Date of Trip: March 2005
I was invited by a friend who was going to Louisville for business to “tag along” for pleasure. There were many unique, fun things for me to do while she was at work!
Kentucky Derby Museum
A highlight of our trip to Louisville was our visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum. We used public bus no. 4 to get to Churchill Downs. The 360-degree video of the Derby and its history was AWESOME! You felt just like you were there on Derby day. We toured the grounds, and it was fun to see, up close, all the things you see if you watch the Derby on TV that first Saturday in May. If you get a coupon from the Louisville Visitor’s Center for a free gift, you will receive a horseshoe with the colors of the last Derby winner.
If you happen to be in town on the first or last Friday of the month, there are special celebrations on certain streets in town. The trolleys in that area are “free,” and many galleries and shops stay open late. We attended the FAT Friday Trolley Hop (last Friday of the month) on Frankfort Avenue — we browsed galleries and shops and ate at a wonderful Irish pub, The Irish Rover. Because it was around Fat Tuesday, we even got to be “in” the Louisville Mardi Gras parade!
You can use a variety of public transportation to travel around the city to many sights/activities. We used the trolleys, public buses, and our trusty footsies!
Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar
After a full day of sightseeing, we wanted just a drink and light snack in our hotel on our last evening in town. We went to the Jockey Silks Bourbon bar on the second floor of the hotel and enjoyed amaretto sours and potato skins, which were delicious. The bar was quiet, and it was fun to browse the hundred different bottles of bourbon behind the bar as we relaxed and shared our impressions of our day. Service was good, and it was nice to be able to enjoy ourselves without having to go back outside in the cold and wind!
The Galt House
We stayed in the West Tower of the hotel. Imagine our delight when we opened the curtain in our room, looked out our picture window onto the Ohio River, and were able to see the barges floating down the river with a beautiful sunset in the background! And from our comfortable beds! The room was very spacious and clean, and the hotel was very centrally located to visit the sights of downtown Louisville. The hotel has a restaurant and a bourbon bar, Jockey Silks, where we enjoyed drinks and apps one evening.
Since we were there in winter, it was nice to use the covered walkway to the Convention Center to keep us out of the cold/wind for several extra blocks! Since my friend was there for a convention, we were able to get the convention rate for our stay.
The Irish Rover
Because we dined here on Friday night during the Mardi Gras parade and the FAT Friday Trolley tour, the pub was packed! We had a wait of about 20 minutes. Depending on the day/time of your visit, you might want to make reservations if you can. There was a bar near the entrance, so you can enjoy a pint while you wait. The pub was in a 150-year-old building that began as a saloon. Service was very good, and our waiter was willing to chat and answer our questions about food choices, size of portions, and history of the place even though the place was packed. We had house salads and shared an order of Guinness Beef Stew so that we could save room for dessert. I tried the hard cider with my meal. For dessert we had bread and butter pudding. It was served warm with whiskey-caramel sauce and cream. A delicious ending to a fun meal!