Bourbon Bachelor Weekend: Destination, Bardstown

Tastings at 1792 are an experience to remember.

How to Throw the Ultimate Bachelor Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky

Story by G. Clay Whittaker

Grooms-to-Be and Best Men take note: Bourbon is a staple of the modern day bachelor party. And Bardstown, Kentucky is the epicenter of the Bourbon world.

These days, your friends want more out of their bachelor parties than the cliché of a debaucherous, wallet-busting weekend that ends with a week-long hangover. And who can blame them? It’s next to impossible to bond with your crew if you’re trying to do it in between flashing lights and clanging speakers.

The Bunghole Lounge at Bourbon Manor.

Today, even the most adventurous travelers will tell you, the best bachelor parties no longer happen in Las Vegas. So next time you have to plan a trip to celebrate the end of your best friend’s singledom, consider a Bourbon-fueled, bromance-friendly destination like Bardstown.

Bardstown is one of the most beautiful small towns in the country, sure. But more importantly, it’s the Bourbon Capital of the World®, meaning it’s home to some of the best Bourbon and rye distilleries on the planet. And as if that weren’t enough, its bars are saturated with rare bottles and once-in-a-lifetime drams; it hides world class chefs who are making some of the best food in the South; and its packed with a wide range of activities you can’t find anywhere else. With all this and more, this little Bluegrass gem is actually one of our favorite off-the-radar tourism spots in the country.

And yes, it’s a great place to gather with the people you care about and enjoy those late night chats, bonding moments, and authentic, glitz-free experiences.

That said, Bardstown may not have been on your radar before now. Which is exactly why we spent a week pounding pavement (and gravel and sidewalk and fairways), making a list of some of the best ways to fill that precious vacation time. Follow the guide below, and we guarantee that your best buddy will have the bachelor party of a lifetime.

Day One (Arrival)

It’s likely that most of your crew will arrive on a Friday afternoon, so use this time to check into your accommodations, eat dinner, and get to know a bar or two before bed.

Bourbon Barrel Loft, featuring exposed brick & old beams

Choosing where to stay in Bardstown is really a question of how you want to spend your evenings. If you’re looking for a space that has all the comforts of home, an AirBnB is probably best. (HINT: You might even save some cash for drinking the top shelf stuff if you’re willing to cook here).

Our favorite is easily The Bourbon Barrel Loft, a two-bedroom space that sleeps six people and sits right over the Main Street area. Sleep where barrels were once stored and enjoy a beautifully rennovated kitchen, convenient parking, and being just steps from many of our favorite places in town.

If you’re more interested in a hotel experience or a bit of extra privacy, consider the Bourbon Manor, a beautifully kept historic home with gorgeous interiors and rooms named after classic Kentucky cocktails (HINT: You’ll want to call dibs on the Mint Julep Room). This place also has an on-premise bar called the Bunghole with a great selection of whiskey and cocktails.

Classic Ky decor at Bourbon Manor

There’s also The Talbott Inn to consider, which sits just across the street from its rather famous sister property, The Old Talbott Tavern. The Old Talbott Tavern is an awesome local pub known for having over 200 bottles of whiskey on the menu and for serving some of history’s most renowned figures including Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, and the notorious outlaw Jesse James. For your Day One dinner spot, this place is ideal.

Once you know where you’ll be setting up camp and you’ve had a chance to eat, be sure to swing by The Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge and enjoy your first celebratory Bourbon of the weekend…or second, or third, or fourth…depending on your schedule.

NEXT PAGE – Day 2 (The Marathon)

G. Clay Whittaker
Clay is Editor at Large of The Bourbon Review. He has written about whiskey, food, drink, and culture for Esquire, Playboy, Men's Journal, Popular Science, Southern Living, Maxim, among others.