Whether you’re interested in Civil War history or you want to sip on Kentucky’s legendary whiskey, we’ve got just the itinerary for you. Follow along with us as we create a perfect route through Bardstown and its neighboring towns. We’ve got a little bit of history, a little bit of the great outdoors, and a little bit of delicious food to round things out. Here’s how to have the perfect summer day in Kentucky!
Before starting your day’s journey, make sure to stop by the iconic Hadorn’s Bakery and pick up a fresh baked good! If you haven’t tasted heaven yet, you’re in for a sweet treat. Come early, though, because they sell out quickly and close early afternoon. If you’re a coffee drinker, Fresh is the place to stop for a great drink to go with your pastry like the butter beer latte, but if you don’t like coffee, that’s OK because you can try something exotic like the lavender frappe.
Now you’re ready to get on the road and travel about two minutes where you can join one of the daily tours that begin at 9 a.m. at the well-known and popular tourist spot, My Old Kentucky Home. The well-preserved 200-year-old mansion was home to relatives of Stephen Foster, author of the “My Old Kentucky Home.” Visitors are treated to a delightful and interactive presentation of stories in nearly every room of the house, and tour guides even perform a rousing rendition of the song before the tour is concluded.
If you happen to throw your clubs in the car, you can play a round of golf at the My Old Kentucky Home State Park Golf Course before leaving town. This 18-hole course was opened in 1933, and has been completed redesigned, making it one of the state’s “Best Places to Play” and “#2 Golf Course in Kentucky” by Kentucky Living Magazine.
A short drive back toward town takes you to The Civil War Museum & the Women’s Museum of the Civil War, which combined is one of the country’s biggest and most concise collections of Civil War artifacts and memorabilia. The Women’s Museum is considered one of the finest and the only museum dedicated to promoting the history of women who were spies, writers, nurses, and even soldiers during this terrible time in our country.
What stop to the Whiskey Capital of the World would be complete without a trip to a museum of whiskey? Spalding Hall houses both the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History and the Bardstown Historical Museum. Visitors to the Oscar Getz Museum will be treated a rare collection of whisky memorabilia and collectible items which predates colonial times through post Prohibition times.
After grabbing a bite for lunch at The Old Talbott Tavern and learning about the connection with Jesse James, Abraham Lincoln, and the ghosts that still inhabit the rooms of the inn, you can continue your fun-filled and informative adventure by taking a leisurely drive in the country and enjoy the gently rolling hills for a few miles. Now, you’ll find yourself at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a monastery where Trappist monks live and work in service to God. You can learn about life in the abbey, visit the gift shop of Gethsami Farms and purchase a souvenir of your trip. Don’t leave without trying a sample of the chocolate bourbon fudge and you’ll regret it if you don’t get the Kentucky bourbon fruitcake to take home.
End your day by enjoying a delicious dinner at Howie’s Family Restaurant in New Haven, just up the road a few miles from the Abbey. Simple and unpretentious, Howie’s has traditional homemade menu items and great customer service. If you haven’t tried Kentucky’s famous Hot Brown, they make it very well here. If you’re not full, you might want to ask about the homemade pies and cakes. You can always take something home.