Where has the time gone? July is almost over and there are still so many things we had on our bucket list for this summer. Here are 14 things to do these last few weeks of the season so that you can enjoy all that summer in Louisville has to offer.
EAT YUMMY FOOD!
Go to a farmers’ market.
Louisville has an incredible selection of farmers’ markets all over town. A great summer activity is heading to one to shop and then staying to eat. Some of the best food in town is prepared fresh at our local farmers’ markets. Check out our “2017 Guide to Farmers’ Markets” here, and find some great things to eat here.
Eat at a food truck.
Louisville’s food trucks have been all the rage this summer and with good reason: they provide yummy, gourmet eats with a casual vibe all around the city. What’s not to love? Last summer, we laid out the ultimate Louisville Food Truck Guide, including what to get and where to find them. There are a ton of amazing options, but we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on experiencing some of this yummy cuisine-on-wheels before summer comes to a close!
Stop by Polly’s Freeze.
We all know ice cream is the only thing we want during these hot summer days, so take a quick venture out of the ‘Ville into Indiana to experience traditional summer eats and ice cream treats at Polly’s Freeze. If the classic American fare of cheeseburgers, corn dogs and barbecue doesn’t entice you to make the 20-minute trip to Polly’s Freeze, their wide array of interesting ice cream flavors, fun cones and assortment of floats and sundaes sure will. Polly’s Freeze is located at 5242 State Road 62, Georgetown, IN 47122. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Soar through the air on a zip line.
You don’t need to go to Costa Rica to have a real zip line experience. Jefferson Memorial Forest has one right here in town with the Go Ape Treetop Adventure. There is something for everyone at any skill level, with the entire adventure lasting about two to three hours. There are five sections in the course, with each section taking you higher into the treeline, about 50 feet up from the ground. Afterwards, don’t miss out on a great free hike in Jefferson Memorial Forest. Tickets are $57 for adults and $37 for kids ages 10 to 15. Minimum age is 10 years old.
Explore nature and sit in some really big chairs.
Have you noticed the massive Adirondack chairs at Joe Creason Park? This is a fun picture to take, especially after a day of hiking and nature. Joe Creason Park shares a space with the Louisville Nature Center, across the street from the Louisville Zoo property. This is a quiet space to explore great trails through the Bluegrass Nature Preserve and to learn more about the wildlife and natural wonders in this “urban forest.” You will forget that you are in the middle of Louisville when you are here.
Canoe or kayak the water trail in the Parklands of Floyds Fork.
Get some sunshine and exercise the fun way by renting a canoe or kayak from Blue Moon Canoe and Kayak and exploring Louisville’s premier water trail along Floyds Fork. With seven paddling access points along the 62-mile Floyds Fork, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore the beauty of this river and its surrounding forestry. Call (502) 753 9942 or email [email protected] to reserve a boat.
Take a dip at Falling Rock Park Quarry.
Cool off from that August heat in some of the cleanest water Kentucky has to offer at the Falling Rock Park in La Grange. This park, nicknamed “The Quarry,” gets its refreshing water supply from rainfall. It took 15 years to accumulate, but now it means Falling Rock Park features no ground runoff, keeping its water in pristine condition for folks ages 18 and older to relax and float the day away. Only a 20-minute drive from town, this trip makes a perfect quick getaway to kiss summer goodbye with a splash and a dip! Falling Rock Park is located at 2201 Fendley Mill Road, La Grange, KY 40031. Hours are Friday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $10 per person to float; $15 per person for certified dives.
BE A HOMETOWN TOURIST
Tour Cave Hill Cemetery.
No, this is not morbid! Touring one of the foremost cemeteries in the nation is a wonderful way to walk back in time with local historical figures such as George Rogers Clark, Colonel Harlan Sanders and now Muhammad Ali. You can drive or walk through this large, beautiful cemetery, and there are guides to show you the way to the “famous” people there. The cemetery is also an arboretum and is a beautiful piece of land right in the middle of the Highlands off Bardstown Road.
Take a sunset cruise on the Belle of Louisville.
Be one of the 7 million-plus people who have taken a cruise on “America’s last true Mississippi River Steamboat,” and watch the sky turn pink as you make your way along the mighty Ohio River. An excursion on the Belle guarantees a night of beautiful sights and interesting facts about the history of our city and the Ohio River. The lunch and dinner cruises also include live entertainment or DJ service, as well as a full-service bar, dance floor and observation decks. To experience a stunning Louisville sunset, we recommend the Dinner and Sightseeing cruise, which costs $43 for adults, $42 for seniors and $27 for children. Lunch cruises are offered for $35 for adults, $34 for seniors and $25 for children. If you just want the views without all that food, the Belle also offers sightseeing tickets for $21 for adults, $20 for seniors and $12 for children.
Attend Owsley Sundays at the Speed Art Museum.
Thanks to Brown-Forman, Sundays at the Speed means free admission! Named in honor of the late Owsley Brown II, Brown-Forman wants everyone to get the chance to experience the renovated Speed Art Museum and its celebration of culture in its artistic form. The collection currently on exhibit features “more than 600,000 years of human creativity.” So take advantage of the wonderful art collections at our disposal and experience the Speed on a Sunday with the entire family. Kids will love the Art Sparks room, where they can connect with art on the ground level! The Speed is located at 2035 Third St., Louisville, KY 40208. Owsley hours are Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
You have until September 10, 2017, to see The Hunger Games exhibition at the Frazier History Museum. With over 1,000 costumes and props from the movie, you can journey along with Katniss Everdeen, played by Louisville’s own Jennifer Lawrence, through the world of Panem. Tickets are now on sale with individual tickets starting at $26. For more information, click here.
TAKE IN SOME OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT
Go to a summer concert at Norton Commons.
Grab a bite to eat at one of the many great restaurants in this East End neighborhood, and then head to the amphitheater near the lake for an evening of music. There are concerts on July 29, August 12 and August 26, all from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. They are free to the public, and parking is free as well. Be sure to bring your chairs so you can comfortably set up shop for the night.
Check out a WFPK’s Waterfront Wednesday.
Waterfront Wednesdays are a true Louisville gem. With a perfect venue on the Big Four Lawn, these free concerts are so noteworthy it is hard to believe they are free. What a great way to end your night: listening to live music while relaxing in the park and gazing at the Ohio River. The remaining concerts are July 26, August 30 and September 28, so you have three more chances to go before the season ends. The gates open at 5 p.m., with music starting at 6 p.m.
Did you know that the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival is the oldest free Shakespeare Festival in the United States? Every summer Louisville gets to enjoy over 11 weeks of entertainment in Central Park in Old Louisville. Next up through the rest of the summer is the Merchant of Venice from July 26 through July 29, Merry Wives of Windsor on July 30 and August 8, Kiss Me Kate from August 1 through August 6 and Lady Lear from August 9 through August 13. Performances are free and begin at 8 p.m. with pre-show entertainment starting at 7:15 p.m. There are food trucks and alcohol on site, so there’s no need to bring your own.
Ready, set, GO! Enjoy these last few weeks of summer to the fullest!
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