Extended family in town this holiday season? In between parties and meals, don’t forget to gather your brood and snap a holiday photo at one of these Louisville landmarks. Whether it’s for a frame, or a New Year’s greeting card, or even if you just want to win Instagram on a particular day, these iconic local destinations make great photo ops.
Big Four Bridge
First, head downtown for Christmas decorations and memorable backdrops. Since opening in 2013, the Big Four Bridge has become an incredibly popular destination along Louisville’s waterfront. You’ll enjoy a two-mile round-trip walk from the Kentucky side to Jeffersonville, IN, with lots of photo ops along the way. Perhaps the best view is just at the top of the ramp before proceeding onto the actual walking bridge, but don’t forget the beautiful vistas of downtown Louisville that you’ll see when heading home from the Indiana side. (While you’re in Jeffersonville, make sure you stop in Schimpff’s Confectionery, a landmark since 1891, and a delightful place to get into the sugary candy cane-sugar plum-gumdrop Christmas spirit.) The views at sunset are beautiful, and at twilight, you’ll enjoy an array of themed lights on the bridge — perhaps red and green for the Christmas season, or just red to celebrate Lamar Jackson’s Heisman win or a good showing by the Louisville Cardinals.
While you’re downtown, don’t miss Main Street, where you’ll find some of the best photo ops in the city. Start at 21c Museum Hotel and the gigantic golden reproduction of Michelangelo’s David. He’s so, err…big, that selfies usually make for the coolest pictures. Standing on the 21c side of the street, you’ll get a great view of his backside, but from the north side of the street, you’ll take in the historic block that now houses one of the most talked about hotels in the South. (And don’t forget to look up to see the famous red penguins!)
Parabolic Mirror at Kentucky Science Center
Moving west down Main Street, your next stop will be Kentucky Science Center. If you have children with you, they won’t be able to avoid flinging their hands in the air and waving in the parabolic mirror at the entrance to the museum, so you might as well give in and take some photos. Stand at the center of the mirror and watch your image repeat into infinity and beyond.
Big Bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum
The KMAC (Kentucky Museum of Arts and Craft) and Frazier History Museum are also on Museum Row on Main Street, but the most iconic photo on the street is without a doubt the Big Bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum. Rising 120 feet into the air and leaning against the Hillerich & Bradsby building, a picture with the reproduction of Babe Ruth’s bat will thrill any sports fan. Your best bet at a photo that shows the entirety of the famous Louisville Slugger bat is from across the street, but don’t discount the cool views that come with playing with scale and perspective at the base of the Big Bat.
Although you’ll have to wait until the spring meet begins in April to enjoy live racing at Churchill Downs, out-of-town guests will still enjoy a tour of the most famous horse racing track in the world. Check the calendar for the holiday tour and simulcast schedule or visit the Kentucky Derby Museum, and chances are you’ll still be able to take a fantastic photo with the iconic twin spires as your backdrop. Churchill Downs is quintessential Louisville.
If you’re looking for a fun shot for your Instagram feed, don’t forget about the murals that have been popping up around Louisville, most notably in NuLu and around Bardstown Road. Bryan Patrick Todd is the artist responsible for two of the most camera-ready murals in town: on Market Street just south of Louisville Slugger Field on the border of NuLu and the Highlands mural at Bardstown Road and Lucia Avenue.