This recently remodelled museum has become Louisville's premier attraction. It displays the history of arms and warfare in the US and UK. Especially good is the display of UK arms. The museum also has many live period demonstrations.
One of my favorite places in Louisville is Bardstown Road. Up and down about a 3 mile stretch you will find a variety of restaurants, music stores, book stores, used clothing stores and just about anything else you can think of. Towards the southern end of the shopping area close to the interstate highway is another gem. And even though this location is not unique (they have 9 other locations in and around Louisville) this is the original.
The name of this establishment is called the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen. It appears that most of the establishments also have a deli where you can get a sandwich. Since it has been over 2 years since I went here and am only writing this tip in December, 2012 I can't specifically remember if I went in to order a sandwich or some type of dessert, but I took pictures and figured if you were in the Louisville area and looking for any of the above to give this place a try.
The Galt House was, in the early 19th century, the residence of Dr. W.C. Galt. His house was located at the corner of Second and Main Streets.
In 1834, the first iteration of the Galt House as a hotel was envisioned and in 1835 was opened as a 60-room hotel on the northeast corner of Second and Main streets in Louisville. During the nineteenth century, The Galt House was acclaimed as Louisville's best hotel.
During the Civil War, the Galt House was utilized for meetings of Union generals and other dignitaries. In September of 1862, it was the scene of an unusual murder, when General Jefferson C. Davis (not to be confused with Confederate President Jefferson Davis) shot Union General William "Bull" Nelson after a dispute. In March of 1864, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman met at the Galt House to plan the invasion that led to the successful capture of Atlanta, Georgia, and Sherman's March to the Sea. The first Galt House hotel burned in 1865.
Four years later, in 1869, a larger Galt House was opened on the corner of First and Main streets. Known as being the center of Louisville's social community during this time, the hotel subsequently fell on hard times in the next 50 years and was closed in 1919 due to financial difficulties. Soon after, in 1921, the building was demolished.
Almost half a century later, in 1973, the Galt House was reestablished by developer Al Schneider as part of Louisville's Riverfront Urban Renewal Project. An east tower was added in 1984, and the hotel is now the largest hotel in Kentucky. Every year since 1986, the statewide Governor's Cup has been held at the Galt House.
I have never stayed there so I could not do a Lodging Tip but it is an impressive building.
Churchill Downs is home to the Kentucky Derby, and even if you aren't a racing fan, the huge interactive museum and tour of the grounds is something that everyone can enjoy. We got there for the museum opened to check out the exhibits before the tour actually kicked off. The tour of Churchill Downs is included in the price of the museum entry, but you can also pay for longer, more in depth tours. As for the museum, the kids had a great time riding on the video game version of the horse race, trying on jockey clothes, sitting on a pretend horse in a starting gate, and designing their own uniforms. There are many other interesting exhibits (hearing from past winners, actual trophies, displays of the mint julep glasses and derby hats and many others.)
The tour takes about half an hour. We saw the track, some betting areas, and the staging area for the races.
Prices are $13 for adults, $5 for kids. We definitely enjoyed this part of the trip!
Time to see how all the bats for MLB are made! This is a pretty neat little tour/museum. Located on the north side of the city, you start by getting your tickets and checking out a few exhibits about baseball (stand behind a catcher and see how fast you have to be to hit a major league fastball!) Tours go off regularly, and you'll see the process from wood cores to full bats, stickering, dipping, and wood burning. The tour takes about 30 minutes, and at the end of the tour, you get a little mini-bat as a souvenir. Plenty of photo ops around the museum, and a huge gift shop to boot. There's also a kids corner where kids can hit off a tee and do some coloring. For a few $ more, you can step into a batting cage as well.
Costs run $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Lots of history, and will be worth it for anyone with an interest in baseball.
We didn't stop in, as it's ads reflect many hand-ons activities for kids and the youngest in our group was 24 and well versed in science. It sounded great and like something the kids would have enjoyed when they were 5-14 years old.
Open Mon-Thu,Sun 9:30am-5pm; Fri-Sat 9:30am-9pm
Home to the Royal Armouries USA, which is a mini-tour of English History as told through the Armour and weapons used from the early Celts through the Romans, into the age of Knights, right up to the founding of North American Colonies. It is a wonderful collection of dioramas, displays and some hands-on items. Most kids will enjoy the dioramas and the age of Knight displays.
Come to the factory/museum where the Louisville Slugger baseball bats are made. There is a gift shop where you can buy so many baseball souveniers. I loved the giant bat at the front!
There is a little bot of controversy when the first bat was made and used. Factory legend has it that the first bat made for the America's Baseball competition was in 1884 for Louisville's team Eclipse. Browning of the Eclipse was the first player to use such a bat professionally.
Another story is that Latham, a third baseman for the St. Louis Browns, was the first in either 1883 or 1884 when he was in Louisville to find a new because he had broken his own.
In 1905, Honus "The Flying Dutchman" Wagner who played for the Pittsburg Pirates, signed a contract as the first ever player to endorse a bat. The popularity of the bat boomed from then on.
The tour of the track was included in the admission price to the museum and we took it because we could not go to see races as we had at Oaklawn in Hot Springs. The tour includes the actual Finish Line pole used at Churchill Down for many years. The track site says that grave sites of three famous Kentucky Derby winners, Carry Back (1961), Swaps (1955) and Brokers Tip (1933) are located outside on the museum grounds. I don't recall that we saw the graves. There is also supposed to be a TB (Thoroughbred) and a miniature horse on the grounds, but we did not see them either.
Incidentally, Thoroughbred is a breed of horse like a poodle is a breed of dog. Thoroughbreds are purebred, but not all purebreds are thoroughbreds.
We did see the Grandstand, the Finish Line and Winner's Circle. The guide told us about the saddling enclosure, and showed us (from outside) where all the owners boxes were.
First tour 9:30 am; Last tour 4:15 pm. Obviously most of the tours are not available during Derby Week (the first week in May)
There are additional tours that you can pay for, but we didn't take any of those. This includes the INSIDERS' TOUR Museum tour guides take up to 20 guests on a one-hour behind the scenes tour of the Jockeys' Quarters, Millionaires' Row, the Press Box and other areas of Churchill Downs' newly renovated clubhouse.
$10.00 for adults, children (4 and under) FREE. W/ Museum admission only.
Starts Monday - Saturday (10:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm); Sunday (1:30 pm and 3:00 pm)
Not available during the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.
and the BACKSIDE TOURS (AVAILABLE MARCH THRU NOV)
Museum tour guides take up to 12 guests on a one-hour tour of Churchill Downs' stable area and infield. There are also two stops for picture taking, time permitting.
$6.00 for adults, children (4 and under) FREE. W/ Museum admission only.
Starts Monday - Saturday (7:00 am, 8:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm); Sunday (12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm)
I was fortunate enough to be visiting my friend who lives in Old Louisville and took me on the house tour. I've added a few of the pictures from the outside [none allowed inside] to this tip and will add more text later. We made it though 7 of the houses I think. There is also a nice Christmas decoration/gift center in the basement of The Conrad/Caldwell House where you bought your tickets for the tour.
The variety of the approaches to restoring/renovating an old Victorian house varied as did the ways of dressing up the house for the tour. Some houses were just very nicely done with the usual Christmas decorations you would expect. Others were "htemed" in color or kinds of objects. I found those a bit overwrought. After a while I lost interest in the living rooms and bedrooms and really homed in on how the kitchens and bathrooms had been redone -- when we were given access to then.
If you find yourself near Louisville for this event I highly recommend that you take the tour.
Chartered by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1848, this cemetery is the final resting place of many luminaries, including Colonel Harlan Sanders and George Rogers Clark, the city's founder. It is among the most beautiful cemeteries anywhere.
The Kentucky Derby is run here each May. This is the most famous horse race in the world. To win the Triple Crown, a horse must win this, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. Not many of them have done it. Be sure to see the museum.
I would not have thought I could spend 3+ hours in a small museum that had a fabulous pirated exhibit and exhibits on armour and arms. Though I had seen many of the artifacts in the pirate exhibit before at the Mel Fisher Museum in Florida, the atmosphere created at the Frazier was really entertaining and had many facts about pirates. The interpreters that went "into character" of pirates, basically made this visit complete. In fact, we returned to the museum for a later session just to see the interpreters do another presentation.
if you are reading this before September 7, and you are in Louisville, and you have ANY interest in true pirate artifacts, GO NOW.
There are 2 operators of Ghost Tours in Louisville. I have now taken one and hope to take the other! We took the Old Louisville neighborhood ghost tour by mini-bus. The guide was David Domine who has written 3 books on ghost stories from the area. We learned a lot about the architecture, the people of the 1800s, and heard some ghost stories. Overall worth the money
This delightful coffee house on Frankfort Avenue was my final eating/drinking spot on my almost 3 week business trip to Louisville. Their motto: "When ordinary brew won't do", was very appropriate for the cozy atmosphere inside and the great tasting coffee. This time instead of my usual cappaccino (I word I can never spell right, so bear with me) I ordered a house special Java Julep Smoothie (this is the home town of the Kentucky Derby) which had just the right minty taste to it. I also liked the fact that if you bring in a Starbucks cup they will recycle it and give you a regular 8 oz coffee for free.
Stayed here while in town for a boat show free parking, and great weekend rates* discounted apply...more
We stayed for two nights in early July. Loved the suite set-up as we could put the kids to bed,...more
Want to feel like you got Bucks! The Drury Inn in Lousiville will do that for ya. With the indoor /...more