What's there to see around Louisville, KY?

Looks like I’m headed to Louisville for two weeks in December. How should I spend my evenings while I’m there? Any can’t-miss weekend road trips? I’m a sucker for pretty spots and great photos; quirky local restaurants; I dunno, just whatever’s neat around there.

(Oh, I don’t care about horse races.)


You can take a tour of the Louiville Slugger factory.
And make sure you take a photo of yourself standing on Muhammed Ali Avenue.

I was surprised by the Frazier Historical Arms Museum which has changed it’s name to Frazier International History Museum. Well done exhibits.

If you like hole-in-the-wall blues bars then Steve Rays is worth checking out. Check with the bar tender about ordering in food from the pizza joint nearby. Good pizzas.

Across the river in Jeffersonville is the Howard Steamboat Museum which is in an old mansion and there’s a candy store in town that makes it’s own candy and has a small museum (Schimpff’s).

Louisville is at the Falls of the Ohio which is a geological change in the Ohio River. If they’re done rebuilding the lock you can spend a few minutes there. Kinda hard to find.

There’s Bardstown and the whiskey tours. A little over an hour south is the Corvette plant tour in Bowling Green. Hodgensville has Lincoln’s birthplace and the Knob Creek farm. Then there’s Nashville for the weekend about 2.5 hours south with the Grand Old Opry, the Hermitage, Traveler’s Rest and downtown. Lot’s of fun!

Somewhere south of Louisville (40 miles?) is the Maker’s Mark distillery. Some friends recently went on their tour and said it was great. Might make a nice Saturday day trip.

Louisville has a very nice little zoo. Their gorilla exhibit was ranked one of the top 5 zoo exhibits in the world.

I have been there many times and never tire of it.

Go to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe for breakfast.

These are all excellent suggestions. We’ve also got a family friend who plays for the Bengals so I might get to road-trip to Cincinnati for a football game.

Any excellent state parks, hikes, or views in the surrounding area?

Seconded. I also liked Mark’s Feed Store. They had pretty good BBQ. The area around Baxter Avenue/Bardstown Road has some great eclectic shops. Waterfront Park has a fantastic view of the Ohio River and some great walking/jogging paths. Check here for info.

Most of the other stuff I could recommend would be family type stuff: in case you had little kids along.

ETA: I completely forgot about Tom Sawyer State Park. There’s a couple of nice trails there, although they are short.

“Nuff said”:wink:

The Muhammad Ali Center, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I have lived in Louisville all my life. If you don’t mind walking (it might be a bit chilly for somebody from Texas), Bardstown Rd and Baxter Ave in the Highlands is a popular pedestrian destination. There are lots of little shops, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. Cherokee park is nearby. You may also want to check out Cave Hill Cemetery. It’s prettiest in the spring, but worth a look any time.

Are you visiting friends and/or family, or coming up on your own?

You’ll be an hour and a half from Nashville, IN (yes, Indiana), right in the heart of Brown County. Brown County State Park is gorgeous (but not nearly as gorgeous in the middle of December…). Nashville is an artists community, filled with your prerequisite quirky restaurants and art galleries.

There’s the Census Bureau’s National Processing Center just across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. If you can bear the excitement, that is.

Drive to Lexington - beautiful city, although in December you’re not gonna get the full effect of how pretty it is. The Horse Museum is kinda cool.

The Corvette plant in Bowling Green is a sight to behold. Pretty, pretty cars :slight_smile: Shiny, too.

Oooh… yeah! I forgot you’ll be there in Dec. Go to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington… their Christmas lights display, Southern Lights, is spectacular! You drive thru the whole park, there are animated light displays throughout, and at the end, you can go thru a really cool petting zoo and a craft bazaar inside. There is also a model train show with it.

Gotta put that on your roster!