Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and it is packed with adventure, culture, and history. From historical monuments to man-made caves, Louisville is a great place for a weekend getaway.
Here are 8 things to do in Louisville KY and nearby places to stay.
1. The Louisville Mega Cavern
The Louisville Mega Cavern is an incredible underground adventure located about 7 miles away from downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
Built-in former limestone, this cave offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all ages.
In the Louisville Mega Cavern, visitors can explore 17 miles of man-made caverns that are filled with amazing geological formations, rich history, and fun activities.
You can go on a self-guided tour through the historic mine and see the natural wonders within, or join one of the many guided tours offered by the Cavern’s staff and experience tram rides, zip lining, spelunking adventures, and more.
If you wish to explore this beautiful underground destination, here are some nearby hotels to stay at:
2. Muhammad Ali Center
The Muhammad Ali Center pays a tribute to one of the best athletes of all time.
Serving as an educational, cultural, and inspirational place, people from all ages around the world come to visit the center.
It contains inspiring galleries, interactive exhibits, and a theater that chronicles Ali’s extraordinary life journey in boxing and social activism.
Visitors can explore exhibitions about the power of self-belief, the importance of respect, service, and community engagement.
The center also has educational programs such as workshops on physical fitness, nutrition lessons for children, seminars on golden citizenship, and leadership development classes.
Overall, the center strives to promote peace through cross-cultural understanding by providing an environment that encourages the exploration of diversity while celebrating common values and beliefs among all people.
If you wish to pay tribute to Muhammad Ali, here are some nearby places to stay:
- Galt House Hotel, A Trademark Collection Hotel
- Hotel Distil, Autograph Collection
3. Churchill Downs
The Churchill Downs is a horse racing venue located in Louisville, Kentucky that has been running since 1875.
It is most well-known as the home of the annual Kentucky Derby and its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks.
The racetrack has been in continuous operation since 1875 which makes it the oldest of all major North American Thoroughbred racetracks still in use today.
In addition to hosting the two premier races of American horse racing, Churchill Downs also hosts several other important stakes during its spring meet each year.
It has also become one of the few tracks to offer casino gaming on-site with live table games, slots, and simulcast wagering from other tracks around the world.
If you are interested in watching horse racing, here are some nearby places to stay at:
4. The Louisville Palace
The Louisville Palace is a historic theater located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Constructed in 1928, the theater was designed by architect John Eberson and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
With seats for up to 2,800 people across three levels, this iconic venue has hosted numerous concerts, plays, musicals, movie screenings, and other events over the years. Its ceiling is decorated with twinkling stars which create an atmosphere like no other.
Its ornate design features include a Baroque-inspired interior space with elaborate chandeliers and murals.
The exterior of the building includes several terraces featuring intricate stonework and statuary from various renowned artists from around the world.
If you wish to visit this amazing historic theater, there are some nearby places to stay:
5. Kentucky Science Center
Located in Louisville, the Kentucky Science Center is a great place to explore science and technology.
Visitors of all ages can experience a variety of interactive exhibits and activities which provide an exciting way to learn about different scientific topics such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and more.
There are also several permanent exhibits that highlight the history of inventions, natural sciences, and space exploration.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are a ton of special programs throughout the year where visitors can participate in hands-on exploration of science and technology.
Younger visitors can enjoy fun activities at Kids Club which features daily experiments and other educational activities designed for children up to eight years old.
If you wish to learn more about science at the Kentucky Science Center, here are some nearby places to stay at:
- Homewood Suites By Hilton Louisville Downtown
- Omni Hotel
6. Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay
The Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay is a great destination for families looking for an exciting day out in Louisville.
The park features more than 70 rides and attractions that range from thrilling roller coasters to interactive family-friendly experiences.
Whether you want to take a spin on one of the seven coasters or just hang out with friends at the beach-themed waterpark, there’s something here that appeals to everyone.
With live entertainment including shows, concerts, and special events throughout the season, visitors are sure to have a fun-filled experience each time they visit the park.
There’s a lot more to enjoy off-season with special seasonal events like Halloween Fright Fest and Winterfest during select times of the year.
If you wish to spend the day riding rollercoasters, here are some nearby places to stay:
- Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Expo Center
- Hampton Inn Louisville Airport Fair/Expo Center
7. The Big Four Bridge
The Big Four Bridge is a historic bridge in Louisville, Kentucky that was built in 1895.
It connects Louisville with Jeffersonville, Indiana over the Ohio River. The bridge is an important part of the city’s history and heritage and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.
Originally called the ”Indiana-Kentucky (IK) Bridge” or ”Big Four Railroad Bridge”, it was designed by Gustav Lindenthal and named after the four railroads – Monon Railroad, Louisville & Nashville Railroad, Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago & St. Louis Railway, and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad which jointly funded its construction and operated it over 1973.
Renovated in 2013, the Big Four Bridge is now used as a pedestrian walkway, connecting Louisville’s Waterfront Park to Indiana’s Big Four Station Park. It is an extremely popular destination for joggers, walkers, and cyclists.
If you wish to explore the Big Four Bridge, here are some nearby places to stay:
- AC Hotel by Marriott Louisville Downtown
- FRONT DESK Main & Clay Apts Butcḣertown Louisville
8. Beckley Creek Park
Beckley Creek Park is a picturesque park located in Louisville, Kentucky.
Sitting at around 4,000 acres, Beckley Creek Park has rolling hills, meadows, and wetlands.
Overall, it is a great place for tourists who want to spend the day outdoors.
If you wish to explore nature, here are some nearby places to stay at:
- Staybridge Suites Louisville – East, an IHG Hotel
- Hilton Garden Inn Louisville East
Louisville, Kentucky is an amazing city where tourists can enjoy fun outdoor and indoor activities. This vibrant city has to offer something for everyone.