Bardstown-Nelson County Community Profile


Take a closer look at Bardstown and Nelson County, Ky., the Bourbon Capital of the World. Named the Most Beautiful Small Town in America, Bardtown has a bustling economy, unique tourist attractions, three bourbon distilleries and much more.

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Built in 1892, the Old Nelson County Courthouse is now Nelson County���s Welcome Center and home to all Nelson County Economic Development Agencies, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and Nelson County offices. A Walk Through History 200 buildings in downtown Bardstown are on the National Register of Historic Places ardstown���s historic downtown is more than just shops and restaurants. It is one of the most visited attractions in Nelson County. ���Unlike so many small towns in America, we are not only surviving, we are growing,��� said Anne Ballard, Bardstown���s Main Street Manager. She works with potential new businesses to find locations to open downtown. The downtown area houses a diversity of shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Spalding and Sons, a clothing store, is of particular note. It has been owned and operated by the same family since 1856. And lots of people like to drop into Hurst���s Drugstore on the corner for a treat at the old-fashioned soda fountain. The old county jail, part of which dates to 1819, has been turned into a bed and breakfast, one of several downtown. The adventurous can even spend the night in one of the old cells and read poems written on the walls by inmates. Next door is the Old Talbott Tavern, Enjoy a captivating experience at the Jailer���s Inn Bed and Breakfast. which dates to the Tours of the original 1819 jail are offered. late 1700s. It is one of B 10 The Lane Report���s Bardstown/Nelson County Community Profile the stops on the Ghost Walk, which takes listeners on a tour of haunted downtown. In addition to the Ghost Walk, downtown offers carriage rides, street concerts, a farmer���s market, trolley rides, a walking tour, and several attractions including the Basilica of St. Joseph���s Proto Cathedral and the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. More than 300 buildings in Nelson County are on the National Register of Historic Places ��� and nearly 200 of those buildings are in downtown Bardstown. The old Nelson County Courthouse houses the Welcome Center, all the Nelson County Economic Development Agencies, several county offices, the county judge-executive, and planning and zoning. 2011 saw the completion of a multi-million dollar downtown revitalization and streetscape plan that added new sidewalks, pedestrian walkways, lighting and seating. ���It will be exciting to be able to show other Kentuckians how committed Bardstown is to the preservation of our heritage and how these buildings are being utilized,��� Ballard said. ��� Kreso���s Restaurant in downtown Bardstown���s beautifully restored Arco Theatre is one of many fine dining venues.

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