The main east-west route is the Bluegrass Pkwy, bringing in traffic from Elizabethtown and I-65 South, 20 miles west. It also brings in Lexington traffic from the east. The two Bardstown exits are Exit 21 (US 31E) and Exit 25 (US 150). Nelson County also has exits off the parkway at Exit 10 (KY 52) to Boston and western Nelson County and Exit 34 (KY 55) to Bloomfield and eastern Nelson County.
Two roads arrive from Louisville. KY 245 (New Shepherdsville Rd) funnels traffic from Exit 112 off of I-65 in Bullitt County. The grade is good on this road. The other route is US 31E-150 which comes directly from Louisville. The road is narrow and winding at spots, but does offer nice views of the Nelson and Spencer County countryside.
Distilleries & Wineries
Four Roses Distillery624 Lotus Rd., Coxs Creek, 40013 (502) 543-2264. See bottling done by hand and smell aging bourbon in white oak barrels. Gift shop and free private tours.
Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center1064 Loretto Rd. (502) 337-1000. State-of-the-art visitor center is designed to provide the ultimate educational and entertainment experience. Tour a working rickhouse, see a movie and receive a tutored tasting in the "Taste of Heaven" barrel-shaped tasting room.
Jim Beam American Outpost149 Happy Hollow Rd., Clermont, 40110 (502) 543-9877. Learn the rich heritage and modern-day production method of this 200-year-old distillery. Enjoy sampling our bourbons while viewing the Beam family home, a National Historic Site.
Maker's Mark Distillery3350 Burk's Springs Rd., Loretto, 40037 (270) 865-2099. Enjoy the sounds and smells of this uniquely crafted smell batch bourbon. Purchase a souvenir bottle and hand-dip it in Maker's signature red wax (must be 21 to purchase and dip).
Springhill Winery3205 Springfield Rd., Bloomfield, 40008 (502) 252-9463. Tour the winery cellar and experience how we make our fine crafted wines, enjoy our historic display of Kentucky's wine heritage and brouse the gift shop. Taste your wine selections in our tasting room or on the patio overlooking the Easter vineyards.
Mansions & Houses
Chapeze House107 E. Stephen Foster Ave. (502) 507-8338 or (800) 704-4971. A historic Kentucky mansion located on the Courthouse circle. Hosts Kentucky bourbon tastings, afternoon tea and the Kentucky Bourbon Cooking School.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park501 E. Stephen Foster Ave. (502) 348-3502 or (800) 323-7803. Federal Hill was the inspiration for Stephen Foster's ballad "My Old Kentucky Home" (also the state song of Kentucky). Built in 1812, it is featured on the Kentucky state quarter.
Wickland, Home of Three Governors550 Bloomfield Rd. (502) 348-4877 or (800) 638-4877. Self-guided architectural tour. Considered one of the best Federal-style houses in Kentucky, it was built about 1825-1828. Also, exhibits focusing on the three governors, the Civil War and black history.
Museums & Memorials
Bardstown/Nelson County Historical Museum223 N. 3rd St. (502) 348-2999. Located in Spaulding Hall, this extensive collection includes an original porcupine-quill-decorated Indian coat and one of the first Kentucky long rifles made in Bardstown. A variety of historical artifacts, up to and including World War II is on display.
Civil War Museum of the Western TheatreMuseum Row, 310 E. Broadway (502) 349-0291. Located in Old bardstown Village, it is one of the best Civil War museums in the US. It has many artifacts from Civil War battles throughout the region, focusing mainly on the war's imprint on western states. The museum houses a collection of photographs, uniforms, cannons, flags, battle wagons, medical equipment, weapons and personal items.. The museum plays host to Civil War Living History Weekends throughout the year when en-campment demonstrations recreate old times. Soldiers in period costumes will demonstrate skills such as cooking, musket, artillery and calvery firing.
Kentucky Railway Museum136 S. Main St., New Haven, 40051 (502) 549-5470 or (800) 272-0152. Bells. lights and steam whistles abound at Kentucky's official railway museum. The 5,000-square-foot museum contains a colection of artifacts, tools and photos, which interpret the story of America's rail system. There is also a railroad gift shop filled with train memorabilia, or watch several train layouts in the model train facility. Take a ride through the scenic Rolling Fork River Valley. Come dine in our 1940's vintage dining car. The railway Museum hosts a number of events, including murder mysteries, Halloween and Christmas events.AAA discount.
Old Bardstown VillageMuseum Row, 310 E. Broadway (502) 349-0291. The village is a recreation of a 1790 frontier community, home to settlers exploring the west. Eight original and authentic log cabins, each 150-200 years old, highlight a creek that runs through the grounds and supplies power to Brown's Grist Mill. Each cabin houses a different display, such as the history of Native Americans from the southwest and southeast, a recreated balcksmith shop, a wheelwrights shop, a still house and Captain Bean's Tavern. Flint Knapping is an event that is sure to entertain. Therer will be arrowhead making, ancient spear throwing, ax making and ancient fire making.
Old County Jail111 W. Stephen Foster Ave. (502) 348-5551 or (800) 948-5551. Includes a tour of the original 1819 jail. All furnished with antiques and heirlooms. A chilling looks at conditions in this jail that was in operation until 1987.
Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History114 N. 5th St. (502) 348-2999. An extensive collection of the liquor memorabilia of Oscar getz and other distillers from the 1700's to today. On display are George washington's mill stone, prohibition prescriptions, a replica of Lincoln's Tavern in Illinois and Carrie Nation's hatchet.
War Memorial of Mid-AmericaMuseum Row, 202 E. Broadway (502) 349-0291. This memorial pays tribute to all those who served in order to uphold freedom during America's wars, and dedicated and devoted themselves to the cause. The exhibit concentrates on the role mid-Americans played in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm, depicted through artifacts and graphics.
Wildlife & Natural History MuseumMuseum Row, 310 E. Broadway (502) 349-0291. This recently added museum boasts an exhibit of more than 100 life-sized animals, including an extensive display of these creatures in their natural habitat, and many varieties of fossils and minerals
Women in The Civil War MuseumMuseum Row, 310 E. Broadway (502) 349-0291. In the historic Wright-Talbott House, this museum displays artifacts from Civil War-era women who served as homemakers, nurses and factory workers. It tells the stories of the women who even served on the battle lines as soldiers and spies. Elaborite, authentic dresses from the era are also on display.
Bluegrass SpeedwayUS 31E SOUTH at Bluegrass Parkway (502) 349-1241. A high banked, half-mile clay oval track featuring four divisions of racing weekly: Late Models, Open-wheeled Modifieds, Bluegrass Sportsman and Street Stock Sportsman.
Around The Town Carriage223 N. 3rd St. (502) 348-0331. Carraige ride provides a slow-paced way to see the sites of Bardstown. Offers carraiges, buggies and a stagecoach to tour just about any size group.
Heaven Hill Trolley1 Court Sq. (502) 510-0012. Tour history in style with an introductory tour of Bardstown's many attractions including the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center.
Horizon Hoppers Adventure ServicesBardstown/Nelson County Airport-US 62 WEST (502) 507-9364. Find out why the sky is not the limit. It is only the beginning. Full service adventure outfitter, including chartered flights, hiking, camping and sightseeing tours.
Walking Tour (502) 348-4877 or (800) 638-4877. Based at the Welcome Center, 1 Court Sq. Self-guided tours of downtown Bardstown with maps available.
...at Mary's214 N. 3rd St. Custom framing, antiques, fine art.
Barbara's109 W. Flaget Ave. (502) 348-2519. Furniture, gifts, Vera Bradley.
Barbie D's Gifts145 S. Main St., New Haven (502) 549-7497. Books, cards, pottery, angels, consignments and more.
Bardstown Book Sellers129 N. 3rd St. (502) 348-1256. Kentucky authors, religious gifts, quaility music, candles.
Marshall's Jewelers106 N. 3rd St. (502) 348-5723. Quality jewelry made to last.
Merle Norman105 W. Flaget Ave (502) 348-1057. Cosmetic studio.
Nettie Jarvis Antiques111 Taylorsville Rd., Bloomfield, 40008 (502) 252-9555. Fine Kentucky & American Antiques.
Plantation Furniture & Designs112 N. 3rd St. (502) 348-3554. Distinctive home furnishings and design.
Rooster Run General Store, 6515 New Shepherdsville Rd., Hwy. 245 (between Bardstown and I-65), (502) 348-8753. Once upon a time a woman went looking for her husband at Evans' Beverage Depot (he was known to stop there and linger a bit after work most days). When the wife showed up at the depot, the husband took off rather quickly, causing the other men to laugh and one to remark "Look at that rooster run." Former owner Joe Evans knew a good thing when it knocked on his door, and put a running rooster on a ball cap and the giant Ozzie Frank, a.k.a. The Big Rooster, out in front of his store, and a local legend was born. Today, Rooster Run is known worldwide. It's still a good place to grab a bite to eat and visit with friends and neighbors, buy gas for your car, or purchase a Kentucky souvenir. The giant Ozzie Frank rooster was named after Evans' daughter's Cabbage Patch doll and a community bus driver named Frank.
Santa's Haven208 N. 3rd St. Unusual home decor.
The Stage Shop, Inc.4936 Louisville Rd. (502) 348-0860. Finest in western wear and saddlery, plus everything for your horse.
Toddy's Liquors110 S. 4th St. (502) 348-1444. Single barrel bourbons, miniture gift baskets,Maker's Mark Candy, Gethsemani Farms products.