Photo Friday: Bardstown, Kentucky

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

I wasn’t expecting to be so charmed by Kentucky. Don’t get me wrong: I grew up in the South; I know how gorgeous its various nooks and crannies can be. But we randomly picked Bardstown as our weekend base merely because of its proximity to all the distilleries. So the fact that it was so pretty was just an added bonus.

Some background about Bardstown: The town was founded way back in 1780. Many of its homes hail from the 18th and 19th centuries (old by American standards). There are 11,000 people, a handful of well-known distilleries such as Heaven Hill in town and Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark on the outskirts, and more than a dozen B&Bs. It’s touted as “the Bourbon Capital of the World.” In fact, did you know there are more barrels aging in Kentucky than there are people? News to me.

It has a famed tavern that was built in 1779 and is still operational. Take my advice and don’t eat there. Don’t get me wrong, the Old Kentucky Hot Brown was perfectly fine, but the other dishes were just meh and the service took forever.

If you’re dining out in town, head across the street to circa. instead if you want a nice meal or to Rincon for cheap Mexican and monster margaritas.

Then, once you’re done, you can go to the tavern for live music and a respectable beer and bourbon selection. Just vacate before 11:30pm, our innkeeper warned us, as the late-night crowd is a bit rowdy (and violent, too, from what I hear).

While we’re on the subject of things not to do, don’t be sucked in by the Around the Town Carriage experience. We paid $20 each(!), and it lasted less than 20 minutes; our driver was very eager to return to his NASCAR and not so keen on telling us about the actual town. That’s if we could actually hear a word that he said. Which we couldn’t.

Luckily, Wikipedia’s just as—if not more—reliable.

There’s an old-timey soda fountain on the corner by the courthouse. I really wanted to try it—you’re shocked given my affinity for sweets, I know—but everything was boarded up for Memorial Day weekend. Someone test it out and let me know how it is, OK? I’m sure it would meet my standards.

One of the best things about road trips is the unexpected. We did no research, zero planning beyond scanning Yelp once we actually arrived into town, and wound up having a blast.

And it was just as interesting and fulfilling an experience as those we’ve spent months plotting.

COMMENTS
  • June 1, 2012

    That place looks awesome. It has been my dream since the release of Yes Man to travel somewhere on a whim. It also looks like you guys were having good fun, CHEERS!

    Check out urbanadventurer.com!

    • June 1, 2012
      Kristin

      Have you read the book (or just seen the movie)? It’s one of my favorites; thanks for the reminder that I need to reread!

  • June 1, 2012
    SVV

    Hey, I liked the horse and carriage. It was ridiculously overpriced and not very informative and a quick ride and dangerous and ..

    Wait.

    Well, look at the poor horse. Doesn’t she deserve your love?

    • June 4, 2012
      Kristin

      The horse was cute. I’ll give you that.

  • June 1, 2012

    Looks like the perfect town for a spur of the moment trip! I’m a sucker for those horse and carriage rides – I know they’re over-priced no matter where they are but I just can’t walk past them. I always use the excuse that the kids want a carriage ride. 🙂

    • June 4, 2012
      Kristin

      Ha! In this case, SVV is my “big kid.” He was the one that really wanted to do it. It was still fun–I just wish the carriage had been open-top so we could actually see more!

  • June 1, 2012

    Looks like the ol’ West out there in Kentucky! And with barrels and barrels of bourbon it sounds perfect!

    • June 4, 2012
      Kristin

      True–I didn’t even think about that! The Old West in the Old South!

  • June 2, 2012

    We had a great trip to Bardstown a couple of years ago. We were mainly there to tour Maker’s Mark, which was great. I will say that the worst meal of my life was lunch at some really sketchy diner downtown. I was fairly certain our waitress ashed her cig in my tuna sandwich! That place continues to be our standard for bad restaurant experiences (as in, “this place sucks but it’s not as bad at that lunch in Bardstown!”) Next visit I’ll hit up your margarita recommendation. I agree, though, the town is really quaint and a hidden gem. Glad you enjoyed it despite a few pitfalls!

    • June 4, 2012
      Kristin

      I was bummed that Maker’s Mark, which was one of my favorites, wasn’t running its bottling production while we were there. Did you get to dip your own bottle??

      • June 4, 2012

        Nope, we didn’t get to dip our own bottles either. But we did sign up for their ambassador program and we get emails about how our “bottle” is doing. Should be ready in about 5 more years! 😉 I’d love to do another tour if we get back down there… which was your favorite?

  • June 4, 2012

    I am not sure whether to say sorry or congrats 🙂 I guess it is like most trips, there is good stuff and bad stuff! I lived in Kentucky when I was a child and have the fondest memories of it. I have not returned as adult which is something that I would really love to do.

    • June 4, 2012
      Kristin

      Haha, nothing to be sorry about–we had a blast! Just trying to warn those going to Bardstown to skip the tavern and the carriage ride =)

  • June 5, 2012

    There’s a special place in my heart for giant margaritas. I’ll love them forever.

    • June 6, 2012
      Kristin

      There’s a special place in my heart for fellow Southern girls who live giant margaritas (and dogs and dressing up like a Viking and eating a turkey leg), so we’ve got that much in common =)

  • June 27, 2012

    Vow, Your photograph is just cool. Its like classic pics. The place is beautiful to visit at-least once. Thanks for posting & sharing with us.

Leave a Comment

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook