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Louisville, KY
Louisville, KY

What can you do with 24 hours in Louisville KY? Bourbon, Baseball and a whole lot more!

Part 2 of our great road trip: Memphis to Louisville to Cleveland.

With limited time in a new city you need to choose wisely, and we did! Recommendation: if you’re traveling with your significant other, each pick the one can’t miss destination and you’ll both be happy. Anything else you get to do is a plus!

Ed’s pick: bourbon tasting

‘America’s native spirit’, Bourbon is the only alcohol that is a distinctive product of the United States. The Irish have whiskey, Italians their wine, Russians their Vodka…but our bourbon is distilled, aged and bottled right here in the Bluegrass state.

With every distillery along the bourbon trail within driving distance, time only allowed one. So we were first in line for a private tour at Bulleit (only because we were so early).

Set on the historic site of the Stitzell-Weller distillery, we were taken through the rich heritage that marks this iconic landmark. Take a journey that leads through bourbon’s historic heyday, the downturn of prohibition, the competition of vodka to today’s continued commitment to craftsmanship.

Smell the charred oak barrels, see the workshops of the craftsmen and finally taste the result. Tom Bulleit and his team do an admirable job of upholding a fine American tradition.

I (Carla not so much) thoroughly enjoyed the 4 sample flight, and went home with a few ‘souvenirs’ to share with our good friends. Not a bad start to the day!

Carla’s pick: the Louisville Slugger Museum

Yes, our relationship is complete role reversal, my wife loves sports. The giant bat outside was worth the trip itself, but inside, the facility paid homage to America’s pastime. Honoring the greats from Ruth to DiMaggio to Jeter (yup, she’s a Yankee fan).

An immersive experience for young and old, beginning with a documentary, leading through the factory…taking us from the near handmade process of yesteryear to today’s technology where players unique specifications are stored in a database and bats made to order.

You feel the sense of history here. And if that’s not enough, take home a custom bat with your name on it and take a few swings in the batting cages.

For both of us:

The Brown Hotel

This must see landmark dating from 1923 is an opulent, yet comfortable example of old-world elegance, perfectly preserved today. Treat yourself to an upscale yet approachable experience.

Don’t miss the signature Hot Brown, Louisville’s most famous dish, created by the Hotel’s chef Fred K. Schmidt in 1926.

Originally served to the late night revelers, this warm, open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce is a cheesy, decadent delight.

Downtown Louisville

Stroll through Old Louisville, take in the theaters, hotels and shops.

Window shop the Kentucky Derby attire, you may be tempted to have a hat just for Derby Day…the fastest two minutes in sports.

Fourth Street Live

This modern neon-lit outdoor arcade features a Hard Rock, Jim Beam, Gordon Biersch, Guy Fieiri’s Smokehouse and host of other themed eateries.

Entertainment includes a bowling alley, Howl at The Moon Piano Bar, and live outdoor concerts and events in a festive, lively atmosphere.

Museum Row and West Main Street

So many must see attractions in one block! A list of what we missed…beyond the Louisville Slugger Museum beckons the Muhammad Ali Center, Frazier History Museum, Kentucky Science Center and more.

Bourbon enthusiasts will enjoy the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Art lovers will enjoy Glassworks, Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

21C Museum Hotel

We managed another stop! Just across the street from lunch, we spotted this 9,000 square foot exhibition space, featuring dynamic group and solo modern art exhibitions to stir your imagination.

Mussel and Burger Bar

Right off West Main is this super cool, retro-chic eatery, reminiscent of an old theater. The coolest  culinary pairing of our favorites. Try the Blue Cheese Beer Pancetta Mussels and Southern Bell Burger.

There’s so much we left out…of course, we can’t post this without at least a nod to perhaps the most famous Louisville attraction…The Kentucky Derby Museum. We decided we’ll just have to come back and visit on race day!

Where are your favorite spots we missed?

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2 Comments
  • Mary says:

    Memphis to Louisville is my old stomping ground! I’m from southern Kentucky and also lived in Nashville. Memphis is a favorite place to visit for bbq and Beale Street! Love this post and I love reading about places I am familiar with because I always learn something new. These pictures are great. Puts my photographs from my home state to shame, but they are really old. Thanks for posting such great things about my home!

    • Mary, thank you so much for the kind words! We absolutely fell in love with Memphis. As a musician, the connection to the birthplace of the Blues and Rock n’ Roll was simply moving and unforgettable. What a great place to call home!

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