Seniors Discover Historic Bardstown


USA Today selected Bardstown, Kentucky (Bourbon Capital of the World) as one of the ten best southern towns in the nation. When I read that in the paper, this senior wanted to travel to travel to  Bardstown to see what’s there. So that’s where we’re headed today.

In addition, after a 5-month long nationwide competition, Bardstown, Kentucky was named the ‘Most Beautiful Small Town in America” in the Best of the Road Competition sponsored by Rand McNally and USA Today.


At any given time, Kentucky has more barrels of bourbon aging than people – some 5 million to its 4.2 million population. If you are interested in knowing how bourbon is made, plan a visit to the Barton 1792 Distillery & Visitor Center.  Tours and tastings are always complimentary.

Seniors Catch A Festival

After that visit, take a carriage ride that provides senior visitors with a slow-paced means to see the sites of historic Bardstown up close. Downtown Bardstown offers something for everyone including browsing eclectic shops, dining in fine restaurants, and visiting a variety of historic attractions.  30 festivals are celebrated each year, so its highly likely you just might see one when you travel through Bardstown.


Bardstown is the county seat of Nelson County with a population of around 12,000. It got its name from the pioneering Bard brothers. David Bard attained 1,000 acres in land grant in 1785. This second oldest city in Kentucky was first settled in 1780, so history is an important part of the city.

As settlers migrated west following the Revolutionary War, Bardstown became the first center of Catholicism west of the Appalachian Mountains.

The Gethsemani Abbey, founded in 1848 by the Order of Trappist Cistercians, is home today to Trappist monks who open doors to spiritual seekers from all over the world.

 Seniors Enjoy A Dinner Train

Kentucky_Bourbon_FestivalI know that my brother-in-law, with a model train track in his backyard in Iowa, would head off to the Kentucky Railway Museum that holds more than 70 pieces of rail equipment, a dining car exhibit, a ticket office and a display of steam locomotive whistles.

My Old Kentucky Dinner Train serves senior visitors four-course dinners in restored vintage dining cars while rolling through Kentucky Bourbon Country in the scenic Rolling Fork River Valley


Nelson County has more than 300 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places; nearly 200 of them are in the historic downtown district of Bardstown.

Remember Stephen Foster? He wrote the state song “My Old Kentucky Home.” Federal Hill in Old Kentucky State Park was the inspiration for that song and the old mansion built in 1812 can be visited.

The Chuckleberry Farm and Winery on the outskirts of Bardstown is where the action is and where senior visitors can enjoy blackberry cobbler and fresh fruit, in season. It’s in Bardstown where you can experience a true southern city, abounding with hospitality and history. -jeb

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