So, you Googled it and now you think you know the best attractions to visit while in Louisville, right?
Sure, you'll always have a good time visiting Churchill Downs and the Slugger Factory, but did you know Louisville also has hidden underground tunnels, old Al Capone hangouts, and a hidden concert venue in a cave? Before you book your trip, consider visiting any of these top 10 hidden gems of Louisville!
- Sauerkraut Cave
This 'cave' is a part of the E.P Tom Sawyer State Park today, on the land that used to be home to the Lakeland Asylum. There are several different rumors regarding the underground cubby hole, from asylum escapes to paranormal tales, though overall it is agreed that the space was used as food storage for the asylum. Lakeland. This theory is what led to the name Sauerkraut Cave, as the hospital served it often.
The Natatorihome, as it is called today, is an actual house on the market in Louisville, though maybe only half of the hundreds that show up for the open house are actually interested in buying it. The other half simply want to gawk at the houses biggest feature; the 25-yard indoor lap pool, heated by geothermal energy, front and center inside the home. A sauna and steam room, as well as organic gardens, attract much attention as well, here at this highly popular for sale location on Payne Street.
- Seelbach Hotel
The Seelbach Hotel has one of the most interesting histories of any building left standing in town today, this spot is home to a few antics of Al Capone, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and George Remus. One of the most intriguing features within is the Oakroom, a spot Al Capone used to play poker, using his mirror from Chicago and hidden doors behind the pannels ot make quick getaways if necessary. Remus, the infamous Cincinnati Mobster, was considered the 'king of bootleggers' and also served as F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for Jay Gatsby. Many of the scenes from the story are set here at the Seelbach, such as the wedding scene (ballroom). Fitzgerald actually got kicked out of the Seelbach one night after a few too many drinks and 'carousing'.
- Derby Clock
Where else can you see Daniel Boone, King Louis XVI, and Thomas Jefferson race around a miniature race track?? Nowhere, we are sure of that. The locally famed Derby Clock is a Barney Bright Sculpture featuring 5 hand-carved mini statues of local legends, including Gerald R Clark, Daniel Boone, Thomas Jefferson, King Louis XVI, and the Belle of Louisville. This is one of those 'you have to see it' Louisville roadside gems.
- Iroquois Park
This 726-acre park is one of the most scenic in the city, with dramatically rugged hills, vast forested land, and gorgeous vistas of the city and surrounding landscape. There is a nice WPA era amphitheater onsite, the locally famed 'largest tulip poplar' tree in town, and the outstanding opportunity to see the city from North Lookout. There's a reason people used to call this place 'Louisville's own Yellowstone'.
- Workhouse Ballroom
Local live music venue legend, the Workhouse Ballroom is certainly not your typical concert or event space. No, quite the opposite, this 'ballroom' is actually more commonly referred to as 'the cave'. The history behind this spot is highly unknown as far as cold hard facts go, but basically, here's the scoop: Mike and Annie Ratterman now own the area, of which they believe could have been beer storage in the 1850's. Others believe this was a debtor prison called Louisville Workhouse, established around 150 years ago. The ballroom sits hidden on a hill on Lexington Road, a tunnel-like area made of long narrow stones.
- James P. Boyce Library
This library is not only one of the largest collections of theological work in the world, but it is also home of two really iconic artifacts: 1). The personal bible of the 19th-century preacher CH Spurgeon, and 2). The famed local (but completely real) Egyptian Mummy. Stop by campus and say hi!
- Lincoln Memorial
A stop at the Lincoln Memorial is a great way to not only pay homage to one of America's greatest, but to also get out and sightsee at the city's most popular public event and park space, Louisville Waterfront. Take a selfie with Lincoln if that's your thing, or spend some time brushing up on your Lincoln history in a shady grass spot nearby as you admire the handiwork.
- Bluegrass Burgers
An off the grid location and out of this world flavor profile combine to make Bluegrass Burgers one of the tastiest hidden gems in all of Louisville, this fairly unknown burger joint serving up grass-fed bison and beef with hand-cut fries. The burgers come in some of the most creative and tasty flavors such as California Dreamin' (avocado and smoked gouda) and Pear-a-dise (pear, goat cheese, bacon jam).
- Sauerkraut Cave
- Danny Mac's
Another fairly unknown but crazy good eatery you HAVE to visit in Louisville? Danny Mac's, one of the very best pizza joints in the city. Pie specialties such as the Chicken Bacon Ranch and Kentucky Hot Brown (Kentucky ham, turkey, bacon, tomato, mozzarella, provolone, mornay sauce) will certainly not disappoint, and neither will the parmesan-smothered breadsticks so fondly nicknamed 'crack sticks'.
- Danny Mac's
Want more great hidden gem attractions across America? Check out these locations!