I’ll be honest and tell you that Louisville wasn’t on my Top 10 places to visit in the United States prior to my trip a few weeks ago. But y’all, Louisville is awesome. I had a blast and I truly enjoyed my time there. I want to share some of the things to do, places to eat and drink, and things to see.
Here’s my background story on this trip. I found out Saturday of Memorial Day weekend that there was a possibility I’d be going to Louisville, and for sure on Sunday evening. I briefly searched some things to do, but I went in mostly blind. I’m not going to lie, but this was one of my favorite trips! I even got bumped to 1st class (my first time ever flying 1st class) on the way there.
Place to Stay
The Galt House. It’s right on the waterfront and in the heart of town. I walked everywhere I went besides Churchill Downs. There are shops, restaurants, a spa, and bars all within the hotel. Even better, the rooms had two sinks, which was awesome when getting ready in the morning.
Things to Do
21c Museum Hotel has a wonderful art gallery attached to it. One of the exhibits when I was there was artwork made out of shotgun shells. Proof on Main is the restaurant and bar attached to it, so you can take a glass of wine with you while you tour the gallery.
Churchill Downs for a night race is a must! It really is a fun experience and truly one that you can’t miss out on if you are visiting.
I didn’t get a chance to go inside the Muhammad Ali Center, but I did enjoy walking the grounds. There is a beautiful outside seating area, and a walkway that overlooks the Ohio River.
Walking across the Big Four Bridge into Jeffersonville, Indiana is something definite to add to your itinerary! The bridge lights up at night has some beautiful views of the Louisville skyline! There are parks on both sides of the river (seen in the bottom of this photo).
The Louisville Slugger Museum was the one thing everyone told me I needed to do. I did visit, but I didn’t go through the tour. The building is a lot of fun and the gift shop is perfect for any of the baseball loving dudes in your life.
Visiting the waterfront was something I did most nights. The weather was beautiful and it made for a nice way to wind down. The sunsets over the Ohio River were simply amazing.
If you’ve been reading here a while, you know I love history. There is a self-guided walking tour with markers for the Civil Rights Movement and its efforts in Louisville that I highly recommend! I also found the historic landmarker for the original Galt Hotel, and this on the riverfront about the famous historial figures who visited.
Places to Eat & Drink
You cannot visit Louisville without having a hot brown from the breathtakingly gorgeous Brown Hotel. The hot brown dish was accidentally created when a chef ran out of ingredients in his kitchen. It’s an open faced sandwich topped with turkey, tomato, cheese, and… bacon. And visiting the Brown is worth the visit as well.
Against the Grain is a brewery and restaurant right near the baseball stadium. I got Louisville BBQ and a seasonal brew and was delighted. Their small plates were delicious as well.
One of the other places that I was advised to go was the Seelbach Hotel bar to try the Seelbach cocktail. It was accidentally created when the bartender was making an old fashioned, and champagne got mixed into the drink. The recipe became famous, but was lost until 1995. It’s an interesting cocktail and the hotel is stunning. And, history nerds unite! This is the place that F. Scott Fitzgerald got inspiration for The Great Gatsby.
8UP is a fun place to grab dinner & drinks with a nice view of the city.
It was a fun city and I highly recommend a visit if you ever get the opportunity!