15 Things to do in Louisville, Kentucky

Hey everyone, josh from through my lens.com. Today we’re in Louisville, Kentucky. I’m going to show you 15 things to do here. [Music] the city of Louisville is a popular place to travel, with attractions like the Kentucky derby bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the city every year. We went on an off time and enjoyed getting to know the city of Louisville.

Also, I apologize in advance if you don’t like my pronunciation of the city name. I asked a dozen locals, and each person said it differently. one even saying to pronounce it like you have a mouth full of rocks.

So anyway, for this video, I’m just using Louisville, and here are my favorite things to do in the city. Also, one big note we visited in January of 2020 before the pandemic, so some of this information may be different. I still wanted to share this video as we loved the city, and I want to encourage you to visit it when everything gets back to normal.

Here are the recommendations. Recommendation number one is the Kentucky derby museum and Churchill downs. Churchill downs are where the Kentucky Derby takes place, and it’s probably the primary thing that Louisville is known for.

This horse race is watched by people worldwide, and it brings tons of visitors to the city.

If you’re in the city when the race isn’t happening, and you want to learn more about it, the Kentucky derby museum is where to go the museum is attached to Churchill downs, and your ticket purchase gives you access to a short 30-minute tour that takes you into Churchill downs itself.

Plus, the exhibits here are interactive and fun, and they have a resident thoroughbred you can see outside of the museum.

I didn’t know anything about the Kentucky derby before I got here, and I enjoyed learning more, and you should see it when you’re in the city.

Recommendation number two is the Louisville slugger museum. Louisville Slugger is one of the most well-known places to visit in the city. The giant bat that stands outside of the building is a popular photo spot. But the museum itself is a blast; even if you’re not a baseball fan, we walked around and explored the exhibits getting to hold actual game bats and learn about the company’s history.

We also went on the tour, but no video or photos were allowed on tour, and it walked us through the factory to see the bat-making process. I highly recommend a visit here, and it was one of my and i’s favorite spots [Music].

Recommendation number three is Muhammad Ali center. Born Cassius clay Muhammad Ali is one of the city’s most celebrated figures. The famous boxer and humanitarian grew up in the city, and you can still see the house that he grew up in today.

The main draw, though, is the Ali center right in the middle of the city. This large museum has tons of great information on his life. His career with interactive exhibits also spotlights all of the humanitarian efforts he contributed to later in life.

And you leave the museum with a massive amount of respect for this larger-than-life man.

Recommendation number four is the bourbon trail. If you like bourbon and you’re over 21, you must do something in Louisville visits a few of the distilleries on the bourbon trail.

I have an entire video on the bourbon trail coming soon as Amy and I visited many distilleries. But a few spots I loved near the city were Evan Williams for an interactive bourbon experience, angel’s envy for their beautiful urban distillery, and Stitzel better for their historic property. Of course, you could drive 45 minutes and see places like Jim bean maker’s mark buffalo trace or Woodford reserve as well. There’s lots of bourbon in and around the city of Louisville.

Recommendation number five is the 21c museum hotel near the Ali center. The 21c is both a museum and a hotel. It would help if you visited as it has a great free museum in the lobby area, starting with the giant golden statue of David.

And the limousine outside the museum also has some great exhibits inside with unique art and interactive videos.

We walked around for a good 20 minutes and made sure you check out the men’s downstairs bathroom, which has a two-way mirror and a waterfall urinal. And go outside to see the fun smoke machines that blow smoke rings while you’re watching.

[Music] my following recommendation is the Frasier history museum.

The Fraser museum is a Smithsonian affiliate and has many great exhibits. We went because it’s home to the bourbon trail welcome center. And an extensive exhibit on Kentucky bourbon, but we enjoyed seeing the other exhibits they had as well.

Some of the standouts were the exhibits on Kentucky music and seeing one of Jesse James’ guns. The museum does a great job of having interactive exhibits that allow you to connect more with the history you see as well, and it’s an excellent stop for the whole family in the city.

My following recommendation is to walk the big four bridge. Louisville has many bridges heading over the Ohio River and connecting the city with Jeffersonville in Indiana. one of the bridges is a pedestrian one. It’s a great way to experience the city from a new angle. The one-mile bridge takes you over the river and gives you lots of great vantage points to see the city and the other bridges and benches to sit and relax at also the bridge. It is lit up at night, and it changes colors constantly, making it fun to see both day and night.

My following recommendation is the Louisville Riverwalk. The city is located right along the Ohio River, and one of the best ways to experience it is to walk along the river itself. The riverwalk goes along the water and past some of the famous attractions like the belle of Louisville steamboat.

The trail goes under a couple of the bridges and past joe’s crab shack over to the waterfront park.

It was the winter when we were there, so it was pretty cold, but I imagine this park would be fantastic to visit in the summer. Also, if you’re looking for a fun spot for a drink after your walk, there’s a fantastic pub called troll under the bridge that you can visit as well.

[Music] next up, spend some time on whiskey row. The whiskey rose section of downtown Louisville is fun to explore a little bit or to have a meal at its right next to the troll pub. I mentioned in the previous recommendation that it’s also the home of Old Forester, a famous distillery on the bourbon trail that makes the mint julep served at Churchill downs.

Plus, you can visit doc crows if you want a good southern meal or impella series pizza for Louisville-style pizza.

Across the street, Louisville-style pizza has a layer of cheese, then a layer of toppings, then more cheese than more toppings. All of this is right next to the KFC yum center, where many basketball games and concerts happen.

For these following few recommendations, we’re moving a little bit outside of the downtown area, and then after that, we’re going to talk about food.

First, up the falls of Ohio State Park. This recommendation is technically in a different state, but it’s less than 10 minutes from downtown Louisville, so I figured it was worth a stop.

The state park was awe-inspiring as it’s the starting point for Lewis and Clark’s journey west, and it has a plaque and statue to commemorate that.

It also has an excellent visitor center and some good views of the river and a few bridges. Lastly, when the water is low, it’s a great place to see fossils in the rocks near the water. We walked around for about 15 minutes, and we saw a bunch.

This state park is easily worth a short drive over from the city. Next up is cave hill cemetery.

Cave hill cemetery is on the national register of historical places, and it has over 290 acres right outside downtown Louisville.

The cemetery is notable as the resting place for many civil war soldiers, and it is the final resting place for Muhammad Ali and colonel sanders.

We didn’t spend a lot of time here, but it’s one of the top historic recommendations when you’re spending time in the city.

My last recommendation before talking about food is the Bernheim arboretum and research forest located about 30 minutes south of the city.

The Bernheim Arboretum is a large forested area with lots of hiking trails and bike paths.

The main attraction there currently, though, is the forest giants, which is an art installation that features three large giants located throughout the park.

You can take a mile and a half round trip hike to visit all three, following the yellow footsteps along the ground which goes by each.

Also, by the second one, there’s an entire fairy tale you can read that includes the giants, and I imagine it would be fun to read and explore this area with children.

Amy and I enjoyed this, and it’s a great place to get out in nature and have some fun photo opportunities.

Their website says that the forest giants are scheduled to live here for three years, so be sure to check before you head out there.

Alright, to end this video, I wanted to talk about some of the unique food options you can try while in the city.

First up, I recommend heading over to the brown hotel for a hot brown. The brown hotel has been a historic part of Louisville since 1923. the hotel is immaculate with a beautiful exterior and lobby, but we stopped by to try the hot brown sandwich.

The Hot Brown is the famous dish that the city is known for and has been made right here in this hotel since the 1930s. The dish has white bread turkey and a decadent cheese sauce all baked in an oven. It’s heavy and tasty and well worth a try.

Also, the chef there is now making a pasta version if you want to try a new take on the famous dish.

My following food recommendation is to try a slice of the derby pie. Derby pie is famous in Louisville, and it’s made by Curran’s kitchen and sent around the city to a few select restaurants.

We tried it at both browns hotel and doc crows, and this chocolate walnut-based pie is worth finding in the city.

Also, there are many non-pie versions that you can try, like derby bars at pleasing and thank you coffee that is well worth seeking out as well.

Alright, my last recommendation is to find some bourbon balls. Bourbon balls are as well known as derby pie in Louisville. The central spot to go for these is Muth’s candies, as they’ve been making them for almost a century.

However, if you’re looking for something more unique in the same vein, go to art edibles that make bourbon chocolates with different bourbons from the trail.

It’s fun to walk through the shop and see all of them, plus you can buy a taste of the trail, which features chocolates from many different distilleries so you can taste the differences.

Thanks so much for exploring Louisville with us. Hopefully, you found a new spot to check out next time you’re in the area.

Let us know below if we left off one of your favorite spots. Check out throughmylens.com for more, and we’ll see you guys in the following video.

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