Dreaming of travel? We are too. When you’re ready to travel, 21c will be ready for you and we know just the place to visit… you know the bourbon, you know the horse racing, but trust us, there’s plenty more to see. We’ve known for a long time that this city is special and if you haven’t experienced Derby City for yourself, 2021 may just be the perfect year to do it. Ready to hit the road? We asked our team of experts to share some of their favorite must-visit places in and around Louisville. Add these hidden gems to your itinerary and experience Louisville like a local!
Fleur de Flea
Consider yourself a flea market fanatic? Then you must visit Fleur de Flea in Paristown Point. “Walking around this flea market is like taking a dive into a Louisvillian’s basement. The vintage clothing selection will definitely make you rethink your current wardrobe.” – William Mulloy, Sales Manager
photo: Hip Green Scene
Drive a few minutes up the road from Fleur de Flea and you’ll find a local shop with many one-of-a-kind gifts, including toys from Japan, local art prints, unique coffee table books and resin figurines made in Louisville. “Ultra Pop’s owner, Paul LePree, is his own local gem, visit the store and he’ll entertain you with stories of travels to Japan while playing old Godzilla movies on the store TV and Prince albums throughout the store speakers.” – Mary Burks, Event Manager
Ramsi’s Café on the World & Work the Metal
Hungry? Ramsi’s offers an expansive menu featuring cuisines from all around the world. They also have a variety of dishes that cater to different dietary needs. “This is a great spot to get a taste of other cultures without having to travel far and perfect for times when each person in the group has a taste for a different type of cuisine.” Fuel up and get ready to shop until you drop at Work the Metal. “It’s a great local spot for all of your shopping needs – clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home décor. Seriously, this store has something for everyone! They even have a wine bar so you can sip while you shop.” – Ashley Mountz, Front Office Manager
Just south of downtown in the charming Beechmont neighborhood, “you can find amazing Vietnamese food and tea at Annie Café. It’s a casual environment, and the meals are very affordable. The chicken wings and noodle bowls will not disappoint. It’s a great excuse to venture outside of downtown!” – Mary Molter, Director of Sales & Marketing
Looking to grab a drink? Not far from downtown, tucked away in Butchertown is Gold Bar, “known by locals for their top tier beverage program and amazing food. The chicken sandwich is a must have.” – Charlie Cronin, Food & Beverage Director
In the market for house plants and sustainable goods? Proof on Main Executive Chef Jonathan Searle has got you covered… “One of my new favorite discoveries is Koko, a small and super aesthetically pleasing sustainable home goods store located in Old Louisville. Think big batch home product re-fillery to biodegradable and eco friendly, vegan dish and laundry products. Bonus: their shop in Old Louisville shares a space with an equally cool plant store called Forage.”
Record shops, cookies, coffee and don’t forget a kabob sammie…
Because he’s such a huge fan of Louisville, Chef Jonathan couldn’t help but spill the tea on a few more too-good-not-to-share gems with us.
“If mid century modern furniture and art is your thing, Green Collar Studio is the place for you. This well-curated and eclectic shop on the south end off Preston Highway is a pure gem. Their in-store hours are random and infrequent so check in on Instagram for in-person shopping days.
At 21c, you are within walking distance from arguably the best analog stereo shop within three states. Magnetic Tape Recorder and Stereo features amazingly well-restored vintage and modern pieces from turntables, tape decks, speakers, hard-to-find amplifiers, etc. The team and owner are super welcoming and borderline obsessively knowledgeable about all things stereo sound. If records are your thing Better Days Records in the Highlands or Guest Room Records over in Clifton are two of the best shops in town.
For coffee and a snack Sunergos or Gralehaus are a great start. If a sugar boost is your thing, Please and Thank You in Nulu has all you need, especially that chocolate chip cookie. And if I’m having one meal in town, I’m venturing downtown to Safier Mediterranean Deli, off Fourth and Broadway for amazing shawarma platters and kafta kabob sandwiches.”
Say hello to our neighbors in New Albany!
Last, but not least, our museum manager, Karen Gillenwater, recommends spending your day with nature, history and art in New Albany, Indiana.
“For a nature fix, visit the New Albany section of the Ohio River Greenway to enjoy a walk or bike ride along the banks of the river.
After taking in the views, continue your stroll along Mansion Row and enjoy the historic homes along Main Street, like the Culbertson Mansion. Nearby at the Carnegie Center for Art & History, you can hear the stories of little-known people from our local history in the award-winning exhibitions “Ordinary People-Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad” and “Remembered: The Life of Lucy Higgs Nichols.” You’ll be moved by the story of Lucy Higgs Nichols, who went from a life as a slave in Tennessee to serving as a nurse during the Civil War and eventually settling in New Albany and being awarded a nurse’s pension through a Special Act of Congress. New Albany’s “progressively old world public house”
Pints & Union is an ideal spot to end your day with a classic beer or cocktail paired with their unique menu items. You might time your visit to coincide with one of their pop ups events with local chefs and bartenders that support local charities like The Lee Initiative’s Restaurant Worker’s Relief Program.”
Not ready to leave Louisville? See current offers and extend your stay.