Many of us feel like we need a change of scenery after dealing with COVID for about 6 months now. Although we are in the midst of a pandemic, a road trip and local vacation may be just what you need.

I went to Louisville, KY for a little getaway last weekend, and it was a nice change of pace from Chicago. It’s only a 4.5 hour drive, which makes it a great place to go to get a taste of small-town charm coming from a big city. Even though everything wasn’t open, I was able to find things to do and great places to eat. Louisville has a fantastic food scene.

Below is my summary of my trip – if you live in the midwest or if Louisville is easy for you to get to, bookmark this page for some of my top picks!

Louisville Covid-Cation (Covid-Vacation) Guide


Air B&B in the trendy NuLu (New Louisville) neighborhood

  • The NULU location is great, as you are in the bourbon district and close to distilleries, including Angel’s Envy. There were a number of restaurants and shops within walking distance, and all of the locals were super friendly, offering advice on places to eat and things to do.


  • Lunch at Another Place Sandwich Shop. They make scratch-made sandwiches with freshly-roasted meats and handmade breads and sauces. The food was high-quality and excellent. The staff provided some great recommendations on other places to eat.
Sandwich from Another Place Sandwich Shop in Louisville, KY
Delicious scratch-made sandwiches from Another Place Sandwich Shop in Louisville, KY
  • Please & Thank You – Cute place for coffee and tea. They had an Earl Grey tea with Rose so I had to try it and it was tasty. They claim to have the best Chocolate Chip Cookies & they were tasty. Reminded me of the Soft-Batch cookies from back in the day. They also have a walk-up window, which was nice.
Coffee cup from Please and Thank You shop in Louisville, KY
Stop by the walk-up window at Please & Thank You for some tasty coffee, tea and cookies!
  • Biscuit Belly – a must-go for breakfast. I thoroughly enjoyed my biscuit breakfast sandwich and the next time I go to Louisville, I will be sure to visit again and get another one. 
Outdoor sign for Biscuit Belly restaurant in Louisville, KY
Biscuit Belly in Louisville is a must-go breakfast spot!
  •  Dinner at Bar Vetti –  Seriously had the BEST pork chops I’ve had in my LIFE! We kept raving about it so much to the point where the chef came out and told us how he made them – they were brined and pan-fried and DELICIOUS. Definitely going back there. 

Bar Vetti had the BEST pork chop I’ve had in years! Maybe in life!

  • Lueberry – I like to get green smoothies and drink my vegetables, and Lueberry had a number of unique smoothie options, and the portion size was HUGE at 24 oz. so I really felt like I was getting a lot for my money. 


  • Many of the distilleries were closed, but Angel’s Envy was open just a block away from where we were staying and they were offering bourbon tastings. They also had some DELICIOUS pre-mixed cocktails that you can take to-go and pour over ice. Definitely get the Henderson. 
Pre-mixed cocktail-to-go from Angel's Envy Distillery

Things to Do:

  • Art Exhibit at the 21c Hotel & Museum – Free admission – they had some very interesting pieces that kept my attention – I spent over an hour looking at all of the art – this installation had some powerful pieces that spoke to political power. Worth seeing!
  • The Kentucky Castle – This castle is located about an hour outside of Louisville and worth the drive. The castle is used as a hotel, restaurant and spa. Both the inside and outside are stunning. I had dinner here and the food is delicious. My favorite item on the menu was their short ribs and gourmet macaroni and cheese. The staff was wonderful with top-notch service. This castle is so fabulous that some members of the cast of Vanderpump Rules got married there.  Definitely add it to your list if you have the time.
The Kentucky Castle is a stunning beauty – great for a romantic night out or girls trip!
  • Steamboat Ride – There happened to be a steamboat race that weekend with the Belle of Louisville, and we enjoyed a 2-hour boat party on the deck of the boat with a great DJ. It was fun to see the big red wheel turning and ride along the river.
The Belle of Louisville Steamboat
  • Historic Old Louisville Mansion Tour – This was a guided tour where we learned about some of the old historic homes in Louisville along with the architecture. Very interesting and it’s always fun to look at historical houses. 


  • There are cute boutique shops up and down street. I enjoyed Red Tree  – it’s a quirky, eclectic shop that sells furniture, home goods and gifts, and it is much bigger inside than it looks outside. You must go outside to the back patio to see the umbrellas and the garden- it’s truly an oasis in the city.
Decorative back patio with umbrellas
Beautiful back patio area at the Red Tree shop in Louisville, KY

Overall Impression:

Louisville is officially on the map for me as a destination to get a change of pace from Chicago. There was overwhelming amount of support for Breonna Taylor (who was from Louisville) with window signs and street art showing her love, and Black Lives Matter signage. We went during Derby week, and many times the city seemed deserted. Despite this fact, the people we encountered were incredibly friendly and wanted to help us to have a great time. Louisville definitely captured my heart – it’s a quirky city, and their saying is “Keep Louisville Weird” which means to me that there will always be something interesting to see and do.  I look forward to returning when things are more back-to-normal. I have nothing but love for Louisville!