Things to do in Louisville
For those that are coming to Louisville for training in September 2016, here are some local options to consider in town (as compiled by our Louisville resident).
Food – Obviously, there are a lot of food options downtown. Wild Eggs is my favorite breakfast place in town, and they now have a location downtown. Personally, I prefer the restaurants that are a bit farther out.
Bars – Proof on Main is probably the coolest place in town, where you can take your drink and walk around an art gallery. There are a number of bourbon bars in town; Down One Bourbon Bar is a good one. Troll Pub is a hole-in-the-wall with a good beer list beneath/beside the second street bridge.
Beer – Louisville is more of a bourbon town than a beer town, but there are a couple decent options for local brews. Bluegrass Brewing Company (BBC) has a location on Main Street. Against the Grain has a decent lineup of beers and is located in the Louisville Slugger Stadium (the baseball stadium; it’s the opposite direction down Main Street from the Factory and Museum).
Things to do – Fourth Street Live is a pedestrian area with a number of bars and restaurants. If you love baseball, the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum is a must. If you bring family, there are a lot of interactive exhibits for kids at the Science Museum.
Outside of Downtown
Food – Hammerheads is my favorite spot in town, great food and beer list, though the quarters are a bit tight, as it’s basically in the basement of a house. Most locals consider Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot (FABD, to the locals) to have the best barbeque. Havana Rumba (the one in Saint Matthews, not the one on Bardstown Road) has excellent Cuban food and a killer mojito. El Mundo is a great Mexican place in the Clifton neighborhood. Louisville is, above all else, a pizza town – Boombozz is my favorite of the numerous options. Comfy Cow is the pick for ice cream. Toast is another breakfast place, just a short drive down Market Street from downtown. Heine Brothers is the coffee of choice for locals.
Bars – The main bar areas are the Highlands and Saint Matthews. The Highlands skews a little younger; there are several large bars there mixed in with smaller local spots – Holy Grale and Highlands Tap Room are two unique spots.
Things to do – The Saint James Art Fair runs September 30 to October 2, and covers several blocks of Old Louisville – it’s a fun excursion if you are traveling with family. The Louisville Zoo is great for kids. Churchill Downs will be conducting its Fall Meet September 16 – October 2, with races Thursday to Sunday (evening races under the lights on Thursdays). The Churchill Downs Museum is a nice stop for horse racing fans. For those that want to do bourbon distillery tours, there are a number of options, but all are around an hour out of town. I’ll recommend three. Buffalo Trace is in Frankfort and is the place where a large number of labels originate (Pappy, most notably). Woodford Reserve is south of Frankfort and surrounded by huge horse farms. Maker’s Mark is probably the best tour, but it is a long haul to get there, with not a lot around it.