The Best Neighborhoods In Louisville To Visit
Louisville is a very large city, and most of its locals divide it mentally into four parts: West End, East End, South End, and Downtown. And while each part of Louisville has its own highlights, for the purposes of your trip to Louisville, Im choosing to focus on the Downtown area and its surrounding neighborhoods.
The neighborhoods below are easiest to get around without having to rent a car by walking, biking, or taking public transit. Also, there is a higher concentration of awesome stuff to do for visitors to Louisville. So even though us locals have love for the West End, East End, and South End, Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods are the most tourist-friendly parts of the city.
That said, if you rent a car, youll be able to explore the South End, West End & the East End much more easily. You can find a comprehensive guide to all of the neighborhoods in Louisville on the GoToLouisville website.
Visit The Historic Riverside House:
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, is the centerpiece of a 300-acre historic site in Louisville, Kentucky. It was built around 1837 and is located along the banks of the Ohio River. The house is a red brick I-house with a two-story Greek Revival portico. Riverside House is open for educational and archaeological tours.
The 300-acre historic site also includes a visitors center, Archaeological site biking, historic house museum, community garden, a gift shop, and provides scenic Ohio River views.
You can enjoy a tour of the historic house and grounds. The tour includes the 1837 Farnsley-Moremen House, the reconstructed 19th century detached kitchen, museum exhibits, a museum store, African Americans experiences at Riverside, and ongoing archaeological excavations. Check out the official website for more information and to plan your visit.
Historic Riverside house would be one of the best places to visit in Louisville, Ky.
Address: 7410 Moorman Rd, Louisville, KY 40272.
Fossil Beds At The Falls Of The Ohio
What to Expect: The Fossil Beds at the Falls of the Ohio State Park date back nearly 400 million years. For a $2 parking fee, access to the Fossil Beds is a short hike down to the river. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes or boots. Bring a bucket and a brush to clear debris from fossils. Hours: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Walking down to the fossil beds is free
- Listen for alarms that signal changes in the river level
- Most fossils are relatively small, marine life but these fossil deposits are some of the largest in the country.
- Some are 50-feet long. See tips for finding really big fossils.
- Bring sunscreen, a hat, and water.
- Remove any trash you bring with you
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Top 5 Types Of Free Things To Do In Louisville Kentucky
If you check out the Louisville Family Fun list of the top 50 free things to do in Louisville, Kentucky, then youll notice that there are five key categories of great free activities in this city:
Also look for seasonal light displays, farmers markets, library events and other free things to do in Louisville, Kentucky.
Lights Under Louisville At The Mega Caverns
Located near the Louisville Zoo, the Mega Caverns is a 100-acre limestone cavern, which during the holiday season, becomes an underground light show featuring 900 lit characters and over 4 MILLION lights. Really!
Lights Under Louisville is 30-minute drive through attraction winds through part of the 17 miles of underground caverns and features music, and of course, all those brilliant lights. They even have something called the Christmas Express, which will take you through the caverns on an open top trailer!
- Dates: November 12, 2021 to January 2, 2022
- Hours: Opening Day6PM to 10PM, everyday after that 9:30AM to 10PM
- Address: 1841 Taylor Ave, Louisville, KY
- Admission: Standard Vehicle $32.99 / Christmas Express: $19.99 per person
- Accessibility: Accessible
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Eat Drink And Be Merry In Nulu
The east end of downtown called the East Market District, but now better known as Nulu is one of the best places to see in Louisville, KY.
Originally developed in the 1800s as a marketplace for produce and locally produced goods, the area fell to disuse in the mid-1900s and was derelict by the early 2000s. Since then, however, developers, small business owners and artists have ushered in a revitalized spirit to the district.
Things To Do in Nulu
Shopping in Nulu
Local artist galleries, boutique shops and antique stores are top places in Nulu for shopping. WOW is a fun shop for products produced by women, Revelry Boutique is good for unique gifts and Red Tree is fun and funky.
Eating in Nulu
One of the main reasons to go to Nulu is for the food! Its hard to find a bad meal in Nulu the district is chock full of the best places to get a bite to eat in the city.
Not just limited to Southern comfort classics, Nulu hosts a range of international eateries, too. Places like The Mayan Café and La Bodeguita get rave reviews and are always packed.
To be honest, so many of our favorite Louisville restaurants are in Nulu! We cover the top Louisville places to eat in more detail next!
Drinking in Nulu
Fun bars abound in the Nulu neighborhood! Garage Bar on Market Street is housed in a former auto shop and features a huge patio, lawn games and chill vibe. Taj the bourbon bar we recommended earlier is just down the street.
Street Art in Nulu
Things Near Me: Louisville Slugger Field
Opened in 2000, Louisville Slugger Field is a baseball stadium with has a seating capacity of more than 13,000 people and is the home of the Louisville Bats baseball team and the Louisville City FC professional soccer club.
The stadium is unique in that an old train shed has been incorporated into its design visitors enter the stadium through this train shed, which was formerly the Brinly-Hardy Company warehouse. It also features 32 private suites, concessions, press facilities, and a childrens play area. Visitors can see both the state of Indiana and the Ohio River from the stadium.
Baseball fans should make time to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory where you can watch bat making demonstrations and go on guided factory tours.
401 East Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky, Phone: 502-212-2287
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The Big Four Bridge Louisville Kentucky
The Big Four Bridge is a former railroad truss bridge that spans the Ohio River, connecting Louisville with Jeffersonville in Indiana. Constructed in 1895, the six-span bridge spans a length of 2,525 feet and is 547 feet and was converted into a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in 1969, earning it the nickname of the Bridge That Goes Nowhere.
Access to the bridge is limited to pedestrian and bicycle use, offering people from Louisville, Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Clarksville a scenic and safe way to travel between the cities.
There are urban green spaces on either end of the bridge, featuring lawns, fountains, pavilions, and a childrens playground where people can relax and enjoy the outdoors.
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See A Louisville Bats Game
Anyone near Louisville during baseball season should treat themselves to a Louisville Bats game.
This minor-league team has more than earning their following.
When you want to have fun in Louisville, Kentucky with a crowd full of people, you should come here.
With their home turf at Louisville Slugger Field, which is also where the soccer team Louisville City FC plays, the Louisville Bats give their city a team to be proud of.
If youve never been to a minor-league baseball game before, youll find theres a lot to enjoy about it.
The prices are much more reasonable and the experience is a lot more intimate.
Going to a Bats game is one of the best things to do in Louisville.
You can enhance others fun times by cheering as loud as you can.
These sorts of activities help to make Louisville, Kentucky the splendid city it is.
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Winter Illuminations In The Parklands
Winter Illuminations is an illuminated winter trail walk through one of Louisvilles best parks, the Parklands at Floyds Fork. Over a dozen giant light installations combine sound, dazzling lights, and the beauty of the outdoors along the one-mile route.
Note that youll need to purchase tickets online in advance. Oh, and be sure to bring your camera, because these Christmas lights are Instagrammable AF, yall.
Also weve heard a few less-than-positive reviews about this one, so wed really appreciate your feedback! Drop us a comment below to let us know what you thought of the event.
- Dates: December 3, 2021 through January 2, 2022
- Hours: Weekdays & Sunday: 5:45 PM to 9 PM Friday & Saturday: 5:45 PM to 10 PM
- Address: 1411 Beckley Creek Pkwy, Louisville, KY
- Admission: Weekdays: adults $18, kids $13. Weekends: Adults $20, kids $15
- Accessibility: Accessible the trail is a combination of paved path and crushed limestone.
Whitehall House & Gardens
Thomas Kelley / Shutterstock
Whitehall House & Gardens is one of the most impressive things to see when youre in Louisville.
Since it was first constructed, around 1855, its become a Louisville, Kentucky landmark.
Through its owners and different styles, it remains a quintessential part of the city.
Originally built with an Italianate design, Whitehall House now has a Greek Revival feel, albeit one meshed with a southern aesthetic.
Things that can be observed here include a striking portico and a slim staircase.
Dont neglect the gardens, which include an arboretum.
Whitehall House & Gardens is a combination that should definitely be seen when youre in Louisville.
The mansion can be toured from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Admission is $5 for all guests ages six and up.
Address: 3110 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40206, United States
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Craft Your Own Masterpiece At Flame Run:
Flame Run Glass Studio and Gallery showcase contemporary glass art and figures created by glass-blowing. The Flame Run Gallery Exhibits rotate every two months, featuring work of acclaimed artists from all over the globe. They offer a variety of interactive glass experiences where you can craft your own masterpiece. You may also get to see live demonstrations during guided studio tours.
You can enjoy a family-friendly interactive experience of glass making. You can choose to create ornaments, small bowls, vases, glasses, and seasonal decorative objects. Flame Run also offers an interactive experience to create colorful galaxy paperweights, unique stars, and craters.
You can choose your color options before you pay. Also, if you are visiting from out of town, they will ship your blown glass creation. Check out the official website to plan your visit.
An interactive experience of glass making at Flame Run would be one of the best things to do in Louisville, Ky.
Address: 815 W Market St, Louisville, KY 40202.
Walk The Big Four Bridge
The Big Four Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that links Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana, offering stunning views of the Ohio River below. This popular attraction begins in the scenic Louisville Waterfront Park and is even better by night when the bridge is illuminated with the vibrant colors of the LED lighting system. The Big Four Bridge dates back to the end of the 19th century when it was originally built as a railroad bridge, but today it’s just for pedestrians and cyclists and is open 24 hours a day.
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These Are Free Things To Do In Lousiville Ky All The Time
The 21c Museum Hotel features contemporary art and a great atmosphere. You can check out the exhibits in the hotel for free. This is one of the free things to do in Louisville KY that you can do any time of the day. Its open 24/7! If you want to stay the night or eat at the restaurant in the hotel, youll have to pay money!
The Jim Beam American Outpost is just outside of Louisville in Clermont. While youre there, you can take a tour of the property, learn about the process of making bourbon and so much more. You can also check out the gallery that features bottle art from throughout the years.
The American Printing House for the blind is a great way to explore information and products that people who are blind use. You can check out their museum and, good news, everything in it is touchable! While youre there learn more about how blind people get specialized education, how technology has helped them and so much more. The museum is free and so are tours of it!
The Filson Historical Society located in the heart of Louisville paints an accurate picture of the history of Kentucky. While youre there, you can see Civil War artifacts, learn more about the state famous Daniel Boone and even see real items from the Lewis and Clark Expedition! While youre there, you can also check out the museums collection of fine art. Since theres no admission, this makes it one of the best free things to do in Louisville KY.
Louisville Waterfront Park Louisville Ky
Louisville Waterfront Park is a municipal park that sits along the Ohio River. Dedicated in 1999, the park at first consisted of 55 acres of land that had formerly been used for sand pits, scrap yards, and other industrial sites. Today, the park consists of 85 acres.
With a view of the Ohio River, the park hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts. Thunder Over Louisville is the annual kickoff celebration of the Kentucky Derby Festival: it is very popular and well attended. Some of the features of the park include the Promenade along the river, Adventure Playground, Lincoln Memorial, Swing Garden, Tumbleweed Southwest Grill, and much more.
River Road, Louisville, Kentucky, Phone: 502-574-3768
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The Mayan Cafe Louisville Kentucky
The Mayan Café is an indigenously inspired farm-to-table restaurant that serves traditional Mayan cuisine from Mexicos Yucatan peninsula.
Located in the East Market Gallery District and boasting a bright and vibrant ambiance, the Mayan Café fits right into the trendy neighborhood with its ever-evolving soulful food.
Head Chef Bruce Ucán, a native Mayan from Mexico, combines fresh locally sourced ingredients with traditional Mayan flavors and cooking techniques to create innovative and delicious dishes that draw on his rich Yucatan heritage. The menu features dishes with traditional Mayan roots, including the Yucatec Salbutes and cochinita pibil.
Others are a modern take on an ancient dish, such as Chef Bruces own version of chilaquiles. An enticing beverages list offers signature cocktails, aperitifs, and flights of tequila and bourbon.
813 E. Market Street, Louisville, KY, Phone: 502-566-0651
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