Louisville is situated on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. Kentucky’s largest city is home to the Kentucky Derby, a world-renowned horse race. The Kentucky Derby’s long history is explored at the Kentucky Derby Museum while baseball is celebrated at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Read on to learn about other fun things to do while you’re in Louisville, Kentucky.
Farmington Historic Home
Farmington Historic Home is a 14-room, Federal-style brick plantation house that has several Jeffersonian architectural features. Take a tour of the circa 1816 home, and you’ll learn about life on a 19th-century farm, including the 60 enslaved African Americans that lived in cabins on the property. Abraham Lincoln visited Farmington for three weeks in 1841.
The Frazier History Museum
The Frazier History Museum, located on Museum Row in the Bourbon District of Downtown Louisville presents interactive exhibits. The museum offers artifacts like Teddy Roosevelt’s “Big Stick,” and Custer’s pistols, gallery talks and live, daily interpretations by costumed actors. The museum is the starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
When you visit E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, you can swim in the Olympic-sized swimming pool, play a round of tennis or let your pet romp in the dog park. The splash pad is a great place to cool off on a hot day. The rolling fields found in the park, farmland during an earlier era, are a great place to relax or have a picnic.
Whitehall Mansion, situated in rolling farmland, was built in the late 1700s. The mansion was designed in Georgian and Italianate styles. You can tour the ornate mansion that contains period pieces, plus the ice house and stone kitchen.
Kentucky Science Center
The Kentucky Science Center, located on Museum Row, is Kentucky’s largest hands-on science museum. The Science In Play exhibit allows young scientists to experiment, and the Discovery Gallery focuses on natural history. You can also see films that range from documentaries to Hollywood movies in the center’s 4-story 3D digital theater.
Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve
Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve is an urban forest that has a wildflower garden and pond, plus gardens that attract seasonal butterflies. Hiking trails run through the preserve. The Louisville Nature Center features wildlife exhibits, a Beargrass Creek watershed exhibit and a one-of-a-kind bird blind.
The Speed Art Museum
The Speed Art Museum is the largest, oldest, and foremost museum of art in Kentucky. Collections include works of African Art, Native American Art and Contemporary Art, as well as Photography and Kentucky Collection 1800-1945. The museum’s cinema is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Thomas Edison House
Thomas Edison House, a shotgun duplex built around 1850, was home for 19-year-old Thomas Edison when he was a telegrapher for Western Union. The museum presents many of Edison’s inventions, including incandescent bulbs, motion picture artifacts and cylinder and disc phonographs. Guided tours are offered.
A visit to Kentucky Kingdom is one of the best things to do with kids in Louisville. Some of the rides at the amusement park are Cyclos, Giant Wheel, FearFALL and Tin Lizzies. Sea Lion Splash and Avian Adventure are two fun shows. Hurricane Bay water park has slides, a wave pool and more.
Old Louisville is known for its tree-lined streets that showcase restored Victorian mansions. There are many types of restaurants in the area like upscale places, farm-to-table eateries and breweries. Take a walk through the streets as well as Central Park, found in the heart of Old Louisville.
Belle of Louisville
The Belle of Louisville is anchored at its downtown wharf location near the Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere. The steamboat, built in 1914, is heated and air conditioned. The boat has a sound system, concession stand and bar, and offers sightseeing and dining cruises.
Habitats at the Louisville Zoo include Glacier Run, Australia, Africa, Islands, South America and the HerpAquarium. Rides and attractions include Splash Park, Conservation Carousel, the African Petting Zoo, adventure ropes courses and camel rides.