Weekend in Louisville: The Best Things to Do in Louisville
Louisville Travel Guide: Where to Eat
- The Lobby Bar at the Brown Hotel: 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! The interior is stunning, and the bar in the lobby is glamorous with the most amazing bar back I’ve ever seen. P.S. It’s on the Urban Bourbon Trail and a great spot to get your passport stamped!
- Against the Grain: This brewery and restaurant is right near the baseball stadium downtown. I got Louisville BBQ and a seasonal brew and was delighted. Their small plates were delicious as well.
- 8UP: This spot has three different experiences and is a fun place to grab dinner & drinks with a nice view of the city. There is a restaurant, lounge, and rooftop located on the top of the Hilton Garden Inn.
- Patrick O’Sheas Downtown: I love this Irish pub located downtown. It’s casual, welcoming, and in a reclaimed building walking distance from the Galt House Hotel. Get the fish & chips and stay a while!
- Pizza Bar Louisville: I very much enjoy a good slice of pizza and popped into the place for a quick snack. It was very good pizza and a very low-key spot despite it’s location.
- Holy Grale: I ventured down to Bardstown Rd. and am so glad I did. This spot was an absolute gem! There is very limited seating in this 1905 church that has transitioned to a restaurant. But it has the most unique design elements, an extensive beer list, and delicious, European-inspired dishes. I ordered the burger on a pretzel roll, a friend ordered the mussels, and for the whole table, we got pretzels and beer cheese and poutine. Their menu rotates daily, but I cannot recommend this spot enough.
- Porch Kitchen & Bar: This is a great happy hour spot and their pork rinds with pimento cheese is a delicious snack option.
Louisville Travel Guide: What to Do
- 21c Museum Hotel has a wonderful art gallery on the first floor (see my experience at the one in Durham here). The current exhibit was around labor and the art work was outstanding. Proof on Main is a great spot to people watch and to enjoy a cocktail while exploring the art 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 and you get to cross off another state while you’re visiting Louisville. Jeffersonville is a quaint town and one I’d like to spend more time exploring on my next trip.
- 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 folks 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.
- 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.
Louisville Travel Guide: Where to Stay
The Galt House: It’s right on the waterfront and in the heart of downtown. I walked everywhere I went besides Churchill Downs and Bardstown Rd. It’s also a quick drive from the airport, which makes it the perfect spot for staying and seeing the best of Louisville. I’m a big fan of Al J’s for a snack or a work space. Their room service is also a great dining option. I got the fried chicken Cobb salad and it was a great decision. The views from the Galt are spectacular as well!
The hotel is undergoing a major renovation right now and is incorporating local businesses throughout the renovation. New elevators will be from the Murphy Elevator Company, a local, family-owned business. The West Tower Guestrooms are designed by SWOPE Design Group, a local, independent Louisville company and certified Minority Woman Business Enterprise. Mattresses are by Bowles Mattress Company with mattresses exclusive to the Galt House Hotel, from a Southern Indiana, family owned business. The color palette features Kentucky bluegrass, saddle brown, wheat, and gold. I can’t wait to see the finished renovation!