Let's Make a Toast!

take the quiz! It only takes a minute - promise! >

But first, What's Your Signature Cocktail? Whether it's a glass of bubbly or an old fashioned, your personality shines through. Find out what your {top shelf} shaker ingredients are!

Louisville Travel Guide

louisville travel guide, louisville kentucky guide, best louisville hotels, best louisville restaurants, kentucky derby guide, derby style guide, derby city guide, louisville tour, best louisville restaurants, best louisville bars // grace white a southern drawl

Photography by Erin Trimble Photography

This is a highly requested post! I can’t tell you all how many emails and DM’s I get about where to eat, drink, stay, etc. in Louisville! Whether you’re heading to Louisville, KY for a girls weekend or coming in for the Kentucky Derby, here is my Louisville Travel Guide for y’all!

WHERE TO STAY:

Omni Louisville Hotel: The most beautiful hotel, in my opinion! I’ve always been an Omni fan, so when I heard they were building one in Louisville, I got SO excited! There are tons of cute shops, Falls City Market, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, a speakeasy, a spa, a rooftop pool — you name it! J and I stayed here the night of our wedding and did a full spa day the next day.

21C: A little on the modern side where the rooms are decked out in some really cool art and furniture, this boutique hotel had to make the list.  Check out the art at 21C museum and then hit dinner on-property at Proof.

The Seelbach Hotel: Alllll the Gatsby vibes. The wedding scene of Gatsby was actually set here, so how can you not love it?! So much history, while still experiencing luxury!

The Brown Hotel: Another famous hotel where the KY Hot Brown was born.  It’s also located in a convenient area of downtown!

louisville travel guide, louisville kentucky guide, best louisville hotels, best louisville restaurants, kentucky derby guide, derby style guide, derby city guide, louisville tour, best louisville restaurants, best louisville bars // grace white a southern drawl

WHERE TO EAT {DINNER}:

Seviche: It’s no surprise that this is at the top of my list.  J and I love Seviche, and I truly think it’s the best restaurant in KY! Chef Anthony is so talented and the vibe of this restaurant {and their patio} is perfect for date night or a girls night!

Varanese: Another favorite of ours! We have never had a bad meal here! Chef John is so talented and has quite a few twists on some American classics.  During warmer weather, they open all the windows in the main dining room so it feels like it’s outdoors. Check out his other restaurant, River House, for a waterfront experience!

Decca: This will always have a special place in my heart, since it was one of the first places J and I went on a dinner date! Their food {with locally sourced ingredients} is outrageously good — the portions are a little on the smaller side, but the quality is unmatched.  Did I mention their patio? One of our faves in Louisville! AND head to their Cellar for some post-dinner drinks.

Butchertown Grocery: From the cocktails to the food, this place has quickly become a fave spot of ours! The staff always makes us feel so special {for literally no reason at all} and their food is so yummy, while still showcasing farm to table ingredients. The vibe is cozy, quaint, and rustic.

Mayan Cafe: The dining area is a little small, so make sure a reservation is made ahead of time! You haven’t lived until you have tried their authentic Mayan food. I actually wanted them to cater our rehearsal dinner so badly, but unfortunately, it just didn’t work out with venue, etc. So, hands down, this is a date night fave!

 

WHERE TO EAT {CASUAL DINNER}:

Guaca Mole/Artesano Tapas: These are two different restaurants, BUT are owned by the same restaurant group with similar “menu vibes”.  These are two of our fave places to snag some Mexican and Spanish food.  The Artesano charcuterie board has changed my life, and the guacamole sampler {along with a margarita/sangria swirl} at Guaca Mole will rock your world.

Vietnam Kitchen: This is *super* casual and kind of off the beaten path, but Vietnam Kitchen has the best Vietnamese food! It has been run by the same family for as long as I can remember and they are always so kind.  Pro Tip: get their Avocado Milkshake!!

Coals Artisan Pizza: We rarely crave pizza, but when we do, we have to get the Coals’ Waverly Pizza {with prosciutto and fig}.  Their meatballs are also extremely yummy!

Feast BBQ: Conveniently located in NuLu, their barbecue is SO delicious AND they have BBQ tacos! Dare I say, get their Bourbon Slush and you will be feeling *hella good*.

El Taco Luchador: A classic and the ONLY place to snag tacos! Also owned by the same people from Guacamole & Artesano, so clearly I’m a little biased.  Their patios are so dang fun! On a warm & sunny day, head to Taco Luchador, order the Baja Fish taco and a margarita. Thank me later.

Royals Hot Chicken: If you’re a hot chicken fan, you have to check out this joint! Casual with some nice outdoor seating, this cheat meal always has us leaving with full bellies.

louisville travel guide, louisville kentucky guide, best louisville hotels, best louisville restaurants, kentucky derby guide, derby style guide, derby city guide, louisville tour, best louisville restaurants, best louisville bars // grace white a southern drawl

WHERE TO EAT {BRUNCH}:

Gralehaus: this place is in a Highlands Victorian Home, so seating is limited — It’s located next to Holy Grale {also a great patio, best burger in town, and located in an old church}.  They also have 3 guest rooms if you’re looking to stay somewhere cozy with a bed-and-breakfast feel.

Village Anchor: A Louisville East End classic! I’ve been coming here with my girlfriends for what seems like forever! Red Velvet Pancakes, best bloody mary in the city, AND Mimosa specials!

LouVino: I couldn’t decide if I should put this under dinner or brunch, but brunch took the cake for me.  Stuffed french toast and pancake tacos? YAS please.

Le Moo: $1 Mimosas.  Need I say more? They have such a fun drag brunch on Sundays too!

Con Huevos: Have you ever had a fresh Mexican breakfast? Because it will change your life.  Their drunk burrito and tres leches pancakes are two of my faves!

Silver Dollar: Such a quirky and rustic place with a fabulous patio! I’m honestly not too fond of it for dinner, but I definitely enjoy their brunch.  J and I like to slip in at their bar and indulge in some brunch from time to time!

 

WHERE TO DRINK:

Naturally, this is the longest list.

Garage Bar: The perfect patio with a selection of drinks {and late night pizza}.  Play some ping pong outdoors and hang with your friends at this fun place! They have a housemade tonic that’s sooo good. This is our #1 spot in the summertime!

Taj: A little quaint on the inside, but their patio is pretty spacious! It’s also conveniently located near Garage Bar so that you can bar hop.

Lola: A speakeasy located above Butchertown Grocery — you can also eat from the Butchetown Grocery menu there too! Their mixologists know what’s up when it comes to a good cocktail.

Hell or High Water Bar: They take reservations only and it’s a little deceiving on how to actually enter this place. I love how this bar is kind of intimate and great for a small group of friends or date night.

The Champagnery: Rose gold tables. I mean. So Insta Worthy.  I will say, if you aren’t a champagne fan, you probably shouldn’t come here, but it’s nice to indulge in some champagne with small bites every now and then!

8Up: I don’t recommend their food, but their rooftop patio is such a great one! It kinda gets weird late at night {just being honest}, but go during sunset and experience a cocktail with a view!

Gravely: Craft Beer and Craft Music is their tag line, and let me tell ya, it is always a good time when we go! I don’t drink beer, but they have a cocktail menu that’s great. Oh, and did I mention their patio? Plus, one of my fave restaurants that is listed above {Mayan Cafe} has a food truck located there!

ALEX&DER: a “newer” place located in Copper & Kings Distillery {a brandy distillery}.  Their rooftop patio has an amazing view of Louisville and there’s so much love that goes into every, single drink.  Seriously, these guys don’t just throw a drink together.  If you aren’t a fan of brandy, just ask the bartender to nix it!

Mr. Lee’s Lounge: Speakeasies are clearly Louisville’s thing.  This place looks *sketchy* from the outside, but I swear, when you walk in, it’s so much fun! Their drinks are fabulous and random note, get the bar nuts. Actually, life tip: always get the bar nuts anywhere…

Pin + Proof: This speakeasy located in the Omni is F-U-N! There’s a bowling alley and a menu for some yummy bar bites {their sliders are so good}.

Saints Pub: If you’re looking for a casual sports bar with some great pizza and wings, definitely head to saints.  Their patio is also the best in St. Matthews and if you ask me and my friends, they have the best DJ if you stay later in the night {haha}.  Fun fact: this is where Jordan and I met!

Nouvelle Bar & Bottle: Indulge in a wine tasting with one of the prettiest outdoor *situations*! I say situation because it’s more than just a patio {see photo below!}.  You can even order a 3 oz pour of wine so that you can taste a bunch of different kinds!

louisville travel guide, louisville kentucky guide, best louisville hotels, best louisville restaurants, kentucky derby guide, derby style guide, derby city guide, louisville tour, best louisville restaurants, best louisville bars // grace white a southern drawl

DESSERT:

Louisville Cream: In my opinion, it’s the best ice cream in Louisville {although others will say Graeter’s}.  It is ‘premium small batch’ ice cream, so you can expect some different flavors.  They have a brown butter ice cream that could make me weep.  They have other fun flavors like bourbon smoked pecan.

Sweet Surrender: All cake everything. Located next door to the Champagnery and Silver Dollar! High roller cake, red velvet cake, and their bread pudding are our faves.

Hi-Five Donuts: Okay, so the key is to snag this in the morning while they’re open.  They have the BEST DONUTS EVER I CAN’T EVEN PUT THIS INTO WORDS YOU HAVE NOT LIVED UNTIL YOU’VE HAD THEIR DONUTS. Wow, glad I got that out of my system, thank you. Don’t follow them on Instagram because you’ll try to eat your phone.

Wiltshire Pantry: Wiltshire catered our wedding and has amazing food, but their bakery is somehow even better!

Steel City Pops: If you’re a fan of popsicles, then take a load off at Steel City Pops.  Bring your pup and sit outside to enjoy some good weather and a tasty treat!

louisville travel guide, louisville kentucky guide, best louisville hotels, best louisville restaurants, kentucky derby guide, derby style guide, derby city guide, louisville tour, best louisville restaurants, best louisville bars // grace white a southern drawl

COFFEE:

I’m not a huge coffee drinker,  but these are crowd favorites!

Please & Thank You: Snag some coffee and their famous chocolate chip cookie! There are multiple locations too.

Quills Coffee: They have quite a few locations so you can always find a place near you!

Sunergos Coffee: Honestly, I’m no coffee connoisseur, but *legit* coffee connoisseurs rave about Sunergos coffee!

 

WHAT TO DO:

Louisville City FC: This is a professional soccer club and the fans are *FANS*.  It’s such a big deal here that they are building a new $65 million stadium that will be open in 2020.

Louisville Bats Game: $2 beers and minor league baseball.  If that ain’t summer, I don’t know what is.

Actors Theatre of Louisville: Check out a show at Actors Theatre and snag a dinner at MilkWood beforehand {it’s located in-house and run by Top Chef Season 9 Contestant, Ed Lee}.

Big Four Bridge: In my opinion, it’s very overrated, but might be fun for someone who has never experienced it.

Speed Art Museum: This will always a special place in my heart, since this is where our wedding reception was! It really is such a cool museum and there’s a Wiltshire Pantry Bakery & Cafe located on site for you to snag some food!

Louisville Slugger Museum: Take a tour of the museum and make your own mini bat!

Churchill Downs: Whether it’s for the Kentucky Derby or not, there are always races going on at Churchill!

Louisville Waterfront Park: Our waterfront has really been amp’d up over the last few years! So many things to do and there’s a concert series on Wednesdays during the summer!

Urban Bourbon Experience: A few fave pitstops are the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse and the Evan Williams Experience.

Maker’s Mark Distillery: Not located in Louisville, but in Loretto, KY.  If you want to experience a true distillery and are willing to venture off the beaten path, Maker’s Mark is by far my favorite.  Take a tour and then snag a lunch at Star Hill Provisions on their property. This distillery is the prettiest place you’ll ever see!

louisville travel guide, louisville kentucky guide, best louisville hotels, best louisville restaurants, kentucky derby guide, derby style guide, derby city guide, louisville tour, best louisville restaurants, best louisville bars // grace white a southern drawl

SPA/BEAUTY:

Drybar: Always a classic in any city that you go to!

Primp: A local blowout and style lounge! Go with your girlfriends, pop some champagne, and get primped.

Mokara Spa: This is the spa located in the Omni! It’s my fave spa in Louisville.  Louisville really lacked in the ‘spa’ department, until the Omni was built.  You can even enjoy their rooftop pool if you schedule a spa experience.

Dollface: All things brows and nails! Need a mani? Check out this place!

Body & Brow: Located in New Albany! Waxing, lashes, tanning, makeup, and facials!

Clique: Conveniently located on Frankfort Ave., they’ve got everything from organic airbrush tanning to makeup to lashes.

Carley Randall: Need your hair or makeup done? Carley’s got you covered! Side note: her studio is also so photo-worthy.

 

WHERE TO SHOP FOR FASCINATORS/HATS:

Headcandi: My personal fave and thus, the first on the list!  Britni has made my KY Derby & Oaks fascinators every year.  She is one talented {and sweet} gal and is *so* speedy! They hand-deliver your fascinator/hat right to your home!

Dee’s: I personally like this place if you need a last minute option.  They have such an assortment of hats and fascinators that are already made, and then some crafts for you to put your own little twist on them.

The Hat Girls: these girls are also so talented and are the official hat designers of the Kentucky Derby Festival.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Become a healthier version of yourself by joining the FITwithASD community today! For only $8.99/month or $89/year, you never have to worry about workouts, macros, or a meal plan again.

learn more about fitwithasd ⟶

250K

join the community of

other women that love fashion, fitness, and lifestyle

@a_southerndrawl

The All-Time Favorite Posts

read this post

Personal

10/27/18 Mr. & Mrs. White

There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t feel so blessed to be Jordan’s wife. He is my everything. These photos and video are the sweetest reminder of our love for one another. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a seat, and try not to bawl your eyes out (because I know we did). Every time we look through our photos and watch our video, we cry the happiest tears. 

read this post

Personal

The Proposal

It’s crazy what can happen in a year. I met the love of my life and the rest is history. I was having a hard time ending this post, because frankly, I think I could talk about that evening forever. Then I realized that this post doesn’t have an ending, but instead, a beginning. Thank you so much for all of the love, excitement, and gratitude.

read this post

LIFESTYLE

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is bake my dark chocolate chip pumpkin bread! I’ve made it *so* many times for me, J, and friends & family. It’s moist, decadent, and super easy to make! It also makes for a great DIY housewarming gift.

Shop My Favorite Items

visit the full shop ⟶

fashion

beauty

personal

travel

lifestyle

shop

fitness

I’m just an everyday gal who can go from gym to glam in record timing. I run on sarcasm & coffee on the weekdays and sass & vino on the weekends! I strive to stay fit, stylish, and healthy, while also trying to be the very best version of myself (sounds easy enough, right?).   MEET GRACE ⟶