Visiting Louisville, KY
Upon arrival to Louisville I checked into my apartment at the Cathedral Commons. Hence the name, it was next to an old catholic church.
My AirBnB apartment was non-memorable in both amenities or decor, but it was perfect in location. Across the street was a much more glamorous apartment and condominium complex called the Omni Louisville Hotel. On the first floor there was a marketplace that included a small shopping center with restaurants. There was also various bars throughout the first floor, a steakhouse restaurant, and even a speakeasy.
The Library Bar:
The Speakeasy (the thrill of the speakeasy is that you don’t exactly know where it is and you find the doorway of entrance, and perhaps the password yourself):
After exploring the OMNI, I would follow the recommendations of my AVIS rental agent, and go to Doc Crows Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar. The recommendation was to try the brisket. To be honest, the atmosphere and the beer were better than the brisket sandwich. To me, there was more bread than brisket, but perhaps my palette for BBQ flavors had been broadened since I just flew in from Texas. A couple dining next to me were eating oysters and several other Entrées, which truly looked appealing.
Next door is the Old Fashioned Bourbon Distillery, which offers tours of their facilities. I did not partake in a tour, but explored for a moment to begin my immersion into Louisville’s bourbon culture. I also did not taste-test the Bourbon, and frankly would not be a source of expertise in this genre, but I was fascinated by the copper distilling equipment.
I would later explore the Ohio River water front, on a rather windy day I may add.
There is truly an astonishing variety for nightlife and restaurant options in Louisville. It has historically been rated one of the Nation’s best cities for foodies. I do not admit to being a “foodie” in the sense that I can identify the ingredients of what I’m consuming (much like a Sommelier can identify the region and year a wine was made). But I will admit to liking great food of all varieties. Louisville did not fail me in both the variety of bars or restaurants. However, what I wanted to explore for the latter half of the night, was an adventure not for the city-goer, but the person (or family) who likes the outdoors.
Iroquois Park was a nice change in pace. South of the city, on the slopes of a wooded-hillside, the road bends through a forest until it peaks at the summit where a scenic view emerges that is both breathtaking and fascinating in location.
Driving through the winding roads reminded me of the mountainous roads around the North Carolina Blue Ridge Trail. Sure, there was no menacing cliff on one side of the road, but there was a fairly steep slope.
There are many off-road trails throughout the park, so you or your children can become happily lost in the woods.
In October (Halloween), the park presents another special opportunity. The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. I frankly underestimated how ‘spectacular’ this event would be, but it was truly a world-class art display. It opens at 7PM, and there is an admission charge. If you forget to eat dinner or become parched waiting for the gates to open, you can purchase food and beer in line. Upon entry, you will be enamored by the vast quantity, variety, and creativity of pumpkins displayed. There are literally thousands of pumpkins.
There is an organization to the pumpkin display, based on fables/novels, scary movies, comics, video games, memorials for famous people, etc. I would not dare ruin the magic of experiencing this event yourself or with your family/friends. The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is truly an amazing art presentation.
On the way back to the apartment I stopped to eat at The Eagle.
I ordered the Blackened Shrimp Po Boy which in addition to the blackened shrimp included avocado relish, smoked onion, shredded iceberg lettuce. It was amazingly delicious.
The next morning I ate at Wild Eggs for breakfast. I definitely recommend it, for the price, quantity, and taste.
Sandwiched between my apartment complex and the cathedral was the Diocesan House. It was a beautiful historic brick structure that apparently served as a shelter for the homeless.
After returning from breakfast, in an attempt to explore the cathedral, a sign on the door directed me into the Diocesan House. Upon entering there was a lady laying uncomfortably on the incline of several steps inside, apparently encumbered by the previous nights activities. There were other people there as well sitting on benches absorbing the warmth of the room. It was warming to see that in the heart of the city there was a place that human beings could retreat away from the inhospitable outside temperatures.
For dinner I ate at a restaurant you would not know existed unless you found it online or by word of mouth. Yet, Hammerheads was actually well known by the locals, and even to some visitors I met at a speakeasy later that night. That speaks volumes about how good the food is at Hammerheads: it remains elusive in location, yet popular in attraction. It is located on the ground floor of someone’s home in the middle of what appears to be a neighborhood.
I failed to capture a decent picture inside, because frankly the place looked homie in nature and I didn’t want to pull out my phone camera and snap pictures of what felt like the inside of someone’s home.
I ordered the Duck, Pork Belly, and Brisket sliders.
The following mornin, dinner was pancakes and cuban coffee at Con Huevos. The pictures speak for themselves.
There is truly so much to Louisville than I described here. This was the experience of a tourist, visiting for business, and trying to simultaneously experience a good variety of local culture in my 2-day visit.