooking a small lake, is the epitome of “glamping.”

     Outside is a private deck near the water and inside, earth tones and bourbon-themed elements such as a charred wood wall, showcase both the landscape and local culture.

     Book for Valentine’s and enjoy special amenities as well as a concert at the Amphitheater (artists and details not yet confirmed).

     Of course, the two of you will be able to explore at leisure the pastoral 300-acre campus which features Log Still Distillery, acres of wooded walking trails and a 12-acre fishing lake.

     A two-night stay is required ($249 per night).  A small price to pay for an elevated glamping experience.

     “You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Love, But You Can Accessorize It” – Melanie Clark Pullen

    Should you want to accessorize your love this Valentine’s Day, take time to browse Bardstown’s unique shops for an unforgettable gift.  With 37 one-of-a-kind boutiques and shops, there’s something to appeal to every taste.

     Give her a piece of statement jewelry from Peacock on 3rd.   Give him a hard-to-find bourbon from The Blind Boar Bourbon Market.  Or the two of you can light up your love nest by stocking up on candles, fragrant teas, jellies and jams at The Cozy Cottage, or shop for farmhouse chic, vintage or lux décor at The Rustic Rose.


     Why settle for candy or flowers when you can give your sweetheart Bardstown this Valentine’s Day?