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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun in Louisville 2019 Edition

Published on May 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm in Fun Stuff.

We all love to make plans for the summer season. Typically, people look forward to vacations away from their hometown, but there is so much happening in Louisville this summer that you may consider a staycation. Before summer gets into full swing, let’s take a look at all the goings-on in our city. Mark your calendars now so you can keep track of everything and you’ll always be looking forward to the next fun event!

What Events Are Happening in Louisville?

Louisville always has something interesting to do or see. While you may recognize some of these activities or events, you may find many new events that you want to attend. Check out all that Louisville has to offer this summer.

  • Louisville Mega Cavern. The Mega Cavern is an expansive cavern in Louisville that has plenty of attractions. You can book events like ziplining, take a tram ride, or go on the aerial ropes challenge. History buffs and adventure lovers alike will have a great time here.
  • Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Celebrate the greatness of American’s national past time and the iconic Louisville Slugger baseball bat. You can learn all about them and see how they’re made. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Frazier Kentucky History Museum. This is where you can learn all about Kentucky history. There are permanent and special exhibitions, along with performances. The Frazier Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m.
  • The Speed Art Museum. With exhibitions and activities meant to inspire curiosity and learning, The Speed Art Museum always has something interesting to see. Their calendar is full of events that you should take advantage of this summer.
  • Kentucky Derby Museum. One of Louisville’s most famous events is the Kentucky Derby. Learn all about the Derby at the museum. Their summer hours run from March 15 to November 30. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Churchill Downs. After learning about horse racing, you may want to see it for yourself. Luckily, Churchill Downs hosts more than just the Kentucky Derby. There are horse races all through the summer. Check out their calendar here.
  • Old Louisville. You can go on a walking tour of Old Louisville. The Victorian homes are beautiful and everyone should see this piece of history. Walking tours run from April 1 to October 31. You can go on them Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. This house shows Victorian influence in the 1890s. Take a tour and learn about the rich history of Louisville. The museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday includes an additional time at 11 a.m.
  • Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay. This amusement park is a fantastic option for a summer day. Try out Kentucky Kingdom’s newest rollercoaster, the Kentucky Flyer. You can also cool off in the water park. You’ll want to check the calendar to find the day that works for you, as hours change based on the date.
  • Louisville Zoo. Have a fun day at the Louisville Zoo, where you can see and learn about all the interesting animals they have. The zoo hours up until September 22 are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (you can stay until 6).
  • Kentucky Reggae Festival. This festival is at Louisville Water Tower Park. The Kentucky Reggae Festival takes place from Saturday, May 25 to Sunday, May 26 from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Come by and listen to the music and taste the delicious Caribbean-inspired food.
  • Louisville Slugger Field. Check out a minor league baseball game in Louisville Slugger Field. You can cheer on the Louisville Bats and enjoy the concessions. Check out their calendar
  • Kentucky Shakespeare. Kentucky Shakespeare will be performing from May 29 to August 4 in Old Louisville’s Central Park. There are many productions to see, so look at their calendar to see when you can go enjoy a Shakespeare play.
  • Kentuckiana Pride. Kentucky will show its support for the LGBTQ+ community at Kentuckiana Pride. The event will take place in downtown Louisville on June 14 and 15. Friday hours are from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday hours are 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival. Join the community in Louisville Water Tower Park on June 21 and 22 for Blues, Brews, & BBQ. There will be delicious hot food, cold drinks, and fantastic blues music from live bands.
  • Crescent Hill 4th of July Festival. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., you can celebrate our country’s freedom at the Crescent Hill 4th of July Festival. There will be live music, food vendors, a silent auction, a Children’s Fun Zone, and games. Stay for the fireworks display at 10!
  • Louisville Waterfront Fourth 2019. Another 4th of July celebration, the Louisville Waterfront Fourth celebrates the day on the Ohio River. There will be music, activities, food, and fireworks at Harbor Lawn.
  • Forecastle Festival. This festival has famous musicians and bourbon tasting right in Louisville. The lineup includes The Killers, Portugal. The Man, Chvrches, and more. The Forecastle Festival runs from July 12 to July 14.
  • Derby City Jazz Festival. Listen to jazz from talented artists. The Derby City Jazz Festival will be held on Saturday, August 10 from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 11 at 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Old Lou Brew. The Old Neighborhood Council will host this craft beer festival for the third year in a row. The event costs $10 and will be held on Friday, August 23, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Central Park. Come celebrate Old Lou Brew as you try craft beer and listen to live music. This event is family and pet-friendly.
  • Kentucky State Fair. The 115th Kentucky State Fair starts on Thursday, August 15 and continues until Sunday, August 25. There are more kinds of entertainment and attractions to count, so make sure to stop by and have fun.
  • WorldFest. This free event takes place on Labor Day weekend. It goes from Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 1 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. WorldFest is an opportunity to celebrate all the cultures of the world with food, dancing, music, and more.
  • PeteFest Music Festival. Held on Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 8 at Jones Fields, the Third Annual PeteFest Music Festival will aim to raise funds and awareness for mental health. There will be local food, live music, and plenty of fun activities.
  • Bourbon and Beyond. Enjoy a weekend focused on music, bourbon, and food at the Highland Festival Grounds. Bourbon and Beyond takes place on Friday, September 20 and continues until Sunday, September 22. Some of the bands performing include Foo Fighters, Robert Plant, and ZZ Top.

While there are so many events to explore, there’s also another important aspect that everyone loves: Food. Louisville is packed with restaurants that serve food that will keep you coming back for more. Let’s check out some Louisville restaurants that you should stop at this summer.

Where Should You Eat in Louisville?

Louisville offers everything from fine dining to quick bites to eat to anyone who visits here. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something they’ll enjoy. There are so many restaurants to choose from, but we’ve selected some local places that you should try out.

  • Jack Fry’s. This restaurant has a unique story. Originally opened in 1933, Jack Fry’s became a place for sportsmen to frequent. The owner, Jack Fry, was also known for bootlegging. It was closed in 1972, but re-opened in 1982. It recently underwent a renovation that still honored the architecture. You can get lunch or dinner here, with the menu leaning toward more upscale dining. They have live jazz Monday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., a perfect way to celebrate a summer night.
  • Mayan Café. There’s no better place to get authentic Mayan food. Focused on sustainability and providing fresh, delicious food, Mayan Café is a great spot to visit for dinner or later on if you’re bar hopping. Their restaurant is on Market Street, but they also have a food truck on Baxter Ave., so there are more options to getting their food if you’re craving it.
  • Yummy Pollo. Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken brings bold taste and adds an interesting and different kind of cooking to Louisville. Located on Bishop Lane, Yummy Pollo cooks fresh chicken, sides, and dessert each day.
  • The English Grill in The Brown Hotel. Here is a place to go if you’re looking for a romantic summer evening out. The English Grill has fine dining cuisine, along with a signature Kentucky dish, the Hot Brown. Taste part of Kentucky tradition here. Reservations are recommended.
  • Buck’s Restaurant and Bar. Located in the historic Mayflower building, Buck’s is a fine dining restaurant that has delectable entrees and a selection of wine, bourbon, and martinis. Along with live piano music each night, this is a fantastic place to spend a summer evening.
  • The Café. If you’re looking for a place to grab breakfast and lunch, The Café has you covered. They have an extensive menu full of options that will definitely have something that you’re craving. They are located on Brent Street, but also have a delivery service for the Louisville area.
  • Bristol Bar and Grille. A bright Sunday summer morning or early afternoon is meant for brunch. Bristol Bar and Grille takes pride in being a brunch kingpin in Louisville. The buffet is stocked with so many options and many local farmers supply the fresh ingredients. They have three locations. While downtown may be most convenient, they are also located in the Highlands and East.

With all the fantastic places to eat in Louisville, there’s always something new to try or comforting, familiar food you can depend on. After a meal, you’re probably going to be thirsty. Luckily, Louisville has distilleries and breweries you can visit to quench your thirst. Let’s take a look at all that Louisville has to offer.

Distilleries and Breweries

Much of Kentucky’s fame lies in its bourbon production. Named, “America’s Native Spirit,” only true bourbon comes from the U.S. Kentucky has many distilleries and breweries that you should visit, no matter if you’re a bourbon connoisseur or have never tasted it before. Whether you’re enjoying drinks outside or going inside to get out of the hot sun, visiting a distillery or brewery is always a great option on a summer day. Check out the following places and sample some of Kentucky’s best.

  • Rabbit Hole Distillery. The tradition and appreciation of bourbon is ingrained in this distillery. Visit the Rabbit Hole Distillery in the NuLu area. You can try their bourbon, whiskey, and gin during one of their tours.
  • Angel’s Envy Distillery. This distillery focused heavily on family tradition, making the best whiskey possible, and the improving it. Whether you book a tour or visit during retail hours, you’re sure to enjoy your visit at Angel’s Envy on Main Street in Louisville.
  • Michter’s Distillery. Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery is in downtown Louisville. As the start of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Michter’s is an essential place to visit this summer. There are different kinds of tours, perfect for those curious about bourbon and those who want all the information they can get.
  • Old Forester Distilling Co. Old Forester Distilling offers tours that explains the history of bourbon, how distilling and bottling works, and you can taste the different kinds of whiskey made here.
  • Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. This distillery celebrates the future while still honoring tradition. There are five generations with the Peerless brand, and their distillery downtown is outfitted with current technology to create the best products possible. You can see it for yourself Monday-Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Thursday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse. Visit the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse that’s in the heart of downtown Louisville. Bourbon fans will not want to miss this place. Experience the different kinds of bourbon and their stories with friends and learn more about the culture behind bourbon.
  • 3rd Turn Brewing. This brewery is in a restored church in the Jeffersontown Gaslight District. With their list of 20 kinds of beer to choose from, the ability to bring your own food, is pet-friendly, and has outdoor seating, 3rd Turn Brewing is a must-stop.
  • Old Louisville Brewery. Fittingly situated in an Old Louisville neighborhood, this microbrewery has plenty of different kinds of beer on tap and offers light snacks. They’re located on Magnolia Ave.
  • Gravely Brewing Co. This brewing company combines brews, food, and music all in once place. Their variety of beer will have something for every kind of beer drinker and their partnership with Mayan Street Food gives you plenty of delicious dishes to try.
  • Akasha Brewing Company. The taproom on East Market Street has a 24-tap draft wall. You can also play a number of arcade or board games, or enjoy the outdoor seating. You can bring your own food if you wish, and there are non-alcoholic beverages for those who don’t wish to drink or aren’t old enough.
  • The Earl. If you’re looking for a quick change of scenery, cross the Ohio River and visit The Earl in Indiana. Only a short 15 minute drive, The Earl offers unique, signature cocktails and delicious appetizers. You can visit them Monday-Thursday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. or Friday-Saturday from 4 p.m. to 3 p.m.

In addition to having tours, some of these places may also host fun events that you can attend. Check out what they all have to offer so you don’t miss out.

Nature Trails and Hiking

You’ve read about all the festivals, the restaurants, and the distilleries, but Louisville also has natural beauty that people can take advantage of in the summer months.

  • Turkey Run Park. This park’s wide network of trails provides plenty of options for hikers and cyclists, ranging from beginner-friendly to more advanced. Some paths in Turkey Run Park you may want to check out are the Boone Bottoms Trail, Wild Hyacinth Trail, and Seaton Valley Trail.
  • Louisville Nature Center. You can see wildlife exhibits, the wildflower garden and pond, and all the gorgeous butterflies that the summer season invites. The Louisville Nature Center is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free!
  • Garvin Brown Preserve. This beautiful preserve is 46 acres and open from dawn until dusk. Garvin Brown Preserve is a perfect spot for walking and appreciating nature. River Fields owns and preserves this area and they actively advocate for land preservation.

With all these kinds of activities to do and places to see, your summer is shaping up to be exciting and full of adventures. Take advantage of everything you can do in Louisville this season.

Thomas Law Offices Wishes You a Wonderful Summer

At Thomas Law Offices, we’re proud that our first location is in Louisville. This welcoming city has so much to offer its citizens and those visiting. Check out an event, enjoy a meal out, visit a distillery, or take a nature walk because these all support Louisville and the fantastic community we have here. We hope you have a safe and exciting summer!