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Father’s Day in Louisville: Bourbon, Boxing, and Baseball

By Ali Wunderman

All roads lead to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, or at least they should on Father’s Day. Louisville, Kentucky, feels like a city designed to indulge the interests of any father, as an epicenter of sports, hearty food, and of course, the best bourbon. 

One of Louisville’s greatest features is its walkability, particularly when partaking in the bevy of bourbons the town has to offer. Most of the major sights are in close enough proximity that renting a car or even calling an Uber isn’t necessary, though both are plenty easy to arrange.

Although there are boundless options for creating the perfect Father’s Day adventure, these handpicked recommendations will touch on the best of what Derby City has to offer. 

Frazier History Museum

The official starting point of the Bourbon Trail, this three-story museum dedicated to Kentucky’s history provides a great foundation for exploring Louisville. It’s within arm’s reach of four major distilleries—Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Old Forester Distilling Co., and Angel’s Envy Distillery. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

Closest to the Frazier Museum is Michter’s recently opened downtown distillery, making use of the recently refurbished Fort Nelson, a Louisville landmark. Pot stills from the original Michter’s Distillery—with a history tracing back to 1753—are on display, and there’s even a sensory lab which lets visitors become acquainted with the subtle flavor profiles of bourbon. The self-fill bottle stations make for a memorable souvenir from what is bound to be the best Father’s Day ever. Grab a drink at The Bar at Fort Nelson on the top floor, or make a note to return later—Head Bartender Sevan Araneda and Bar Manager Dante Wheat are bourbon cocktail geniuses.

Muhammad Ali Center

Louisville’s most famous native son is commemorated right in the city’s downtown area. Interactive exhibits are guided by Ali’s six core principles, which any father can get behind: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, spirituality, and giving. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Keeping with the sports theme, the famous Louisville Slugger Museum is only a few blocks away. After taking a photo with the impossibly giant baseball bat out front, head inside for a factory tour and a look at famous bats, like ones used and subsequently immortalized by baseball stars like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Hank Aaron. The store sells a wide variety of official Louisville Sluggers to take home, including those featuring logos from every MLB team. Arguably the best souvenir is a personalized, engraved baseball bat that Dad will treasure.

Butchertown Grocery; The Silver Dollar; Proof on Main

All that walking around will work up an appetite, and being in a Southern state, Louisville has no shortage of delicious food. Top picks include Proof on Main, which is right downtown and features an imaginative, fun vibe shared by the food and the curated art. Butchertown Grocery is upscale and intimate with obvious focus on flavor. The Silver Dollar, though inspired by the honky tonks of Bakersfield, California, is fully Louisville, taking a modern approach to traditional working-class recipes. Each is home to a well-stocked bar that could constitute their own Bourbon Trail. 

Omni Louisville Hotel

Despite being a new addition to the Louisville skyline, the Omni Louisville fits right in. This elegant, upscale hotel is the perfect place to stay in Louisville. The decor incorporates design elements drawn from bourbon barrels, plus a copper chandelier made by local stillmaker Vendome Copper & Brass Works adorns the ceiling. A semi-secret passageway in the lobby leads to the best way to end a spectacular Father’s Day: bowling and booze. 

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