The pandemic has halted travel plans for all but the most intrepid travelers. Yes, social distancing mandates, face masks, and capacity limitations are necessary precautions for safety, but will they suck the fun out of a weekend getaway?
Not necessarily. Of course, you have to pick an exciting city to visit and plan your trip right. And that’s where Louisville comes in. It’s a perfect destination for a safe, fun-filled two-day getaway. Louisville is home to bucket-list experiences such as the Muhammad Ali Center, the Kentucky Derby, and Louisville Slugger Museum.
Last weekend, my husband and I decided we had had enough of binge watching Netflix for hours on the weekend. We needed to get out of the house and do something different. The answer: become tourists in our own town.
In old times before everything got locked down and record numbers of people got sick, we traveled regularly. We haven’t traveled since March of 2020 and we both are starting to get grouchy.
A weekend in your hometown might sound cheesy, but it surprisingly ended up being a good time.
Below is how we spent our weekend in our hometown. Our itinerary hit several of the city’s hotspots and we felt safe the whole time. Without further ado, dive into our two-day itinerary for a weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.
Day 1 as a Hometown Tourist
We started our first day with picnic brunch of soup, sandwiches, and pastries from Butchertown Grocery & Bakery, located in Louisville’s historic Butchertown neighborhood. We both ordered the Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. So good! The Bakery offers freshly made breads and pastries, salads and sandwiches, craft beers, bourbon-by-the-bottle, and a full menu of espresso drinks and custom-blend coffees. To maintain customers’ safety during the Covid pandemic, the Bakery will offer call-in or online ordering for curb-side pick up.
After we picked up our brunch, we turned our car toward the river for a picnic brunch at Waterfront Park Picnic Area where we commandeered an open picnic table. Call us crazy but we actually chose to eat our food outside in our coats. It was a warm day for January in Kentucky, so we indulged in some sunshine sitting. We needed it. After we finished, we wandered through the park’s public art installations and the iconic Lincoln Memorial.
We called and reserved our tickets for the Kentucky Derby Museum in advance, so we headed to the legendary Churchill Downs where we learned about the history of the Kentucky Derby and got an insider’s view of what it’s like behind the scenes. The walking tour comes with museum admission. We added an additional, extended tour called Bourbon and Bridles. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to learn how to make a mint julep!
Next, we took a guided factory tour of Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory and saw first hand where the world famous Louisville Slugger bats are manufactured. They have bat-making down to a science. The tour also includes baseball artifacts and interactive exhibits. Admission includes a free mini souvenir bat to take home.
Finally, after a day trekking all over our beloved city, we were tired, hungry and ready to eat. We headed back downtown for dinner to indulge in one of Louisville’s premier restaurants: Proof on Main - Restaurant and art gallery. The golden statue of David is enough of a reason to stop. But we came for the amazing food and the art at the 21C Hotel’s art museum attached to the restaurant. It ended up the night realizing we had accidentally had an unplanned date night.
Being a tourist in my home town was better than I expected. But one day of fun is not nearly enough. Stay tuned for Day 2 of my adventures in my hometown.