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You have a good choice of lodging at Bardstown. The prime options are the two historic sites : Talbot Tavern Inn and Jailer's Inn, both in the heart of downtown. Then there are two outstanding B & Bs : Bourbon Inn and The Red Rose Inn, both within walking distance of Third Street and downtown. If none of these suit you, if you're on a tight budget, or if they're full, there is the typical list of corporate motels out along the interstate : Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta, Best Western, Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, La Quinta. Your final option is the Parkview, a family run motel opposite the state park with 1950s facilities.

Talbot Tavern Inn Jailer's Inn Bourbon Inn Red Rose Inn Holiday Inn Parkview
If you're into history, staying at the 1779 Talbott Tavern Inn will be a thrill. Anybody who was important stayed here, including European kings and American presidents. Like any 1779 building, there are creaky stairs, small rooms, quirky details and noises. The Daniel Boone Room has the added advantage of being right over the bar, so on Thursday, Friday and Saturday you're really immersed in the music, until about midnight. We thought this was great but we know people who might not. Breakfast is included and it includes freshly made Eggs & Bacon. But Coffee's mediocre, there's no Yogurt, and no Pancakes. If you need your morning Coffee, cross the street and a few doors up Third Street is Fresh, a great coffee shop with lots of side items. The upstairs balcony looking out over the Square is a beautiful touch. Apparently Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark spent several days there, discussing details of the Lewis & Clark Expedition coming up. The Talbot Inn includes rooms in a sepaeate building, also facing the square, and while those are nice, they're not historic. You should be careful when making reservations. WiFi is slow and the bedside lights are really not suited for reading. The Antiques are not all appropriate for the time period.

The Old Nelson County Jail housed prisoners from 1797 until 1987. Then the jail closed and sat empty for two years. It was made into a Bed & Breakfast in 1989 and has been run by the same family ever since. There are nine rooms, all with private baths and two with jacuzzis. The Jailers Inn is just off the square. In good weather the complimentary breakfast is served outside in the courtyard. Like all historic properties, this one has its eccentricities Most people love it, but there are those who prefer a Holiday Inn. The rooms are small and furnished with period antiques. They stay cool in Summer but on frigid nights in Winter may have a hard time warming up. WiFi is not strong. Especially during the three Summer months, you should make reservations well ahead.

The Bourbon Manor Bed & Breakfast is your next best option after the two downtown historic sites. This is not only the best B & B in the Bardstown area, but many say it's the best B & B in Kentucky. Bourbon Manor is known for its lavish breakfasts (top photo), after which many patrons don't even bother with lunch. The historic property includes 10 rooms in two buildings : an 1810 Federalist plantation home and an 1825 Greek Revival antebellum mansion. The buildings have been recently updated. A spa facility is on the grounds and 60 minute massage sessions can be booked with 48 hour advance notice. Guests can stroll the grounds or take advantage of the Bourbon Bar.

Bourbon Manor is located on North Third Street, a short walk from downtown. The 10 rooms consistently book up so reservations should be made well in advance, usually two months ahead to be safe.


The Red Rose Inn is Bardstown's other major Bed & Breakfast. It's smaller, with only one building and four rooms. But it's very cozy. Located at 209 East Stephen Foster Avenue, (the main street through town), the Red Rose is only two blocks from the square and all the shops and eateries on Third Street. It's an 1820 Late Victorian wooden frame city house. It boasts five fireplaces, built by the same workers who built the fireplaces at Federal Hill. Both the rooms and common areas are furnished with beautiful antique pieces, and if you're into antiques you can spend several hours wandering around inspecting these. The flower wallpaper in the dining room and other common areas is spectacular, although some might go so far as to call it garish. The rooms are papered in calmer solid greens, yellows and one lively purple. Out back is a beautiful yard, deck and koi pond. Breakfasts are plentiful and delicious. Out front is a beautiful sitting porch with classic wicker furniture, including a rocker (second photo above). Rose bushes punctuate the yard. This house fits every American's imagined small town image and you keep looking for Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher to come up the sidewalk.

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