Nearly Native’s City Guide: 24 Hours in Louisville, KY

Traveling in the winter can be tough. Unexpected weather leads to accidents and delays that leave you wondering why you ever left the comfortable cocoon of your own bed. Call me when it’s Spring, please! However, despite the dreary skies and colder temps, I’m still always in favor of getting out of the house and mixing things up a bit. So, in the spirit of not letting things get stagnate, my manfriend and I decided to take a quick trick up to Louisville to meet some friends. While we only had 24 hours to explore, we tried to make the most of it! Here’s a rundown of what we did to help you plan your next trip to the city that’s home to the Kentucky Derby and some seriously delicious bourbon.

First, from Tennessee, Louisville is totally driveable, taking anywhere between 2 to 4 hours (in general) to get to, depending on where in the state you’re located. This close regional distance made the trip even more appealing for a quick 24-hour trip. We arrived in Louisville early afternoon, just in time for quick bite to eat before we checked in to our Airbnb.

Garage Bar: Located on Market Street in downtown Louisville, this eclectic little spot is perfect for sharing one of their brick oven pizzas on the patio. Their pizzas are great for one person (if you’re really hungry) or good for splitting if you just need a little something in your belly. While their menu changes seasonally and their craft beer list is massive, it’s easy to find something that satisfies. We had a Margherita pizza and some samples from the Ham & Cheese Bar. Highly recommend this spot for a casual bite in a popular part of town.

Next, we checked in to our Airbnb and relaxed for a bit before making our way to another spot for a some pre-sports game bites. The main even of the night for us was the Louisville vs. UNC Men’s Basketball game because go sports, so we decided to grab an early bite beforehand.

The Hub Louisville: Our pre-game meal was at this trendy sports lounge on Frankfort Avenue and we couldn’t have picked a better spot! This place was lively, had plenty of bar space and televisions, plus, pool tables. We decided to split a few of their bar bites between the four of us – everything looked so yummy we couldn’t decide on just one thing! The food was perfect for our pre-game food needs, but most notable for me was their Gin and Tonic. It might sound generic, but if you like Gin, this drink is a must-try because of their house-made spiced tonic. Seriously, it was too drinkable. I wanted to take some home with me!

From The Hub, we made our way to the KFC Yum! Center for the basketball game. This arena was a great place to watch some college ball. Even if you don’t root for any team in particular, live sports, like college basketball, can be fun to enjoy with friends. After the game we decided to head back towards the part of town that our Airbnb was in, which happened to be in the Highlands off of Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road. This area was hopping with bars and restaurants lining the streets and people out and about for their Saturday night. If you’re looking for walkable entertainment from your apartment rental or hotel, this is the neighborhood I’d recommend.

O’Shea’s Irish Pub: We ended the evening at this cozy pub that you could tell could definitely get rowdy. I bet their St. Patrick’s Day celebration is something else! This was a great spot to end the night because we could enjoy a little live music, but still chat with each other. They also have a patio that would be great for a warm afternoon.

Sunday

We had time to grab a quick brunch on Sunday before heading back home, so we made our way to a restaurant known for its brunch called LouVino. Sadly, when we arrived we found out that all their tables were reserved for the next several hours. Obviously, we weren’t the only ones looking for some southern-style sustenance that morning. We walked out of two more restaurants due to crowds and our lack of reservation until we found one we liked without a wait. Moral of the story is: make reservations for Sunday Brunch.

Harvest: We happened on this gem of a brunch spot near downtown on Market Street. It’s hard to miss, as their name is painted across the facade of their store front. We parked on the street and made our way into this locally grown restaurant. What I mean by “locally grown” is that Harvest sources its ingredients from the local economy, turning out delicious southern dishes that are perfect for a Sunday morning. From their Fried Bologna and Smoked Pork Belly to their Harvest Salad and Farmer’s Omelet, Harvest is just the place for trying the delicious dishes you expect from the South.

After a very short, but amazing 24 hours, we had to make our way back home, but here are a few other great things to try while you’re visiting Louisville:

Why not plan your next easy getaway to Louisville, Kentucky? Seems better than sitting on the couch to me!

 

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