Often called the Gateway to the South, Louisville is a growing city that still has a small town Southern charm. The city gains much of its fame from the world famous Kentucky Derby at the famous Churchill Downs. Louisville also has a thriving arts scene and rich history, celebrated in the many museums and annual festivals throughout the city. Check out the following attractions to see the one-of-a-kind Derby City in person.
Louisville is the home to the Famous Kentucky Derby Festival, a month long festival held every year in Louisville. Before the Kentucky Derby horse race on the first Saturday of May, the city is full of festivities, including balls, parades, races, and fireworks. Make sure you have your Sunday’s best as you watch your favorite horse compete for first place.
Here are the best things to do in Louisville:
A trip to Louisville isn’t complete without learning more about baseball. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a baseball lover’s dream come true. The museum has exhibits on the company’s history, the cultural impact of baseball, and baseball themed attractions. Bring your cleats so you can take a few swings in the batting cage before you leave.
Check out these top tourist attractions in Louisville:
The Louisville Mega Cavern is one of Louisville’s most exciting attractions. Once a limestone mining excavation, the cavern has been repurposed as a 100-acre warehouse and adventure destination. Pop down to try the world’s only underground zip-line or ride the Mega Tram.
Other exciting activities in Louisville include:
Trying to see your favorite bands play tonight? Louisville has that covered. The Derby City has plenty of live music bars and concert venues to see local and touring bands. Buy tickets to a show at The Bourbon Hall, Headliner’s Music Hall, or Mercury Ballroom.
Check out these other nighttime activities in Louisville:
Louisville Zoo is home to more than 1,200 different animals from all over the world, and has a number of other family-friendly attractions, including a splash pad, a train ride, playground, rope climbing, and more. Be sure to stop by the Butterflies N Blooms exhibit to interact with the world’s prettiest tiny flyers in flowers.
Family-Friendly things to do near Louisville include:
Louisville residents are students for life, and take pride in having engaging things to do indoors. Take some time to explore all of the museums and learning centers the Derby City has to offer, including the Kentucky Science Center, the Frazier History Museum, and the Carnegie Center for the Arts.
Here are some other things to do indoors in Louisville:
Louisville, Kentucky is a vibrant city with a rich history and a wide variety of things to see and do. From cultural attractions and outdoor adventures to world-class dining and shopping, there's something for everyone in Louisville. Here are just a few of the many things you can do while visiting the city:
The Louisville Nature Center is a free urban oasis complete will trails, gardens, a pond, and a library. Spend the day looking for wildlife, appreciating the sensory garden, and exploring the Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve.
Check out these other active things to see in Louisville:
Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory: This popular attraction is a must-see for baseball fans. The museum offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Louisville Slugger bats are made, and you can even design your own custom bat. The museum also features exhibits on the history of baseball and the evolution of the Louisville Slugger brand.
Explore the Louisville Zoo: Home to more than 1,500 animals, the Louisville Zoo is a great place to spend a day with the family. The zoo is known for its African Elephant Crossing exhibit and its Gorilla Forest exhibit, but there are plenty of other animals to see as well.
Take a stroll through the Louisville Waterfront Park: Located along the banks of the Ohio River, this park is a beautiful place to relax and take in the sights. The park features a playground, walking and biking trails, and a large fountain. There are also food vendors and a seasonal farmers market.
Visit the Louisville Museum of Art: With a collection of over 17,000 works of art, the Louisville Museum of Art is a must-see for art lovers. The museum features paintings, sculptures, and photographs from a wide range of periods and styles.
Learn about the history of bourbon at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience: Located in downtown Louisville, this tour takes visitors through the history of bourbon production in the city. The tour includes a tasting of various bourbons and a chance to learn about the distillation process.
Check out the Muhammad Ali Center: Dedicated to the life and career of the famous boxer, the Muhammad Ali Center features interactive exhibits, films, and memorabilia. This is a great place to learn about the life and legacy of one of the most iconic figures in sports history.
Head to Churchill Downs: Home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is a must-see for fans of horse racing. The racetrack offers tours that take visitors behind the scenes to see where the horses are stabled and trained.
Explore the Louisville Mega Cavern: This former limestone mine has been transformed into an underground adventure park. The cavern offers zip lining, rope courses, and underground bike trails, making it a great place for thrill-seekers.
There are so many more things to do in Louisville, these are just a few examples. No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something that appeals to you in this vibrant city.
What is there to do in Louisville at night?
There are plenty of things to do in Louisville at night, including attending a show at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, visiting one of the city's many bars or clubs, or seeing a movie at the IMAX theater at the Kentucky Science Center.
What are the best free things to do in Louisville?
Yes, there are several free things to do in Louisville. Some options include visiting the Louisville Waterfront Park, touring the Louisville Mega Cavern, and exploring the Louisville Zoo (children under 2 years old are admitted for free).
Are there any kid-friendly activities in Louisville?
Yes, there are many kid-friendly activities in Louisville. Some options include visiting the Louisville Zoo, taking a tour of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, and exploring the Louisville Waterfront Park. Check out our activitis and deals for things to do with kids in Louisville.
Are there any outdoor activities in Louisville?
Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Louisville. Some options include hiking and biking at Cherokee Park, exploring the Louisville Waterfront Park, and visiting the Louisville Zoo.
Are there any food and drink options in Louisville?
Yes, Louisville is known for its food and drink scene. The city is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and breweries. Some local specialties include bourbon, hot browns (a type of open-faced sandwich), and bourbon balls (a type of chocolate candy).