The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage showcases the legacy and cultural contributions of African-Americans in the state. Notable and prominent Kentuckians include Muhammad Ali, jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, songwriter Wilson Pickett and many others that have left their indelible mark. Through exhibitions, programs and activities, the center creates programs that promote social justice, activism, art and awareness among the public at large. Additionally, the center celebrates the cultural legacy of the African-American community with nights that promote poetry readings, plays, dinners and concerts.
Zanzabar is a local institution. Since its opening in 1938 it has changed templates many times, but it has always remained a local watering hole. The recent incarnation has it all, from old-school arcade games and pinball tournament nights to local farm-to-table food and live music, things have surely changed since those prewar days. The food and drinks are outstanding, but a lot of people come just to revert back to their childhood with games like Paperboy, Asteroids, Frogger and Donkey Kong. When you add the live music, this version of Zanzabar appears as if it is the best one in the last 80 years.
Thomas Jefferson designed this archetypal Federal-style mansion on the sprawling estate of slaveholders John and Lucy Speed. It was built using slave labor sometime between 1815-16 on the site of a former hemp plantation. Abraham Lincoln spent three weeks on the plantation in 1841, while courting Mary Todd. The home still contains period furniture from the early 19th Century, a stone barn, a blacksmith's shop and a museum store. Seven days a week, the staff arranges tours for tourists visiting the grounds and the visitors' center also provides a comprehensive map that is a great guide to the 18-acre estate.
This mansion from 1790 is older than the state of Kentucky itself (it entered the Union in 1792), and it stands as a symbol of American land usurpation against the backdrop of the Northwest Indian War. The 55-acre estate once belonged to William Croghan, slave-owner and businessman, then it passed hands frequently after he sold it in 1878. The Waters family bequeathed it to the Commonwealth as a state treasure in 1964. Today the estate staff conducts tours around the house as well as the property. They last anywhere from 45-minutes to an hour. This property is open all days of the week, with an extended hour during the summer months.
Established in 1858, the American Printing House for the Blind has provided ancillary services and products to the visually-impaired community for more than a century. Inside the museum, visitors can witness the institution's contribution to the blind with materials and technology that helps foster well-being and independence. Take a free guided tour of the factory to understand the advancement of resources since the 1850s – from Braille, writing and audio devices, to digital media, computers as well as mobility canes and dog harnesses.
This wooded refuge just south of downtown Louisville is located near the village of Fairdale. If you want to see the Kentucky back-country, the 20 minute trip required to get here is worth it. The area is designated as an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, the park contains streams, creeks, trails and many other topographical features that allow for tons of activities. The welcome center provides hiking maps, books, souvenirs and other information about Jefferson; don't forget to pick one up.
Come experience the historical Kentucky Theater, a community arts center that brings people together through the performing arts to build a community.
The Henry Clay situated in the heart of Downtown Louisville is a multipurpose event room featuring a beautiful charm that makes every event hosted here special. Originally built in 1924 as a lodge, this beautiful building features in the National Register of Historic Places. The Henry Clay features as many as 14 event spaces that can be rented at reasonable rates for events of all types and size. Events like weddings, birthday parties, corporate meetings, engagements, and birthday parties are among the many events to be organized here throughout the year. The efficient event management team here makes sure your event is successful and memorable for everyone and that you can enjoy your special event without having to worry about the arrangements.
Louisville Free Public Library dates back to 1906, it was founded owing to the generous donations of Andrew Carnegie. The library building has featured in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Check website for details.
The Zephyr Gallery is another cool gallery on East Market Street in the hip neighborhood of 'NuLu.' Almost all of the works inside are a fusion of multi-disciplinary methods, from sculpture and oils to monochromatic prints and found art, the mixed media collaborations are endless. The exhibit schedule is in constant rotation and many of the artists hail from Louisville. Also, if you're here on the first Friday of every month, don't forget to take the free trolley which shuttles you up-and-down Market Street.