Things to Do
Main Shopping Hubs for Louisville
Downtown Louisville, Main Street, Fourth Street, Market Street & Butchertown
Primary shopping attractions are between Fifth and Ninth Streets, including the gift shops at the Kentucky Science Center, the Louisville Slugger Museum, Glassworks, Flame Run, the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery and Fourth Street Live! On the first Friday of every month, more than two-dozen downtown galleries participate in the First Friday Gallery Hop. (See “Louisville’s Art Scene” for more or visit ldmd.org.)
Along East Market St., you’ll encounter a burgeoning variety of art galleries, restaurants and shops in the NULU District. Home to an eclectic mix of art galleries, shops, restaurants and antique stores, NuLu is often referred to as Louisville’s art district. It’s home to NuLu Fest in September, live music on Friday nights in July and “The Green Building,” the first commercial building in Kentucky to achieve LEED Platinum Certification. (Visit eastmarketdistrict.com/where-to-shop.)
Just a few blocks from Downtown in Louisville’s “Meat-Packing District,” you’ll find Butchertown, which is experiencing a revitalization of new shopping opportunities, including the Butchertown Market located on Story Avenue in a renovated early 1880’s building.
With numerous coffee houses, art galleries, one-of-a-kind fine dining restaurants, small boutiques, antique stores and numerous other venues, Bardstown Road offers an urban shopping atmosphere in a neighborhood environment. Mark your calendar for Bardstown Road Aglow, normally held the first Saturday in December. Visit thehighlandsoflouisville.com.
The former stagecoach and streetcar route offers an eclectic mix of galleries, antiques, crafts, consignment shops and specialty clothing stores. On the last Friday of every month, the Frankfort Avenue Trolley (FAT) offers free transportation along Frankfort, Mellwood and Story Avenues during the FAT Friday Trolley Hop. (See “Louisville’s Art Scene” or visit fatfridayhop.org.)
Hursbourne Parkway offers approximately 3.5 miles of shopping centers from Stonybrook Drive to just north of Shelbyville Road. If you’re looking for a national or regional chain, you’ll likely find it here. North of Shelbyville Rd., the Hurstbourne Forum Center offers upscale clothing and gift shops.
In addition to Oxmoor and Mall St. Matthews, Shelbyville Road offers shopping venues along both sides of the road between Breckenridge Lane and I-264, including Shelbyville Road Plaza. Gourmet groceries, home design stores, gift shops, discount clothing, electronics and numerous other stores abound. On the east end, between Hurstbourne Parkway and Moser Road, small retail stores and restaurants in Middletown offer a variety of entertainment and shopping opportunities. From Shelbyville Road and Chenoweth Ln., across the tracks to the north and along Lexington Rd., you’ll find upscale boutiques, antique shops, jewelry stores, bakeries and cafes.
Additional Shopping Venues
As a complement to the city’s malls and large shopping centers, Louisville’s outlying areas offer quaint, historic shopping districts full of unique treasures.
951 E. Lewis & Clark Pkwy.
Home of Bass Pro Shops, Toys “R” Us, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Olde Tyme Pottery and a movie theater.
Springhurst Towne Center
3575 Springhurst Blvd.
The sprawling shopping center offers a number of large stores in the shadow of Tinseltown USA’s cinemas, including, Target, Meijer, Kohl’s, Books-a-Million, OfficeMax, Bath & Body Works, Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods, T.J. Maxx and more. Numerous fine dining and casual restaurants surround the center.
The Summit Louisville
4300 Summit Plaza Dr.
The open-air Mediterranean-style shopping center includes 60 upscale stores, including Talbots, J. Crew, White House/Black Market, The Gap, Barnes & Noble, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer and others. Numerous fine dining and casual restaurants are surrounded by the center.
Westport Rd. between Herr Ln. and Lyndon Ln.
315 Herr Ln.
Transformed from the old Camelot Shopping Center into an upscale outdoor shopping and dining destination, Westport Village is located off the newly expanded Westport Road in Lyndon and features a variety of home design, boutiques and art galleries. Locally owned restaurants, coffee shops, retail and specialty stores add to the neighborhood feel of the development.
Green Tree Mall
757 E. Lewis & Clark Pkwy.
Anchor stores: Sears, Dillard’s, JCPenney. Approximately 90 stores. Restaurants and eateries within and surrounding the mall. Greentree 10 Cinemas. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
4801 Outer Loop
Anchor stores: Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney & Dillard’s. Approximately 95 stores. Food court. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
Mall St. Matthews
5000 Shelbyville Rd.
More than 140 specialty retailers including Arhaus, Ann Taylor Loft, Brooks Brothers, J. Jill, Pottery Barn & Williams-Sonoma. Food court and restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
7900 Shelbyville Rd.
Anchor stores: Macy’s, Sears, & Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods. Approximately 110 stores. Food court and restaurants, including California Pizza Kitchen. Mall hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., Noon-6 p.m.
The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Oaks & The Kentucky Derby
First Friday & Saturday in May
Even if you just moved here, chances are that you have the first weekend in May already circled on your calendar. Whether you’re at the track or at a friend’s Derby party, the Run for the Roses lives up to its historic reputation and offers an experience like no other. More than 120,000 Mint Juleps are poured during the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks and more than 400 roses are included in the garland of roses for the Derby winner. The longest continuously staged sporting event in the world and the first leg of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing just keeps getting better and better. The running of the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May is preceded by the Kentucky Oaks the day before. You simply have to be there — at least just once to be a true Kentuckian. Whether you’re cheering on your horse from Millionaire’s Row, the grandstand or the infield, the excitement of watching the “greatest two minutes in sports,” surrounded by thousands of people is what makes Derby such a unique event.
Kentucky Derby Festival
Two Weeks Prior to Derby
The Kentucky Derby Festival is one of the premiere events of its kind in the world, attracting nearly 1.5 million people who gather to celebrate spring, the rich Derby tradition and the unique vitality of the Louisville community. With the most exciting two minutes in sports drawing attention to Louisville in many parts around the globe, it’s only fitting that the city takes two weeks to celebrate the momentous occasion. Thunder Over Louisville headlines the Kentucky Derby Festival, with traditional events such as the Pegasus Parade and Great Steamboat Race giving Louisville residents and visitors plenty of opportunities to be a part of history in the making. Two-thirds of the Festival events are free, so families can enjoy numerous just-for-kids activities without stretching their pocketbooks. With more than 4,000 volunteers and the support of 400 sponsors, the Derby Festival hosts a whirlwind of 70 special events throughout the city. By purchasing a Pegasus Pin (located at over 1,000 local retail outlets and banks), you can gain access to the many Festival events, receive coupons and win free merchandise.
Major Annual Events
Greater Louisville offers a variety of family-friendly events, musical performances, old-fashioned ice cream socials, outdoor theatrical presentations, ethnic festivals, art fairs, parades, balloon glows and an assortment of one-of-a-kind experiences that offer residents and visitors something to do practically every weekend. So, it’s no surprise that the city has earned recognition as the top “World Festival and Event City” in North America from the International Festival & Event Association. Louisville-area events have been recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 and Kentucky Travel Industry Association Top 10 for their cultural and historical significance.
700 Central Ave.
636-4400 or 800-283-3729
Home to the “greatest two minutes in sports,” Churchill Downs continues to do Louisville proud as it hosts the annual running of the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May each year. The Kentucky Derby sets the stage (or the track) for quality thoroughbred horse racing in the spring and fall. Numerous special events are also held there throughout the year.
Louisville Bats Baseball Club
401 E. Main St.
Louisville Bats Baseball Club is the Triple A affiliate of the National League’s Cincinnati Reds. The team’s season runs from April through early September, with games held at Louisville Slugger Field. A carousel and children’s playground area make it a wonderful venue to enjoy the game for both adults and kids alike.
University of Louisville Cardinals
Members of the Big East Conference, U of L competes in 21 major men’s and women’s sports. If you plan to catch a football game, remember that tailgating at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium begins early on game day. The men’s and women’s basketball teams play their games in the new KFC Yum! Center.
Major Sporting Venues
Kentucky Expo Center
937 Phillips Ln.
Tickets – 367-5144
Freedom Hall can accommodate about 19,000 people. The multi-purpose facility is also a popular venue for horseback riders and a variety of musicians and performing artists, including ice skaters, wrestlers, circus performers and many others.
KFC Yum! Center
One Arena Plaza
Tickets – 690-9090
The 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center in Downtown Louisville is home of the University of Louisville’s men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs. Additionally, the 700,000-plus square feet facility is designed to host a wide variety of other events including NCAA championships such as wrestling, swimming and volleyball, as well as concerts, circuses, wrestling, gymnastics, boxing and ice shows, among other events.
Louisville Slugger Field
401 E. Main St.
Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats features a retro-classic design and has become one of the most admired parks in all of baseball, featuring sweeping views of the Ohio River and downtown Louisville skyline.
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
2800 S. Floyd St.
south end of U of L campus
Cardinal Tickets – 852-5151
With its state-of-the-art construction and fan-friendly environment, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is one of the finest stadiums in the nation. Home to the U of L football program, the $63 million stadium features 42,000 chair-back seats and hosts a variety of events, including soccer matches, conventions and concerts.