Adventure,  Day Trip,  Travel

Day Trip: Louisville Edition

We’ve all celebrated a farewell to single life down this city’s famous fourth street. The “Derby City” has a lot more charm than we give it credit for.  As the largest city in the state of Kentucky, Louisville is a diamond in the rough when it comes to its thriving dining scene, wide array of entertainment, & it’s expanding list of adventures & activities to get yourself lost in.

Visit

For over 60 years, the first full weekend in October has meant that it’s St. James Court Art Show time in Louisville. Back in 1957, St James Court Association was faced with an empty treasury, mounting debt for recent fountain repairs, and an immediate need to generate funds.

The St. James Court Fountain

The Art Show seemed to be a perfect means to pay the bills and bring residents together. Since then, the show has grown to 725 exhibitors and more than 100,000 attendees, making it one of the nation’s largest outdoor art shows.

A sculpture seen at the art show (I like to call this Fat Bottom Girls)
This artist transformed metals into cacti
Their infamous bloody mary’s

Besides all the fabulous art to be purchased, there is also food and bloody mary’s galore.  My favorite part is that the event is held among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes. It is definitely a sight to be seen.

Eat

8UP outdoor bar

8UP

If you want a beautiful view of a Louisville sunset while enjoying some delicious hand-crafted cocktails, 8UP is where it’s at!  8UP Drinkery & Kitchen is located on the rooftop of the Hilton hotel and it features an outdoor + indoor seating area, offering the best in unparalleled views of the city.

Beautiful sunset captured from 8UP rooftop bar

If you stop by, don’t forget to try one of their infamous cocktails.

  • The “Girl on Fire” -a tequila drink infused with vanilla & blackberry
  • “8UP Peach Julep” -Maker’s with honey & lemon

The outdoor bar area features three long community tables with fire pits.  No matter what season, this spot will be HOT!

Le Moo

If you love a good steak & drag show, this is the place for you! Le Moo is a glitzy restaurant with a hint of tacky.  When you arrive you are welcomed by a giant steel bull & a bright neon sign.  The inside decor reflects a Texas feel (think giant stuffed bull heads & rustic furniture) with a dash of glam.  If you are feeling a bit “extra”, request their vintage booth upholstered in none other than the famous Louis Vuitton fabric.

Photo Cred: Le Moo

Not only is the atmosphere exciting but the food is something to call home about.  Le Moo is known for their steak & they even offer a “tenderloin flight” which includes 6 ounces of every steak option on the menu.  If you aren’t feeling meaty, the restaurant has plenty of other delicious options. Once you finish your meal, your bill is delivered to your table in a trashy novel and your leftovers can be picked up on the way out through a “coat check” style service by the door.

Romaine Wedge Salad served with homemade warm brown-sugar cherrywood bacon dressing

Celebrate your birthday with dinner at Le Moo and you will get your age in dollars discounted from the cost of your steak or entree, even if you’re turning 100! Stop by on Sundays for brunch and enjoy one of it’s extremely popular drag shows. The owner, Kevin Grangier, explains the experience best, “There is nothing about Le Moo that makes sense.” So reserve your table today, you know you want to.

Please & Thank You

Please & Thank You is a small-batch southern bakery & coffee house with three retail shops & a bake-house ,located in Louisville, KY.  I visited the shop on East Market Street in the area of town they call NuLu. The coffee was amazing and if you get a chance, grab some of their baked goods to-go or take a seat and try their famous cinnamon toast.

Iced Coffee & Cinnamon Toast
A MUST for your next visit. Royal HOT Chicken, their outdoor seating is a shipping container!

ROC

Ya’ll, this was my all time favorite restaurant during our three day weekend in L-town.  I am Italian & I could eat pasta all day so I may be partial, but ROC is my JAM!

This Italian restaurant sits in a home in The Highlands on Bardstown Road, which has been refurbished into a charming and chic hotspot. The owner, Rocco Cadolini, (hence the name ROC) moved the restaurant that originated in Tribeca to Louisville and it was the perfect fit. The restaurant has two authentic Italian chefs from Puglia working to serve you the best Italian meal you’ve ever had.

I could go on and on about how delicious their pasta dishes & wine was.  The owner and his family all help out around the restaurant and we were introduced to the man himself.  If there is one place to try while visiting Louisville, this is it!

Butchertown Grocery

By now, you are noticing the theme that all trips of mine are centered around food.  I can’t help it! Living in a town labeled “city of restaurants”, I like to branch out & support the locals in other communities when I can.  The last stop on my food tour of Louisville is a trendy spot located in the Butchertown district called Butchertown Grocery.

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Butchertown Grocery has an extensive list of brunch items & baked goods.  They also don’t skim on the mimosas.  Looking for a more casual evening of lounging? Their upstairs lounge, Lola, offers the same fantastic food offered in Butchertown Grocery’s dining room, but with more of a “living room” feel. Fridays and Saturdays showcase a late night menu until 2AM. Make sure you schedule a reservation, this place fills up fast!

Do

Revelry Boutique & Gallery

Located just down the street from Please & Thank You in NuLu, a boutique full of handmade jewelry, art, & home decor can be found. Revelry Boutique & Gallery is an amazing spot for unique finds.  The shop’s goal is to make art accessible to everyone, so the art is offered at affordable prices.  The shop also features a gallery located in the back room that rotates new art pieces every month.

Louisville Mega Cavern

The Louisville Mega Cavern is an 100 acre limestone cavern and is located under the Louisville Zoo . Ranked #1 on the list of things to do in Louisville by TripAdvisor, this Mega Cavern offers loads of adventure.

I chose to partake in the Mega Zips option, which is a 2.5 hour guided tour through the cavern on 6 underground zip-lines.  It also features two challenge bridges & a dual racing zip-line. I highly recommend this for first-timers, as the guides hook you up on each line and catch you at the end. All you have to do is take a leap and hold on! Our guides, Ben & Coy, were fantastic, making it a super enjoyable and hilarious time even though we were nervous.  This tour is guaranteed to get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping!

My partner in crime, Kim, braved the heights with me

If you’re a more “at your own pace” type of person and have more strength and willingness to do things on your own, try the Mega Quest. This is an aerial ropes challenge course and the only one of its kind, fully underground.  You go through training and then are sent out to transfer your ropes on your own from one of the 76 challenges to another.

Mega Quest Course

If you want something less strenuous and more relaxed, try out the Mega Tram. This historic tram tour takes you on an underground adventure, rich in history, geology, & mining.  This tour is great for all ages, whether you want to learn about science and history, or simply want to see what a giant man-made cavern of this magnitude looks like!

Mega-Tram Tour

The Mega Caverns even have an underground bike park.  Mega Bikes is 320,000 square feet and includes 45 trails, jump lines, pump tracks, dual slalom, bmx, cross country, and single track all in a former limestone cavern 100 feet sub-surface.  Bring your bike and enjoy the 60 degree temps year round.

Mega Bike Course

Lastly, enjoy a 1.5 hour guided, behind the scenes tour, of the Mega Cavern with their electric bike tour. Mega E-Bikes is the only tour which customers get to view all areas of the cavern and experience a moment of total darkness.  You are riding an electric powered bike with brakes so there is only a minor amount of pedaling.

Electric Fat Bike Tour

The caverns have such a wide array of activities, you are sure to find something for everyone!

Louisville is only a short drive away from Indiana, it literally sits across the state line. So grab your friends or family, pack your bags, & head on out to an adventure through the “Gateway to the South”.

Happy Travels,

-M.

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