Ready to hit the road for a summer trip, but not sure where to go? We’ve got the perfect trip planned for the art enthusiast + bourbon-lover and it includes a road trip through Kentucky and Ohio to visit 21c in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati.
For your safety and the safety of our communities, we ask that you wear a mask and practice social distancing during your visit. For the most up to date information about all of our cleanliness and wellness policies, designed with the safety of our teammates and guests in mind, click here.
Spectraline by SOFTlab, a site specific installation at 21c Lexington
First stop, check in with the Blue Penguin and grab a cocktail to-go from Lockbox to sip on during your self guided tour of Pop Stars! Popular Culture and Contemporary Art. Explore works by contemporary artists including, Hassan Hajjaj, Kehinde Wiley, Derrick Adams, Dr. Fahamu Pecou, among many others. Afterwards, head back to the restaurant and enjoy an eclectic expression of the region’s freshest seasonal offerings prepared by the team at Lockbox.
Louis Armstrong by Odeith located at Corner of Elm Tree Lane and Corral Streets.
Venture outside our walls and discover Lexington’s vibrant street art scene with commissioned works by street artists from all over the world. Take things to the next level and tackle Visit Lexington’s Mural Challenge. Worked up a sweat? Head to Distillery District and cool down with a local beer from Ethereal Brewery. When you’re ready for dinner, head back towards the hotel and grab a table at Corto Lima for Latin-inspired cuisine and the best margarita in town. End the evening with a short walk around the block and an elevator ride up to your room.
Wake up and grab a coffee and donuts to-go from North Lime. In need of a little retail therapy before you hit the road? The Summit at Fritz Farm is your one-stop for the region’s best shopping or take home a locally made print or crafted bar-ware from Keeneland Mercantile.
Along the way…
Now, how about some bourbon? After all, you’re in Kentucky. Drive through the bluegrass countryside and visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Here are a couple of distilleries that are currently open for tours: Buffalo Trace or Wild Turkey. Need something more kid-friendly? Visit the Kentucky Horse Park and learn everything there is to know about the Equestrian Capital of the World.
Wim Botha, Still Life with Water
Welcome to 21c’s flagship property, 21c Louisville, which first opened it’s doors in 2006. Roam the halls of what was once five separate tobacco and bourbon warehouses with the Red Penguins. Then explore our newest exhibitions: Wim Botha: Still Life with Discontent and Truth or Dare: A Reality Show. Afterwards, dine with art in Proof on Main – enjoy local, farm-to-table dishes while surrounded by Fallen Fruit: The Practices of Everyday Life.
Looking for an outdoor adventure? In Louisville, you don’t have to go far to experience all that nature has to offer. Located just 2.5 miles from the hotel is the newly opened Waterfront Botanical Gardens (open Sat-Sun 12-3pm). See what’s in bloom and learn about sustainability from our local gardening community. Travel a little further and you’ll find the Parklands of Floyds Fork with miles of trails and creeks perfect for hiking, biking and kayaking. Or live like a local and enjoy a leisurely walk through Cherokee Park.
After you’re done exploring the great outdoors, visit Louisville’s East Market District, aka NULU and home to some of the top eateries and shops in Louisville. Dine at Louisville staple Mayan Cafe and enjoy seasonal authentic Mayan cuisine made with local, sustainably-farmed ingredients. Located just a block away in their new location is bar-Vetti – they’ve got “Fancy Pizza, Fresh Pasta and Dope Wine.” In the mood for something a little more casual? We’ve got some great food truck options too! Here are a few to have on your radar: Mayan Street Food (at Gravely Brewing Co. Tuesday-Saturday), Happy Belly Bistro (at Gravely Sundays & Mondays) and 502 Cafe. When it’s time for dessert, head to Louisville Cream and indulge in premium small batch ice cream. Grab to-go and watch the sun set at Louisville Waterfront Park!
The next morning, start your day with a cup of coffee from Blackbeard Espresso before heading to the Speed Art Museum to see their newest exhibition, Andy Warhol: Revelation. On your way out of town, grab a sandwich “like no other” from Another Place Sandwich Shop.
Before you go, be sure to take home a little piece of our city with a homemade cookie from Louisville legend Elizabeth Kizito of Kizito Cookies & Crafts or a print by a local artist via Calliope Arts (online shop) workshop where a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Artist Relief Trust, a state-wide coalition initiative led by ELEVATOR Artist Resource to provide emergency assistance to artists in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
From left to right: Titus Kaphar, An Icon for Destiny, Fahamu Pecou, Breathe and Kehinde Wiley, Support the Rural Population and Serve 500 Million
Welcome to 21c Cincinnati, home to the Yellow Penguins! As you walk through the halls of this historically preserved, neoclassical structure, you’ll stumble upon site specific installations including, Brian Knep’s interactive projection, Healing Tiles, Ryan Wolfe’s, Field of Grass and Astrid Krogh’s, Lightmail . Discover local artist’s Celene Hawkins (featured in Metropole) and Pam Kravetz (featured in Elevate on guestroom floors), and revisit works by some familiar artists in our current exhibition Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and Resistance. You’ve probably worked up an appetite at this point… order the Burnt Carrot Salad at Metropole and you’ll be ready for more.
Then step outside and discover Cincinnati’s vibrant street art scene with a self-guided mural tour, including the recently commissioned Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall. Find kid-friendly activities and more contemporary art right around the corner at the Contemporary Arts Center. Live like a local and visit one of Cincinnati’s trendiest neighborhoods, Over-the-Rhine. This well-preserved 19-century German neighborhood is home to a collection of local shops, craft breweries and farmers market, Findlay Market. Indulge in authentic, Mexican street fare from Bakersfield or surprise your taste buds with Liège waffle, fried chicken and hot sauce from Taste of Belgium. Grab to-go and head to Washington Park for a cozy picnic!
In need of a little retail therapy? Shop sustainable, vintage wear from RadOTR or trendy, accessible clothing from Sloane Boutique. Last, but not least, be sure to take home a little piece of our city with maker-made goods from MiCA 12/V. Ready to watch the sunset and soak up the Cincinnati city skyline? See it all from the Rhinegeist Brewery rooftop or cool down with a pop-tail (popsicle + cocktail) on the 21c Cocktail Terrace.
Before you hit the road, stop by blaCk Coffee Lounge for a morning coffee and pastry to-go. Didn’t have enough time to see it all? Stay an extra day or two! View our neighborhood guide to see what else is open in Cincinnati.