Kara Sewell: Road tripping to Louisville - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Kara Sewell: Road tripping to Louisville

I can drive all day and never leave the state of Texas; another reason I LOVE Cincinnati is its proximity to other Midwest cities making weekend road trips affordable and enjoyable.

My brother came to visit over Labor Day weekend so we soaked up a whole lot of Cincy then headed down to Louisville for the first time.

We decided to make it a day trip so we just hit the highlights: Slugger Museum, Churchill Downs and dinner downtown. I’m sure there are many more but we decided to stick to the obvious hot spots.

The Slugger Museum did not disappoint; we started with a movie that featured Red’s player Johnny Bench among other baseball legends. We followed the movie with a tour through the Slugger factory and let me tell you our guide made the experience that much more enjoyable. Slugger employees were making bats Sunday so we could watch a large wooden bullet (as they were called) carved into a lacquered bat branded with a pro player’s signature.

The process used to be done by hand but it’s been mechanized for years. At the end of the tour everyone is given a miniature Slugger bat (not to spoil the surprise) and we took turns handling a few bats used by some of baseball’s greats.

We traded baseball bats for horse shoes visiting Churchill Downs which is literally 5 minutes away. The museum closes at 5 p.m. so we waited until 4 p.m. to pay half price ($7.50) for access to the museum and a walking tour around the grounds.

The discounted price was great but you definitely need more than 30 minutes to experience the museum; it’s extremely interactive and informative. We could sit on a plastic horse to feel like a jockey in the gate before a race, make fake Derby bets and get an up close look at the impressive hats worn on Derby Day. The walking tour covered Downs’s history, traditions and race day basics for the horses. The only issue? It was hot!

We wrapped up our trip with dinner and a drink at Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar.

The restaurant is located in downtown Louisville in an old rehabbed building; the restaurant is huge and if you can sit in the back there are floor to ceiling windows. The dishes include BBQ, oysters and other southern favorites plus a slew of bourbon drinks – we enjoyed everything. I don’t get to see my brother Rusty often so making the most of his visits is important.

Everyone told me the drive is beautiful and they are right; windows down and XM radio turned up, we sang to country music all the way home and I will be honest it was nice hearing people in Kentucky say y’all. Where is your favorite day trip? I’m always looking for my next adventure!

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