Louisville is known for being a big city with country roots. This city, the heart of Kentucky, is the largest in the state and rests beside the scenic Ohio River.
From riverboat cruises to top-notch museums, there is no shortage of charm or education at this popular tourist destination. The city is also home to the famous Kentucky Derby horse races every May.
Next time you find yourself in the city, or if you are currently planning a trip, check out these top nine destinations for you and your family to visit:
- Kentucky Derby Museum
- Churchill Downs
- Muhammad Ali Center
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
- Kentucky Kingdom
- Louisville Zoo
- Belle of Louisville River Boats
- Louisville Waterfront Park
- Joe Huber’s Family Farm Restaurant
1. Kentucky Derby Museum
Perhaps one of the most famous attractions in the entire state of Kentucky is the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby happens every year in May, making the museum a popular stop for tourists looking to learn more about Kentucky’s longest-running sport.
Explore interactive family-friendly exhibits on both floors of the museum. Delve into the deep history of the race’s existence, dating back to 1875. Learn about different stages in a horse’s life- leading up to the climax of the first Saturday of May. Or simply enjoy the extravagant fashion and fun hats people historically wear to the races.
2. Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs is the famous track run in the Kentucky Derbys, but you can also tour it when races are not happening.
You will need to book a tour with the Kentucky Derby Museum to get this special access. Taking a tour will allow you to get an up-close look at the track without the hubbub of all the crowds. The tour guides will give you lots of great information to help further your knowledge of the Kentucky Derby.
Book the tour in advance if you want to take advantage of this learning experience because spots tend to fill up fast.
3. Muhammad Ali Center
Did you know that Louisville was also the home of Muhammad Ali? The famous boxer and his wife founded this non-profit museum to preserve the boxer’s astounding legacy and to inspire others to do great things.
Your museum visit will start with a 14-minute video in a five-screen theatre to immerse and teach you about Muhammad Ali’s life and principles. Throughout all the exhibits, you can learn what it takes to be a champion.
4. Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
Ever wonder where all the MLB baseball bats get made? Baseball lovers visiting Louisville are in luck! You can finally learn all you’ve ever wanted to know about baseball bats and more at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory!
You can check out all the exhibits on baseball history or walk through the factory to see history in action. On the factory tour, you will have the chance to watch professionals at work making bats as you uncover the exciting origin story of baseball bats.
Every visitor who takes the tour gets a complimentary mini Slugger baseball bat after the tour has finished.
5. Kentucky Kingdom
If you want a classic day of family fun at an amusement park, look no further than the Kentucky Kingdom. This 67-acre park is home to a collection of rides and the Hurricane Bay waterpark.
Thrill seekers can check out the six world-class roller coasters. Families can enjoy rides together or check out the 5-D theater for an immersive movie experience. If you need to cool down, hop on board water-based rides, such as the Raging Rapids River Ride or Mile High Falls. Fun-loving kiddos and cool teens are sure to enjoy the day!
6. Louisville Zoo
Got some animal fans in your family? A trip to the zoo is always a great idea when visiting a new city because while every zoo is a little different, you will know what to expect. It’s also a popular spot almost every kid wants to visit.
The Louisville Zoo is home to over 1,200 animals! After seeing the animals, you can take your little ones to the Outpost Playground or Billabong Playabout to help them get some extra wiggles out.
There’s also a petting zoo so you can get up close and personal with the wonderful and wacky animals in our world.
7. Belle of Louisville and Mary M. Miller River Boats
Want to see the city of Louisville from a unique perspective? Take a cruise on the Belle of Louisville or Mary M. Miller river boats!
There are many cruise options to fit your needs or desires! If you want to embark on a cruise with the family, consider taking one of the many fun kids’ cruises. These cruises promise sightseeing, family-fun storytelling, activities, games, and more.
Prices depend on the cruise you choose, starting at around $10 per person.
8. Louisville Waterfront Park
If you want to take in some beautiful sights and fresh air, check out Louisville Waterfront Park. You can also visit the famous Big Four Bridge at the Louisville Waterfront Park that connects Louisville, Kentucky, with Jefferson, Indiana.
There’s a great lawn to rest on, playgrounds to keep the kiddos active, and a stage for live performances. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the sights, or stop by in the evening to see the colorful bridge lights. The best part of it all is that visiting the park is free!
9. Joe Huber’s Family Farm Restaurant
If you want a unique family outing that gives you the true country experience, Joe Huber’s Family Farm Restaurant is a popular tourist spot for just that! This farm is a little outside Louisville, but many claim it as a tourist must-do spot.
With non-processed food all made from scratch, the restaurant will fill your comfort food needs with a taste of Kentucky. This family farm boasts top-notch country hospitality. You can explore the farm, lake, and feed the ducks or fish. Joe Huber’s Family Farm is the place to relax and reconnect with nature at a slow country pace.