West Louisville is comprised of nearly a dozen neighborhoods including Hallmark, Park Duvalle, Parkland, Russell, Beecher Terrace, Chickasaw, Shawnee and Portland, bordering the Ohio River.
West Louisville contains nearly a dozen neighborhoods bordering the Ohio River, including Algonquin, Hallmark, Park DuValle, Parkland, Russell, California, Chickasaw and Shawnee. The area celebrates its strong African American heritage with historical attractions, including The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Muhammad Ali’s boyhood home, St. Stephen Church, Simmons College of Kentucky and the recently established the Louisville Urban League Sports and Learning Campus.
EAT & DRINKStart your day at Blak Koffee in the Russell neighborhood, where the breakfast menu includes French toast and chicken and waffles. If you’re craving soul food, Tino’s Taste of Heaven serves up the classics and dessert too. You can’t miss the Ali mural out front. For BBQ, both Gore’s SmokeOut BBQ and Stevie J’s offer carry out smoky goodness. Fried chicken connoisseurs will want to sample cash-only Indi’s, where the lines move fast for the spicy treats that await.
A landmark in the Russell neighborhood for more than 40 years, Club Cedar is known for having the best and cheapest drinks in the city, along with DJs and live music. The Palm Room was the place to be in the ‘50s, a jazz club where you might run into Redd Foxx, Joe Louis, Dizzy Gillespie, Richard Pryor or Muhammad Ali. Recently, under new ownership, it is reclaiming its legendary status with frequently sold-out shows.
If you’re in the Shawnee neighborhood, order up a tasty picnic to take to Shawnee Park from Soulful Choices, located just across the street from the park on Broadway, or head over to Mani’s Cafe for burgers, chicken, fish, loaded Philly Steak fries, and pasta salads. Enjoy all day breakfast at Southern Hospitality Bar
and Grill on Broadway, where you can find cinnamon brown sugar French toast along with a wide-ranging lunch and dinner menu covering pizza, wings, burgers, and seafood. You’ll want to take off your coat and stay a while for the pool table and darts.
Located in the Parkland neighborhood, Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen is a no-frills joint that gets rave reviews for its soul food classics, including fried chicken, pork chops, and hearty sides.
DISCOVERMusic lovers can delve into a large collection of old school R&B, soul and jazz records at Better Days Records West.
Fans of “The Greatest” won’t want to miss the chance to cruise by Muhammad Ali’s childhood home in Parkland. Ali lived in the house during his childhood in the 1940s through the early 1960s. A bronze marker is located in front of the house (outside photo opportunities available – no inside admittance). In 2023, internationally renowned artist Shephard Fairy, who also created Barack Obama’s iconic political poster image, visited Louisville to paint a seven-story mural of Muhammad Ali on the Chestnut Street Family YMCA.
The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage features rotating exhibits, including artists and black jockeys, as well as long-term installments that interpret the Civil Rights movement in Louisville.
Union Station, a railroad depot from the 1890s, is a sight to behold with exceptional architectural features inside and out. The station served 58 trains a day during the height of rail travel in the 1920s. Today, it serves as the offices for the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) and is open to the public.
Along the Ohio River, 285-acre Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Shawnee Park is home to a river walk, biking paths, recreation fields and a public 18-hole golf course, considered one of the city’s most “player-friendly.” Shawnee Park also plays host to the Dirt Bowl, a summer-long community basketball tournament that’s been a tradition for more than 50 years. Tennis courts, picnic sites and a fishing lake make up nearby Chickasaw Park, and you can take a dip in the swimming pool at Algonquin Park. The newly opened Alberta O. Jones Park features a large playground, walking paths, a picnic pavilion, and a mural honoring the pioneering
attorney and civil rights champion.
St. Stephen Church, the largest African American church in the region, welcomes visitors who would like to tour the Baptist church and community center’s four-block campus. Simmons College of Kentucky – a historic co-ed African American university in Louisville – has gained recognition for forming a significant partnership with the National Baptist Convention of America International, which has resulted in the national organization relocating its corporate headquarters to the city. The Russell neighborhood is home to the Louisville Urban League Sports and Learning Campus, a 24-acre, multi-sport complex that includes the Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center and Humana Outdoor Track & Field, a prized host of local, regional and national indoor and outdoor track meets and other events.
Featured Attractions & Things to Do
Brough Brothers Bourbon is the brilliant brainchild of Victor, Chris and Bryson Yarbrough in Louisville, Kentucky. A...
Park Address: 1200 Southwestern Pkwy Louisville, KY 40211 Year Acquired: 1921 Park Hours: 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. Size:...
The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is the result of a collection of African American educators, artists and...
The Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center is a 24-acre, multi-sport complex at 3029 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. in...
Shawnee boasts the only complete driving range complex in Metro Parks and a three-hole BellSouth Youth Golf Academy free...
Frederick Law Olmsted designed Shawnee Park as the great public space of the city -- a place for picnics, sports, parades...