With more than 66 square miles, Louisville, Kentucky, is home to many fantastic hotspots. As it is known, Derby City is the biggest town in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and it boasts a seemingly endless array of beautiful attractions. The place is more than just the abode of its famous Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, and The Louisville Sluggers.
This neighborhood has features that will attract those who enjoy the urban atmosphere and prefer more suburban settings, particularly those under 21 looking for more festivities in the metropolitan area.
To aid you in constricting down your preferences, we have compiled a list of the top 11 best things to do in Louisville. Our reference includes local favorites like diners, arcades, cinemas, and cultural centers to fill your bucket list of notable places in this small town.
List of Contents
- 1. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium
- 2. Xscape Theatres – Blankenbaker 16
- 3. Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular
- 4. Dave and Buster’s
- 5. The Louisville Palace
- 6. Kentucky Derby Museum
- 7. Kentucky Science Center
- 8. Speed Art Museum
- 9. Main Event Louisville
- 10. Old Louisville Tavern
- 11. 21c Museum Hotel Louisville
1. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium
The Waverly Hills is a deserted sanatorium in southwestern Louisville, in Jefferson County, Kentucky. It began as a two-story hospital in 1910, catering to tuberculosis patients. The old health facility is now run by private shareholders who offer overnight guests and ghost tours in the historic building.
This renowned site is listed on the National Historic Landmark because of its historical relevance and the architecture and design importance of the structure.
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was rebuilt and converted into a guesthouse for locals and tourists. The management provides tours that educate guests about the building’s origins and history. Furthermore, this location is ideal for paranormal adventurers and ghost hunters because of its historical significance.
People under the age of 21 must accompany an adult when visiting the hospital. They are encouraged to take a day tour. It is one of the coolest and scariest places in America.
2. Xscape Theatres – Blankenbaker 16
Xscape Theatre, Blankenbaker 16 location is one of Louisville, Kentucky’s leading cinema complexes, having opened in 2015. It is a subsidiary of the Xscape movie theatre that provides every seat in their premier auditoriums with first-class perspectives of the industry’s most giant screens.
The Blankenbaker 16 branch opens to everyone of all ages. They are proud of their auditoriums, which feature 70-foot curved displays and plush, battery-powered leather recliners in each seat. In addition, they fascinate their audience with 4K dual moving images, promising an impression that is multiple times as precise as industry best practices.
It’s much more fun to watch a movie in this place if you can attend one of their private screenings with restricted visitor access. Also, take full advantage of the ahead of time option to buy for your ticket to ensure a stress-free movie experience.
3. Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular started in 1988 in Oxford, Massachusetts. The Louisville occasion is held in Iroquois Park. It features 5,000 sculpted pumpkins lit at night as an “art exhibition.” Passion for Pumpkins Inc., an interactive media production house, which converts any landscape into a lighted natural gallery, is the event’s maker.
This festival, open to the public, features a nightly luminance that provides entertainment for the entire family. Everybody is looking forward to the more than 100 pumpkins that have been crafted into art pieces. The proceeds from this charity fundraiser will also benefit the Parks Alliance of Louisville.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular organizes a sensory night for people with autism spectrum disorders. There is also a winter-themed art encounter with vast numbers of twinkling lights in magnificent Iroquois Park. Have a fantastic stint at this one-of-a-kind, unique event in Louisville.
4. Dave and Buster’s
Dave & Buster’s Louisville is just off the Henry Watterson Expressway, near the Mall St. Matthews, and is one of America’s family-friendly chain sport-bar style subsidiaries. The venue features an entertainment venue, occasion packages, arcade games, and large 40 inches LED television displays for sports events.
Indulge in sumptuous meals at the hotspot that caters to everyone’s taste. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a meal and play the most awaited arcade games in town at the recreational spot. It also provides significantly discounted rates to military personnel and first responders.
The “eat and play combo” promotion at Dave and Buster’s in Louisville makes it easier to spend time there. The food menu includes an allergy choice for those who have severe reactions to specific ingredients. Also available are house specialties such as chicken quesadillas, cheesecake dip, kids’ Mac and cheese, and kids’ cheeseburger and fries.
5. The Louisville Palace
The Louisville Palace on 4th Street is a concert hall in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, located among Broadway and Chestnut Street in the city’s theater district. The architect John Eberson designed the historical site, which launched on September 1, 1928. Live Nation owns the venue, which has a seating capacity of 2,800 individuals.
Everyone is welcome to attend spectacular live events at the Louisville Palace, which has seven locations in its 22,894 square feet of architectural landmark features. One of the more significant advantages of this facility is that it has an ADA lodge that caters to people with a disability, particularly children on the autism spectrum.
This historic old concert hall in the city center produces incredible shows for people of all ages. The venue has a cozy atmosphere and a great seating arrangement to satisfy your entertainment needs. Furthermore, the palace’s interior design is utterly gorgeous and photogenic.
6. Kentucky Derby Museum
The Kentucky Derby Museum is a Racehorse exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky, situated on the premises of Churchill Downs. It first decided to open its doors to the public in the spring of 1985 to preserve the history of the Kentucky Derby. A large portion of its initial budget comes from the inheritance of James Graham Brown.
The two floors of exhibit space are open to the public, including a 360-degree auditorium demonstrating The Greatest Race’s high-definition video. Visitors can learn about the reproduction and coaching of a young foal and its path towards the winner’s circle of the Kentucky Derby through the motion picture and displays.
The Kentucky Derby Museum focuses on the seating plan, how bets are placed, the background of the derby, and the horses you must understand. Indeed, it is pleasant to probe the fundamental nature of Louisville’s renowned event, which has become a global thing.
7. Kentucky Science Center
The Kentucky Science Center, located on West Main Street in Downtown Louisville, began as a natural history archive and has grown to become Kentucky’s largest hands-on science museum. The facility is 150,000 square feet and has six interactive learning sections.
The five-story Alexander Building is nearly 37,000 square feet and attracts visitors to the hub, packed with interactive scientific activities. The number of visitors here surpasses half a million per year. The pendulum, which has been a regular feature of the building for decades, is one of the main attractions in the center.
The Kentucky Science Center is a fantastic place for people to visit. The Kid Zone and four science laboratories are located on the first-floor wing, the human anatomy on the third floor, and the spinning exhibits. Get into an Imax production in the area for a fantastic movie experience.
8. Speed Art Museum
The Speed Art Museum, located on Third Street beside the University of Louisville, is Kentucky’s earliest known, most prominent, and most important national museum. Outside of its collection and international displays, the Speed Gallery offers visitors the Speed Concert Series, the Art Sparks Immersive Family Gallery, and the famous After Hours.
The 60,000 square foot North Building, which houses one of the country’s best experiential art museums, receives approximately 180,000 visitors. Speed Art Museum features a contemporary space for more extensive special exhibitions, a café, a store, a movie theatre, and a multipurpose pavilion for performances, presentations, and entertainment.
This vast area is a must-see for anyone who enjoys looking at worldwide art collections and participating in various exciting activities all in one place. This Louisville treasure houses a collection of ancient cultures’ art and native, European, and African art and is undoubtedly a fantastic community representation.
9. Main Event Louisville
Main Event in Louisville is a food and entertainment tourist attraction with more forms to have an enjoyable time with the family than you can fit into a single visit. Amenities here include bowling, multi-level laser tag, VR experience, and an arcade games collection with over 100 of the newest interactive games.
Main Event Louisville welcomes everyone, plus it is one of the best places in Louisville to cater significant events such as birthdays, meetings, and corporate happenings. Plus, it features Dojo, a Star Wars VR adventure, as a new attraction.
Don’t miss out on the fun in the gravity rope, mini golf, multi balls, pool tables, and story rooms at the center. After having your fill of dome fun, you can sample the house’s favorites, including Classic Shirley, Cotton Candy Shirley, Loaded Queso & Chips, and Lollipop Straw. Don’t forget to get some Sliders, Lil Chicken Dippers, and a Birthday Cake Shake.
10. Old Louisville Tavern
The Old Louisville Tavern is a friendly neighborhood hangout that serves specialty burgers and other comfort foods and brews and a pleasant environment for all customers. The restaurant serves the best bar food in town. It has lively music offerings and a comfortable ambiance, a great perk in a dining space.
This hotspot in the heart of downtown has a very community vibe but is inviting to everyone. There is a broad set of freshly prepared menu items to suit all tastes. Plus, Old Louisville Tavern offers several weekly specials promotion that entices everyone. The range of choices is impressive and diverse.
Dining here is a must-try, whether you live in the neighborhood or passing through and want to feast on an extra special menu for dinner. Order the house specialties, such as the Knocker Burger, Parmesan Truffle Fries, The Old Louisville Dip, and the Wings.
11. 21c Museum Hotel Louisville
The 21c Museum Hotel, located on legendary West Main Street along Museum Row in downtown Louisville, is a multi-venue modern art gallery, an award-winning 91-room luxury hotel, and the home of the lauded Proof on Main restaurant. This hotspot is the state of Kentucky’s first-ever museum hotel.
The Muhammad Ali Center, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and the whiskey distilleries are all within a short walk.
For more than ten years, 21c Louisville has amused visitors and residents with a few of the best contemporary art. The venue has compiled galleries and location infrastructure representing modern culture’s worldwide nature. Five nineteenth-century storage facilities have been transformed into over 9,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The accommodation has a modern design with a high ceiling and large windows to complement the museum’s core purpose. Also, the famous indoor dining space Proof on Main offers a delectable and freshly crafted menu to give every local comfort from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Derby City has many delightful things to offer that are well worth everyone’s time, especially those under 21. The vibrant town center of the neighborhood and its suburban area are full of exciting stuff to do. You will never waste any of your invaluable whiles rendering some of it in Louisville.
We appreciate you taking the time to read the best options in our handlists. Is there anything we overlooked, or do you know of a great place to add? We would value to hear about your own experiences from our carefully curated list! Let’s talk, and kindly leave your ideas in the comments section.