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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 Manor 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 Bardstown Motor Lodge, a recently refurbished classic 1950s motel right across from My Old Kentudky Home.

Talbot Tavern Inn Jailer's Inn Bourbon Manor Red Rose Inn Holiday Inn Express Bardstown Motor Lodge
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, across 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 separate 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 probably 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. Colonel Bealmear built the "cottage" (below) in 1810, then this Manor House in 1820. Architect James Brown also designed Federal Hill ("My Old Kentucky Home") and many other significant buildings in the Bardstown area. During the Civil War the plantation was occupied by Confederate troops before and Union troops after the Battle of Perryville, as Confederate Generals William Hardee and Braxton Bragg and then Union General Don Buell made the Manor their official headquarters and assigned their officers the "cottage." The cupola was intended to oversee plantation workers and to observe threatening weather, but it was used during the Civil War for scanning the horizon for opposing troops. The Manor is on the National Historic Register and is a Kentucky Landmark. It's located on North Third Street.

The Federal Houae Cottage was built in 1810 and once the Colonel and his wife moved into the Manor in 1823 this was given to daughter Ruth and her husband as a wedding gift.

It contains three guest rooms and a commons room. Each room is furnished with antiques, a wide screen TV, its own bath with claw foot tub, high speed internet, plush Turkish towels, terry robes, a hair dryer, and 600 thread count Egyptian cotton linens. A microwave, sink and refrigerator are in the commons for shared use. There's a private deck with views of the gardens and lawn.

Guests in the Cottage also eat breakfast in the Manor and use the Gym or schedule Spa sessions in the basement of the Manor.

Often families or groups will rent the entire house for a getaway or wedding party. It can hold eight total.


The Manor house contains seven rooms, the office, the kitchen, dining room, Bourbon bar, and an array of souvenirs displayed in the central hall. Guests often order drinks from the bar and relax on the outdoor patio seen here by the umbrellas sticking up behind the hedge. The entire Manor could be rented for a family reunion or large wedding party. It can hold 18 total.

Among the Manor's most famous features is its magnificent cantilevered spiral staircase which climbs three floors. Originally referred to as Oaklawn Plantation, the house includes a full basement which now houses the spa and gym.



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.

If you're on a budget, if the Talbot Tavern, Jailhouse and B & Bs are full, or if you have children along, the best of the chain motels out on the interstate is the Holiday Inn Express. It offers a free breakfast buffet, although its restaurant does not operate for lunch or dinner. There's an indoor heated pool, and an exercise center including free weights, treadmills, bikes and Elliptical machines. The WiFi is not as good as that at the Bourbon Manor but is better than the Talbot Tavern or Jailhouse Inn. And, as with any Holiday Inn, the rooms are modern, clean and efficient, with 42" TVs and work desks with their own lighting. There's a Cracker Barrel and several fast food restaurants nearby.

If you're into nostalgia, you can stay at the Bardstown Motor Lodge, directly across from Federal Hill and with rooms looking directly at the plantation house. If you're coming to play golf, tour the historic plantation, or view the Stephen Foster Story outdoor drama, this would be the ideal location.

The Bardstown Motor Lodge is the reently refreshed 70 year old Parkview Motel, a classic 1950s style lodging. You park your car right outside your room and sit in a chaise lounge by the large pool, which goes down 10 feet at the deep end. There's a firepit, a poolside bar and other amenities.

Weyland Ventures recently bought the Parkview from its original and longtime family owners. Weyland has kept the nostalgic feel but redone the 35 rooms so the AC, beds, bathrooms and wifi are all state of the art. Toogie's Restaurant is just across the parking lot and a McDonald's is at the opposite edge of the property.

Unfortunately, the prices are not nostalgic. You'll pay the same or more to stay here as at anyplace in town.

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