Have you been missing travel? We certainly have and we can’t wait to share our amazing city with you. As you prepare to hit the road for your next adventure, you’ll find the world a little different from what you remember, but don’t worry, we’ve put together a list highlighting our favorite activities, events and experiences throughout the city to help ease all of your planning woes. Here’s our guide to the Louisville community for your upcoming visit…
First, here’s what to do right here.
You don’t have to go far to explore, indulge and recharge when you stay at 21c Louisville. As you walk through our doors, you’ll find yourself immediately immersed in our current exhibitions Truth or Dare: A Reality Show and Wim Botha: Still Life with Discontent, site-specific installations, and our Elevate exhibits, which feature local artists and are located in each of our guestrooms. When it’s time to eat, enjoy local and bold flavors made by Executive Chef Jonathan Searle and his team at Proof on Main.
Ready to see the city?
Hop next door to visit our neighbors at the Moremen Gallery and explore artwork by local artists. Immerse yourself in old and new collections at the Speed Art Museum near UofL. Planning to visit on the first Friday of the month? Explore the downtown gallery scene with the First Friday Hop.
Live like a Louisville local by shopping like a local. Support farmers from across the Bluegrass region with produce and goods from nearby weekend markets, including: Bardstown Road Farmers Market (open Saturdays year-round), St. Matthews Farmers’ Market (open Saturdays starting in mid-May thru September), Douglas Loop Farmers’ Market (open Saturdays starting in April). Enjoy live music, food trucks, craft beer, seasonal cocktails, movies and more at Flea Off Market (open 2nd week of each month, May-December), a monthly pop-up Flea Market featuring over 100 vendors. Flea Market fanatics can find more unique finds at Fleur de Flea.
Looking for a place to watch your favorite sport? Grab a seat at the newly completed Lynn Family Stadium and cheer on the Racing Louisville FC and Louisville City FC. While, baseball fans can celebrate the 21st season of the Louisville Bats from the newly renovated Slugger Field. Or see where the bats are made with a behind-the-scenes tour at Louisville Slugger Museum. Afterwards, visit the rest of our friends on Museum Row on Main! Let your little ones explore and experiment at the KY Science Center. Traveling with a bunch of aviation enthusiasts? Pack a picnic and watch wings take the air at Bowman Field.
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 from 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. Treat yourself to some retail therapy at Work the Metal or find a number of local boutique shops along Market Street in NuLu, including Hazel + Hunt, White’s Mercantile and Revelry. Plant lovers can fill their pots at Mahonia or Forage. Stock up on sustainable goods, including refillable soaps and everyday household items at Koko, which shares a space with Forage’s Old Louisville location. In the market for a new set of wheels? Shop racing, road and trail bikes from Parkside Bikes. Makers can head to Maddox & Rose Marketplace to create their own candle or The Craftery to sip on cocktails and DIY. Looking for a book you can’t put down? Carmichael’s, Louisville’s oldest bookstore, is the place for you.
Explore our parks and gardens!
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. Enjoy a leisurely walk through Cherokee Park or along the Big Four Bridge. Walk with the Forest Giants and amongst public artworks at Bernheim Forest.
Where to eat and drink.
Start your day the right way with a cup of coffee (and a chocolate chip cookie… trust us) from Please & Thank You. Take your little ones to SuperChefs for a brunch fit for superheroes. Looking for a quick bite? Grab a pastry to go from Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe or Wiltshire Pantry. Find the best bagels in the city at Payne Street Bakehouse (formerly known as Nancy’s Bagels to locals). And you can’t go wrong with a classic donut from Nord’s Bakery or something a little more over-the-top like a Kentucky Fried Buttermilk Chicken or Bourbon Caramel with Bacon doughnut from Hi-Five Doughnuts.
Indulge in authentic Mayan cuisine with dinner at Mayan Cafe (pro-tip: don’t skip the Lima Beans). Load up on carbs and cocktails at bar Vetti. Indulge in Asian inspired comfort foods at Chik’n and Mi. Nourish your soul with a unique and purposeful plate from Naïve. Eat sustainable artisan meats at Red Hog. Find the best fish and champ in the city at the Irish Rover. You can’t go wrong with a marg and taco (or torta) from El Taco Lunchador. Looking for a juicy burger? We’re big fans of Grind Burger Kitchen or get lost in a chicken sandwich from Gold Bar. Compliment your pulled pork plate at Feast with a seasonal, boozy, bourbon slushie. Wondering where to find the ‘za? Easy… head to Pizza Lupo, The Post or enjoy a slice of Detroit-style pizza from Emmy Squared while you sip on a local brew from West 6th NuLu. For dessert, grab a scoop (or three) of premium small batch ice cream from Louisville Cream. Grab to-go and watch the sun set at Louisville Waterfront Park! Love a good food truck? We do too. Here are a few to have on your radar: Mayan Street Food (at Gravely Tuesday-Saturday), Happy Belly Bistro (at Gravely Sundays & Mondays), Hot Buns and 502 Cafe.
Where to grab a drink… for a cocktail that is out of this world, head to Galaxie. Enjoy vino from all around the world at Nouvelle. Prefer hops? Gravely Brewing Co., Atrium Brewing and Against the Grain Smokehouse have great outdoor spots to enjoy a cold beer. Looking for something slightly off the beaten path? Apocalypse Brew Works, Great Flood or the nearly opened Gallant Fox are a few of our favorites. Once you’ve built up a little liquid courage, head to Louisville’s new karaoke bar, NoraeBar and reserve a private song room.
Louisville restaurants are reopening daily, visit this link to keep up with the latest news.
Now, how about some bourbon?
After all, you’re in Kentucky. Here are the downtown distilleries to have on your radar: Angel’s Envy, Rabbit Hole Distillery, Kentucky Peerless, Old Forester Distillery, Michter’s Fort Nelson and Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. Venture a little further out and visit distilleries like Castle & Key, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Distillery and Wild Turkey. Some distilleries are still in the process of reopening their doors to the public – stay up-to-date on re-openings with this resource from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Can’t find what you are looking for, head down to the Proof bar for a flight with one of our expert bartenders. Afterwards, visit our gift shop and take home a bottle of our exclusive private barrel 21c Selects.
Our teammates are experts on our community so give us a call at 502.217.6300 if you have any questions when planning your stay!
Find yourself not ready to leave? See current offers and extend your stay!