There is SO MUCH to do here in the New Albany/Louisville metro region. There’s no way to list everything on this page, but here are some of our favorites.
21C Museum – This is one of the premier spots in Louisville to see contemporary art. Their galleries are free and open 24/7 (it’s a functioning boutique hotel, too). If it’s the right time of day, stop by the bar, pick up a drink and walk through the galleries with it! 21C is an easy place to spot – it’s right behind the giant golden replica of the famous “David” sculpture by Michelangelo. While you’re there, look for the limousine covered in thousands of pieces of rounded glass – it’s usually parked at the corner of Main and 7th. Google map.
KMAC – located just across the street from 21C is KMAC, another great museum and a staple of the art culture in Louisville. It’s free to see their rotating exhibitions and other selections from their permanent collection. They also have programming and events for kids. Don’t miss the gift shop on the first floor for creative and interesting local gifts and curiosities. Google map.
Big Four Walking Bridge – When the weather is nice, walking across the Big Four Walking Bridge is a great way to see the Ohio River with some awesome views of Louisville. It can be accessed from either the Louisville or the Jeffersonville side, both just a short drive from the Bough House. There is a gradual sloping walkway to get up to the bridge, easy for strollers, bikes, etc. On the Louisville side, the bridge is accessed from Waterfront Park (which is also a great place to visit!). The Indiana side is accessed from the historic downtown Jeffersonville area and there are lots of great restaurants and bars to visit on that side. Google map.
Churchill Downs Racetrack – If the horses are racing, don’t miss visiting the iconic Churchill Downs racetrack and home of the Kentucky Derby. The Bough House is just 20 minutes from the track. Check to see if you’re visiting the area during one of the “meets”. If so, you can get a general admission ticket for $3 and park for free in one of the far lots. If you’re here during the Oaks, Derby, or Breeder’s Cup, you’ll need more than $3 to get in. No matter when you go, it’s lots of fun and who knows, maybe you’ll win big! Google map.
Louisville Zoo – We are big fans of the Louisville Zoo and always recommend it for any visitors looking for a little getaway. Our daughter loves it, but there are lots of interesting things to do there for adults as well. In addition to all the great animal exhibits, they also have shorter term rotating exhibitions like Wild Lights and Meet the Dinosaurs! The Zoo is just a 20-25 minute drive from the Bough House. Google map.
Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant – On the Indiana side of the river, Huber’s Farm offers a lot to do for the whole family. There are orchards to pick apples, pumpkins, and other vegetables. If picking your own food isn’t what you’re looking for, there’s a restaurant and winery on the farm, too! Google map.
Louisville Slugger Museum – This place is cool even for the casual baseball fan. Start at the museum and then take a tour of the working factory to see how they make the iconic Louisville Slugger bat. Leave with a complimentary Louisville Slugger mini bat. The museum is really interesting for kids and adults. Google map.
Carnegie Center for Art and History – Less than a mile from the Bough House, the Carnegie Center for Art and History has a great gallery of contemporary regional artists. Behind the contemporary gallery are historical exhibitions about New Albany and the region. It’s free and well worth the stop. There is also an active calendar of events at the museum, so check their website to see what’s happening. Google map.
Ohio River Greenway – The Ohio River Greenway includes a series of walking and biking paths that go along the Ohio River. We walk there often when the weather is nice and there are great views and secluded little spots to wind down. It’s about a mile walk from the Bough House, but there are also many place to park if you would rather drive down there. Loop Island Trail can be accessed from the greenway path, so if you’re looking for a short hike close by, that’s an option. Here’s a place to park.
Evan Williams Bourbon Experience – This is an interactive viewing and learning experience where you walk through the history of bourbon in the Louisville area. See how they are distilling bourbon right on the premises. Once you’re done with the learning portion of the experience, there’s a great tasting room at the end of the tour. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage for the rest of your stay at the Bough House! If you don’t finish it, just go ahead and leave it on the kitchen counter before you leave :). Google map.
Actors Theatre – A 15 minute drive from the Bough House, Actors Theatre is a GREAT place to see a play in downtown Louisville. There are plays and events there for all ages. We like to arrive early and eat and have a drink at Milkwood, a really cool restaurant underneath the theater. There are plays nearly every day, so take a look at the calendar on their website. Google map.
Louisville Orchestra – A nationally known orchestra headed by Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra should not be missed. Their goal is “to become known as the most interesting orchestra on the planet.” Check their website for events and show times.
Waterfront Park – This huge park on the Louisville waterfront is a great place to walk along the water .. or over the water on the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge between Louisville and Jeffersonville. There are large playgrounds for the kids and lots of space to explore. Waterfront Park is also home to events like Forecastle music festival, Waterfront Wednesdays, and many other events. Google map.
Speed Art Museum – A beautiful and must-visit kind of place, we love the Speed Art Museum. Newly reopened after a 4-year, 50 million dollar renovation, the Speed museum offers something for everyone. There are contemporary and historical art galleries, a museum shop and restaurant, and a theater showing films you won’t find at the mega theaters in town. Don’t miss the chance to see the Speed! Google map.
The Nulu area of Louisville is a great place to find boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants. It is located mostly on East Market Street in Louisville between S. Hancock and S. Wenzel streets. Some of our favorite restaurants are there, including the Mayan Cafe, Garage Bar, and Rye. And don’t miss the Swanson Contemporary gallery to see exhibitions by local and regional artists.