Nestled in the heart of The Bluegrass State, Bardstown looks as if it leaped off the canvas of a Norman Rockwell painting, and when you visit, it will be easy to understand why the city was referred to as “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America” by USA Today and Rand McNally. The birthplace of bourbon, Bardstown is Kentucky’s oldest city. As such, the town boasts over 300 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and more than half of them are in the downtown district. In addition to old buildings, you’ll find that friendly attitude and charm that has allured people to the South for decades. So whether you like natural beauty, history, or friendly Southern charm, you can have it all when you book an RV rental in Bardstown, Kentucky.
The Great Outdoors
Mammoth Cave National Park is just a short drive away from Bardstown. Explore the world’s longest known cave system, with over 400 miles of mapped passages. Tours are led by experienced rangers and can be as mild or as intense as you choose. Deep cave temperatures are a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure to bring a light jacket. Also, wear comfortable tennis shoes or hiking boots and bring plenty of drinking water. If you prefer to stay above ground, you can enjoy miles of hiking trails, canoeing on the Green River, horseback riding, biking, picnicking, and camping.
The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Facility covers 15,625 acres. Founded by a German immigrant and successful brewer, Bernheim lets you experience nature like no other place in the region. Take a stroll on over 40 miles of nature trails, cast your line into Lake Nevin, read in the shade of a mature tree, or take advantage of the research facility’s many educational programs. The Bernheim Arboretum is also home to several large pieces of public art, created by people who found inspiration in these woods. Additionally, there are several must-sees, including the Children’s Play Garden, the Canopy Tree Walk, the Edible Garden, and more. Be sure to check it out when you rent an RV in Bardstown.
Explore the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln when you book a camper rental in Bardstown. Born in a rural central Kentucky town, the 16th president’s early life on the frontier shaped his character and helped prepare him to lead the United States during the Civil War. Though Lincoln’s original cabin no longer stands, the First Lincoln Memorial, constructed between 1909 and 1911, stands on the knoll where it is believed Lincoln first resided. Today, the memorial building houses and protects the symbolic birth cabin of Abraham Lincoln.
Looking for a place to spend the night when you book a travel trailer rental in Bardstown? Options abound in the area. One possibility is Grandma’s RV Camping in Shepherdsville. The campground can accommodate big rigs up to 70 feet and offers sites with full hookups and Wi-Fi. There are restrooms with hot showers, a laundry facility, picnic pavilions, and pets are welcome.
A nearby option in Elizabethtown is Elizabethtown Crossroads Campground. The park has pull-through and back-in sites. Cable TV is available at most sites too. While camping here, you can take a dip in the seasonal swimming pool, shop at the camp store, or let the kids burn off some energy at the playground. If you have pets, bring them and let them run around in the dog area. There’s also a catch-and-release fishing pond, a volleyball court, and horseshoe pits. After a long day, freshen up in the washroom with showers or do a load of laundry in the laundry facility.
Exploring the City
When you book an RV in Nelson County, be sure to check out Old Bardstown Village and Civil War Museum. The museum is one of the largest dedicated to the Civil War, with over 8,000 square feet of authentic exhibits. Learn about the struggle between the Union and the Confederacy from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. View a large collection of artifacts or explore a collection of ten original 18th and 19th-century log structures from the colonial period.
Bourbon originated in Kentucky, and you can sample some of the best at the distillery in Cox’s Creek. Established in 1888, the distillery’s visitor center houses antique bottles, vintage advertising, and other memorabilia. There is also a bourbon tasting bar that lets visitors sample products after a tour.
You can see the huge role that women played during the Civil War when you book an RV rental in Bardstown and visit the Women of the Civil War Museum. The museum houses exhibits of women as nurses, spies, plantation and factory workers, and even as soldiers in disguise. See the artifacts and clothing from the Civil War era that help to tell the story of these heroic women.
Bardstown, KY is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Bardstown. Outdoorsy's Bardstown RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.