Okay, so please don’t come at me with pitchforks because I’m talking about Louisville without it’s two most known activities. I enjoy bourbon (Blanton’s or Jefferson’s please) just as much as the next person in Kentucky, but there’s much more to this city than just betting on horses and getting drunk.
Louisville is full of artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and creatives making new and exciting things every day. I’m lucky enough to take advantage, so I want to share with you five things you can do in Louisville that you won’t find on a typical visitor’s guide. After all, the best way to get around the city and find authentic fun is to ask the locals
1. Catch a show at The Palace
Louisville is a hot spot for traveling musicians and many of them stop at The Palace. The Palace is a historic music venue on 4th St. downtown that opened in 1928 as a cinema theatre and has since transformed into a beautiful architectural space for Broadway shows, local and national artists, and films. The inside is decadent – a Spanish motif adorned in gold accents. The 2,800 seat theatre is intimate. It’s the perfect venue to feel like you’re up close and personal with your favorite comedian or singer-songwriter.
2. Watch the sunset at Gravely Brewing
Admittedly it’s harder to do this one during the late fall/winter months (thanks Daylight Savings Time!), but it’s still worth a try. Gravely Brewing is a casual music brewery perched on the hill of Baxter Avenue. The top of the outdoor patio houses the best view of downtown Louisville making it the optimal spot to catch a sunset. Gravely make their beer in-house and have a rotating selection of everything from IPAs to sours, all with a music-themed name. Grab a ‘Sweet Stout O’Mine’ and pull up a seat for a local or national performance. Gravely is truly one of a kind.
3. Test your rock climbing skills at Climb Nulu
If you’re with an adventurous group of out of town visitors, stretch your limbs at Climb Nulu in the Nulu neighborhood on E. Market Street. Climb Nulu is a bouldering facility, which means you’re not attached to ropes or harnesses. However, climbers of all skill levels are welcome and are guided to walls that match their level of experience. Check their site for daily deals like free gear for everyone and kids on Tuesday or $24 Friday date night. After working up a sweat walk down the street to Lueberry Acai & Superfoods for a protein smoothie or acai bowl to reward yourself.
4. Explore Cherokee Park
Cherokee Park is Louisville’s own version of Central Park – a massive green landscape in the middle of the city. If you’ve never been before it’s easy to get lost, but in a good way. The best tip for navigating the park and getting the most exercise is to follow the Scenic Loop, a 2.4 mile stretch of road that takes you through rolling hills, past Cochran Hill Dog Run, and open fields. To fit in with the locals just keep turning left to stay on the loop. Make a right and you’ll head out of the park. Cherokee Park is breathtaking and serene in the fall and spring when the flowers are blooming and leaves are falling. If you’re still craving more scenery after, take a detour outside the park and see historic homes of Cherokee Triangle.
5. Learn a new skill at Level Up Louisville
Have you ever wanted to learn something new from an expert but aren’t sure where to even begin? Level Up Louisville is a group that connects and educates women through pop-up style classes taught by local experts. Learn intro to pottery making or calligraphy for beginners. If there’s something you want to learn, Level Up can probably teach you. I’ve taken a few classes and found a new hobby I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered, and met a few great women along the way. The classes are inviting and all the materials are provided. You get to take home a new creation and a new friend or two. What could be better?