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    With so many awesome things happening around Louisville this summer, sometimes it's hard to stay in the know about what to do and where to go... Here is your own personal guide to the top ten things to do in Louisville before summer ends:


    Unmistakably the highlight of summertime here in the 'Ville, Forecastle Festival is hosted on the waterfront beginning Friday, July 15 and ending Saturday July 17. With bands like Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers and Ryan Adams as this year's headliners — as well as the return of The Bourbon Lodge — it's sure to be worth the price of a weekend pass. To see the full lineup and view ticket prices/packages, click here.


    Outdoor Bars

    Summer nights are the best when you can sit outside with your friends and have a good drink. Louisville is famous for a lot of things, including our appreciation for alcoholic beverages, and we have some of the best bars in the country — many with killer patio spaces. If you’re in the mood for awesome food, unique libations and good company, check out some of our most popular outdoor drinking spaces: El Camino, Garage Bar, 8UP, Roux, Captain’s Quarters and The Highlands Taproom.


    Slugger Field

    For all you sports fanatics out there, you simply haven’t experienced a baseball game until you’ve experienced one at Slugger Field! Voted best Triple-A ballpark in America for 2016, Slugger Field has it all. There are usually several different promotions going on for each game, including events such as Thirsty Thursdays ($1 beer happy hour), wine tastings, fireworks, fish fries and more. A great way to spend the day with your family, or a great excuse to get away for a date night, slugger field offers unique kinds of entertainment for all ages on top of hosting America’s favorite past time. For more information on game dates, ticket prices, and promotions, click here. Louisville is also home to its very own pro soccer team, Louisville City Football Club! Fairly new to the scene, games are held at Slugger Field and are loads of fun! For a complete schedule and ticket prices, click here.


    Summer Sweets & Tasty Treats

    Beat the summer heat and cool off with a little something from Tasty Tuxedo Treats or one of the snow cone food trucks operating around town! Check out SnoWhat Snoballs and Kona Ice for specific truck locations and route schedules. If you prefer ice cream over snow cones, visit Comfy Cow at one of their five locations in Louisville for all of your dairy needs. New to the city just this year is the already booming business known as Steel City Pops, and If you’re sick of the same ol’ pools and ice cream (or if you just really like popsicles), then this is the perfect place for you! Their staff is always friendly and their menu has a wide variety of flavors that are guaranteed to change with the seasons. My personal flavor recommendations for the summer are lavender lemonade, pina colada, and pineapple! To take a look at the rest of the menu, click here.



    Louisville is home to two different rock quarries for your beaching pleasure -- Fallen Rock and Southside. The Fallen Rock Quarry is located at 2201 Fendley Mill Rd in La Grange and is 18+, while Southside Rock Quarry is located at 4220 South Park Rd and is 21+. If you’re looking to party hard, South Side is your best bet because it is the only one that permits alcoholic beverages. If you’re looking to relax and unwind (or if you just aren’t old enough to drink yet), definitely make your way to The Fallen Rock Quarry for a little bit of a younger crowd. Both quarries have a $10 entrance fee (Cash Only) and require you to bring a floatie, so, don’t forget!

    For a detailed list of places to swim around Louisville, including the quarries, click here.


    Outdoor Concerts

    Waterfront Wednesday: What’s better than a live concert? How about three free live concerts in just night? Starting in April and ending in September, local radio station WFPK hosts a well-known event that has grown exponentially over time into a local summer tradition for a lot of people. Waterfront Wednesday’s typically fall on the last Wednesday of every month and feature at least three different local artists. For those that are picky about the kind of music that they listen to, Waterfront Wednesday promises a wide variety of musical genres so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you get hungry while listening, food trucks line the river walk for your pallet’s pleasure; and trust me when I say, there is plenty of beer to go around! The next Waterfront Wednesday is scheduled for June 29th, with live music beginning at 6pm. Featured artists this month include Brenda, Hayes Carll, and Dylan LeBlanc. If you’d like to check out some songs from featured local bands before attending, click here.  

    Poorcastle Festival: Want to go to Forecastle, but don't want to break the bank? Then Poorcastle Festival should definitely make your summer to do list! Founded by Louisville locals and created as a cheaper alternative to Forecastle Festival, Poorcastle features all local bands and is sure to be an awesome time! For more information on Poorcastle and ticket prices, click here.

    Rye Back Porch Sessions: A series of concerts with the intent to expose local bands and artists to the public, Rye Back Porch Sessions are great for date nights and they're completely free! For a list of upcoming shows, click here.

    Like Rye, many of Louisville's local bars are equipped with awesome outdoor patios, perfect for live music! Check out local hotspots like Against the GrainGarage Bar, Highland Taproom, and Phoenix Hill Tavern for great food, unique beverages, and awesome live music!  



    Kayaking and Canoeing

    The Parklands of Floyd’s Fork is a collection of individual parks that are interconnected and run all over Louisville. Many of these newly preserved parklands provide excellent places for canoeing and kayaking if you’re looking to satiate your adventurous streak for a day, or just an opportunity to feel more in tune with nature. There are several access points throughout the parklands, and if you don’t have your own kayak or canoe Blue Moon Canoe & Kayak of Kentucky offer Saturday and Sunday rentals! If you have a large enough group, you can even schedule a guided tour. For more information on routes, access points, water levels, and rentals, click here.


    Museum Row

    Louisville offers up a lot of premier attractions for learning creatively, most of which are included in what is known locally as Museum Row. Four walkable blocks featuring ten different museums such as The Muhammad Ali Center, The Frazier History Museum and the Kentucky Science Center; one can easily make a day of exploring Main St. in Downtown Louisville. You can even experience glass blowing first hand and make your own souvenir to take home!  For more information on Museum Row and each individual attraction, click here.


    Louisville Mega Cavern

    Looking for a new kind of adventure? Visit Louisville Mega Cavern! Not only does it house the world’s first and only underground bike park and zipline courses, but you can also take a guided tour of the caves, or even host your own event “down under!” For more information on all the awesome attractions that Louisville Mega Cavern has to offer, click here.


    Kentucky Bourbon Trail and The Urban Bourbon Trail

    Louisville is known as “the official gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail” so it’s only natural to begin your bourbon journey here. Map out your own route or schedule a guided tour to make sure you don’t miss out on visiting any of our world famous distilleries! For more information on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail as well as a suggested itinerary on how to do it all in just three days, click here. After you complete the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, take on the Urban Bourbon Trail and travel from bar to bar in the heart of the city. Experience hand crafted bourbon cocktails created and crafted by some of the best bartenders and chefs in the country!

    The Urban Bourbon Trail is cool, too. You can download an app and follow along electronically, or, if you're an old soul like myself, you can pick up a booklet style passport at the visitors center or at any of the participating stops! 


    Image: KY Bourbon Trail



    Jaime Brewer's picture

    About Jaime Brewer

    I love dinosaurs, my puppy, and running. Currently a student at THE University of Louisville studying English and Philosophy.

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