Louisville’s traditional South End neighborhood has a rich history that continues to be written.
In recent years, South Louisville has experienced a renaissance. Young families have moved into this area of second-and-third-generation residents, and many have come from across the globe. With this mix of old and new, the area has become a multicultural community that’s rich and diverse.
EAT & DRINK
Start your morning before heading to Churchill Downs, as many horsemen do with biscuits and gravy or a Pam & Jack’s omelet at Wagner’s. The old-time pharmacy with a soda fountain has been a Louisville institution since 1922. Or, dine at Churchill Downs' new steakhouse and fine dining restaurant, Matt Winn's, while at the track. Or hop over to the Derby Café & Bourbon Bar at the Kentucky Derby Museum (connected to Churchill Downs), which serves signature Kentucky dishes like the Bubbling Over Hot Brown along with Mint Juleps and specialty Bourbon cocktails.
Delicious and inexpensive international dining options abound, including Annie’s Café and Vietnam Kitchen (a top pick of many Louisville chefs). Mike Linnig’s has been serving up fried fish, frog legs, shrimp, pan-fried oysters, turtle soup and more since 1925. Nestled in a shady grove along the Ohio River, you can have your seafood served to you indoors or out, all while enjoying the view. If you have a taste for barbecue, you’ll enjoy the rustic Shack in the Back BBQ located in Fairdale. Colonial Gardens, a historic entertainment complex that’s been recently revitalized, is home to the B.A. Colonial, which serves southern staples.
If you’re in town on a Saturday from March through November, stop by the Suburban Social Club Fish Fry for a truly authentic South Louisville tradition since 1927. “Green River” style fish is sold by the pound (cash only) alongside slaw, fries and signature marinated onions.
If you need a caffeine fix, get fueled up at Sunergos, a micro-roastery and coffee shop in the eclectic Beechmont neighborhood that also highlights local artwork.
The South Points Scenic Area, along the Ohio River, surrounded by thousands of acres of forested knobs and open space, is a prime destination for outdoor recreation and cultural pursuits. To download a map of the South Points Scenic Area, please click here. The Jefferson Memorial Forest is the largest municipal forest in the country. It is the site for more than 35 miles of scenic woodland trails for hiking and trail running and another 11 miles for equestrian use.
For mountain biking or fishing, don’t miss a visit to Waverly Park. South Points is also home to Iroquois Park, one of the gems of the Olmsted parks, which hosts concerts in the Iroquois Amphitheater. It is also the site of the annual Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular Halloween event.
See firsthand how Bourbon and whiskey are made from start to finish at the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery, home to the Garden & Gun Club, one of only two in the country.
The area boasts some of the most beautiful views of the Ohio River Valley, with many accessible while hiking along a trail atop its many knobs or biking the Louisville Loop, which stretches from Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing through West Louisville and into downtown. History aficionados can explore a 19th-century farm on the Ohio River at the Farnsley-Moremen House. Or, take in the Little Loomhouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the biggest repository of original and classic textile patterns in the United States.
Experience live racing and sip a Mint Julep at Churchill Downs, home of the legendary Kentucky Derby, during the spring, September and fall meets. Experience the thrill and traditions of the Kentucky Derby every day at the Kentucky Derby Museum, where guests experience exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of Churchill Downs, an 18-minute immersive film about the Derby, a new Secretariat exhibit.
Featured Attractions & Things to Do
Churchill Downs, located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States, is a Thoroughbred racetrack most...
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Large outdoor performance hall presenting live bands & movies, plus a small experimental theater.
This scenic 18-hole layout is hilly & lined with mature trees. The terrain of the Bermuda course challenges golfers of all...
Iroquois Park was planned by Frederick Law Olmsted as a "scenic reservation" of forested hillsides and breathtaking...
Just 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, the nation's largest municipal urban forest has something for everyone. The...
Experience Derby Day, Every Day! General Admission includes a 30-minute historical walking tour of Churchill Downs...
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay is Kentucky’s largest amusement and water park, owned by Herschend Family...
Three historic board & batten cabins circa 1870-1890. Weaving center, coverlet collection & exhibit of weaving looms,...
The Louisville Nature Center is located in the center of Louisville and adjacent to the Beargrass Creek State Nature...