Louisville Outdoor Attractions Gear up for Summer
With Conde Nast Traveler designating Louisville one of the “Best Places to Travel in May,” visitors have plenty to choose from to get out and enjoy the last of the spring weather.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 11, 2021) – With Conde Nast Traveler designating Louisville one of the “Best Places to Travel in May,” visitors have plenty to choose from to get out and enjoy the last of the spring weather. Additionally, the city’s favorite seasonal pastimes are ramping up, just ahead of the anticipated busy travel season and official first day of summer on June 20.
Some popular outdoor options give guests a chance to catch a baseball game at the newly renovated Slugger Field, enjoy the thrills at Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay amusement parks, bet on live racing at Churchill Downs and plan a free visit to the in-progress Waterfront Botanical Gardens. Read on for additional details about each attraction.
Kingdom and Hurricane Bay
Fresh off this weekend’s opening day, Kentucky Kingdom offers about 20 playland rides for little ones and nearly 25 thrilling rides, including the latest addition, the Kentucky Flyer. Parents can see which rides children are eligible to ride based on height and thrill rankings. The park was recently purchased by Herschend Enterprises who also owns popular attractions such as Dollywood Parks and Resorts in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and the Newport Aquarium in Northern Kentucky. Kentucky Kingdom will showcase the Sea Lion Splash featuring a family of vacationing California and South American sea lions. The park will be open for weekends from May 8-23 and open daily starting on May 27. Hurricane Bay, the popular waterpark will open May 29.
Louisville Slugger Field
Summer just wasn’t the same without
America’s National pastime. During the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisville Slugger Field underwent a $7 million dollar renovation to make improvements to the ballpark and enhance the fan experience with the addition of new bars and social gathering spots in the outfield, an expanded kid’s play area, moving the lawn to the right field corner, new LED video boards and removal of bleachers. Games are underway for the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds Triple-A affiliate, who will continue through September.
Known as the home of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs Racetrack is conducting thoroughbred horse racing through June 26 with Twilight Thursdays, Preakness and Belmont watching, Sundays Stakes & Eggs Sunday Brunch, as well as several Downs After Dark theme nights. Guest can gain more history and a tour of the storied racetrack, by visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum next door, offering two floors of interactive exhibits as well as numerous guided tours.
Waterfront Botanical Gardens
Situated in the Butchertown neighborhood and just steps from Louisville’s Waterfront Park, the new 23-acre, $60 million dollar project has completely revitalized what was once a previous landfill into a flourishing community garden. Phase one was completed in 2019 and while construction is currently in progress, there is no cost to visit the gardens. The garden’s master plans include a conservatory, children’s gardens, overlook, edible gardens and water wall.
Louisville Tourism’s annual Visitor Guide is available just in time for the summer travel season. Download a copy of the guide to help plan your itinerary around Louisville’s top experiences. Travelers also can get attraction, lodging and dining assistance at www.gotolouisville.com along with information on the state’s current covid-mitigation guidelines.