Bluegrass horse farms, large amazingly beautiful hats worn at the Kentucky Derby, legendary baseball bats produced for American’s pastime are just a few things you can find in Louisville, Kentucky. If you are looking for a fun getaway for a weekend with friends or by yourself, consider visiting Louisville. Sitting right on the Ohio River and the border of Indiana, Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and is filled with so many activities for you to do. Here are some of my favorite things to do on a weekend in Louisville.
Brown Hotel and the Hot Brown
The infamous Brown Hotel in Louisville is a must-stop for your weekend getaway. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Georgian-Revival architectural gem showcases the best of Southern charm. But, its claim to fame is serving the Hot Brown to hungry visitors since 1926. The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. Coming in at a whopping 899 calories, make sure you order this on an empty stomach! Can you eat this in one sitting? I tried, but it is so much food!
Churchill Downs definitely looks different when the stands are not filled with thousands of people drinking mint juleps and wearing huge hats with flowers and feathers adorning them. Even without the crowds, it is just as impressive to be walking around this famous racetrack. The general admission ticket is only $5 except during Derby Week. Someday it would be nice to come back for the Kentucky Derby. Bucket List to wear one of those fancy hats and drink a Mint Julip at the Churchill Downs.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Every kid that has played baseball has probably hit a ball with one of these at one point. Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is where you can get a tour of how Louisville Slugger bats are a part of baseball and of American History. You can also walk through the factory floor and see how they are made today. Tours last 30 minutes but plan on taking at least two hours to see the whole museum and factory. The Louisville Slugger Museum exterior is quite impressive to see the 120 ft tall big bat which is an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth’s 34-inch Louisville Slugger bat. On the factory floor, you aren’t supposed to take any photos, but you can before and after the tour. Tickets are $16/adult and hours are Mondays through Saturdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Louisville loves baseball so much that you will see baseball symbols everywhere in the downtown area. There are baseball plates for famous ballplayers similar to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. See how many you can find and how many do you know?
Mark’s Feed Store
One of the best restaurants to get barbecue in Louisville is Mark’s Feed Store. Don’t let the name fool you, this place has some amazing barbecue meals and has won Louisville Magazine’s readers’ poll “Best of Louisville“ for their BBQ and ribs nine times. They slowly smoke their pork, beef, and chicken with real hickory wood, and then lightly top them with their signature Bar-B-Q sauces. Can I just say, Yum!
Another iconic restaurant that represents Louisville so well is Jack Fry’s. Established in 1933, this place became a popular sportsman’s hangout with Jack Fry running his bookmaking enterprise out of the ‘back room’. It closed in 1972 but re-opened in 1987. It is now a fine dining establishment with all the historic photographs of Jack Fry and his friends hanging on the walls. The tables are really close together and it seems a bit cramped and cluttered inside, but that just adds to the atmosphere along with the delicious meal you are guaranteed to have at Jack Fry's. They definitely deliver on their slogan “The Best Night in Town”.
Of course with Louisville being the home of the Kentucky Derby, they would have to have horse statues around the city. I was having so much fun trying to find these and there are over 500 painted horses situated throughout Louisville. Each one is more creative than the next. Along with the horse statues, there are other art statues in the downtown area, like the giant statue of David in all his glory. The other attribute that Louisville has is some amazing architecture in the buildings within the downtown area that have kept the original facades from years past.
I enjoyed my time tremendously walking around the city and taking photos of everything that caught my eye. I’m sure if you visit over a weekend in Louisville that you will do the same! There are many more activities for you to explore in Louisville, these were just a few that I enjoyed. I hope you enjoy your weekend exploring the horses, food, architecture, art, and museums in Louisville.
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