Located besides the Falls of the Ohio River, on the border between the state of Kentucky and Indiana, Louisville is best known for the world-famous Kentucky Derby.
However, in the recent years Louisville’s emerging art and gastro scene has been making headlines in major publications. The East Market District or NuLu, as locals refer to the New Louisville, is home to new galleries, specialties and antique shops, and top-class restaurants.
During our visit to Louisville, we met with our friend Zdravko, a fellow Notabag enthusiast. Zdravko has lived in Louisville for more than 16 years, witnessing the city’s transformation from ’suburbia’ to one of the hottest spots in the US. He’s very intact with the local offerings and was more than excited to share his favorite spots.
First on the list was the Please & Thank You coffee shop. It is a place that makes you feel at home from the moment you enter it. Not only do they serve one of Louisville’s finest coffee and home-style baked food, but they also offer a very well curated vinyl collection.
Caffeinated, we continued our quest for Louisville’s finest. Along the Market Street you can’t help but notice the new cultural and civic bloom: The Green Building, Garage Bar or Speed on Market are just a few places to mention.
Zdravko decided to take us on a tour along Louisville's riverfront and up to the Big Four Bridge. With a limited access to pedestrian and bicycles only, the former railroad truss bridge is making the stroll over the Ohio River to an enjoyable experience with a stunning view at Louisville’s skyline.
For a little break and some refreshment our next stop was the Proof on Main, a culinary oasis within the award winning 21c Museum Hotel. With its innovative concept of blending contemporary art with award-winning restaurant and cultural civic center, 21c Museum Hotel has been voted among the Top Hotels in the World.
To dive into Louisville’s architectural origins, we headed toward the Old Louisville and its historical quarter St. James Court. Influenced by the Victorian architecture, St. James Court is made out of gorgeous residential mansions. Every year in October, it is the home to the famous St. James Court Art Show, which attracts artists and art enthusiast from across the US.
Our final treat for the day was a visit to a bar called Hammerheads in Louisville’s German Town. It is a “No Reservations. No Call Ahead” dive bar, with some amazing food. Their duck sliders, elk burgers or truffle fries are to die for! Please do yourself a favor and mark this place on your ‘must go’ list.
There is still so much that Louisville has to offer and this quick guide is just a little glimpse of the new transformation of Louisville. Often overseen, the city located on the grand Ohio River is worth visiting. You’ll be surprised, the southern hospitality and the ever evolving cultural changes of Louisville will certainly leave you with a pleasant experience and a desire to come back.
Keep your eye on our next issue of Notabag in your City. If you’d like to represent your city, feel free to reach out to us.Photography by Daniela Prusina