Jennifer Lawrence Louisville

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As I mentioned in this post, my first visit to the Bluegrass State was last September.

Besides the Derby and bourbon, my knowledge was pretty limited.

Walter, knowing full well that I have a liking for The Hunger Games (see this post), took noticed of the magazine cover story in our hotel room: The Lawrence Family’s (yes, J Law’s parents) favorite Louisville spots.

It didn’t take much for me to declare that we would be following at least some their suggestions, but with less than 24 hours left in the city, we only have time to try out one. 

If you have limited time Louisville, here is my recommended timeline for a surprisingly relaxing day in Louisville filled with a lot of local treasures.


Thanks to the Lawrence recommendation, we started our day (after coffee, of course) by walking over the Big Four BridgeThis pedestrian only bridge stretches over the Ohio River and connects Louisville to nearby Jefferson, Indiana.


The beautiful September weather had locals and tourists flocking to bridge, but its large size accommodate crowds without feeling cramped. There is a beautiful riverside park on the Louisville side, and plans to build a similar public space in Indiana. 

IMG_4803The bridge will undoubtedly attract more people now that a multicolored lighting system with nightly shows was installed in February.






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Next, we headed to Churchill Downs for the second time that weekend to visit the Derby Museum
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Included with admission ($14) is a 30 minute guided walking tour of the Churchill Downs grounds, a short film, and two floors of permanent/special exhibits.
I suggest taking the time to do all three, and also opt in for the Barn & Backstable Tour ($11), which is your only opportunity to see any of the active horses and their stables. 
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We worked up quite an appetite by this point so instead of going to The Brown Hotel again for hot browns, we chose to stay at the museum and order it at the attached Derby Cafe (pictured above).
If you’re a vegan or a craft beer fan, I suggest heading downtown instead and visiting Against the Grain Brewery. Walter and I enjoyed their smoked porter and seitan honey “wings” a day earlier. 


We finished our day by touring the immensely cool 21c Museum Hotel.

Staying at this hotel is an opportunity to live amongst the hundreds of modern art pieces scattered throughout the hotel floors and housed in the – 24 hour and open to the public museum – on the bottom floor. 

The museum pieces are a mix of bold choices including paintings, films, and installations – even an industrial alleyway smoke ring exhibit (below).  

IMG_4822It’s rare to see a hotel open itself to the public as much as 21c does, and I think it’s something more properties around the country should consider.

Walter and I stayed for dinner at Proof on Main, and we were very impressed. The entire menu – drinks, food, dessert, was extremely diverse in its offerings, and had many local options we were not familiar with. 

We shared the Sunday supper option ($38) and ordered a few items from the ala carte menu, and we enjoyed all of our selections. 

IMG_4832Although my time spent in Louisville was short, I definitely hope to return again and experience even more of the modern gems in the city. 

What’s your favorite place to visit in Louisville? Let me know below or on Twitter!


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