What to do with your parents when they come to visit: it's a concern many of us have been attending to since family weekend our freshman year of college (when it was addressed by a visit to Walmart for a new hot plate and dinner at Red Lobster).
Thankfully the Louisville area exudes character and has a slew of unique, worthwhile attractions.
This weekend my wife and I hosted her parents and brother for a visit that was as fun as a Friday night of Wild Turkey and as smooth as a Sunday afternoon sip of Woodford Reserve. Here's what we did.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail
East and southeast of Louisville
With Churchill Downs a week away from opening for the season, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
was the most unique-to-Kentucky way to spend a Saturday afternoon (with the possible exception of just going out and shooting something). My father- and brother-in-law and I visited Buffalo Trace
and Woodford Reserve
(the latter had both the better tour and bourbon). Don't expect to get snookered from the samples though: each tour lasted about an hour and the taste at the end of each was only about a shot.
Your home (or mine)
While I was touring distilleries with my father- and brother-in-law, my wife and her mother were back at our house, working in the yard. Bizarrely, that's how they wanted to spend their afternoon: my mother-in-law misses having a yard and my wife wanted to take advantage of having someone with knowledge about gardening in our house. They hit the Bardstown Road Farmer's Market
and then planted some of what they bought. (And if your family is coming to town but you don't have a yard or yours doesn't require any work, e-mail me
and I'll be happy to tell you my address and what parts of our yard require the most attention.)
Louisville Slugger Field
401 E. Main Street
Yes, this article is the third time in as many columns that I've mentioned the Louisville Bats
. No, I'm not on the Bats' payroll (but if they'd like to send a little money my way, I am not above accepting it).
Anyway, a Bats' game makes for a perfect family outing:
Old Seelbach Bar
- it is outdoors
- unlike most outdoor activities, sitting in the stands requires no energy
- cheap tickets make it affordable and mean you won't feel guilty if you leave early if a family member can't tolerate three hours of minor league baseball (or Louisville Slugger Field's hot dogs)
500 Fourth Street
A visit to an historic bar such as the Seelbach
is great way for guests to experience Louisville's history and be refreshed after a Bats game. Share stories about Fitzgerald and Capone as you sip mint juleps and everyone will leave educated and lubricated. You might want to call ahead ((502) 585-3200 ext. 205) though to verify that the Seelbach has mint--it was out of it on Sunday.
Bardstown Road (duh)
Walk the main drag in the Highlands and enjoy quality restaurants, bars, shops and people watching. Make dinner reservations ahead of time though (especially if it's the anniversary of the resurrection of many Louisvillian's Lord and Savior).
(Photo: Flickr/Chris Breeze
, Some rights reserved
[Update April 16, 2009: My mother-in-law informed me that while purchases were made at the farmer's market, none of them were planted in the yard that day. Louisville.com regrets the error (which was an understandable one, as I was on the bourbon trail at the time.)]