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Things to See and Do in Louisville Kentucky

We recently visited Louisville Kentucky for the first time, a trip planned for a cheerleading competition for my oldest daughter. I have to admit that when I first learned about the trip, many months prior, I wasn’t all that excited about going.

I mean, when I think about my must-see bucket list of US cities and states, this part of the country wasn’t even on my radar.

Things to see and do in Louisville Kentucky

Yet, the closer we got to departure, and after some research – I got really excited about visiting Louisville {travellers note: locals pronounce it loo-ville}.

Even though we had to attend the two-day cheer competition in the city, we were staying a complete week. This was the perfect opportunity for us to take in all that this city has to offer, and it left me very impressed.

Things to see and do in Louisville Kentucky!

 

Louisville Equestrian Center

Kentucky = horses, right? Well, horses are indeed a huge part of Kentucky’s history. Home of some of the most famous races of all time, you just have to visit the Equestrian center.

My oldest fell in love with horses during her time at the Louisville Equestrian center; where she rode horses, jumped some barrels and even did some painting!

 

Louisville Mega Cavern

A huge group of us went to the Mega Cavern and while they were booked solid on that day, they were gracious enough to call in extra staff and arrange a tour for us. Kudos for great customer service! The cavern itself was designed as a bomb shelter {for the elite} during the Cuban Missile Crisis, dual purpose since they also mined for limestone.

The caverns were also used to store film reels, barrels of bourbon and even rumoured to be a {previous?} home of the secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Mega cavern louisville kentucky family travel

Today these man-made caverns are a very popular underground zipline. Talk about FUN in the dark, some of these caverns are over 100ft deep! Although it’s a little pricey for us Canadians when the exchange isn’t friendly, the hit on the pocketbook was worth it since that was such a great time.

They cater to small and large groups and even host birthday parties as well. We left with a purchased bag of stone, a glow in the dark sweatshirt for my oldest – and lots of memories {and not just my frantic screaming when my husband shook the suspension bridge on me}.

Mega cavern louisville kentucky travel

 

Food

Although Louisville is the home to KFC, foodies will delight in it’s culinary offerings. From markets, to food trucks and let’s not forget the incredible restaurants – I was constantly amazed at how great the food was!

If your visit is during one of their many food festivals, take advantage!

louisville kentucky food

 

 

louisville kentucky food travel

 

Bourbon

Are you shocked that Bourbon deserves a spot on the list? Don’t be. Bourbon has beeb long been associated with Kentucky due to the major shipping site for spirits headed down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans.

jim bean bourbon tour travel louisville

My husband went to the Jim Bean factory and loved the tour, and was able to sample a great variety of bourbon. Taste-testing aside, he said it was one of the best tours ever – as he learned all about the history.

things to do and see in louisville kentucky

I don’t consider myself a bourbon drinker, but I did try and very much enjoy Colonel’s Legacy {bourbon-wine} from River City Winery in Indiana {just outside Louisville}. In fact, that was the best bottle glass bottle of wine I ever did have!

Today, Kentucky Bourbon has evolved into one of the most known and respected distilled spirits traded worldwide. More than 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is distilled and aged in Kentucky bourbon country.

My favourite Things to See and Do in Louisville Kentucky bourbon

 

Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

Easy to spot in your travels, this museum is marked by the 120-foot Slugger. Here, you can see how the bats are made! If you are travelling with a baseball fan, they’ll want to check it out!

 

Muhammad Ali Center

Boxer Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville and still lives there today. Visit the center to learn about The Greatest’s career and vision. Even those that aren’t boxing fans will leave impressed, if anything you’ll have an appreciation for him and the sport. Very educational!

 

St. James Court

In the historic district, this famous street is home to some of the oldest houses in America. Coming from Canada {where history isn’t that old}, I was in awe over the architecture and beauty of not only the beautiful historic homes, but the grounds as well.

St. James Court louisville kentucky

The first area in Kentucky to get power, Thomas Edison himself wired the homes! If you get the chance, strike a conversation with some of the homeowners. We met such a pleasant woman out walking her dog, and talked to her for the longest time.

She had great insight into the homes and history, as did one of the contractors giving part of one house a renovation. He even showed us some of the building materials he was taking out, materials even a contractor in our party, had never seen before.

St. James Court louisville historic travel

For years the rooms in the houses were rented to college students {some homes have up to 18 rooms!}, but trends are bringing it back to 1-2 family owned spaces. If you are lucky, one will be up for sale, and considering it’s such a historic site, the prices aren’t that bad.

St. James Court louisville historic family travel usa

 

The Kentucky Derby

My only regret that our stay didn’t coincide with the Kentucky Derby. So if you plan on going, this would be the perfect time to take in the most famous horse race. During this time, the city really comes alive, the event is marked by a two-week festival with everything from parades to concerts, fireworks and more.

For a place that wasn’t even on my radar, going during this time of the year – now is!

 

Have you ever visited Louisville?

 

Family travel by Canadian Travel Blogger, Tammi Roy at My Organized Chaos. 

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22 Comments

  1. I had no idea there was so much to do in Louisvelle. I’ve never considered it as a vacation destination. That’s certainly not the case now!

  2. I’ve been to the Louisville Slugger Museum before, but I have never ventured to the other places and I live IN KY.

    I am going to have to make a trip to Louisville and check that out!

  3. I would be all over the underground zip-lining, but the food also looks delicious! Is it possible to visit Louisville and NOT visit the derby, it’d be at the top of my list, for sure!

  4. We have never visited Louisville, but would love to visit someday. We know some awesome people who are from there, and they have nothing but great things to say about their place.

  5. I’ve never been to Louisvile before but it looks like its in my list of places to visit – The Tavern place looks awesome. Zipling?? Love zipling. I had the opportunity to do in Jamaica and can’t wait for my next excursion!

  6. I definitely have to check that cavern out. Seeing the older houses of St. James Court would be on my list too!

  7. I have never been to Louisville before. There really are a lot of things to do! I guess I need to plan a trip….

  8. I have never visited but after reading this, I totally want to. It sounds like so much fun and a huge assortment of fun things to do. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. These pictures are wonderful. It looks like there is a great amount of things to see and do in Louisville! I will remember this if I ever get there.

  10. I have always wanted to visit Kentucky. I’m glad you shared about your visit. I’m even more anxious to visit now.

  11. It looks like you had an awesome time while visiting. I would love to take a trip to Loo-Ville.

  12. We had to go some places with out cheer competitions that I didn’t think would be as great as they are but we ended up having a lot of fun. It looks like Louisville should be somewhere I should add to my visit list.

  13. I have never visited Kentucky, but it sounds like a great place to visit. I would love to check it out!

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