Ideas for visiting Louisville, Kentucky.
August 11, 2010 7:41 AM   Subscribe

I live in Atlanta and take a couple of road trips a year by myself to clear my mind and write. I’m married and not looking for ‘a good time’ in that sense. Mostly I want to enjoy a good drive and a lively public space. A good local bookstore is a plus, but I’ll need a good coffee shop and some entertaining watering holes where I can sit in the corner and write. Parks and green spaces are also a plus. Also, as an Atlantan I really drive too much and would rather not do a lot of driving when I get to my destination. I’ve tried and enjoyed Asheville, NC for the past year or two, but I’m looking to change it up and give Louisville a try. Is Louisville what I’m looking for, and if so, where should I stay?
posted by wookywook to Travel & Transportation around Louisville, KY (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've been looking at Asheville and Louisville, too. So I hope to hear other people talk about those cities.

I just moved to Knoxville, and I think you should consider taking a trip here, if you haven't already. We have coffee shops, a cereal bar, bars, live music, lots of greenways, rivers, lakes, hiking, etc.
Plus the Smokies are only 40 minutes away as well.
posted by KogeLiz at 7:49 AM on August 11, 2010

Have you considered either Savannah or Charleston?
posted by deadmessenger at 7:49 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't know Louisville, but I recommend downtown Greenville, SC. It fits your description to a T. A very pleasant place with lots of green space and coffee shops, bookstores, and breweries. This video shows Falls Park, my favorite thing about the city.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:54 AM on August 11, 2010

What about Oxford, MS? Great book stores, parks, green space. You can visit Faulkner's house, and eat and drink very well all over town.
posted by cushie at 7:54 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've been through Knoxville, but not much more. I'll check it out, thanks.

I really love both Savannah and Charleston, but I wanted to go somewhere that I've never been, which is why I was thinking about Louisville.
posted by wookywook at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2010

The only thing I know about Louisville is the Seelbach Hotel - pretty awesome. I recommend Chattanooga, too.
posted by bunny hugger at 8:03 AM on August 11, 2010

Louisville's fun, and once I get some much needed employment changes made, I'm going to be there for good. There's lots of food, lots of activities, and lots of different things to do. Definitely not a one-trick-pony town

Coffee: Heine Brothers
Bookstore: Carmichael's (hey, their Bardstown Rd locations are RIGHT next to each other!)
Watering holes for day light hours are not my forte, but night time, pretty much any bar that has a website and is on Bardstown Rd or Baxter Avenue is going to be worth its salt. Pretty much stick to that area as one of your main focuses, and you're not going to go wrong.

Check out Wild and Woolly Video for those odd movies you've never found anywhere else.

Bluegrass Brewing Company for Louisville-made beers.

For accommodations: Galt House is pricey but not super pricey, and very nice. It's really a Louisville institution in and of itself.

Toast on Main for Sunday brunch, just be prepared to wait.

MeMail me for more if you want :-)
posted by deezil at 8:23 AM on August 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

Oh, and ear-X-tacy for that CD you've never found, or that piece of vinyl, and other odd music pieces.
posted by deezil at 8:24 AM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

And as far as parks: all of them rock, and there's lots of green.
posted by deezil at 8:25 AM on August 11, 2010

Have you thought about New Orleans? There are lovely B&Bs uptown with bookstores, coffee shops and bars in close proximity, if you don't want to do the French Quarter thing. If you DO want to do the French Quarter thing, there are at least six locally owned bookstores there, as wells as many local coffee shops and of course dozens of interesting and colorful watering holes (anywhere apart from the first five or six blocks of Bourbon Street is great for quieter, more local drinking spots). You can get pretty much everywhere you'd want to go by foot or public transportation. There are two major parks and several smaller ones scattered around. It's about seven or eight hours' drive from Atlanta, although not a particularly interesting one for most of the way I'm afraid. South of Mobile, you can get on Route 90 for a good drive through the Gulf Coast towns.
posted by CheeseLouise at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2010

I suspect you would like downtown Charlottesville, VA.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:48 AM on August 11, 2010

From my experience, Louisville involves nothing but driving. There isn't a place that you can get to without driving.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 2:12 PM on August 11, 2010

Yes, the bus system in Louisville isn't great, but she'll have a car. Yes! Just stick around Bardstown Rd, and if you get bored, there's another great coffeeshop-shopping-restaurant district on Frankfurt Ave. There are some nice bed-and-breakfasts in Old Louisville, which is about a ten minute drive from Bardstown Rd.
posted by sunnichka at 6:55 PM on August 11, 2010

Louisvillian here. Great city, lots of great local businesses. And we're only about a 20-minute drive from one of the prettiest places on earth.
posted by jbickers at 3:46 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

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