Active guys and gals will love these outings in Louisville. We’ve rounded up activities that don’t include one spa or shopping trip and are perfectly suited for keeping a co-ed group happy. Yes, we admit this was cated to the guys, but we after writing it, we looked it over and realized we wanted to do all this, too!
FOR THE ACTIVE GUYS & GALS
Book a lane, buy a beer and try to hit the target: Flying Axes uses the same concept as bowling, which has been a guys’ night staple for generations and takes it up a few notches. For $20 an hour, you rent a cage and throw axes, competing with others to see who can get closest to the bullseye. Walk-ins are welcome, but groups are encouraged, and they even have American Axe Throwing leagues for those guys who can’t get enough lumberjack bonding.
If you are looking for something a bit more strenuous, clamber over to Climb NuLu, an indoor rope-free climbing facility. For $15, you can climb all day (rental shoes and chalk bag included), or rent a private party (prices vary) for bigger groups or events. For a “funderground” adventure, go down into the Mega Cavern for a zip-line adventure no one will soon forget.
But, if you’re looking for a more classic physical adventure above ground, head to the Parklands, where the posse can enjoy canoeing and paddling, fishing, sports fields and 47 miles of hiking and biking trails. Wheel Fun Rentals, conveniently located at the base of the Big Four Bridge, rents surreys, choppers, hybrids, tandems and cruisers — a bike for every fitness or age level. So if Grandpa, Grandma are part of the gathering, biking over the Big Four Bridge might be a perfect outing. While you’re in Jeffersonville, IN, stop by Parlour for some pizza and a beer in their popular outdoor biergarten, or try farm-to-table favorites at the laid-back Red Yeti on Spring Street. If it’s a nice day, this plan is sure to please.
For the sharpshooters, there is no shortage of fun in Louisville. From paintball to ReBall to genuine gun ranges, the shooters can practice their skills in almost any way their hearts desire at Open Range. If you’re a paintball enthusiast, Paint Ball Asylum is another choice, but if your group is looking for laser tag along with family-friendly mini golf, arcade games and more, Lazer Blaze is a great option.
FOR THE SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS
If your group wants to catch a game, head over to Slugger Field, where you can watch a baseball or soccer game. Louisville City FC hosts Nashville on Saturday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!), while the Louisville Bats host Toledo for their home opener on Friday, April 6. The grounds crew does an amazing job of transitioning the baseball field to a soccer pitch, so until a new soccer stadium is built, you have two great reasons to head down to Slugger Field for a game.
It’s hard to beat the classic beer-and-a-ballgame plan when it comes to classic male bonding, but if you’ve got sports enthusiasts in your group and the home teams aren’t scheduled to play, a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory will be a home run. Your out-of-town guests will love it. Pictures in front of the 120-foot-high “Big Bat,” a replica of Babe Ruth’s famous Louisville Slugger, will be a hit, and the factory tour both educates and entertains. The group will even leave with a commemorative miniature bat, a perfect souvenir of their time in Louisville. You can also visit the Muhammad Ali Center, which features three levels of award-winning exhibits and galleries celebrating Muhammad Ali’s legendary life, with a focus on inviting guests to reflect on their own inner champion and what makes them “the greatest.”
If your group is just in the mood for the kind of sport that involves libations and betting, take the gang to iconic Churchill Downs for a day of horse-racing fun. Opening day is Saturday, April 28.
FOR THE FOODIES
If you want your day to include a scrumptious meal, head over to NuLu staples like Feast BBQ or Royals Hot Chicken. At both restaurants, everyone can throw back PBRs and local IPAs, check the letterboard for a seasonal drink special or sip on a bourbon slushie. For the die-hard carnivores in the group, Game is a no-brainer. Located in Louisville’s historic “Irish Hill” district, this rustic eatery specializes in gourmet burgers made with almost any game you can imagine, from alpaca to bison to kangaroo to antelope and more. And, with a menu that boasts three highly praised veggie burgers, the joint is proud to accommodate all diners — as does Game’s sister restaurant, Hammerheads, in Germantown. Hammerheads’ gastropub and smokehouse offer a little of everything, from creative sandwiches, burgers and tacos to house-smoked ribs and signature dishes and sides like duck fat French fries or crispy mac ’n’ cheese balls.
Or, if you’re looking for a sports bar, take the group to Saints Pizza Pub & Sky Bar in St. Matthews. They’ve got all the classic bar grub, but homemade pizzas and made-to-order pasta sauces are Saints’ specialty. Enjoy your Italian fave with a cold one out in their outdoor dining area. And if the meat lovers in your group want some on-the-go fuel, go to the Beef Jerky Outlet and choose from 150+ jerky varieties, 20+ smoked meats and more backpack-style snacks before your crew heads out on their manly adventure.
FOR THE BOURBON & CIGAR AFICIONADOS
Another sure bet for out-of-towners and natives alike is a visit to the Urban Bourbon Trail. Without having to travel to Bourbon Country (or, literally, Bourbon County) for a historical and tasty tour of Kentucky’s signature drink (but do that, too, if time allows!), a group can stay in town and pick six distilleries or bars on the designated Urban Bourbon Trail, get their passport stamped, and earn an official Urban Bourbon Trailblazer t-shirt. As Whiskey Row rebuilds to maintain its historical name, urban distilleries such as Angel’s Envy and Evan Williams offer tours to entice the bourbon enthusiast while remaining on Main Street.
For the brainy bourbon lover, take your tour to the next level with a customized tour with Mint Julep. You can tailor your experience to include visits to the Brown-Forman cooperage to learn about how bourbon barrels are made, enjoy behind-the-scenes access, straight-from-the-barrel tastings, mixology classes and chats with master distillers. Check the website for tour booking information and hours, and if your bros need a bourbon refresher, this article teaches you how to drink bourbon like a Kentuckian. Read up before you drink up!
And if you have cigar lovers in your bourbon-loving crew, take them to Riverside Cigar Shop & Lounge and Match Cigar Bar, just across the Ohio in Jeffersonville, IN, where the crew can puff on a fine cigar as they enjoy a drink the lounge. If you’re not up for crossing the river, go to J. Shepherd Cigars on Bardstown Road, where tobacconist and shop owner Jason Shepherd’s knowledge and personality has earned the shop national recognition and the Louisville Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Tobacconist.”
FOR THE GOLFERS
Louisvillians love their country clubs. There are so many fabulous local clubs with great golf courses to enjoy, but we’d be remiss not to mention Louisville’s prestigious and historic Valhalla Golf Club, which has played host to the Ryder Cup, three PGA Championships and two Senior PGA Championships. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, this private golf club offers a one-of-a-kind paradise for serious golfers.
But if you aren’t a Valhalla member (or friend of a member), there are great public golfing options. Just across the Ohio River, Covered Bridge Golf Club and Champions Pointe Golf Club are great options. Back in the Bluegrass, Heritage Hill Golf Club in Shepherdsville gets high ratings and has affordable prices. And for the most affordable public golf, the city’s metro park courses, especially Charlie Vettiner Golf Course and Seneca Golf Course, top the list.
Now, you have an amazing plan lined up good for guys and gals alike.