Louisville has eight National Historic Landmarks, and two of them are related to the Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating Mississippi River-style steamboat in the country. The two landmarks are the ship itself and its dock, which was once used by the U.S. Coast Guard as Life-Saving Station #10. Mark Doty, the Belle’s Master or Head Captain, says the Belle stands out from the many other attractions in Greater Louisville because it represe
nts the city’s origins.
“This is the last part of the river steamboat history left in this part of the world,” Doty says. “There is so much going on in this town, right now. There is always something happening in Waterfront Park. You got the Whiskey Row and Fourth Street Live, with all the restaurant and bars. With so much excitement, it’s good to have a reminder of a time when people lived at a slower pace.”
“There is so much going on in this town, right now. There is always something happening in Waterfront Park.”
– Mark Doty, Head Captain for Belle of Louisville
Greater Louisville has several attractions that celebrate its past. The area has the largest contiguous collection of Victorian homes, and the third largest historic preservation district in the country. But Greater Louisville also has its eye on tomorrow. The Green Building is the region’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified building. The environmentally-conscious structure is home to a contemporary art space, a record company, and a café.
Greater Louisville has a lot to offer when it comes to attraction. In the listings below, you will find zoos, wineries, haunted mansions, and water parks. This is just a fraction of the exciting activities available in your new home. Have fun exploring.
Unique Entertainment Venues
Fourth Street Live!
400 S. Fourth St. (between Liberty St. and Muhammad Ali Blvd.)
584-7170 or (812) 282-LIVE
Selected as one of the best projects of its kind in America by the Urban Land Institute, Fourth Street Live! is the remarkable transformation of a struggling urban mall into a $72 million thriving dining and entertainment complex in the heart of Louisville’s downtown. Fourth Street Live! hosts concerts, special events and numerous entertainers that draw thousands each weekend. A variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs have invigorated the downtown nightlife and have made Fourth Street Live! a truly “happening” entertainment venue. Parking is available at the Fourth Street Live! parking garage (off Fifth St., between Muhammad Ali Blvd. and Liberty St.), the Starks garage, Seelbach garage, Hyatt/Convention Center garage and the Cowger garage.
Horseshoe Casino Hotel
11999 Casino Center Dr. SE
SR 111 (8 miles west of New Albany, IN)
Horseshoe Casino Hotel offers more than 2,000 slot machines and 100 table games. The resort also includes a 503-room hotel, fitness center and an indoor pool. Although it’s only a 20-minute drive from downtown Louisville, you’ll feel like you’re in a Las Vegas casino. Open 24 hours daily.
700 Central Ave.
People across the world recognize the twin spires of Louisville’s famous Churchill Downs. Home to the “greatest two minutes in sports,” Churchill Downs is always THE place to be the first weekend in May, as the fillies vie for the Kentucky Oaks title and the three-year-olds run for the Roses when Derby gets underway. The track hosts live thoroughbred racing during its spring and fall meets as well as concerts and special events throughout the year. Hands (or hooves) down, Churchill Downs offers one of the best authentic Louisville experiences you can have.
Belle of Louisville and The Spirit of Jefferson
401 W. River Rd.
The Belle of Louisville, a National Historic Landmark and The Spirit of Jefferson serve as the western anchor of Louisville’s award-winning Waterfront Park. With the playing of her calliope, the Belle, now in her 98th year, continues to beckon passengers, many of whom book the steamboat for charter tours. Special events are offered, including Halloween, Breakfast With Santa and New Year’s Eve cruises.
Joe Huber Family Farm & Restaurant
2421 Engle Rd.
(812) 923-5255 or 877-Joe-Hubers
Established in 1843, Joe Huber Family Farm encompasses 600 breathtaking acres perfect for either a family or romantic day trip. Joe Huber Family Farm offers an entertaining reminder to appreciate family, homemade products and the beauty of the land. The restaurant features country-style dinners. Guests can stroll or take a wagon ride through the fields of strawberries, pumpkins, flowers and daylilies and the apple orchard. There’s also a market, cheese factory, winery, petting zoo and gift shop. Numerous events and fruit picking opportunities are held throughout the year.
1100 Trevilian Way
With more than 1,700 animals, the Louisville Zoo offers unique adventures around every turn, including its share of lions, tigers and bears. The multi-phase Glacier Run exhibit hosts polar bear cubs, grizzly bears and sea lions and allows zoo-goers to observe them from a new amphitheater. Also enjoy the waddles of penguins in the Islands exhibit or watch the elephants perform their tricks in the African village. Year-round passes are your best bet since one trip to the zoo is never the same as another. Special events such as orchestra performances and Halloween trick-or-treating offer something for everyone. Mid March-Labor Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sept.-Mid March., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
400 E. State Rd. 64
Discovered by a 15-year-old girl and her younger brother in 1883, Marengo Cave has been an explorer’s paradise for well over a hundred years. The U.S. National Landmark offers a variety of underground splendor rarely seen in a single cave. The park that overlies the cave and the nearby recreation area provides many activities, including canoeing, gemstone mining, a cave simulator, hiking, fishing and much more. Open daily at 9 a.m. year-round, except Thanksgiving & Christmas.
Yew Dell Gardens
6220 Old LaGrange Rd.
Yew Dell is the former home, garden and arboretum of the late commercial nurseryman Theodore Klein. His unique collection of rare garden plants, display gardens and unique architectural features have been developed into a major horticultural display, education and research center and a visitors area. Apr.-Nov., Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m.; Dec.-Mar., Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.