Media Visit Policy
Press tours are for individual writers. Although Bardstown does not have a transportation budget, the community will roll out the red carpet once you’ve arrived. Dawn Przystal, Bardstown-Nelson County Tourism Director, will make the arrangements and create your itinerary based on your editorial interests and needs.
Depending on your travel dates, Dawn (or another associate) will be your escort to make sure you get from point A to point B. However, if you explore at your own pace, Dawn will meet up with you at designated points.
Historic Downtown Bardstown
- Home to dozens of locally-owned restaurants and shops.
- More than 300 buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, with nearly 200 in the downtown district.
- Bardstown is rich in religious heritage attractions, including the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, the first Catholic cathedral west of the Allegheny Mountains, and the Abbey of Gethsemani.
- Founded in 1780, Bardstown is Kentucky’s second-oldest city.
- In 1789, bourbon was discovered by Baptist minister Elijah Craig.
- Population: 11,242 (2010 census).
Stephen Foster (July 4, 1826 – Jan. 13, 1864)
- The “father of American music” Stephen Collins Foster
- Wrote 286 works in less than 20 years
- Composed the songs “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Beautiful Dreamer” and Kentucky’s state song, “My Old Kentucky Home”
- His story and music live on at My Old Kentucky Home and the outdoor, Broadway-style musical The Stephen Foster Story. at the park’s amphitheater
- Interview: Johnny Warren, Managing Artistic Director at Stephen Foster Productions, JohnnyW@StephenFoster.com, 800-626-1563; 502-348-5971
Julia Wickliffe Beckhan: The Woman Behind Three Governors
- Julia is the only woman in the world to be the mother, sister and daughter of a governor.
- All is revealed during Tea at Wickland, the home where she was born in 1835. She was married to Kentucky legislator William Netherton Beckham.
- Interview: Manager/Historian/Author Dixie Hibbs, DixieH@bardstowncable.net, 502-507-0808
- The Civil War Museums of the Western Theater at Old Bardstown Village houses artifacts such as a doctor’s field kit, amputation saws, the drums of the 10- and 11-year-old drummer boys, soldiers’ letters to home.
- Ranked one of the top four Civil War museums in the nation.
- Exhibits also include battle flags, maps, weapons, photographs, writings, authentic Civil War uniforms and cannons, among them a 12-lb. mountain Howitzer belonging to Eli Lilly’s 18th Indiana artillery and a one-pounder smoothbore cannon.
- Interview: Manager Kenneth Johnson, MuseumRow@bardstowncable.net, 502-349-0291
Kentucky Railway Museum
- Located in New Haven (a short drive from Bardstown)
- The only train-related attraction in the state with both a model layout and train excursions
- See exhibits and climb aboard a restored passenger train, the L&N 152, on a 22-mile excursion through the Rolling Fork River Valley
- 5,000-square-foot museum is a replica of the original brick L&N New Haven depot and holds more than 70 pieces of rail equipment, dining car exhibit, and a display of steam locomotive whistles
Details: Lynn Kustes, Marketing Director, LKustes2546@gmail.com, 800-272-0152, 502-549-5470
Bourbon Immersion Experience
- Bardstown is the Bourbon Capital of the World® and an official trailhead of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®
- Visit one or more of seven (soon to be nine) bourbon distilleries
- Shop the Kentucky Bourbon Marketplace
- Eat, drink and sleep at the luscious Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast
- Visit Whisky Magazine’s Attraction of the Year: Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History
Bardstown Ghost Treks
- Led by internationally known Certified Ghost Hunter Patti Starr
- 2-hour tours features visits to Old Talbott Tavern, Jailer’s Inn and Pioneer Cemetery
- Saturdays June through October
Holy Land Experience
- The towns of Bardstown, Lebanon and Springfield together make Kentucky’s Holy Land
- Includes the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, the Abbey of Gethsemani, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Motherhouse and the Bardstown Art Gallery/Thomas Merton Bookstore
- Visit KyHolyLand.org, that lists all the things to see and do
A Town of Bed and Breakfast Inns
- Bardstown’s home away from home options include inns, cottages, Antebellum mansions, Victorian Painted Ladies, a 1700s restored log home, a working farm, plantation home and winery, historic tavern (America’s oldest Western stagecoach stop), cottage hideaways and a jail cell and jailer’s residence with prisoner courtyard
Bardstown Media Profile (PDF)
Bardstown Media Guide (PDF)