The Best Activities in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is one hidden gem destination! Louisville, Kentucky, is primarily known for the Kentucky Derby, but there is much more to do than “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”. Louisville, KY travel greets tourists with quintessential charm, a variety of attractions, an amazing food scene, and delicious local beverages, all of which appeal to a wide audience.
What can you do while your visit to Louisville, Kentucky?
Out of all, the most appealing thing about Louisville, KY travel is that it caters to various interests.
Whether you like history, art, food, or the outdoors, Louisville has something for everyone.
There are tons of fun and exciting places to visit while in downtown Louisville, including museums, bourbon distilleries, and parks. Historic mansions line the streets of Old Louisville, while the exciting Nulu District is filled with hip breweries and chic eateries.
First-time visitors to Louisville will discover that there is never a shortage of things to do.
We provide a helpful Weekend Itinerary detailing the best activities to do in Louisville so you can plan the perfect getaway with ease.
Things to do in Louisville, Kentucky (FAQs)
Before we get into the list of amazing activities to do during your trip to Louisville, let’s go over the basics by answering the most frequently asked questions.
What is the location of Louisville, Kentucky?
Firstly, you must understand where Louisville is!
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and is situated along the scenic Ohio River, just south of Indiana.
Louisville is centrally located, with many of the major cities within possible driving distance. Chicago and Atlanta are about a 5-hour drive away, Indianapolis and Cincinnati are both two hours away, and Nashville is about two and half hours away. Louisville makes a great destination or stop on many road trips.
How do you get to Louisville?
The Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport welcomes visitors flying into the city. This airport is located seven miles south of the Downtown city center.
You can easily take a local cab from the airport to the city. Many travelers also take the Greyhound bus to Louisville. Louisville has an expansive bus system known as TARC (Transit Authority of River City) that has stops throughout the city making it easy to navigate through downtown and beyond.
Would I need a car to visit the attractions in Louisville, KY?
Most of the tourist spots on the list are easily accessible by car or bus. Downtown Louisville, as well as the Nulu and Highlands neighborhoods are all very walkable. However, some of the best things to do in Louisville are further away and can only be reached the destination by car- but don’t worry, taxis, Ubers, and rental cars are easy to come by.
Is there anything free to do in Louisville?
YES! In Louisville, KY, there are many amazing things to do for free! Some examples include a walking bridge that connects Louisville and Jeffersonville, Indiana, offering gorgeous views of the Ohio River. The 21C art gallery located in the 21C Hotel features a stunning modern art collection is free and is open 24 hours a day. Louisville also has several large parks which are free to the public, some of which were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead who designed Central Park in New York City!
Are there any kid-friendly activities in Louisville, KY?
The answer is YES! In Louisville, there are a plethora of activities to do with kids! Examples include the Kentucky Science Center, The Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum, the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the Louisville Zoo, which you’ll read more about below.
Is Louisville a Southern or a Midwestern city?
It’s a combination of the two! Louisville as a city has been inspired by Midwestern and Southern cultures. The city is said to combine Midwestern industry with Southern hospitality.
All states located on the southern side of the Ohio River have traditionally been considered part of the Southern United States, so the city of Louisville is in the Upper South.
Although Louisville is technically not in the Midwest which only includes states north of the Ohio River, it has a Midwest feel. The attitude is very down-to-earth and the residents are very friendly. One of the most appealing aspects of Louisville is the opportunity to see a perfect blend of these two cultures.
Amazing Things to do:
Stay in a wonderful premium hotel that started in Louisville on another trip.
Here are amazing activities to do while in your Louisville, Kentucky trip that you should consider doing on your next trip.
1. Indulge in a fabled Hot Brown
The delicious Hot Brown is a tasty and unique sandwich that was created at Louisville’s historic and famous Brown Hotel. Eating the iconic and tasty sandwich at the hotel’s casual Lobby Bar restaurant is recommended.
Shadle, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
2. Visit The Louisville Zoo
The 134-acre Louisville Zoo area boasts over 1700 animals and is a fantastic place to spend a day with the family. Some animals you can find there include elephants, giraffes, gorillas, a grizzly bear, and a rare albino alligator named King Louie.
3. Explore NuLu
One of Louisville’s hottest neighborhoods is NuLu. Boutique shopping, fantastic restaurants, and incredible art can all be found in this trendy area. Mahonia and Revelry Boutique + Gallery and Six Sisters Boutique are some favorite shops.
For a delicious meal, head over to Royal’s Hot Chicken. Royal’s serves Hot Nashville Chicken, Southern fantastic sides, and adult milkshakes in a budget-friendly eatery decorated with freshly brought flowers.
4. Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum
A trip to Louisville isn’t complete without stopping by the iconic and historic Churchill Downs.
Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum for a fantastic tour and exhibits all about the history and tradition of one of sports’ most thrilling events. You don’t need to be a lover of horses to enjoy the beauty of this one-of-a-kind museum.
Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
5. Portray Your Louisville Selfie
Several locations in Louisville have been designated as “selfie spots.” The Slugger Museum of Louisville which houses the 68,000-pound and 120-foot-tall world’s largest baseball bat and the Hotel 21C’s 30-foot-tall gold replica of Michelangelo’s marble statue of David are both located on Museum Row on Louisville’s Main Street.
6. Indulge in a Delectable Morning Breakfast
Start your day with a delicious breakfast from downtown eatery Wild Eggs. The food there is delicious, and the atmosphere is light and airy.
7. Get a fun History Lesson
In the heart of downtown, the Frazier History Museum is one of the best places to visit. It has both rotating and permanent exhibits featuring artifacts from many eras of history such as the Middle Ages, Civil War, and American Frontier.
Capablancaa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
8. Indulge in Louisville’s Best Lunch
Mussel & Burger Bar is one of the top-rated hip American restaurants with a trustworthy and stellar reputation. It’s a great place to go for lunch, featuring a diverse menu of you guessed it, mussels and burgers, as well as other favorites such as macaroni and cheese that will delight your taste buds. Have a super relaxing yet gourmet meal at a high-top table in the bar.
9. Visit the Amazing Caverns
Louisville Mega Cavern, located directly underneath the Louisville Zoo, is a massive artificial cavern that you can go explore by taking a huge tram deep underground. It is one of the first of its kind globally, a 17-mile green building technology that allows space for storage, mining, and recycling beneath the city.
10. Take a Cruise on a Famous Ship
Spend your final day or night cruising on the Ohio River, a historic and popular paddleboat scene. Evening scenic and dinner cruises are available on the Mary M. Miller and the Belle of Louisville, the most recent addition to the fleet. Enjoying a meal while enjoying the gorgeous views and river breeze is a fantastic experience.
Louisville is a wonderful and unique spot for a family getaway. It has the charms of the South, a thriving bourbon scene, the historic race track at Churchill Downs, and other amazing surprises. Enjoy great food, an amazing zoo, fantastic museums, and more. Because Louisville is a large city, most residents divide Louisville KY travel into four sections: West End, East End, South End, and Downtown. We focused on downtown and nearby areas in this article, but each part of Louisville has its own set of attractions. You will be able to explore the South End, West End, and East End much more easily if you rent a car. There are several hotels in downtown Louisville to pick and choose from.
Work with Platinum Travel and let the experts help you plan a perfect outing!
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