Perhaps Louisville, Kentucky has been on your radar ever since the New York Times featured it as one of their “52 Places to Travel in 2023.” Or perhaps you’ve wanted to check it out for its famous bourbon history, horse racing at Churchill Downs, or award-winning park system. Louisville is a diverse town with so much to explore, whether you’re here for 3 days or over a week. We, at the Inn at Woodhaven, have broken down our must-see places for a memorable 3, 5, and 8-day vacation.
Your 3-Day Vacation in Louisville
Is three days really enough time for a vacation? We wrote a story a while back about the benefits of a mid-week getaway last summer and the answer is “YES!” The key is prioritization based on your travel goals. If you’re here for the bourbon, maximize your touring of the trail by booking an excursion with BourbonTown Tours. If you want to revel in Louisville’s cultural scene, then pick a few items from blog from art lovers, like the Speed Museum or an afternoon strolling and dining in the funky NuLu area of town.
Three-day vacations are a great way to dip your toes in the travel waters of Louisville (metaphorically speaking… unless you make a visit to Waterfront Park, that is). We recommend picking two main attractions on your must-see list and filling in the time around it with fabulous dining. As innkeepers, we’re happy to recommend some of our favorite restaurants depending on what part of town you’re heading– just another personalized touch you get by staying at a bed and breakfast.
Your 5-Day Vacation in Louisville
Five days is an ideal trip length to get a full tour of Louisville, without it feeling like an exhausting whirlwind. If you’re coming for this length of time then you get the benefits of visiting a few of your must-sees, like Churchill Downs or the Louisville Slugger Museum, while also having time to explore some fantastic attractions that maybe we’re on your initial list like Louisville Mega Cavern for underground ziplining, the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum for a lesson in history and architecture, or Cave Hill Cemetery to pay tribute to Colonel Sanders and Muhammad Ali.
A five-day getaway also allows more time for eating, which is something you’ll want to do a lot in Louisville given the diverse and exciting culinary options we have in our town. Some of our favorite restaurants include 610 Magnolia, which puts a modern spin on classic southern comfort foods, Proof on Main, which is as visually exciting as it is satisfying to your taste buds, or Lou Lou on Market for some of the best Cajun food outside of New Orleans!
The benefit to the five day vacation is that not only can you visit the sites, but you have the time to actually book reservations and take tours for an in-depth experience. Reservations and tours tend to fill fast in this town, particularly on the bourbon trail, so plan your itinerary and book in advance whenever possible. Trying to decide between sites? Call us and we’ll give you our local resident opinion prior to your stay.
Your 8-Day Vacation in Louisville
Research has shown that an 8-day vacation is the optimal length to get away. It’s just enough time to really get rested and recharged, without getting bored. What we love most about a longer vacation is that it allows more time for exploration outside of the immediate area where you’re staying. If you’re here for a week or more, we’d recommend planning a day trip to Bardstown, Kentucky.
Located just under one hour away, Bardstown is a lesser-known treasure within the state. If you’re a bourbon fan, we highly recommend stopping by Heaven Hill Distillery. Soak in even more of the famous Kentucky countryside by having dinner at My Old Kentucky Dinner Train – a two-hour train tour with a gourmet three-course meal. They also offer a bourbon tasting (obviously) and their menu has options for those with dietary restrictions as well.
Bardstown is home to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival each September, but you’ll need to buy tickets far in advance if you plan to attend. For the other months of the year, we recommend enjoying one of their historic walking tours when the weather is nice and visiting one of their museums or history centers when the weather is not.
And in our slightly biased opinion, a bed and breakfast is the best type of place to stay during a long vacation. At the Inn at Woodhaven, you’ll get the privacy and comfort of a plush bedroom and serene bathroom to rest up each night and a hearty, delicious breakfast to get you started each morning. We’re happy to be your home away from home!
Many Right Ways to Visit Louisville
Louisville truly is a great town that has something for everyone– from sports to the arts, nature to the culinary scene. There is a reason that many of our guests return in future years. However long your vacation allows, the Inn at Woodhaven is happy to host you and help make the most of your Louisville vacation experience. Be sure to check our Specials page to make your stay even more special.
And now, a Louisville bourbon recipe to whet your appetite for Kentucky travel…
Heaven Hill Distillery Stuffed Pork Roast
Courtesy of Kathleen Renn & Bill Rent, Lead Bourbon Host
|½ cup raisins
|¾ teaspoon Evan Williams Sea Salt
|¼ cup dried cherries
|1 cup Evans Williams Bourbon
|1/8 teaspoon Evan Williams Garlic
|¼ pound pork sausage
|1 cup peeled green apple, small diced
|1 (4- to 6-pound) pork loin, butterflied
|½ cup chopped celery
|¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
|¼ cup diced onion
|2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
|1 small jar cherry preserves
|¾ to 1 cup hot water
|2 tablespoons orange marmalade
|½ teaspoon sage
|Garnish: 1 orange, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 325° F.
- In a small bowl, soak raisins and cherries in bourbon. Set aside.
- In a skillet, cook sausage, breaking up into small pieces.
- Add apple, celery and onion. Cook until onions are translucent in color, about 10 minutes. Add stuffing mix and ¾ cup water.
- Drain raisins and cherries, reserving bourbon; add fruit to the stuffing mixture.
- Season with sage, ½ teaspoon sea salt and garlic black pepper. Add extra ¼ cup water if needed to form a soft stuffing consistency.
- Roll out pork loin. Season with remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt and black pepper.
- Spread stuffing over pork loin. Roll up and secure with string. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Place bacon lengthwise over pork.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, combine cherry preserves, orange marmalade and 1 tablespoon reserved bourbon.
- Remove bacon from roast.
- Spread preserves over top of roast to cover. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove string ties.
- Place on a platter and garnish with orange slice twists.