To do: Old Louisville

Our recent travels included a stop in Old Louisville for Justin’s 5 For the Road comedy tour.

I’m always excited when we get to go to Kentucky. For all its redneck-ian hullabaloo, that is a gorgeous state with gorgeous stems (read: trees). And Old Louisville, a historic neighborhood located near the heart of the city, never disappoints.

Here are some recent discoveries from our latest trip you should hit up the next time you’re in Derby City.

Central Park

Once the idyllic country estate of the DuPont family, this 17-acre park is the perfect place to post up when you need to hot spot and people watch. While working from a park bench I saw a dad teaching his daughter how to ride a bike, three drunk old men shooting the proverbial shit on a neighboring bench, a date happening on the tennis court, a lot of people walking their eager dogs, and this squirrel, my co-worker for the afternoon.

North Lime Coffee and Donuts

This new bakery and java joint was within walking distance from our Airbnb, and, as Louisville luck would have it, the walk there included a veritable tour of grand estates. I love Old Louisville’s old architecture. Every house has a treasured new-old surprise to share. Aging lace curtains. Grand stone staircases. Wrought iron gates overgrown in ivy.

North Lime didn’t disappoint either. I got us a coffee to go and a few fresh-baked donuts, including a sprinkle version with an apple butter glaze. It was the best thing I ate the whole trip.

Mag Bar

This dive joint was the comedy tour’s show host. Trivia night was happening in the other room and drinkers were enjoying the weather on the outdoor patio. You could also kick it old-school and play some arcade games they had on tap like Mortal Kombat and Battletoad. Old Louisville indeed.

Sheherazade Gallery

After the show, we walked home and spotted this glowing pink art installation. I was drawn to it like an ant to discarded cotton candy. After some hashtag searching, I learned this was Sheherazade, a one-car garage turned gallery space. Rotating exhibitions fill up the whole open-air space and the clear glass gallery-wide door means it’s viewable after hours. It made our walk home weird and magical. Just like we like ‘em.

Filson Historical Society

Right by our Airbnb was the Filson Historical Society, so I went to check out their WWI exhibits during my lunch break before we got back on the road. Louisville native Jack Speed was an officer in the 150th Field Artillery on the Western Front. As an amateur photographer, he used what Kodak marketed as the “soldier’s camera” to take photos during the war. The camera folded into itself to about the size of an iPhone 4. I took photos of it on my Google Pixel. Cool to see how photography, cameras and humans (thank goodness!) have evolved since then. Stop by the front desk and ask to see their displays. An exhibition guide will give you a tour.

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