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40 Fun Things To Do In Louisville, Kentucky & Best Places To Visit

Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, it sits along the Ohio River, which separates it from the state of Indiana.

Louisville is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, receiving an estimated 16.4 million visitors annually.

One of its most popular attractions that draws a high number of visitors is the Kentucky Derby, a horse race in May of every year.

In addition, Louisville is also the home of boxing champion Muhammad Ali, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

If you are planning to visit the city on the Ohio River, we have compiled 40 things to do in Louisville to make your vacation memorable.

The beautiful city has many attractions suitable for visitors of all ages.

As you will see, it has something for everyone.

Things To Do In Louisville:

1. Louisville Zoo

Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $18.25, Children: $13.25 

Note that prices vary on weekends, special holidays, and different seasons

Address: 1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville, KY 40213

  • It is 134 acres big
  • It was opened in 1969

Why you should go: If you are looking for fun things to do in Louisville for families with kids then you should check out Louisville Zoo.

Located in the Poplar Level neighborhood, the zoo boasts 134 acres hosting over 1,700 animals in different exhibits.

You will require to set aside about 3 to 4 hours to see everything.

Things to do: This is the ideal attraction site for the whole family.

Explore the zoo’s eight exhibits namely Africa, Australia, Cats of the Americas, Gorilla World, South America, Glacier Run, The Islands, and HerpAquarium.

Some of the animals found here are gorillas, vampire bats, an albino American alligator, Sumatran tigers, pygmy hippopotamuses, and Masai giraffes, among others.

  • It is 7 minutes from Louisville International Airport

2. Belle of Louisville Riverboats

The Belle of Louisville is the oldest operating Mississippi River-style steamboat in the world. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Adults (15-64): $18.50

Address: 401 W River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 1914
  • It is a National Historic Place

Why you should go: The Ohio River is quite a sight to behold as it is surrounded by beautiful views of river vegetation and the cities of Louisville and Jeffersonville.

Exploring the river and soaking up its beauty is made possible by the Belle of Louisville Riverboats, a tour company that offers cruises on the Ohio River aboard the famous Belle of Louisville steamboat.

Things to do: Enjoy a cruise on the Ohio River alongside other visitors and enjoy the beauty of this spectacular river.

The cruises are not only entertaining but also educative as you will have a guide on board who will tell you stories of the city and all its attractions.

Parents with children are allowed to tag them along the cruise.

  • It is 9 minutes from Louisville International Airport

3. Cherokee Park

Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 745 Cochran Hill Rd, Louisville, KY 40206

  • It was opened in 1891
  • It is 409 acres big

Why you should go: With its wide range of outdoor activities, Cherokee Park is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy the natural beauty of Louisville.

Of note, the park is famous for its 2.4-mile scenic loop characteristic of rolling hills, woodlands, and open meadows.

Things to do: Visited by over 500,000 people every year, Cherokee Park is one of the top things to do in Louisville.

It has separate lanes for cars and pedestrians.

Come ready to enjoy fun activities such as scenic drives, hiking, horseback riding, tennis, golfing, fishing, biking, archery, and basketball.

Furthermore, it has attractions like Nettleroth Bird Sanctuary, Frisbee Hill, and the Big Rock picnic area.

  • It is 12 minutes from Louisville International Airport

4. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $16, Seniors (60+): $15, Children (6-12): $9

Address: 800 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 1996
  • It takes at least 30 minutes to explore

Why you should go: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is dedicated to telling the story of Louisville Slugger baseball bats and the manufacturing of slugger bats.

Furthermore, the museum is famous for being home to the largest baseball bat in the world, which stands right outside the entrance to the museum.

Things to do: Visitors come from far and wide to see and pose with the famous baseball bat which stands at 120 ft.

You can also take a tour of the factory to see how Louisville Slugger baseball bats are manufactured.

If you are looking for attractions to visit as a family, this would be a great addition to your list.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

5. Churchill Downs

Entrance to Churchill Downs featuring a statue of 2006 Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $5, Seniors (60+): $3, Children (12 and below): Free

Address: 700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 40208

  • It was opened in 1875
  • It is located in South Louisville on Central Avenue

Why you should go: Louisville hosts two of the longest-running sports events in the United States; the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

Churchill Downs is where these two famous sports take place every year.

The thoroughbred race tracks cover 147 acres of land.

Named after Kentucky native, Samuel Churchill, the racing complex has a capacity of 170,000 seats.

Things to do: Come and experience one of the most thrilling and memorable racing moments at the Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Derby, known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, takes place every first Saturday of May.

Notably, the Kentucky Oaks, which is a race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies, takes place on the same day.

  • It is 8 minutes from Louisville International Airport

6. Full Throttle Adrenaline Park

@Full Throttle Adrenaline Park

Rating: 4.8★ 

Address: 2520 Ampere Dr, Louisville, KY 40299

  • It is located in Jeffersontown
  • It is a Go-kart track

Why you should go: Full Throttle Adrenaline Park is one of the most thrilling things to do near Louisville.

It features an indoor go-kart track that is designed to be enjoyed by both children and adults.

If you are looking for thrilling activities that you can indulge in as a family, this is an attraction worth checking out.

Things to do:  Full Throttle Adrenaline Park offers more than just go-karting.

If you are feeling some rage inside you or are just tired and want to do something to lift your spirits, the facility’s Rage Room welcomes you to smash things until your heart dances with joy.

Other activities offered are ax throwing, league racing, adrenaline pass, and mini bikes.

  • It is 16 minutes from Louisville International Airport

7. Charlie Vettiner Park

@Source | Jay May

Rating: 4.4★ 

Address: 5550 Charlie Vettiner Park Rd, Louisville, KY 40299

  • It is 238 acres big
  • It is a family-friendly attraction

Why you should go: For those who enjoy golfing, make sure you include Charlie Vettiner Park on your list of things to do in Louisville.

The lovely park boasts an 18-hole golf course surrounded by a forest, which serves both adults and children.

Furthermore, the park is also a popular site for people who just want to be in nature and enjoy a scenic picnic.

Things to do: Charlie Vettiner Park offers a wide range of activities that lean towards sports.

Apart from golfing, visitors can enjoy other sports like sledding, basketball, tennis, and volleyball.

There is a playground where little ones can play with other children or with their parents.

Additionally, visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and picnicking.

The park is indeed one of the best places to spend a day with your children.

  • It is 20 minutes from Louisville International Airport

8. The Big Four Bridge

Bridget Calip | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 1101 River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 1895
  • It is 16 m above the water

Why you should go: The Big Four Bridge is a former railroad truss that was redesigned in 2014 for pedestrian and bicycle use.

Spanning a distance of 770 m long, the bridge connects Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana, across the Ohio River.

Walking on the bridge, visitors are treated to magnificent views of the Ohio River and the surroundings.

Things to do: Take a refreshing walk along the Big Four Bridge to unwind and marvel at the river’s beauty.

You can also use the bridge to tour the neighboring town of Jeffersonville to see what it has to offer.

If you enjoy cycling, this is a perfect way to enjoy a tour across the bridge.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

9. Kentucky Derby Museum

4kclips | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Adults (13-64): $17, Seniors (65+): $15, Children (5-12): $11, Children (5 and below): Free

Address: 704 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 40208

  • It was opened in 1984
  • It is located in Churchill Downs

Why you should go: Kentucky is the home of thoroughbred racing and the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville was established to preserve the history of this thrilling sport.

Located in Churchill Downs, the museum features outstanding exhibits that celebrate and educate visitors about the Kentucky Derby.

You will learn everything about the famous yearly event, including its tradition.

Things to do: Explore the Kentucky Derby Museum to see why the Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous events in the world.

In the exhibits, you will find the Largest Horseshoe in the world, as recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, The World’s Greatest Race, and the Resident Thoroughbred and Miniature Horse.

Additionally, you will get the opportunity to explore the Churchill Downs race track to experience where the magic happens.

  • It is 8 minutes from Louisville International Airport

10. Muhammad Ali Center

Muhammad Ali Center is a museum and multicultural center dedicated to Muhammad Ali. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Adult (13-64): $12, Child (6-12): $7, Seniors (65+): $11, Student/Military: $8

Address: 144 N 6th St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 2005
  • It is located in West Main District

Why you should go: Muhammad Ali is one of the most celebrated sports personalities of the 20th century.

He was a native of Louisville.

The Muhammad Ali Center is a museum and cultural center that celebrates and preserves his legacy and achievements.

Ali and his wife established the facility with the aim of inspiring and educating young people as well as other visitors to pursue greatness in their own fields. 

Things to do: Visit the Muhammad Ali Center to learn more about Ali’s work and achievements including what he stood for.

It is an honorable way of paying your tribute to one of the greatest figures in the history of sports.

Bring your children along for the tour.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

11. Kentucky Science Center

4kclips | shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Adult (13+): $22, Children (2-12): $18

Address: 727 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was founded in 1871
  • It was previously called the Louisville Museum of Natural History & Science

Why you should go: The Kentucky Science Center is the largest hands-on science museum, not only in Louisville but also in the entire state of Kentucky.

The science museum, designed to entertain and educate both adults and children, takes at least one hour to explore.

It sits in “Museum Row” in the West Main District of downtown Louisville.

Things to do: Kentucky Science boasts 2 buildings built adjacent to each other with exhibits spread across three floors in one building.

The other building, the Alexander building has five stories equipped with four science-workshop labs.

Furthermore, you will also find a four-story digital theater.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

12. Louisville Mega Cavern

@Louisville Mega Cavern

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Reserved Seats: $10, Normal tickets: $3

Address: 1841 Taylor Ave, Louisville, KY 40213

  • It offers an underground adventure
  • It was formed from a limestone mine founded in the 1930s

Why you should go: If the idea of underground adventure intrigues you then you should have the Louisville Mega Cavern on your list of things to do in Louisville.

The cave stretches under the Louisville Zoo and the Watterson Expressway.

It has structures resembling those of a building and is thus classified as the largest building in Kentucky.

Things to do: Visit the Louisville Mega Cavern prepared to have mega fun as you indulge in thrilling underground activities.

Notably, you will enjoy ziplining on the only underground zipline course in the world.

Other activities to enjoy are tram-guided tours, mountain biking, and a ropes course.

On the guided tour you will see and learn so much about the interesting caves as you wind your way through the dark caves.

  • It is 6 minutes from Louisville International Airport

13. Cave Hill Cemetery

Cave Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of Muhammad Ali, Colonel Harlan Sanders, George Rogers Clark and many other notable people. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 701 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204

  • It is 296 acres
  • It is a National Historic Place

Why you should go: The Cave Hill Cemetery stands as one of the most important historical attractions in Louisville since it is home to gravesites of some important historic figures including soldiers who fought during the American Civil War.

Some of the notable figures whose gravesites are found here are Alpheus Baker who was a Brigadier General, military soldier George Rogers Clark, and boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

Things to do: This might not be one of the exciting things to do in Louisville, but it stands out as one of the most honorable things to do.

You can visit to pay your respect to slain soldiers who fought for our country and also use this moment to reflect and contemplate.

  • It is 14 minutes from Louisville International Airport

14. Historic Frankfort Avenue

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 1340 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40208

  • It is a historic neighborhood
  • Locals call it The Avenue

Why you should go: If you want to experience life in the neighborhoods of Louisville you should check out Historic Frankfurt Avenue.

Frankfurt Avenue is a road section that connects various historic neighborhoods in the city.

The neighborhoods bustle with life and are dotted with restaurants, shops, stores, boutiques, cafes, galleries, and art studios, among other interesting businesses.

Things to do: This is the perfect attraction to explore if you only have a few days in Louisville.

You will see so much diversity in one part of the city since the area is a representation of what the city is about.

Among the interesting things to see are the American Printing House for the Blind and the Peterson-Dumesnil House.

  • It is 9 minutes from Louisville International Airport

15. Conrad-Caldwell House Museum

4kclips | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $10, Seniors: $7, Students: $5

Address: 1402 St James Ct, Louisville, KY 40208

  • It boasts Richardsonian Romanesque architecture
  • It was designed by architect Arthur Loomis

Why you should go: The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum is an 1893 house that was built for Theophile and Mary Conrad.

It was the residence of several generations of two families; the Conrads and the Caldwells, who lived here in different years, hence the name Conrad-Caldwell.

The museum features artifacts, decor, and furniture that were originally used by the two families from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Things to do: Visit the mansion to have a glimpse of life in the 1800s and early 1900s as you explore the various rooms in the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum.

Its architectural design is also something to marvel about.

Who knows, it might inspire you to build such a house for yourself or your family!

  • It is 9 minutes from Louisville International Airport

16. Louisville Waterfront Park

Waterfront Wednesday Concert Series is a monthly free concert on the Big Four Lawn in Louisville Waterfront Park. Juli Scalzi | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Parking: $5 per day, Monthly (reserved): $60

Address: 129 River Rd, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It is 85 acres big
  • It is adjacent to the Ohio River

Why you should go: When you want to take a break from exploring the city, visit the Louisville Waterfront Park overlooking the Ohio River.

Here you can sit down and unwind as you plan the rest of your day.

You can also enjoy a picnic in the park alone or with family and friends.

Things to do: Catch a concert or festival at the Louisville Waterfront Park.

One of the most notable festivals that take place here is the Kentucky Derby Festival which takes place every year during the famous Kentucky Derby.

Moreover, this is a perfect place to bring your children as there is a children’s playground where kids can play and interact with other kids.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

17. Beckley Creek Park

@Only In Kentucky

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 1411 Beckley Creek Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40245

  • It is a recreational park
  • It is a free-to-visit attraction site

Why you should go: Most beautiful attractions cost a few dollars to enter, and so when you find one that is free, you better take advantage of it and visit.

Beckeley Creek Park is one such place and of the best free things to do in Louisville.

It is an urban park that is part of the Parklands of Floyds Fork system and sits in downtown Louisville. 

Things to do: Visit Beckley Creek Park to enjoy all the activities it has to offer like hiking, fishing, picnicking, and playgrounds.

Moreover, the park boasts fishing lakes, nature trails, and community gardens, and is a venue for farmers’ markets.

It is also a common wedding ground owing to its serenity and scenic landscape. 

  • It is 23 minutes from Louisville International Airport

18. Whitehall House & Gardens

Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 3110 Lexington Rd, Louisville, KY 40206

  • It was built in 1855
  • It was built by John Marshall

Why you should go: Set on 20 acres of land, the Whitehall House & Gardens is a white historic mansion surrounded by a spectacular garden that makes one of the most beautiful grounds for weddings.

Its Southern-style Greek Revival architectural design is also an attraction in its own right.

Things to do: Although known as a popular wedding venue, the garden is also open for the public to explore and soak up the beauty at no cost.

It boasts various themed gardens like the Woodland Fern Garden, the Arboretum, the Specimen Garden, and the Formal Florentine Garden.

You can enjoy a romantic picnic here or use it as a location for your big day!

  • It is 14 minutes from Louisville International Airport

19. Frazier History Museum

The Frazier History Museum will be the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail upon completion of a bourbon experience exhibit. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $14, Seniors: $10, Military: $12, Children (5-17): $10, Students: $10, Children (4 and below): Free

Address: 829 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was founded by Owsley Brown Frazier
  • It was established in 2004

Why you should go: Located in the West Main District on Museum Row, the Frazier History Museum was established to educate visitors about history so that they can be able to create a better future.

The argument is that once you understand your past, you can be able to make better decisions to guide your future.

Things to do: The museum has exhibitions spread across three floors and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 120 people.

The exhibits host a wide array of artifacts like Daniel Boone’s Bible and President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Stick”.

Furthermore, various educational programs take place throughout the year.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

20. Louisville Palace Theatre

Nagel Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Address: 625 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 1928
  • It has a seating capacity of 2,800

Why you should go: Located in the city’s theater district, Louisville Palace Theatre is a music and live performances venues that hosts concerts and features a wide collection of famous movies.

It features events throughout the year, suitable for both adults and children.

If you are looking for interesting things to do for families with kids, this theater is worth checking out.

Things to do: You can visit Louisville Palace Theatre for a tour to marvel at its Spanish Baroque architectural style and its soothing interior ambiance.

Furthermore, you can book a ticket to watch a music concert or any live performance if this is something that interests you.

Some famous people who have performed here include Billy Ray Cyrus, Backstreet Boys, Dave Matthews, and King of Leons.

  • It is 9 minutes from Louisville International Airport

21. Speed Art Museum

Ken Wolter | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $20, Children (4-17): $14, Seniors (60+): $14

Address: 2035 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40208

  • It was formerly known as J.B. Speed Memorial Museum
  • It was built in 1927

Why you should go: The Speed Art Museum was established by Hattie Bishop Speed in honor and remembrance of her husband James Breckenridge Speed who was a famous art collector.

Today, the museum, which is the largest and oldest art museum in Kentucky features Mr. Speed’s art collection as well as collections from other parts of the world including ancient, modern, and classical art.

Things to do: If you are an art lover or an artist, you will have the time of your life exploring the museum’s art collection which includes Native American art, ancient art, African art, contemporary art, American art, and European art.

Some famous artists featured include Pablo Picasso, Giambattista Pittoni, Nicole Chesney, and Mary Cassatt.

  • It is 7 minutes from Louisville International Airport

22. Historic Locust Grove

Georgian mansion owned by the Croghan Family. Locust Grove hosted James Monroe, Andrew Jackson and Lewis and Clark. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $8, Children (6-12): $4, Children (6 and below): Free

Address: 561 Blankenbaker Ln, Louisville, KY 40207

  • It is 55 acres big
  • It was founded in 1790

Why you should go: The Historic Locust Grove is an 18th-century estate that tells and preserves the history of its founders William and Lucy Clark Croghan, and other notable people who passed through the mansion.

Among the notable people are presidents James Monroe and Andrew Jackson, Lewis and Clark, among others.

Today, the estate features well-manicured gardens, woodlands, a museum, a visitor’s center, and a gift shop.

Things to do: The Historic Locust grove is one of the oldest mansions in Louisville and is a popular spot for people who are interested in historical facts.

You will learn the history of the Croghan family as well as the famous people his family hosted here back in the day.

Explore the little museum and the visitor’s center to see some artifacts and memorabilia and have any questions you might have answered.

  • It is 15 minutes from Louisville International Airport

23. KMAC Museum

@KMAC Museum

Rating: 4.6★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $9, Military/Seniors: $6, Children (6-17): Free

Address: 715 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was founded in 1981
  • It is located in West Main District

Why you should go: If you are looking for exciting things to do near Louisville as a family you should visit the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft simply known as the KMAC Museum.

It is a family-friendly museum where visitors of all ages can have a creating and learning experience intended to connect them to art and creative practice.

Things to do: Apart from seeing displays of creative pieces by talented artists, you will also explore interactive and hands-on exhibits where you can create your own pieces.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an artist or not.

This is the best place to bring your children who are interested in art and craft so that they can be encouraged to create more.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

24. Angel’s Envy Distillery

@Commonwealth Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Rating: 4.5★ 

Entry tickets: Between $20 to $25

Address: 500 E Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 2013
  • It is owned by the Henderson family

Why you should go: A father and son came together with an idea of a distillery in 2006, and in 2013, the idea gave birth to what is today the Angel’s Envy Distillery in Louisville.

The distillery welcomes visitors for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility to see how they make their handcrafted whiskey and for a tasting session after the tour.

It’s born from a story of love and family, so you should expect to be treated like family during your visit.

Things to do: For your evening plan in Louisville, visit Angel’s Envy Distillery for a tour and sit down to enjoy one of the best-handcrafted whiskeys in the city.

You will witness the distillation process from start to finish until the whiskey is safely inside the bottle from which you will be served.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

25. The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

4kclips | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Address: 501 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was opened in 1983
  • It is currently known as the Kentucky Center

Why you should go: Louisville is not short of live entertainment venues and the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts is one of these venues.

It boasts three performance spaces namely Moritz von Bomhard Theatre, Boyd Martin Theatre, and the Robert S. Whitney Hall.

They all host great live acts like Broadway Across America, Louisville Orchestra, and the Kentucky Opera.

Things to do: Book a ticket to watch an entertaining live performance that will make one of your most memorable moments in Louisville.

Performances range from musicals and theater plays to comedies and operas.

Furthermore, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts was once the stage for a presidential debate between Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

26. Mayan Cafe

@Source | Mark Weber

Rating: 4.7★ 

Address: 813 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206

  • It is a Latin American restaurant
  • It is a farm-to-table restaurant

Why you should go: When it comes to food, you want a place that will serve you fresh food prepared with love, respect, and with you in mind.

That place in Louisville is Mayan Cafe, a Latin American restaurant that serves delicious Mayan cuisine from Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

It is owned and run by Chef Bruce Ucán and his wife Anne who run it under the values of support, respect, and learning.

Things to do: Mayan Cafe opens from Monday to Saturday and welcomes visitors to dine in or carry away packed food to eat at a place of their comfort.

The cafe serves dinner, dessert, and beverages from 5 pm to 9.30 pm.

It is a great place with a beautiful ambiance to spend your evening after a long day exploring Louisville.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

27. Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay

@Kentucky Kingdom

Rating: 4.4★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: (10-61): $49.99 (single-day admission), Military: $42.99 (single-day admission)

Address: 937 Phillips Ln, Louisville, KY 40209

  • It is an amusement park
  • It is a family-friendly attraction

Why you should go: Just from the name, you can tell that the Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay is one of the best things to do in Louisville.

It offers entertainment and a thrilling experience for the entire family with its wide array of attractions from slides to coasters.

Things to do: The Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay has over 20 coasters and rides while the waterpark, dubbed the Hurricane Bay has over 10 attractions like Buccaneer Beach, Adventure River, and Big Surf.

Moreover, the amusement park hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year.

Visitors will also enjoy a dining and shopping experience so that they only leave the park once they are done with all the fun.

  • It is 6 minutes from Louisville International Airport

28. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

@Source | Daniel Brandner

Rating: 4.6★ 

Entry tickets: $25 per person (guided tours)

Address: 4400 Paralee Dr, Louisville, KY 40272

  • It was opened in 1910
  • It is a former sanatorium

Why you should go: Louisville does not have many haunted places, however, if you are into such types of attractions, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium will give you exactly the experience you are seeking.

When Jefferson County was hit with a tuberculosis outbreak back in the 1900s, the sanatorium was opened to accommodate affected patients.

It however closed down in 1960 when new drugs were developed and they eliminated the need for the facility.

Things to do: Today, the abandoned building is a hub for paranormal activities.

You will have the scariest and spookiest experience here when you take a tour.

There are three types of tours offered; guided tours which last for a maximum of two hours, public investigations which last for about eight hours, and private investigations which last for eight hours too.

However, whichever tour you choose you can rest assured that this is one of the most exciting things to do in Louisville.

  • It is 13 minutes from Louisville International Airport

29. The Bard’s Town

@Brooke Hall Music

Rating: 4.5★ 

Address: 1801 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

  • It is a restaurant and live entertainment venue
  • It was opened in 2010

Why you should go: This is not your usual restaurant.

The Bard’s Town is more than a restaurant; it is a venue that serves great food and theater entertainment like you’ve never experienced before.

Its chef and owner, Doug Schutte, was a theater play director who decided to put two of his favorite passions under one roof.

Things to do: After a long day exploring the city, visit The Bard’s Town to enjoy a Shakespearean-themed dinner and later watch an entertaining play or other live performance.

The venue stages theater plays, comedies, and improve shows.

Note that food is not served inside the theater during theatrical performances.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

30. The Brown Hotel

@The Brown Hotel

Rating: 4.6★ 

Address: 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It is located in downtown Louisville
  • It was opened in 1923

Why you should go: If you are looking for a unique place with a meaningful history for your accommodation in Louisville, then this is the ideal hotel for you.

Built by J. Graham Brown, after whom it’s named, the Brown Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the city.

Its history dates back to the time of The Great Depression and World War II.

Things to do: The Georgian Revival-style hotel will impress you with its rich history, beautiful decor, and furniture which reflects the early 20th century.

From its lovely chandeliers to its grand decor, you will be transported back to a life of the wealthy in the past.

Among the hotel’s most notable historic guests is David Lloyd George, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain.

  • It is 8 minutes from Louisville International Airport

31. Flame Run

“Bubble Wall” by Owensboro native Brook White. @Lure Seafood and Grille

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: $5.75

Address: 815 W Market St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It is an art gallery
  • It is located close to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Why you should go: Flame Run is an art gallery and glass studio that was established to show the public the art of glassblowing and glass art by welcoming visitors into the studio for tours.

Visitors are treated to live hot glass demonstrations and glass art exhibitions to experience the beautiful items that can be created from glassblowing.

Things to do: This is one of the most beautiful experiences in Louisville and you don’t want to miss out on it.

Apart from offering hot glass demonstration tours, Flame Run also offers glassblowing classes and workshops to interested visitors and artists who would love to learn the art.

This is indeed one of the best free things to do in Louisville.

  • It is 11 minutes from Louisville International Airport

32. E.P “Tom” Sawyer State Park

@NCAA Track & Field

Rating: 4.6★ 

Entry tickets: $3 per player (cash only accepted)

Address: 3000 Freys Hill Rd, Louisville, KY 40241

  • It was opened in 1974
  • It is 550 acres big

Why you should go: Located on the grounds of what once was the Central State Hospital, the E.P “Tom” Sawyer State Park is a beautiful park in Louisville’s Frey Hill area.

If you are looking for a place to spend a day with your family including children, the park offers fun activities for visitors of all ages.

Furthermore, you can spend a day here enjoying a picnic and taking a break from the chaos of the city.

Things to do: Bring your children to the park and indulge in the exciting activities awaiting you like swimming in the largest outdoor swimming pool in the city, archery at the city’s only outdoor public archery range, and hiking.

Additionally, there is a playground and splash park where children can have fun with other kids.

You will also ride on one of the country’s 6 Supercross BMX tracks.

  • It is 16 minutes from Louisville International Airport

33. The Café

@The Cafe

Rating: 4.5★ 

Address: 711 Brent St, Louisville, KY 40204

  • It is located in the district of Paristown
  • It is a breakfast and brunch restaurant

Why you should go: Opened in 1992, The Café is rated one of the “Must Try Breakfast and Brunch Spots Around Louisville” and we couldn’t agree more.

Located in a former warehouse, the lovely restaurant has been renovated to create a beautiful ambiance characteristic of a colorful interior and a spectacular outdoor patio dotted with a waterfall, fishpond, and plants.

Things to do: Before beginning your day, stop by The Café for a delicious and healthy breakfast to keep you energized as you explore the city.

And if you are having a lazy day, don’t worry; you will be right in time for brunch.

You can also carry boxed lunch from their menu selection.

The Café opens from Monday to Sunday and only includes dinner on its menu from Thursday to Sunday.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

34. Actors Theatre of Louisville

Actors Theater of Louisville presents almost 400 performances a year including hosting the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Thomas Kelley | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: $5 per ticket

Address: 316 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It was founded in 1964
  • It is located in downtown Louisville

Why you should go: Located on West Main Street, the Actors Theatre of Louisville is a performing arts theater that stages entertaining live performances for the public to watch.

The theatre operates in two connected adjacent buildings; the old Bank of Louisville building and the Myers-Thompson Display Building.

Things to do: Catch a live performance in any of the theatre’s two auditoriums; the Pamela Brown Auditorium and the Victor Jory Theatre, with seating capacities of 637 and 159 respectively.

Also known as the State Theater of Kentucky, you can have the Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of your evening plan in the city.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

35. Falls of the Ohio State Park

Falls of the Ohio State Park. Kenneth Keifer | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★ 

Entry tickets: Adults (12+): $9, Children (5-11): $7, Children (4 and below): Free, Parking: $2

Address: 201 W Riverside Dr, Clarksville, IN 47129

  • It is 165 acres big
  • It was established in 1990

Why you should go: Although located in Ohio, the Falls of the Ohio State Park is one of the most beautiful things to do near Louisville.

It sits along the banks of the Ohio River and boasts 390-million-year-old fossil beds which are said to be the world’s largest exposed Devonian fossil beds.

Apart from the fossils, the park also has immersive exhibits and an interpretive center.

Things to do: Visit the Falls of the Ohio State Park to explore and discover the various fossils found on the sea bottom.

Note that collecting fossils along the banks of the river is not allowed, however, you can collect rocks and fossils from the quarries found behind the interpretive center.

The best time to visit if you want to find many fossils is between August and October.

  • It is 12 minutes from Louisville International Airport

36. The Parklands of Floyds Fork

@The Parklands Of Floyds Fork

Rating: 4.8★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: Beckley Creek Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40245

  • It is home to four parks
  • It covers 4,000 acres

Why you should go: If you enjoy being in nature and love the smell of fresh uncontaminated air, then the Parklands of Floyds Fork is your type of attraction.

Established to preserve the green spaces in Louisville, the park is home to four parks namely, Beckley Creek Park, Pope Lick Park, Turkey Run Park, and Broad Run Park.

There is a middle green space area that connects all the packs called The Strand.

Things to do: The parks, though characteristic of beautiful lush greenery of trees and other forest vegetation have something different to offer.

For example, Beckley Park is known for its picnic sites and fishing lakes, Pope Lick Park is known for its grasslands and beautiful river offering grounds for fishing and paddling, while Turkey Run Park is known for its meadows and forests where wild turkeys roam about.

  • It is 21 minutes from Louisville International Airport

37. Fourth Street Live!

Fourth Street Live is a part of downtown Louisville that features bars, stores, and restaurants, as well as having concerts and events open to the public. Hendrickson Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.3★ 

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 411 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202

  • It is an entertainment and retail complex
  • It is located on 4th street

Why you should go: Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, Fourth Street Live! is a retail, dining, and entertainment attraction.

You can visit the attraction on 4th street at any time of day and are guaranteed to find entertainment.

Moreover, there is nightly entertainment as well as a line-up of live events and concerts that take place throughout the year.

Things to do: Visit 4th street and pop into any of these restaurants and entertainment venues; Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, PBR Louisville, Brazeiros Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse, and Tavern on Fourth, among others.

Fouth Street Live! is family-friendly and one of the most exciting things to do near Louisville.

  • It is 10 minutes from Louisville International Airport

38. Jefferson Memorial Forest

Jefferson memorial right before the cherry blossom season. Myrto Kampouris | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: $15 per person

Address: 11311 Mitchell Hill Rd, Fairdale, KY 40118

  • It is located in southwest Louisville
  • It is 6,500 acres big

Why you should go: Designated as a National Audubon Society wildlife refuge, Jefferson Memorial Forest is a famous destination for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking and camping.

It was founded as a tribute to Kentucky’s veterans and today offers grounds for various exciting outdoor adventures.

Additionally, the forest has many attractions such as the Tom Wallace Recreation Area, Horine Reservation, and Paul Yost Recreation Area.

Things to do: The Jefferson Memorial Forest is a family-friendly attraction with a wide array of activities like hiking, camping, fishing, picnicking, and cycling.

Sightseers will be treated to beautiful views of the lush green forest, spectacular trails, and the Tom Wallace Lake.

Leave the city and enjoy a relaxed picnic in the woods.

  • It is 15 minutes from Louisville International Airport

39. Carnegie Center for Art & History

@Carnegie Center for Art & History

Rating: 4.7★ 

Entry tickets: Adults: $19.95, Seniors: $14.95, Students: $11.95, Children (3-18): $11.95, Children (2 and below): Free

Address: 201 E Spring St, New Albany, IN 47150

  • It is located in Albany, Indiana
  • It is a National Historic Place

Why you should go: One of the interesting things to do near Louisville is the Carnegie Center for Art & History.

It is a contemporary art gallery and history museum that was first opened in 1904 as a library until 1969.

The art gallery and history museum hosts seven exhibits every year showcasing different artworks from various media.

Things to do: Visit the Carnegie Center for Art & History to explore the various exhibits and learn more about creative expression.

Here you will learn the history of Indiana and Louisville including the history of the Underground Railroad.

There is a special exhibit dedicated to telling the stories of people who used the Underground Railroad.

  • It is 16 minutes from Louisville International Airport

40. McNeely Lake Park

@J.G. Photography

Rating: 4.3★ 

Address: 10500 Cedar Creek Rd, Louisville, KY 40229

  • It was built in the mid-1950s
  • It is 746 acres big

Why you should go: McNeely Lake Park is one of the most beautiful attractions in Louisville.

It is dotted with green open fields, trees, trails, a lake, designated picnic areas, and a fishing dock.

McNeely Lake is 46 acres big and is a common fishing location with a boat ramp and an accessible pier.

Additionally, the park is also the location for the Korean War Memorial.

Things to do: Visit this park to enjoy its beautiful ambiance and to indulge in fishing activities.

It is a perfect spot to bring your children especially if they are interested in fishing.

You can also bring some snacks with you for a day’s picnic.

Check out the Korean War Memorial to pay your tribute to fallen soldiers.

  • It is 12 minutes from Louisville International Airport