15 Landmarks in Louisville, KY, to Visit

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A city skyline near a river under a blue sky
Louisville has a wide variety of landmarks to visit

You may not think that Louisville, Kentucky, is home to many landmarks. However, this city on the Ohio River actually features an array of historical and cultural sites.

Just a few landmarks in Louisville, KY that you can't miss visiting include the nationally-known Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum, and the fascinating Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

Whether you're planning a trip or want to find out more about Louisville, keep reading to discover 15 places of interest you must visit in Kentucky's largest city!

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15 Louisville, Kentucky, Landmarks

Louisville Landmarks Video

Check out our highlights video of Louisville landmarks.

Louisville Landmarks Map

A map of Louisville landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

Louisville Landmarks Map

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A truss bridge over a body of water on a cloudy day
The Big Four Bridge, which used to be a railroad, is now a pedestrian walkway

Big Four Bridge

The Big Four Bridge has stood in the city for almost 130 years, having opened in 1895. This bridge is a testament to the hard work of engineers and construction workers in the 19th century.

It originally carried trains back and forth for Kentucky's growing economy. Today, you can walk or bike across it, enjoying a great view of the city.

Brennan House

With nearly two centuries to its name, having been built in 1868, the Brennan House is one of the most iconic Louisville buildings. It was notably added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

These days, the city carefully maintains this house to give visitors a glimpse of Louisville in the old days. The Italianate property has impressive features, including antique furniture and even a Tiffany lamp.

Visitors can sign up for a group tour to explore this landmark firsthand. Do note that these tours are by appointment only, and daily public tours aren't offered without a reservation.

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A brick structure with a tower in the middle next to green bushes
Cave Hill Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Louisville

Cave Hill Cemetery

The Cave Hill Cemetery is a notable landmark as it's the largest burial place in the city. Chartered in 1848, the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 due to its rich history and being the final resting place of some notable figures.

Among the most well-known people buried in Cave Hill Cemetery are Muhammad Ali, a famous boxer and activist, and Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC.

Historic Old Louisville

Historic Old Louisville contains carefully preserved Victorian architecture across nearly fifty city blocks. The district was further recognized in 1984 when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

While in the area, you can take a long, scenic walk, admiring the buildings. You'll also find some historical attractions here, like the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum and the St. James Court Fountain. Guided tours are offered from the Historic Old Louisville Visitors Center, allowing you to learn more about the area.

Locust Grove

Louisville is no stranger to preserving history, and this is clear with the carefully protected Locust Grove. This house used to belong to William Croghan and Lucy Clark Croghan, the sister of William Clark from the Lewis and Clark expedition.

This historic site is one of the most famous Louisville monuments. You can take guided tours of the property and learn more about its history, owners, and those who were sadly enslaved at the property.

A large structure with a clock tower next to a statue and a tree
When Downtown, make sure to pass by Louisville City Hall

Louisville City Hall

The towering Louisville City Hall is another historic building visitors can check off their travel list. Located in Downtown Louisville, it opened in 1873 and still houses the offices of elected officials such as the mayor.

Additionally, Louisville City Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features multiple architectural styles, including Romanesque Revival and Beaux Arts elements. Its clock tower, in particular, looks impressive against the Louisville skyline.

Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum

Muhammad Ali is one of the great icons of American history, famed for his skill as a boxer and his passion as an activist. Tourists can enter his past by visiting the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum.

At this landmark of Louisville, KY, you can sign up for a guided tour to learn more about his upbringing and career. Sports and personal memorabilia are also available for viewing.

An aerial shot of two bridges connecting two separate land areas
The Ohio River flows through many cities, including Louisville, Kentucky

Ohio River

Covering 981 miles, the Ohio River is a very well-known natural landmark that runs through Louisville. This river doesn't only go through Kentucky, though. It also flows through seven other states.

There are many places around the city where you can admire the river (which has gained the Louisville nickname of River City). These include Waterfront Park and the Big Four Bridge. You could even take a river cruise on the water or enjoy watersports like kayaking.

Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing

Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing is a tribute to the hardworking farmers of both Ohio and Kentucky. Located right next to the Ohio River, it covers 300 acres and has been preserved to show tourists old farming practices.

This farm was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Guided tours and educational programs offer visitors a look into the past, and going here is notably one of the best things to do with kids in Kentucky.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium is one of the famous landmarks in Louisville, KY
Waverly Hills Sanatorium served as a tuberculosis hospital in the early 1900s

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Originally a hospital, The Waverly Hills Sanatorium stands as a reminder of the hard work of countless doctors and nurses in the fight against tuberculosis in the early 1900s. The hospital closed in 1961 and is now a tourist attraction listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitors can take daytime guided tours that provide a glimpse into the tuberculosis crisis. You can also sometimes take ghost tours here, as the building is said to be haunted.

The Brown Hotel

The Brown Hotel is another of the best-known historical sites in Louisville, KY. This historic hotel which opened in 1923, has nearly 300 rooms as well as three renowned restaurants.

Many famous people have spent the night here, including British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who was one of the first people to stay. Whether you book a room or just make a quick visit, you can admire the Georgian Revival design and take in the history.

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A red and white steamboat on the water next to green trees
The Belle of Louisville is one of the most popular landmarks in Louisville, KY

Belle of Louisville

The Belle of Louisville is a more unique Kentucky landmark in the city. The red and white steamboat first launched in 1914 and is now docked at the wharf next to Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere.

This iconic boat was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1989. Best of all, you can still ride the boat today on a sightseeing river cruise.

US Marine Hospital

For those who want to learn more about the medical history of Louisville, the US Marine Hospital has to be on your must-visit list. This renovated hospital survived two tornadoes since construction in 1845 and is the only marine hospital from the Marine Hospital Service left in the United States.

The US Marine Hospital tended to the sick and wounded during the Civil War and WWI. It now stands as an example of compassion and dedication in the face of adversity.

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A red brick building with a large baseball bat sculpture under a blue sky with clouds
The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is a top landmark for baseball fans

Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

A fun Kentucky fact that you may not know is that that state is home to the Louisville Slugger baseball bat factory. As the name suggests, this landmark is located in Louisville and now houses a museum.

Centrally located on West Main Street's "Museum Row," the museum has exhibits on the background of the company, the production of the bats, and baseball history.

Conrad-Caldwell House Museum

Those interested in architecture and Victorian and Edwardian decor won't want to miss going to the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. This spectacular showcase of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture was built near the end of the 19th century and is one of Louisville's most striking monuments.

Tourists can conduct a self-guided tour or join a group tour with a helpful guide. Both touring styles allow you to admire the stained glass windows, antiques, and stone archways of Conrad's Castle.

In Conclusion

This article should have highlighted how many Louisville, KY, landmarks there are to see, from historic homes to famous hotels and steamboats. Whether you visit all these landmarks or just a few, you'll have a memorable time getting to know this southeastern city.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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