Weekend Guide to Louisville

Looking for a weekend guide on what to see in Louisville, Kentucky?

Well, here it is.

I just got back from a trip to this uniquely Southern city with one of my best friends and our husbands. When we were planning our trip, I didn’t come across any super helpful, up-to-date guides on what to see over a weekend there. Here are highlights of where we stayed, where we ate, and what we did. Enjoy!

Lodging: We stayed at an Airbnb in the Clifton neighborhood. We were within walking distance to a number of bars and restaurants. I absolutely recommend staying in or around that area.

Restaurants:

*Please & Thank You café: You can’t go wrong with their chive biscuit breakfast sandwich or panino. And of course, their coffee was great. They were also voted best chocolate chip cookie in Louisville. We didn’t get one (sob!) so if you do, report back and let me know how it was.

*The Silver Dollar: We feasted here. My favorites in this order were the chicken and waffles, the catfish, and the beef brisket. Plus, I had my first collard greens ever here! So good. Outside of having to-die-for food, they also have top-rated cocktails and are known as one of the best whiskey bars in the US. I had the Gold Rush cocktail, a mix of bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon, and I wish I could teleport back to Looville to have one right now.

*The Comfy Cow on Frankfort Avenue: This speciality ice cream shop also sells cookies at their register. Get one. If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate the leftover half the next day in between bourbon tastings. Our group tried (and loved) the Simply Southern, the Bourbon Ball, and the Vermont Maple Walnut.

*Irish Rover: Great restaurant/pub on Frankfort. We ended our night with a few drinks here. Their bartenders let us stay way longer than they had to.

*Crescent Hill Craft House: This place had a TON of beers on tap and a pretty good list of cocktails, although their Old Fashioned was a touch too sweet (for me anyway).

* Atlantic No. 5: After a weekend of overindulgence, Atlantic No. 5 was a godsend. We picked fresh, healthy salads and sandwiches from their well-crafted menu and avoided making any kind of eye contact with what looked like a luscious selection of baked goods. This restaurant was perfect for a light, yet filling, lunch after a weekend of less than healthy dining. It’s also pretty much right across the street from the Louisville Slugger Museum and close to the Mohammad Ali Center downtown.

To-dos:

*Churchill Downs: This was on my must-see list. How could you go to Louisville and not go to Churchill Downs? We did the tour of the grounds that the museum offers and saw the resident thoroughbred and mini horse.

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*Keeneland Race Track: You’ll find the Keeneland Race track less than an hour and a half east of Louisville. Get there early (before 10 a.m. at least, but check their hours) and you can watch the thoroughbreds train. They are beyond beautiful. If you get hungry while you’re there, they have a Track Kitchen, where we experienced some of the most heartfelt Southern hospitality I’ve ever encountered.

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*The Bourbon Trail, specifically Maker’s Mark and Bulleit. I recommend going to both of these distilleries. Bulleit is closer to Louisville, so if you’re not renting a car, that might be good option to grab a taxi to. Maker’s Mark is set deep in Kentucky. To get there you’ll wind down curvy country roads, until you reach the distillery, set down in a valley of the brightest green I’ve seen in quite a while. You can dip your own bottle of bourbon in their signature red wax there too, which makes for one happy husband.

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Maker’s Mark Distillery
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The barrel repair room at Bulleit

* Wineries: We happened upon Equus Run Vineyards on Easter day. Coming with a crew who is more familiar with wines from Napa, Sonoma, and Washington than, well, Kentucky, we set our expectations low, not knowing what to expect. But this place was so good! And their staff was the friendliest, including their black-and-white cat named Tuxedo.

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The grounds at Equus Run

* Goat races!!!: Our server at The Silver Dollar clued us into the Nulu Bock Fest that happened to be taking place that day on East Market Street. It was the first annual iteration of the event and it featured beers from local breweries, and (here’s where it gets good) goat races! We missed the baby goat race, which still makes my heart ache, but we did catch the finalists run. They wore T-shirts to represent the breweries they were representing.

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Baby goat, because, it’s a baby goat

*Cherokee Park / the Highlands neighborhood: We drove through Cherokee Park intending to park our car and walk through it, but then we drove the whole thing and walked the main drag in the Highlands. If we hadn’t stayed in Clifton, we probably would stayed in the Highlands because it’s walking distance to a lot of restaurants and bars (clearly our priority given the list above).

I hope you all find this weekend guide helpful. Until next time!

~ a simple toast

[all images are my own]

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