Top Seven Things to Do in a Weekend in Louisville

Horse in front of Churchill Downs - Weekend in Louisville

Bluegrass horse farms, large amazingly beautiful hats worn at the Kentucky Derby, and legendary baseball bats produced for American’s pastime are just a few things you can find in Louisville, Kentucky. If you are looking for a fun getaway for a weekend with friends or by yourself, consider visiting Louisville. Sitting right on the Ohio River and the border of Indiana, Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and is filled with so many activities for you to do. Here are the top seven things to do on a weekend in Louisville.

Horse in front of Churchill Downs - Weekend in Louisville

Brown Hotel and the Hot BrownThe Brown Hotel

The Hot Brown

The infamous Brown Hotel in Louisville is a must stop for your weekend getaway. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Georgian-Revival architectural gem showcases the best of  Southern charm. But, its claim to fame is serving the Hot Brown to hungry visitors. The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. Coming in at a whopping 899 calories, make sure you order this on an empty stomach!

Churchill DownsChurchill Downs stands

The Plaza Stage
Betting Areas

Churchill Downs definitely looks different when the stands are not filled with thousands of people drinking mint juleps and wearing huge hats with flowers and feathers adorning them. Even without the crowds, it is just as impressive to be walking around this famous racetrack. Churchill Downs was under construction when I visited, but I was still able to walk around freely. General admission ticket is only $5 except during Derby Week. Someday it would be nice to come back for the Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs Winners Circle

DISH On MarketDISH On Market

Rules of Bourbon

DISH on Market is a great restaurant to grab a bite to eat or a drink after a day of sightseeing. They have lots of options from their signature Fish and Chips, The Dish Burger, Anetta’s Fried Chicken, or Shrimp and Grits. This is also a nice pub to try Kentucky Bourbon which is where I tried Bourbon for the first time. Here in Kentucky, they take their Bourbon seriously. Definitely an experience. DISH on Market is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Louisville Slugger Museum & FactoryLouisville Slugger Museum and Factory

Every kid that has played baseball has probably hit a ball with one of these at one point. Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is where you can get a tour of how Louisville Slugger bats are a part of baseball and of American History. You can also walk through the factory floor and see how they are made today. The Louisville Slugger Museum is quite impressive to see the 120 ft tall big bat which is an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth’s 34-inch Louisville Slugger bat. On the factory floor, you aren’t supposed to take any photos, but you can before and after the tour. Tickets are $15 and hours are Monday- Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Louisville Slugger Bat Vault

Louisville loves baseball so much that you will see baseball symbols everywhere in the downtown area. There are baseball plates for famous ballplayers similar to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. See how many you can find and how many do you know?

The making of the baseball bat
Sanding of the baseball bat
History of Baseball Greats
Louisville Slugger Bats

Mark’s Feed StoreMark's Feed Store

One of the best restaurants to get barbecue in Louisville is Mark’s Feed Store. Don’t let the name fool you, this place has some amazing barbecue meals and has won Louisville Magazine’s readers’ poll  “Best of Louisville“ for their BBQ and ribs nine times. They slowly smoke their pork, beef, and chicken with real hickory wood, and then lightly top them with their signature Bar-B-Q sauces. Can I just say, Yum!

Barbecue Dinner at Mark's Feed Store

Jack Fry’sJack Fry's Restaurant

Another iconic restaurant that represents Louisville so well is Jack Fry’s. Established in 1933, this place became a popular sportsman’s hangout with Jack Fry running his bookmaking enterprise out of the ‘back room’. It closed in 1972 but re-opened in 1987. It is now a fine dining establishment with all the historic photographs of Jack Fry and his friends hanging on the walls. The tables are really close together and it seems a bit cramped and cluttered inside, but that just adds to the atmosphere along with the delicious meal you are guaranteed to have at Jack Fry’s. They definitely deliver on their slogan “The Best Night in Town”.

Inside Jack Fry's
Dinner at Jack Fry's
Dessert at Jack Fry's

Around LouisvilleBlack horse statue with heart and flames

Blue horse statue with building and flowers painted on it
Horse statue painted with the Louisville downtown
Horse statue painted with bourbon bottles standing on a keg

Of course with Louisville being the home of the Kentucky Derby, they would have to have horse statues around the city. I was having so much fun trying to find these. Each one is more creative than the next. Along with the horse statues, there are other art statues in the downtown area, like the giant statue of David in all his glory. The other attribute that Louisville has is some amazing architecture in the buildings within the downtown area.

I enjoyed my time tremendously walking around the city and taking photos of everything that caught my eye. I’m sure if you visit over a weekend in Louisville that you will do the same! There are many more activities for you to explore in Louisville, these were just my top seven that I enjoyed.  I hope you enjoy your weekend exploring the horses, bourbon, architecture, art, and museums in Louisville.

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Further Reading

If you would like to see more of my nomad travels, check out my post on my first month of traveling full-time: One Month of Nomad Travel. If you are traveling around the midwest, check out these posts:

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  • Jack William 11November2020 at 2:12 PM Reply

    Thanks for the post. keep it up and make posts like these.

  • Road trip itinerary in the footsteps of movie "Secretariat" | Family Road Trip Guru: Kid-friendly Travel Ideas 14August2019 at 2:32 PM Reply

    […] Where to eat: I am usually cautious about giving advice where to eat because people have very different tastes, dietary restrictions, etc. But in the case of Louisville I can’t help mentioning Havana Rumba. It is a Cuban restaurant (there are 3 locations in town) with the yummiest food and the friendliest atmosphere for families. We ended up going there twice because the food was so good and the prices were very reasonable. Check the following link for more cool dining option in Louisville and other things to do in town. […]

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