8 attractions worth seeing less than 2 hours from Louisville

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While we love the many attractions Louisville has to offer, we have to admit that the rest of our state (and southern Indiana!) Is also full of great places to visit. If you fancy a day trip, check out some of our favorite attractions outside the city.

Lexington, Kentucky: The Magnifying Glass

375 Thompson Road | About. 1.25 hours from Louisville | theburlky.com
This Lexington Dive Showroom / Barcade is up there with our own Zanzabar or Headliners; This is the place to go if you are a music fan and / or in your twenties. The Burl offers an average of around 300 concerts a year – not too bad. This fall, it’s hosting many local bands you already know and love, including Houndmouth and White Reaper. Some concerts take place indoors and some outdoors, as is on-site dining: options include an indoor bar and outdoor food trucks. The building adjacent to the performance space houses the Grand Arcade, which houses Lexington’s largest collection of pinball machines.

A socially distanced outdoor show at the Burl in Lexington.

Frankfort, Kentucky: West Sixth Farm

4495 Shadrick Ferry Road | About. 65 minutes from Louisville | westsixth.com/farm
If you like a drink in a more idyllic setting, you’ll love the beautiful trails at West Sixth Farm, a family-friendly, dog-friendly farm, outdoor playroom surrounded by 120 acres of space for hiking, cycling and running. You may already know the name of the bar from its outpost in NuLu, but this rural getaway is a great escape from the noise of the city. The large hill overlooking the grounds is a fantastic place for a safe gathering with friends and family (or political supporters – Amy McGrath hosted a big campaign event there last fall.) have a picnic, then check out a hop yard, brambles, and cider apple orchard to get a taste of where your drinks are coming from. The brewery also offers a hiking club and on-farm yoga classes.

Versailles, Kentucky: Kentucky Castle

230 Pisgah Pike | About. 1.25 hours from Louisville | thekentuckycastle.com
Why is there even a castle in Kentucky? Honestly, we don’t know, but we’re not complaining –– this is the place to go if you want a luxury getaway in our state. There might not be any real royalty here, but there are some royally fantastic draws: bluegrass concerts, farm-to-table food, spa and upscale hotel rooms, and options from glamping with a breathtaking view of the castle and its surroundings. If you’re not up to spending the night, the castle also offers tours, mystery dinners, yoga sessions, and tea time with the Disney Princesses. Also discover the animals, trees and bees of the working farm and the castle apiary.

La Grange, Kentucky: Sauerbeck Family Drive-In

3210 DW Griffith Lane | About. 30 minutes from Louisville | sauerbeckfamilydrivein.com
The pandemic provided us with the perfect excuse to watch movies behind the wheel: they were the best way to be in a community space while staying safe. The Sauerbeck, which also hosts church services, concerts and political events, shows new and retro films every week. New movies cost $ 11 for adults and $ 6 for children (3-12); retro movies cost $ 15 for a whole car.

If you’ve never been to Sauerbeck, it’s a simple setup: you pay for a ticket in advance, give your name to the ticket agent at the counter, drive to an available location (or specific location). according to the instructions), then tune your car radio to the frequency displayed on nearby signs. An on-site building has concessions for purchase, as well as indoor toilets.

While typically associated with the 1950s, drive-ins aren’t a relic of the past – they’re a perfect destination for 2021.

Via Sauerbeck Family Drive-In / Facebook

Bardstown, Kentucky: My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

602 North Third Street | About. 45 minutes from Louisville | kydinnertrain.com
While we wait in the elusive Louisville Amtrak station, if you’re in the mood for a ride now, you’ve got plenty of options with the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train in Bardstown. You can choose a romantic lunch or dinner ride, a slapstick murder mystery ride, a winter walk to the North Pole, or a “bourbon excursion,” all of which will take you through historic sites in the Kentucky countryside. The train’s multi-course food and drink offerings include seasonal vegetarian fare and 35 types of bourbon. The train is pretty upscale – dinner tickets for adults cost $ 89 each at a regular table or $ 356 total for a private table for two – but its rides are popular with visitors.

Via my old Kentucky dinner train

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky: Mammoth Cave

1 Visitor Center Parkway | About. 1h30 from Louisville | nps.gov/maca/
Kentucky’s famous 52,000-acre cave, the longest in the world, is open to visitors on a first come, first served basis. Masks are mandatory; ticket reservations are strongly advised.

You can choose from 10 different cave tour options depending on your interests and level of mobility; there are accessible tours for people with disabilities, for science enthusiasts, a “Domes and Tombstones” tour for geology enthusiasts and strenuous lantern climbs for thrill seekers.

Adult tour ticket prices vary widely from $ 6 to $ 66, so check their website to find the best tour for you. If you prefer to stay above ground, entry to the national park itself is free; you can canoe, hike, fish, kayak, go horseback riding and take pictures of scenic viewpoints. Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit Mammoth Cave, in my personal experience, so do what you can to experience the area when it is at its most beautiful.

Via Nps.gov/Kait Evensen

Santa, Indiana: Holiday World & Splashin ‘Safari

452 E. Christmas Boulevard | About. 1h30 from Louisville | Holidayworld.com
The beloved theme park is only weeks away from the start of its Happy Halloween Weekends, which run from late September to late October. Right now, enjoy the good weather on Saturdays and Sundays. When the time comes, grab your costumes and treat bags to take advantage of the not-so-scary offerings: a corn maze, hay walks, Halloween-themed shows, a dance party and more, which are perfect for families and fun-lovers of all ages.

Frankfort, Kentucky: Buffalo Trace Distillery Tours

113 Large buffalo trace | About. 1 hour from Louisville | buffalotracedistillery.com
Frankfort’s Buffalo Trace Distillery offers a number of COVID-safe tours of their historic facilities, all of which include samples of their award-winning bourbons. You can walk through their botanical garden, warehouses, and barrel storage to get a taste of what it takes to keep a bourbon business running.

Speaking of Spirits: The Pandemic has put a few of their tours on hold, but be sure to check out the Ghost tour once it’s available again. The distillery, whose hauntings are real enough to have appeared on the “Ghost Hunters” TV show, offers free tours for those brave enough to walk where ghosts roam.

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