Did We Get Lucky In Kentucky?
Updated: Feb 11, 2020
We sure did! Although the weather wasn't as nice as we expected it to be, we had a blast taking a quick look around Louisville. (Pronounced like: swallow-your-tongue-ville) A very cool thing about staying in Indianapolis is how close you really are to so many other places. It really is the crossroads of America. Earlier in the week, we were trying to decide what to do with this free weekend. French Lick? Chicago? Detroit? Mammoth Caves? St. Louis? So many awesome options. We'll get to all of them eventually. This weekend was meant to scope out Louisville. Known for its Bourbon and Horses. Its two biggest products. Is there more to it than that? Of course!
Its cold, the offseason, and Tungsten came along for the ride, we knew we wouldn't be able to do much but what we did see was awesome!
Stop One: Mega Caverns - Now I'm a big fan of caverns, they're so unique and amazing to see. This one is far different than any we've ever seen. Megas Caverns is 100% manmade. Back in the 1930s, Limestone was found here so the people dug and mined it out. It's massive! It's over 100 acres of land underground. The state government considers it a build and because of that, it's the largest building in Kentucky. Due to its natural design and decisions made in the 80s, it is also the greenest building in Kentucky. There are 90' rock pillars throughout the cavern as well, 10x more than OSHA recommends making this place able to withstand the most horrendous tornados, plane crashes or other natural disasters. Today, you can only see about 30' of these pillars because it has been backfilled with recycled concrete, rock, tiles and more which has created internal floors, roads, and warehouse-like storage space. The Cavern is under all 10 lanes of I-264 and the Louisville Zoo. A good chunk of that interstate was even made from the limestone dug out from here. Pretty impressive work these men were able to do down here considering they didn't have the machinery we have today. Can you imagine mining with an oil headlamp? Only using rock climbing gear and huge hammers and drills? Doesn't sound like it was the safest place to work, but they got the job done. It shut its doors in 1974 when all the land above it had been purchased. Now, it's open again to the public to see and have their own adventures. You can go ziplining underground here where they also have the top 4 places in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest suspension bridge underground. At Christmas, you can drive through it to see their lights display and until recently they even had a huge BMX track. Wild spot for sure!
Stop Two: 4th Street Live! 350,000 square feet of restaurants and bars and entertainment. A Louisville staple since the summer of '04. Louisville revitalization take 3! Back in the 50s Mayor Wyatt wanted to put in a pedestrian mall here but the funding didn't come through until the early 70s. River City Mall was opened. When it became sort of "meh," it got a facelift and changed names to The Louisville Galleria in the 80s. Now its as vibrate as ever. As mentioned previously, it's winter, it's cold, there were no fun concerts going on the night we were there. Onward we walk!
Stop Three: The Brown Hotel - Now before we got to Louisville, we asked for recommendations. Shout our to our follower Lauren F. for the Hot Brown recommendation! What is a Hot Brown? In short, a delicious hot-open turkey sandwich. Drawn out it is a creation from Fred Schmidt in 1926, the chef at the Brown Hotel. It consists of sliced roasted turkey and bacon on top of white toast topped with a creamy mornay sauce then baked or broiled until the bread is nice and toasted and the cheese sauce begins to brown. Oh boy, is it good! (Bacon on the side) We also tried their crab cakes, because you know, Maryland. Some of the best potatoes I've had. Mighty good restaurant.
Fun fact about that Brown Hotel. James Graham Brown started out as a businessman, working in the family Lumber business. He and some buddies walked into the Seelbach Hotel one night after work for a couple of drinks and were turned for looking too shaggy and dirty. Mr. Brown here didn't like that very much and basically left saying, "You'll be sorry." He walked down the street, bought the property at W Broadway and 4th Street and urged a hotel to be built as quickly as possible, no matter the cost! $4 million and 10 months later, Brown Hotel opened its doors. The center of town then shifted from the Seelbach Hotel down towards his. And it's still beautiful to this day!
Stop Four: The Seelbach Hotel - The Rathskeller: Now talk about a one-of-a-kind room! The tiles all along the walls were made from Rockwood Pottery, hand-drawn designed before going into the kiln. This is the only place in the world like this still intact! It's absolutely stunning. So magnificent that F. Scott Fitzgerald found his inspiration for The Great Gatsby here. And another fun fact, there are secret underground tunnels under this hotel. They were built in the 1920s so that gangsters could elude the police. Once such gangster went by the name of Al Capone.
The Grand Staircase at The Seebach is pretty stellar as well.
Stop Five: Please and Thank You - A small-batch Southern bakery and coffee house claiming to have the best chocolate chip cookie in all of Kentucky. Make with Kentucky grown flour, dark chocolate chunks, tons of butter, vanilla and some other all-natural stuff. I gotta say, it is the best cookie I've had in Kentucky. Granted it is also the only Kentucky cookie I've had, but it is a good cookie! Best thing on their menu? Chive Ass Biscuit. An egg sandwich with a most delectable chive ass biscuit. Yum-adum-dum!
Other notable spots that we got to see but didn't get to explore:
Churchill Downs, The Slugger Museum, Muhammed Ali Center, KFC Yum! Center, Water Front Park, Cave Hill Cemetary, Thomas Edison's house and The Fraizer Museum. Until next time though! We'll be back Louisville!