Old Louisville is one of America's finest neighborhoods. It is known to have some of the best examples of Victorian architecture in the entire country and walking along its charming streets is always a delight. The area roughly encompasses the area between Broadway in the north to Cardinal Boulevard at the University of Louisville in the south. Along the parallel 2nd, 3rd and 4th Streets visitors will see many preserved Italianate, Romanesque and Queen Anne homes and buildings, one of note is the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. Other gems within the district are St. James Court, Belgravia Court and Central Park, where it literally feels as if you've traveled back to 1870.
The historic Louisville Palace from 1928 is a remnant of yesteryear, where once there stood several theaters along 4th Street, this extant one still stands. After its initial opening as a vaudeville palace, the theater converted itself over the years as a spot for films. It was only in the late 1994 when the theater reconverted itself back into a full-fledged performance venue. With acts as varied as ballet and bluegrass to comedy and touring Broadway shows, it's Louisville's classic hub for performing arts once again.
Leaning like an all-American obelisk on its building, the Louisville Slugger Museum's signature giant-size baseball bat is recognized as the biggest piece of ash that will never see any action on the diamond. Inside the facility, visitors are treated to a baseball experience that details the history of this iconic Major League Baseball fixture since 1884. The best part is the 30-minute tour of the factory floor, where you'll see real Sluggers being crafted out of raw timber. When you enter, sign up for the chance to obtain your own signature bat, it will be ready by the time you leave.
Muhammad Ali is one of Louisville's most prodigious sons, and this stunning multipurpose facility devoted to the boxing great promotes his ethos and six core principles of "Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality." The building also provides event space and it offers guests an opportunity to relive the life and times of the man who was born as Cassius Clay. Some exhibits include a movie, a number of interactive video displays, and educational programs on how to become involved in social justice projects within the community.
This former railroad bridge connects Louisville, KY to Jeffersonville, IN. Today, it's a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge and a great way to exercise while traversing two states in one day. It was reconverted as part of a Louisville revitalization project and both states provided funds for its new usage. The bridge can be accessed from beautiful Waterfront Park on the Kentucky side and from Riverside Drive from the Indiana side.
Reenactments, music, photography, lectures, and artifacts are just some of the many ways the Frazier International History Museum helps bring the excitement of history to a contemporary audience. This 100,000 square-foot, three-floor museum's permanent collection includes Theodore Roosevelt's "Big Stick," Daniel Boone's bible, and Geronimo's bow. Children and adults are sure to be entertained by various daily reenactments, while an ongoing series of historical lectures provides fascinating insights. Groups can rent designated areas of the museum, including the fifth-floor roof garden which overlooks the Ohio River.
This theater, officially known as the W.L. Lyons Brown Theater, is adjacent to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and it's one of the last "Grand Dames" of yesteryear in the downtown Louisville vaudeville district. It holds at least 1,400 patrons comfortably and the shows vary from Disney productions to comedy and holiday specials. In addition to the Louisville Palace Theatre, the Brown is an architectural marvel with its ornate details inside and outside, something hardly seen in theaters constructed today.
Since it was established in 1964, the Actors Theatre of Louisville has received numerous accolades and awards as an outstanding non-profit resident theater. The stage hosts performances throughout the year and in addition to these creative theatrics, the troupes offer apprentice and internships programs, workshops and tours to the general public. The productions range from lighthearted themes and subjects to more avant-garde and political ones. Productions here definitely offer something for everyone.
Whether you are a whiskey connoisseur or not, if you want to try a bit of one of Kentucky's main exports, then the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience is a must visit. This establishment is named after Kentucky's pioneering distiller and offers an insight into Williams' life and work. A guided tour of the distillery features an audio-visual interactive exhibition on the history of bourbon and its how distillers turn corn into this smooth swill loved all around the world. At the end of the tour, sample some different varieties as well as some small-batch versions, then take home unique souvenirs like bourbon mustard, maple syrup and toffee.
The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts showcases some of the biggest names in theater, dance, and music. Home of the Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet, Stage One, and the Louisville Orchestra, the center's season also includes the hottest touring Broadway shows. Comprised of four theaters, from the 2,406-seat Robert S. Whitney Hall to the far more intimate 319-seat MeX (black box) Theater, the center's venues are as diverse as its artistic lineup. The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts' outreach programs work year-round to bring a wealth of arts programs to the community.
The multi-dimensional Glassworks is a gallery, workshop, studio, gift shop, and event venue all rolled into one. Come watch glassmakers transform globs of melted glass into exquisite pieces of art. Those eager to learn the trade themselves can take classes or visit the Walk-In Workshop. Glassworks also hosts birthday parties, and is available to rent for group functions. Event planners even have the option of renting glass-making demonstrations during their function.