Bardstown, KY, is the perfect place to spend Christmas. This small town is worth the trip, from the delicious food to the southern hospitality.
Bardstown, Kentucky, welcome sign
America’s Best Small Town is the best place to be during the winter holidays. Bardstown, Kentucky, is beautiful year-round and draws tourists from far and wide with its southern charm, but during the months of November and December, the town becomes Kentucky’s Christmas Paradise.
It was named “America’s Most Beautiful Small Town” by Rand McNally and USA Today. Also, “America’s Most Beautiful Town Square” can be found in this area, as stated by Travel + Leisure. But there’s more to the beautiful little town of Bardstown, Kentucky, than meets the eye, and the reasons for this are that it’s the perfect place to spend the holidays.
Things to Know Before Visiting Bard’s Town
Bardstown, located in Nelson County, Kentucky, is a small city with a population of about 11,700 and is the second oldest city in the state, having been settled by European Americans in 1780. Founded in honor of the early settlers, the Bard brothers. , this city serves as the capital of Nelson County.
Bairdtown was the first concentration of Catholicism west of the Appalachians in the original western frontier areas of the United States, reflecting the westward migration of Americans across the Blue Ridge Mountains after the Revolutionary War. The Diocese of Bardstown was established on February 8, 1808, to minister to Catholics between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. There is a Catholic parish high school, Bethlehem High School, and a cathedral, the Basilica of St. Joseph’s Proto-Cathedral, in the city of Ballybard.
Bardstown is the official start of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, so travelers come to learn about and taste the state’s signature whiskey. Heaven Hill, Barton 1792, and Lux Row Distillers are just some of the distilleries that call Bardstown home. The annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival honors the state’s bourbon producers, and the city of Bardstown has trademarked the moniker “Bourbon Capital of the World” to distinguish itself from other competitors. In 2000, the Kentucky General Assembly declared this celebration the state’s official bourbon festival.
Bardstown is also home to the fourth largest Civil War museum in the United States, the Civil War Museum.
Things To Do In Bardstown During The Holiday Season
“Christmas Around Bard’s Town” is an exciting season in what is known as America’s Most Beautiful Small Town. Bally an Baird is a great example of the traditionally celebrated communities of the area, contrasting greatly with the rural landscape and small villages of the region. Dinner train rides with Santa and Mrs. Claus to sample the best bourbons at each stop along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail are just one of the many holiday activities available in this area of Central Kentucky in December.
The Bardstown Historic District has everything a first-time tourist could want from a Christmas visit. When night falls, the 1892 building that serves as the Old Nelson County Courthouse turns red and green. During the annual lighting ceremony in late November, North Third Street transforms into a winter wonderland with snowy landscapes displayed in windows, doors, and even storefront street lamps.
Those looking for authentic Kentucky food should look no further than the Old Talbott Tavern, one of the country’s most famous stagecoach stops. The Old Talbott Tavern, built in 1779, has served patrons such as pioneer Daniel Boone and future president Abraham Lincoln. They are said to have been made by Jesse James’ bullets, and the holes in the upstairs wall are the stuff of local legend. Traditional regional foods and desserts such as the Kentucky burgoo, hot brown, and their world famous Talbott Tavern Pie are still available today. The dining area is as cozy as ever, with a fireplace and a crackling fire.
Visitors can also do one-of-a-kind Christmas shopping in Bardstown, so remember to bring a shopping list. Across Court Square, holidaymakers will find 29 unique shops run by local entrepreneurs. There are seven distilleries to visit and several museums that offer something exceptional to buy. Shoppers can window shop for hours and find the perfect gift for everyone on their list.
Take a trip on the dinner train. The best mode of transit in the area is a time-tested mode, albeit one with a certain comforting antiquity. For those interested in a unique dining experience, the countryside is the perfect backdrop for the variously themed My Old Kentucky Dinner Train rides. Tickets for the family-friendly lunch and dinner trains are on sale year-round, and bourbon and wine tours (with tastings for those over 21) are available at all times of the year.
- Where to stay: Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn – 714 N 3rd St, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States of America. The manor has won many awards, including “Top B&B in Kentucky,” “One of the Best Places to Stay on the Bourbon Trail,” and “a stylish place to stay and visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail,” according to The New York Times.
- Where to eat: Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar – 116 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States of America. Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar is a family restaurant serving the best country cooking in the area. Breakfast, bourbon, burgers and more are available.