Happy Wednesday, friends! Today, I’m excited to share a travel guide for a day in Louisville, Kentucky with lots of tasty eats and local spots!
Now, a trip in Louisville might seem a little random, or it would’ve to me when I didn’t live close, but Eric and I heard great things. Finally, our Nashville road trip presented the perfect opportunity for a Louisville pit stop! We even got to check out some of the Kentucky Bourbon trail along the way.
Our time in town was short and sweet, but so fun. We had a little over a day, so we did our research to make the most of the visit.
If you find yourself with the chance to visit Louisville, I hope this helps you map out your time. Check out our travel guide, organized by neighborhood below, and let me know what you think!
Where to Stay
We found Airbnb was the way to go for accommodations, as there were plenty of great priced options. I’d recommend the following neighborhoods: Crescent Hill, Nulu, or Clifton – where we found our spot.
We stayed in this unique, private sunny Clifton Loft. It’s owners, who were wonderful and responsive hosts, also run the independent record store below it.
Want to snag this loft or another spot? Sign up with my Airbnb link here and get $40 travel credit!
Clifton Neighborhood & Frankfurt Avenue
The Comfy Cow // Rated a top dessert stop in Louisville, The Comfy Cow in Clifton is nestled between various shops and cafes, making it the perfect sweet treat stop. The options are endless and the signature flavors are bomb.
The Silver Dollar // The Thrillist raves about The Silver Dollar as Louisville’s most genuine honky tonk. This famous bourbon bar in a renovated firehouse was located right across our Airbnb loft. By the time we ate dinner here, we weren’t too hungry, so we opted for cocktails and fried pickles – all so tasty!
Shops // We love to shop local when we travel so we popped into a couple shops on Frankfurt Avenue, our favorite being 5-0-Lou where we grabbed a few postcards!
Crescent Hill Neighborhood
Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe // When we were ready for a coffee pick-me-up, we opted for Blue Dog since E had read good things about this cafe. While we didn’t grab food, everything people had on their tables (mostly brunch or sandwiches) looked delicious! The coffees were great, so I’d love to eat here next time.
Royals Hot Chicken // If someone says fried chicken, I’m there (ex: Budlong). We were excited to try the classic Nashville hot chicken, but figured we had to sample the Louisville spin too. Royals’ mac n’ cheese wasn’t anything out of this world, but man, those chicken tenders were delicious!
Feast BBQ // Now as I said, we had limited time but we wanted to try a little of everything! After sharing a dish at Royals, we literally walked down the street to try Kentucky BBQ at Feast. SO GOOD. They’re homemade sauces and tots were incredibly yummy. The line moved quick, but was out the door the whole time, so you could tell it was a popular place.
Please & Thank You // The sign said Louisville’s best chocolate chip cookie and boy, do I believe them. They were warm and perfect and gooey. Need I say more? Highly recommend for all of those with a sweet tooth like me.
Gralehaus // This old Victorian home has been turned into a downstairs café and houses three guest rooms upstairs for rent. They’ve got a beautiful biergarten out back, where E and I enjoyed a fresh meal before hitting the road for Nashville. With breakfast to lunch, coffee to beer, this spot had a local, unique vibe.
Other Touist Spots
Churchill Downs // Famous for the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs would be a must-see for any fans of the event. While I’m not a huge derby fan myself, I’m always one for diving into the local culture and checking out big spots in town. It really was a beautiful venue and I was down for any excuse to try on more derby hats and fascinators.
Big Four Pedestrian Bridge // We strolled this famous bridge, connecting Kentucky and Indiana, after dinner since it was a beautiful night. You’ll get great views of downtown and can check out all the rainbow lights highlighting the bridge’s structure.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Checking out some of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail has 100% been on our bucket list while we’ve lived so close in the Midwest. Did you know there are technically 27 distilleries a part of the trail? We couldn’t check them all out, so we picked one in Louisville and one on the way to Nashville – see below!
Bulleit Bourbon // Bulleit is technically just outside downtown Louisville, but such an easy drive to make, and not far from Churchill Downs. This is actually a smaller stop on the Bourbon Trail since a majority of Bulleit’s distilling happens at their sister location, but we loved hearing the history, touring the owner’s office, and the homey tasting experience.
Maker’s Mark // B-E-A-UTIFUL is all I can say. If you’re up for a road trip adventure and losing yourself* in the rolling hills of the middle of no where Kentucky, Maker’s Mark is a stop for you. The grounds and the building are so pretty to tour. I also loved that we got a little more insight on this stop. We were able to check out Maker’s label factory, learn about their marketing, and get a behind-the-scenes scoop on what it takes to customize your own Maker’s blend.
*Note: Ok, we didn’t actually get lost, but it kind of felt that way with the limited cell service and farm land surroundings. I am not a good driver…and a questionable navigator…so you can just really imagine how much fun Eric had with me as his co-pilot. 🙂
Have you ever been to Louisville, or elsewhere in KY?? If so, I want to hear your recos! And stay tuned, part II of our trip – a guide to Nashville – is coming soon!
P.S. All the beautiful, high-quality, not iPhone selfies were taken by E! Did you know he’s got a photography biz going? Check out Benavides Photography here and reach out if you’re in need of some beautiful stuff!