If you’re planning to visit Louisville (or are just a local itching to get out), there is no shortage of things to do in Louisville this weekend, or any weekend, for that matter. And that’s even true if you’re just focusing on downtown.
From famous cocktails to culinary delights, from history to natural beauty, Louisville’s downtown has plenty to offer. And when you book a custom experience with Mint Julep Experiences, you can customize your tour itinerary to visit the sites and stops you most want to experience.
Here is a list of a few fun things to do in Louisville this weekend:
Sip Some Cocktails in a Bourbon Bar on the Urban Bourbon Trail
Hey, you’re in Louisville — and when in Louisville, bourbon is always on the itinerary. Fortunately, when in Bourbon City, you’ll find plenty of bourbon and cocktail bars with some of the best mixologists in the country. And thanks to the Urban Bourbon Trail, some of the downtown bars have whiskey collections that would even make Jim Beam himself woozy.
Doc’s Bourbon Room is one such bar, boasting more than 2,000 whiskey varieties, including some of the most coveted whiskeys on the planet; hop across the street to the laid back Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen. You’ll literally be swimming in whiskey.
Of course, Proof on Main is a must-stop spot downtown when a classy cocktail is what you seek. And don’t sleep on the sublime hole-in-the-wall cocktail experiences at Expo and Taj. Whatever you do, be sure to grab an Old Fashioned, Louisville’s official cocktail.
And don’t forget, you can ask your guide for bar recommendations — they know these parts pretty well and the closest bourbon distilleries to downtown Louisville — or ask them to make an unscheduled stop if the mood strikes. Their job is to help you get to know Louisville better and have a good time doing it.
Still learning what the Urban Bourbon Trail is? It is a group of Louisville bars and restaurants that highlight Kentucky bourbon. Each destination on the Urban Bourbon Trail® must have at least 50 bourbons available. Many of the destinations along the trail also have bourbon-infused menu items, bourbon-themed decor and history to share.
Plan your visit with this guide to the Urban Bourbon Trail and start planning your Louisville bourbon tour.
Eat Your Way Through Louisville
Louisville is well known as a culinary town that attracts foodies. One of the best aspects of the dining scene is the diversity — any given craving on any given day should yield options, many of which are downtown. If it’s breakfast or brunch you seek, hit up Biscuit Belly for a literal belly full of biscuit, grab a satisfying omelet at Wild Eggs, then hit The Café for a pastry. Are you really hungry? Try a little of everything at the Walker’s Exchange buffet. Looking for a bourbon filled brunch on a Sunday? Try Mint Julep Experiences Boozy Brunch Adventure that includes a classic brunch at one of Louisville’s local favorites, The Cafe, which includes your choice of one mimosa, bloody mary, bellini, or mocktail. Then journey through Bourbon Country for a tour and tasting at Kentucky Artisan and Bulleit Distilleries.
And it only kicks into high gear from there — Louisville is a place where you can hit 8UP Drinkery and Kitchen for a drink and an appetizer, then work your way to the NuLu neighborhood for anything from outstanding Cuban fare at La Bodeguita de Mima, upscale Latin fusion at Mayan Café or gourmet American fare at Everyday Kitchen. And don’t forget to hit one of downtown’s bourbon bars for a dram.
If you’re a big foodie and want to learn how to cook like top southern chefs, book tickets to Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs. This experience allows guests to be apart of the live TV audience, seeing firsthand the southern cooking secrets while tasting the dishes.
Drink Some Local Brews
There’s always plenty brewing downtown if you’re up for a local craft beer. In fact, you can start at one end of downtown and make your way east. Why not use a guided tour as a craft beer pub crawl? Start at Shippingport Brewing Co., then make your way east to Bluegrass Brewing Co., Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse, Goodwood Brewing Co., West Sixth Brewing, Akasha Brewing, Falls City Brewing, Gravely Brewing and finally Apocalypse Brew Works.
Along the way, learn the history of Falls City Brewing, which dates to 1905, and take a look off the patio at Gravely to see a true bit of local beer history: a pair of tunnels used to store beer in the late 1800s by Phoenix Brewery. And have at least one pint of Kentucky Common, a beer style that was invented right here in Louisville!
Oh, and if you manage to hit all those stops, you’ll certainly be glad someone else is driving! If you want to narrow the scope, ask your driver what their favorite breweries are or check out our guide to the best breweries near downtown Louisville to plan your brewery crawl.
See the Sites and Take in the History of Louisville
Speaking of Louisville history, there’s plenty of that to be found on your ride around town. A great place to start is Frazier History Museum, which offers up history on everything from distilling to weaponry. Be sure to hit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory to learn about the city’s history in making baseball bats for Major League legends. Learn about Louisville’s favorite son, Muhammad Ali. And check out the majestic Seelbach Hilton, one of Louisville’s most historic hotels. Of course, take note of historic Whiskey Row and seek out the many murals and works of street art that depict the city’s history and culture.
As always, the Mint Julep Experiences can get you to all the must-see places, armed with plenty of knowledge of our great city, it’s culture and its rich history.
When in The River City, Enjoy the River and Downtown Waterfront
Louisville’s downtown features a cornucopia of history and culture, but it also has something many other Midwestern/Southern cities don’t: the Ohio River. Well, that and a downtown waterfront that was voted one of the best riverwalks in America by USA Today.
So, while you’re hitting downtown, you’ll have a chance to take full advantage. Get up close and personal with The Belle of Louisville; take the kids to not one, but two waterfront parks; admire the public art displays; and then finish your visit with a picnic at one of five picnic areas. Top it all off with a walk across the Big Four Bridge to downtown Jeffersonville, where more shops and restaurants await, such as Schimpff’s Confectionary, where you can grab a shake at the 1950s soda fountain and watch live candy-making. (And after all that, you might need a nap.)
Our Mint Julep Experiences staff is very familiar with all there is to see and do along Louisville’s waterfront, so feel free to ask about some of the hidden gems.