Published: January, 2018

Louisville, Kentucky

Troll Under the Bridge was AMAZING! This hidden gem in the Old Whiskey Row is must do!
— Julianne Westrich
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Family, City
  • Activity level: easy
  • Ideal length of trip: 2-3 days

to & from

Fly into Louisville International Airport (SDF), direct flights from Chicago, Detroit, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and more. We visited as part of a road trip and suggest having a vehicle as navigating the city is easy and parking is plentiful.

Where to Stay

  • Galt House Hotel - For location and history (in name if not in the actual building) this is a top option. Much of the downtown attractions can be done on foot, and the view is incredible.
  • Adult trip? Check out the 21c Museum Hotel for a upscale boutique experience.

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Troll Under the Bridge is AMAZING! This hidden gem in the Old Whiskey Row is must do. Our entire family found something on the menu they loved and the subterranean atmosphere enhanced the cool factor for our teen. Good food, good beer, great service! Definitely suggest the Kentucky Hot Brown -so delicious!
  • Joella's Hot Chicken - This counter service joint is outside of downtown but worth the drive. Incredible options for fried chicken, a must when in Kentucky. I thought the spiked honey was the perfect amount of heat and sweet but there are many options to meet your flavor preferences. Chicken and waffles are always a good bet and the parm garlic fries are a must!

What to Do

  • Churchill Downs Racetrack - Personally this is one of the best attractions we've visited as a family. Perhaps it was because I had zero expectations and no knowledge about the Kentucky Derby beforehand but it was incredible. The museum is fun, interactive, and engaging for all ages. The tour of the grounds is interesting and gets you up close to the track. Make sure to check out all the Derby Hats on display!
  • Louisville, Bats Game - Take in a minor league ball game right in downtown.
  • Evan Williams Bourbon Experience - Learn about the history of this notable Kentucky drink. It is a little hokey, but informative and gave the "under 21's" in our group more to discover than just the technical process. There is a tasting included in the tour and our kids happily tried the non-alcoholic bourbon candy (ewww, gross!). It is right on Main Street which makes it an easy walk. One bourbon tour is enough for most kids, but Adult travelers should take a drive out of Louisville to work their way along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail!
  • Cave Hill Cemetery -Visit the final resting place of Muhammad Ali and Colonel Harlan Sanders (of KFC fame) and enjoy a peaceful a nice walk. Off the beaten path but interesting to explore.

inside scoop

  • It is tempting to think the best time to visit is during the Kentucky Derby, but Louisville has so much else to offer it is worth visiting at a less crowded time to take advantage of all the city has to offer. Plus, once you've been, watching the Derby on TV is so much more fun!

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