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Saint Catharine College Clock Tower photo

Explore Our Region and Heritage

An Area Rich in History

St. Catharine College is located in the heart of the area known as Kentucky’s Bourbon, Horses & History region. It is a place of rolling hills, magnificent horse stables and the incomparable green of Kentucky bluegrass. The town of St. Catharine took its name from the school, which was founded by the Dominican Sisters as St. Magdalen Academy in 1823 and later renamed St. Catharine. The location was also the site of the Order’s Motherhouse, which continues to grace the campus today.

The region around St. Catharine offers many interesting options for exploration. Nearby Bardstown is home to My Old Kentucky Home State Park, in honor of famous composer Stephen Foster. Federal Hill, the plantation that was the composer’s inspiration for the beloved song that is the park’s namesake, still stands as the park’s centerpiece. Bardstown also offers a self-guided walking tour of its historic district that is home to eclectic shops, vintage trains and a museum dedicated to the Civil War. The region is the site of world-famous distilleries of Kentucky bourbon, many of which are open for tours. Lebanon is home to world-famous Maker’s Mark Distillery, the Lebanon National Cemetery, where many who died in the Civil War Battle of Perryville are buried, and the Historic Penn’s Store, an authentic historical landmark structurally intact from 1845.

Springfield, the town to the southeast of St. Catharine, is home to the oldest courthouse still in use in Kentucky, built in 1816. The marriage bond for President Abraham Lincoln’s parents, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, is recorded among county records, dated June 10, 1806.

If you are looking for the excitement of a city, both Lexington and Louisville are within an hour’s drive from campus. Both offer the dining and entertainment options you would expect to find in a larger venue.

Situated in a peaceful setting along a placid lake, there is much to discover and enjoy in the area around St. Catharine College, a region of rich legacy and proud history.

Fall Festivals

Springfield/Washington County – Sorghum Festival

Lebanon/Marion County – Ham Days

Bardstown/Nelson County – Bourbon Festival

Area Hotels and Motels


Enter Springfield, Bardstown, Lebanon, Louisville or Lexington, Kentucky for a complete list of area accommodations including prices, customer ratings and other items of interest.

Area Restaurants

Mordecai’s (Springfield)

Snappy Tomato Pizza (Springfield)

Kreso’s Family Restaurant & Mozart Café (Bardstown)

My Old Kentucky Dinner Train (Bardstown)

Old Talbott Tavern (Bardstown)

Rosemark Haven Restaurant & Wine Bar (Bardstown)

Java Joint Café (Bardstown)

Rosewood Bar & Grill (Lebanon)

The Rickhouse (Bardstown)

Kurtz Restaurant (Bardstown)

Rebecca's Pepperoni Grill (Bardstown)

Umami Sushi (Bardstown)

Mammy's Kitchen (Bardstown)

Buffalo Wings and Rings (Bardstown)

Harrison-Smith House (Bardstown)

Area Map

See an area map.