History, southern charm, ghost stories, and bourbon are just some of the things you'll get when you become an “inn-mate” at the Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast.
A two-hour drive from Cincinnati, Jailer’s Inn is located in the heart of downtown Bardstown, KY — close to restaurants, the famous Bourbon Trail distilleries, and shopping. But this charming bed and breakfast hasn’t always been quite so inviting. Up until 1987, the Jailer’s Inn was the Nelson County Jail, the oldest operating jail complex in Kentucky at the time.
The jail was made up of two buildings: The front building (where the inn is now) was built in 1819. In 1874, the back building that housed the jail was built. But in 1989, Paul McCoy’s mother and father bought the old jail at a public auction.
“My mother quickly realized the layout was laid out properly for a couple bed and breakfast rooms, and she started with four rooms,” Paul said.
Paul took over as the inn’s warden in 1995 with his wife, Kim. Since then, it's been remodeled and expanded, now with a total of nine rooms. Each room comes with its own theme, like the Colonial Room with its natural limestone wall and timber ceiling, or the Nautical Suite with its coastal flair.
The most interesting room, though, has to be the Jail Cell, a nod to the inn’s past. It features a steel door and bunk beds and some "Jailhouse Rock" and James Dean décor that guarantees you’ll be locked up in style and comfort.
Every room comes with private bathrooms, WiFi, cable, and turn-down service. You also get a full breakfast in the morning that's served in a beautiful courtyard when the weather’s nice. Beyond the courtyard wall is the old jail, and Paul includes a complimentary tour with your stay.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the ghostly guests that supposedly haunt the inn. It's been called the most-haunted inn in Kentucky, and guests have told Paul they’ve felt a presence sit beside them, sometimes touching them. But no worries, these ghosts won’t hurt you.
And while some bed and breakfasts may make you feel like a guest in someone else’s house, Paul says you’ll never feel this way at Jailer’s Inn.
“I’m not stuffy. You won’t feel like I’m going to be pretentious or stuffy when you come in,” he said. “I kid around, I have fun with what I do, and I hope my guests do too.”
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The Jailer's Inn Bed & Breakfast is located at 111 West Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown, KY 40004.