Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Bardstown, the Best of Kentucky

My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

Bardstown sits surrounded by the hills and woodlands of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Country, and one of the best ways to experience the landscape is aboard My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. Departing from a historic depot near the center of Bardstown, this excursion combines the best of fine dining and natural sightseeing.

The dinner train consists of a pair of dining cars from the 1940s with a kitchen car in between. Trips take place during lunch and dinnertime and last two to two and a half hours. The train rolls through the scenic Bernheim Forest and onto the grounds of the Jim Beam distillery. Passengers get historic and scenic narration and three- or four-course meals.

Civil War Museum

Considered by many enthusiasts to be among the most important museums of its kind in the country, Bardstown’s Civil War Museum houses Kentucky’s largest collection of Civil War artifacts. The museum focuses specifically on the Western theater of the war. Galleries showcase weapons, uniforms and other military items, and the museum also has displays dealing with the cultural and political forces at work in the United States during the Civil War.

The museum is part of a complex that also includes the Women’s Museum of the Civil War, one of the only national museums to focus on the role of women in the war, as well as the War Memorial of Mid-America and a pioneer village with about a dozen historic structures.

Catholic Heritage

Catholic heritage runs deep in Bardstown, where the first diocese of the West was established in 1808 and oversaw territory stretching from Chicago to New Orleans. Today, groups can tour the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, which was constructed in the middle of the wilderness in 1818. During a tour, they will discover the art and architecture of the building and learn more about the area’s Catholic history.

About 12 miles outside of town, the Abbey of Gethsemani is a working monastic community that is open for visitors. Tour groups can stop at the visitors center to learn about the work of the monks who live there. A gift shop sells bourbon fudge, fruitcake and cheese made on-site, as well as other handmade items from monasteries around the world.