A Weekend in Louisville, KY – Day 2

Hey Guys!

This post continues our time in Louisville, KY.

Read Day 1 here

After checking out of our hotel, we headed to a place called Wagners Pharmacy, to have breakfast.

I discovered this place through my research of Louisville and put it on the list of restaurants to try.

Wagner’s Pharmacy opened in 1922 and is located directly across from Churchill Downs.

The pharmacy/general store branched into a cafe to gain the business and friendship of the racetrack workers and horse trainers that worked and raced at Churchill Downs.

Wagner’s has appeared in major motion pictures including Elizabethtown, and Secretariat.

On the walls of the pharmacy, you will find a collage of past Derby winners along with famous figures that graced the pharmacy’s fountain throughout the years.

After getting seated, we looked over the menu.

The history of the restaurant is printed on the back of the menu.

We both decided on the breakfast platter.

The food was average….however, in 2020, The Food Network named the restaurant the best diner in Kentucky.

Read reviews here

After we ate, we walked around the pharmacy checking out all of the pictures on the wall.

We made our way to the gift shop and found a coffee cup to purchase.

After leaving the restaurant, we took a few shots of Churchill Downs that was directly across the street.

Churchill Downs opened in 1875 and began its tradition as “Home of the Kentucky Derby”. It currently holds the record for the longest-running, continuous sporting event in the United States.

In 1875, the track’s inaugural meet reached nearly 10,000 spectators, unknowingly initiating an annual ritual that is now universally recognized bringing in record-breaking crowds of more than 170,000.

After leaving here, we headed to our next stop which was back in Jeffersonville, IN called Howard Steamboat Museum.

The drive from the restaurant took 15 mins to the museum.

The Howard Steamboat Museum is a beautiful 15,000 sq ft, 22 room mansion that was built in 1894 and was the home of the famous Howard steamboat building family of Jeffersonville.

The Howard family built steamboats including the luxurious J.M. White , the speed record holding City of Louisville and the popular Indiana.

The house features original furnishings, brass gasoliers, stained glass windows, intricate carvings throughout and a magnificent black walnut grand staircase replicated from a famous steamboat.

You can tour the house for $10 for adult, $8 for seniors and $6 for students 6 through college.

There’s a huge paddle wheel that sits on the property

Read reviews here

The house is gorgeous!!

Sadly, we didn’t have time to tour the house.

Click here to see pictures of the inside of the house – 90% of the furnishings in the house belonged to the family

There’s also a gate house that sits on the property.

The gate house, built in 1883, was purchased by the Howards to be used as a barn and Carriage House. It was the first structure on the property that would eventually become their home while their mansion was being built.

The house is now a rental venue.

After leaving here, we headed 10 mins down the road to the Belle of Louisville Riverboat.

On the way, we passed another beautiful, old house called the Queen Anne Mansion.

This incredible home along the river, was built around 1893 for John H. Hoffman, the owner of the Monongahela Coal and Coke Co., a railroad and coal transportation company.

It now sits in the middle of a subdivision and was recently sold for $699,000…what a steal!!

Crossing the bridge back into KY

After arriving to the riverboat, the most challenging thing was finding parking.

Click here to find out where to park when you take this tour.

The Belle of Louisville Riverboat was built in 1914 and is the only remaining authentic steamboat from the great American packet boat era. It is the oldest steamboat in the world!

A National Historic Landmark and an icon of the Louisville waterfront, the Belle is the most widely traveled steamboat of her size in American history.

The are several different types of cruises offered by the riverboat….we chose the 2 hr leisure cruise for a price of $22.99 each.

Book here

Tip: There are two different riverboats you can book…one is the Belle of Louisville and the other is the Mary M. Miller…so, be sure to book the one you are wanting to go on & arrive 30 mins prior to your departure time.

Read reviews here

After boarding the boat, we headed to the 2nd floor to find a seat in the shade!

Thankfully, the boat wasn’t very crowded so we had our choice of seats.

This is a narrated cruise so, if you want to hear the narration, I recommend you sit on the 1st floor because we had a hard time hearing due to people around us talking.

The riverboat cruises up the Ohio River all while the narrator speaks about Louisville’s origins and connection to the river, the factors that determined Louisville’s location, the role steamboats played in the city’s early growth and development and much more.

We had a beautiful day!

The boat will go under three different bridges along the way.

If you get hungry, the boat offers food and drinks.

See the menu here

Views along the way

A shot of downtown Louisville

After disembarking the boat, we walked around for a few minutes taking pictures.

A sign showing who all had visited the Louisville Wharf

Another historical marker about Captain John F. Gilooly

The captain was known as the most famous lifesaver at the Falls of Ohio when he assisted in the saving of 6,312 persons and recovered 400 bodies of drowning victims.

There are several historical markers near the boat

After leaving here, we headed to our next stop, the boyhood home of Zachary Taylor.

Zachary Taylor was the 12th U.S. President, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850.

His boyhood home was built in 1790 by his planter father who built the earliest part of the two and one-half story brick house. His father, Richard Taylor prospered, and by the 1830s increased his farm to 700 acres and doubled the size of the house.

As a teenager, Zachary joined the Kentucky militia, and in 1808 entered the United States Army. Two years later on leave, he returned to Springfield to marry Margaret Mackall Smith.

Five of their six children were born at his childhood home. Taylor probably returned periodically to visit his father, who continued to live at Springfield until his death in 1829, when the family sold the plantation.

In 1974, a tornado caused severe damage to the now restored house. Originally located on a 1,000-acre plantation, the Taylor house now has substantial houses on large lots surrounding it.

The house is a private residence and not open to the public.

After leaving here, we headed to our next stop.

On the way, we passed the old, historic Union Station building.

The Union Station building was a railroad station that opened in 1891 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It now serves as offices for the Transit Authority of River City.

The first floor is open to the public from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday.

We also  passed this old clock and the historic Brown Hotel.

Built by wealthy Louisville businessman J. Graham Brown, The Brown Hotel opened in downtown Louisville on October 25, 1923. That year, Louisville was the 34th largest city in the country with a population of 235,000.

The 16 story concrete and steel hotel took only 10 months to build and cost four million dollars.

David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, became the first person to sign the guest register.

It is now listed on the National Register of Historic places.

Read reviews here

We then passed the incredible Jefferson Community & Technical College.

The college opened in 1967.

We had several historic churches on the list so we drove by some of those before heading to a historic district in Louisville.

There are several historic neighborhoods in Louisville.

We passed one of the restaurants I had put on the list to try but didn’t get a chance to..it was called Ollie’s Burgers.

Marvin Smith opened Ollie’s Trolley in 1993. The restaurant is housed in an old trolley car. It’s one of the last three remaining Ollie’s Trolley restaurants of what was once a 100 location franchise.

Read reviews here & Click here, here & here to see more historic restaurants in Louisville

We drove around the historic neighborhood on 3rd St as we were making our way to the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum.

Click here for a self guided walking tour of this area

Fun Fact: Louisville has the largest collection of Victorian homes in the United States

Click here for 47 fun facts about Louisville

You can tour the amazing Conrad- Caldwell house …it’s $20 for a guided tour and $15 for a self guided tour.

Read reviews here

This beautiful mansion was built in 1893 by famed local architect Arthur Loomis of Clarke & Loomis.

It took 3 years to build and cost $35,000.00

The house is surrounded by a beautiful courtyard neighborhood at the center of the largest collection of Victorian homes in the United States.

It’s known for its beautiful woodwork, parquet floors, stained glass windows and limestone exterior displaying gargoyles, massive archways and intricate architectural designs.

The house was one of the first in Louisville constructed with electric wiring, natural gas piping and indoor plumbing. An intercom system was also installed early on by the second owner, William Caldwell.

There are many events held here during the year..one of them being the Afternoon Tea of Leaves.

You can also rent out the space out for weddings.

Click here & here for historic homes that you can tour in Louisville & Click here for famous people that are buried in Louisville

After leaving this house, we continued our drive around the Old Louisville historical neighborhood admiring all of the beautiful homes.

We passed this cool looking carving called the St James Court Lamplighter. The entire thing is carved from a 100 yr old oak tree!

Click here for more quirky art in Louisville & Click here to book a tour of this historical area

Click here & here to book stays in some of these old historic homes that are now bed & breakfasts.

We then passed the beautiful fountain that sits in this historic neighborhood.

The St James Court fountain was put here in the late 1800s, when many of the amazing Victorian homes here were built.

We loved this old pink house!!

This historic district seemed to go on for miles…so many beautiful, old homes!!

After driving around for quite some time, we decided to head back to Jeffersonville, IN to eat at a restaurant we had seen when visiting the Howard Steamboat Museum.

The restaurant was called the Cast Iron Steakhouse.

Click here for more museums in Jeffersonville & Louisville

On the way, we passed a bakery in Jeffersonville that had, what looked to be, a very old “bakery” sign.

The sign is hanging on a bakery called Adrienne and Company.

The bakery started back in 1973 by a lady named Myra in Niagara Falls New York.

After years of training, Adrienne, Myra’s daughter, established Adrienne and Co. in 2001 in downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana.

She has won many awards for her cakes and other baked goods.

Muhammad Ali even had this bakery make a birthday cake for him!

Once we arrived to the restaurant, we were seated pretty quickly.

After looking over the menu, we both decided on steak.

But first, we ordered the fried macaroni bites for an appetizer.

They were soooo good!!

Then came our salads, bread and finally our delicious steaks!

The steaks were perfectly cooked and so delicious!

The service and the food were both incredible and I would highly recommend this restaurant!

Read reviews here

After our delicious meal, we headed home!

Thanks for reading!

Read Day 1 here & Click here to see links to all of my blog posts

Stay tuned for my next adventure!!

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