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Best free and almost free things to do around town, and our list of best restaurants for those on a budget like us!
Always Free and a Great Bet:
Beautiful new Waterfront Park down town on the Ohio river--Terrific Walking/Biking Path, Brand new "Adventure Playground" for kids, numerous Picnic and BBQ areas, Site of Regional Festivals including Thunder over Louisville. Weekly WFPK concerts and Cultural Festivals. You HAVE to walk down to the Extreme Park, which is our terrific skateboard park--Tony Hawk said it was one of the best in the country! There are also several restaurants within walking distance, water fountains that the kids can wade through, and a beautiful view of the Ohio River.
Free and Terrific!
I know it sounds creepy, but this is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. Lots of famous people are buried here, including Harland 'Colonel' Sanders and George Rogers Clark. A terrific place for leaf collecting & photography, although you need to stop by the office and make a request. Open every day of the year 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (weather permitting)
Final Friday of Every Month--Free and Lots of Fun
During special extended business hours of 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., explore the Frankfort Ave. district of shops, boutiques, studios and galleries, featuring handcrafted furniture and gifts, regional art, fine antiques, apparel and much more! Great for window shopping, and to "see and be seen".
Free and Terrific during June/July:
The Oldest Free Independently-Operating Shakespeare Festival in the Nation, held in Central Park: 4th Street between Park and Magnolia
$2/adults, free/kids under 12--admission to track
Our newly-remodeled racetrack, home of the Kentucky Derby. Museum/giftshop, and of course horse racing!
The factory and museum of the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats--a must see for all baseball fans!!
3000 Bardstown Road--super cheap
Open all night--watch donuts being made though the huge windows, then eat a fresh, perfect glazed donut. If you go in the morning during the week, sometimes they will hand out free ones!
Cheap and AWESOME Breakfast Plates--Bardstown Road
My personal Favorite for Breakfast/Brunch, and that's saying something as Louisville has the highest 'restaurant per capita' in the country! They make the best Eggs Benedict I've ever had, and the New Orleans french toast is to die for. Make sure you go early, as lines can be long starting around 10:00 on the weekends
Cheap, TERRIFIC Southern Comfort Food
If you want some 'real' food, stop by this local favorite--livers and onions, country fried steak, and REAL, fresh fried chicken. This is where I go with family, and I highly recommend Saturdays and Wednesdays when they have 'all you can eat' fried chicken dinners for $7.99. My other favorite is the Cottage double club, which is perfect for lunch--HUGE and delicious!
Super Cheap Local Secret--5339 Mitscher Ave
Our favorite restaurant in the city-- it's a bit of a drive to the south end, but always worth the trip for their fresh and authentically prepared vietnamese dishes. The menu is HUGE, and we have tried many different items and NEVER been disappointed. Our favorite appetizers are the spring rolls and crab rangoon, both served with delicious, home made sauces. Entrees: Any of the soups, which come in big bowls that we can never finish. The owner is wonderful, and will visit your table just to chit chat.
Cheap & Great
4544 Poplar Level Road
3-minute drive from Bardstown Road, this restaurant sits in a strip mall just off the highway. THE BEST chili in town, and some of the very best catfish too! This restaurant used to be downtown, and the walls are decorated with old pictures of Louisville--truly a local secret
Cheap Food, Great Beer
Fabulous Irish Pub in Crescent Hill neighborhood. You MUST try the Cottage Pie, which is a potato lover's dream, and the fish & chips is equally great--both are under $9