Towns so charming, you won't want to leave.
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Bardstown, Kentucky
Robbie Caponetto
| Credit: Robbie Caponetto

Make a day trip to these small Kentucky towns, and prepare to be charmed. From hiking trails to antiquing, there is truly something for everyone in these one-of-a-kind small towns. Plan whatever strikes your fancy, whether that's bourbon sipping or brunch in a sweet tearoom, and pack your walking shoes. These Kentucky towns are easy day trips from Louisville, and you should definitely put them on your must-visit list this year. (And if Louisville isn't already in your to-explore plans, let us convince you with the city's fantastic restaurants, hotels, and other attractions.)


Bardstown, Kentucky, population 13,000, has long been a favorite KY destination because it's the first stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. We have long sung its praises as one of the most charming of small Southern towns. Visit the six great distilleries in Bardstown and take in the gorgeous Kentucky landscape too. Plenty of charming bed-and-breakfasts ensure that you'll have a lovely place to rest your head at the end of a long day of gallery hopping and bourbon sipping.


If you're passing through Bloomfield, make a stop at Nettie Jarvis Antiques for a browse through 5,000 square feet of antiques, including 18th and 19thcentury Southern furniture. Grab a bite to eat at Kentucky juggernaut Hometown Pizza or the elegant Miss Merrifield's Tea Room. Find a Bloomfield souvenir to commemorate your visit at the ultra-charming Old Sugar Valley Country Store.


Locals call it "Etown," and once you visit, you'll love Etown as much as they do. Don't miss the BBQ, Blues, & Bikes Festival every May for lots of fun and a smokin' meal. While in Etown, stop by the Swope's Cars of Yesteryear Museum for a fun (and free!) walk through auto memory lane.

La Grange

Take a summertime stroll along La Grange's charming downtown, and you'll be filled with nostalgia. Just don't be surprised when you see freight trains rolling through! Browse La Grange's 9 galleries, 22 shops and 11 restaurants. Nearby, the Morgan Conservation Park has plenty of trails and loops for picturesque hiking. (Over the 252 acres and 4.3 miles of trails, keep your eyes peeled for the waterfalls!)

Pewee Valley

Take a day trip to this picturesque small town for charming events, including an annual town-wide summer picnic, an Arts & Crafts Day, and a Concert in the Park Summer event series. Check the Pewee Valley website for dates. Pack a picnic lunch and a Frisbee, and find a shady spot in Pewee Valley Central Park to spend your afternoon.