If there’s one thing Louisville, Kentucky has no shortage of besides bourbon, horses, and baseball bats—it’s museums!
Whether you love history, art, sports, science, architecture, or even drinking (yes, seriously), you’ll find a museum in Louisville, KY, that suits your interests. During your trip to Kentucky, you have to check out at least one (if not more!) of these best museums in Louisville.
Best Museums in Louisville
1. Kentucky Derby Museum
- Address: 704 Central Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40208
- Cost: $17 per adult
You can’t come to Louisville, Kentucky, without learning more about the world’s most famous horse race here every spring—the Kentucky Derby!
The Kentucky Derby Museum is one of the best museums in Louisville that was created to preserve the legacy and history of the Kentucky Derby—the longest continuously-running sporting event in North America, dating back to 1875. The museum itself is located next to Churchill Downs Racetrack, where the Kentucky Derby takes place, and good news—there is free parking!
The Kentucky Derby Museum has two floors of family-friendly, interactive exhibits with tons of interesting information about horses, jockeys, and more. You’ll also be able to watch, hear, and feel the sights and sounds of the Kentucky Derby on a 360-degree high-definition screen in the museum. You can get your tickets here.
Note: If you want to see the racetrack up-close and personal, there are several tours you can choose from that include complimentary admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum.
2. Speed Art Museum
- Address: 2035 South Third Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40208
- Cost: $15 per adult
The Speed Art Museum is an art museum in Old Louisville that perfectly blends classic and contemporary art. It’s one of the best museums in Louisville, KY, for art lovers! The museum has permanent exhibits featuring African, Native American, and European artwork but also features rotating exhibits from talented artists from around the world.
The Speed Art Museum has a cinema in addition to the exhibits that show creative, independent films. The museum also hosts fun events and programs, like After Hours at the Speed, Sunday Showcase, and more. On their website, you can learn more about The Speed Art Museum’s upcoming events.
3. Conrad-Caldwell House Museum
- Address: 1402 Saint James Court Louisville, Kentucky 40208
- Cost: $11–20 per adult
Did you know that Louisville, KY, has the most extensive collection of Victorian houses in the world? Yep, it’s true—all the homes are in Old Louisville, a beautiful neighborhood just south of Downtown Louisville—and the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum is the biggest and best of them all!
The Conrad-Caldwell House was built in 1895 by Arthur Loomis—an architect from Louisville. This beautiful home (er, castle?) is considered one of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in the world. It is undoubtedly one of the best museums in Louisville, KY, for travelers who love to admire beautiful architecture!
The Conrad-Caldwell House offers self-guided tours from 12 PM – 2:30 PM on Thursday – Sunday, and they provide docent-led tours at 3 PM. You can get your tickets here. They also host fun events and programs each month, like “An Evening of Victorian Cocktails” and “Holiday Victorian Tea,” that include a house tour with your ticket.
4. Locust Grove
- Address: 561 Blankenbaker Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40207
- Cost: $12 per adult
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Louisville, there isn’t a much better place to do so than at Locust Grove.
Locust Grove was the home of William and Lucy Clark Croghan. Lucy was the sister of General George “William” Rogers Clark of “Lewis & Clark” and the host to several notable individuals from the 1700s, including James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Aaron Burr, Lewis & Clark, John James Audubon, and more.
Locust Grove is now a National Historic Landmark and an ode to Louisville’s architecture, history, and craftsmanship. In addition to general admission, Locust Grove also offers a Guided House Tour and Unfolding the Story Tour.
5. Frazier History Museum
- Address: 829 West Main Street Louisville, Kentucky 40202
- Cost: $14 per adult
If there’s anything you’ve ever wondered about the history of Kentucky, you can probably learn about it at the Frazier History Museum!
The Frazier History Museum is a local museum that details the history of Louisville and Kentucky. They feature tons of interesting artifacts, like Teddy Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” (aka rifle) and one of the most extensive collections of historic toy soldiers in the world. In addition to the unique artifacts, you will also be able to learn about important events in Louisville’s history, like the Lewis & Clark Expedition, the Civil War, and, of course, the storied past of bourbon production in Louisville!
Speaking of bourbon, the Frazier History Museum is actually the starting point for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Before you leave, stop by the Bourbon Trail Welcome Center for maps and information about the bourbon distilleries. You can get your tickets here.
6. Kentucky Science Center
- Address: 727 W Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
- Cost: $22 per adult
Located in Downtown Louisville, the Kentucky Science Center is one of the best museums in Louisville, Kentucky, for kids.
The Kentucky Science Center is filled with many educational science exhibits, including The World Around Us, Uniquely Human, and The World We Create. They also have rotating exhibits and show educational (and fun!) movies in a four-story, 3D digital theater. Movie tickets are just $5 per person.
7. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
- Address: 800 W Main St, Louisville, Kentucky 40202
- Cost: $18 per adult
If you didn’t already guess, Louisville is where the Louisville Slugger baseball bats are made. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you must pay a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to see where these iconic bats have been made since 1884!
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory displays tons of artifacts, including bats from famous players like Babe Ruth, and fun interactive experiences that both kids and adults will enjoy. Polish your swing in the batting cage or take a tour of the factory to watch how baseball bats are made. And of course, don’t forget to take your picture in front of the “world’s largest baseball bat” outside the museum before you leave!
Fun Fact: The “world’s largest baseball bat” weighs just shy of 70,000 pounds, measures 120 feet tall, and is an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger!
8. Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
- Address: 528 West Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
- Cost: $18 per person
A museum that serves booze? With that said, there’s no doubt the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience is one of the coolest things to do in Downtown Louisville, right?
In all seriousness, the Evan Willaims Bourbon Experience is a great way to learn about the history of bourbon in Kentucky. Evan Williams has been making bourbon in Kentucky since 1783—for reference, that was four years before the Constitution of the United States was signed. Crazy!
During the Traditional Tour & Tasting, you can learn how bourbon is made, the history of bourbon-making in Kentucky, and how Prohibition impacted the bourbon industry. You’ll also be able to taste four bourbon samples and enjoy a bourbon-filled chocolate ball at the end of the tour.
Tip: If you want a unique experience, consider purchasing the “Speakeasy Tasting Experience” ticket for a Prohibition-style bourbon tasting in a hidden speakeasy. Tickets for this experience are $25 per person.
9. KMAC Museum
- Address: 715 West Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202
- Cost: $6 per adult
The KMAC Museum is another spectacular art museum in Louisville, KY. This unique museum features artists who have developed a “highly critical dialogue with their chosen materials.” You’ll find all types of art here—from ceramics and woodworking to painting and photography!
The KMAC Museum also hosts workshops for adults and teens and fun events like the KMAC Poetry Slam. Whether you’re a fan of visual, written, traditional, or abstract art, you will surely find something to love about the KMAC Museum!
10. Muhammad Ali Center
- Address: 144 N. Sixth Street, Louisville, KY 40202
- Cost: $15 per adult
The Muhammad Ali Center was founded by Muhammad Ali, and his wife, Lonnie, in November 2005. The famous boxer called Louisville, KY, “home” for much of his life, so visiting the Muhammad Ali Center is an excellent opportunity to learn more about his life.
The Muhammad Ali Center is guided by six core principles—confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving, and spirituality. Each principle has a unique exhibit, and you will also be able to explore exhibits detailing the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali, including his philanthropic and humanitarian efforts. You can get your skip-the-line ticket here.
11. 21c Museum Hotel
- Address: 700 West Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202
- Cost: Free
While in Downtown Louisville, pay a visit to the 21c Museum Hotel, one of the best museums in Louisville. The 21c Museum Hotel is exactly what it sounds like: a hotel in a museum (or a museum in a hotel—you can decide).
Explore the contemporary art museum (for free!) and see the double-sized replica of David, inspired by Michelangelo and the current exhibitions. The 21c Museum Hotel is also home to Proof on Main, one of the best places to eat in Louisville, so be sure to stick around for breakfast, brunch, dinner, or a cocktail. If you’d like to stay in the 21c Museum Hotel, you can click here to book a room!
12. Roots 101 African American History Museum
- Address: 124 N 1st St, Louisville, KY 40202
- Cost: $10 per adult
The Roots 101 African American History Museum is one of the best museums in Louisville, KY—and it also happens to be brand-new! The Roots 101 Museum opened in 2021 and features art and artifacts to detail African Americans’ achievements, cultural contributions, and experiences.
The Roots 101 Museum has already gained global recognition. It has been named one of Architectural Digest’s top museums worldwide in 2020 and one of USA Today’s top new attractions in 2021. You definitely shouldn’t miss visiting this top museum in Louisville, KY, during your trip.
13. Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center
- Address: 201 W. Riverside Dr., Clarksville, Indiana 47129
- Cost: $9 per adult
Did you know that Louisville is just a few minutes across the Ohio River to Indiana? If you cross the bridge during your trip, head to the Falls of the Ohio State Park—it’s just a few minutes away from Downtown Louisville!
The Falls of the Ohio State Park is home to the world’s largest exposed Devonian fossil bed, and it was also the starting point of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It was also a strategic location in the Revolutionary War!
If you visit the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center, you can learn more about the natural and cultural history of this unique location from several exhibits, including Ancient Sea, Converging Cultures, and The Falls Today. The interpretive center also shows a 14-minute video about the history of the Falls!
14. Thomas Edison House
- Address: 729 E. Washington St., Louisville, KY 40202
- Cost: $5 per adult
Lewis & Clark, Muhammad Ali, and now Thomas Edison? Yes, it’s true—before Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, he worked as a telegraph key operator right here, in Louisville, Kentucky.
You can visit the Thomas Edison House in Butchertown, where Thomas Edison lived as a young adult from 1866 – 1867. Many of his inventions are on display in the home, including cylinder and disc phonographs, motion picture artifacts, and incandescent bulbs.
Note: The Thomas Edison House is only open for tours from Tuesday – Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM, so be sure to plan around these times.
Discover Art, Science, History & More at the Best Museums in Louisville
There’s no denying that Louisville has enough museums to keep you busy for your entire trip to Kentucky! Which of these best museums in Louisville, KY, sounds the most interesting to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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Save the Best Museums in Louisville for Your Vacation!
Did you love this post about the best museums in Louisville, KY? Check out these other posts about Louisville to help plan your trip:
Louisville is one of those towns I saw a lot as a kid, and haven’t been back in years. This brought back great memories. You really captured it beautifully! I definitely want to see the Muhammad Ali Center next visit!
That’s awesome! It was my first time visiting, and I’m already excited to go back. Thanks for reading, Erin!
Looks like there’s a ton of stuff there to keep you busy! Love the photo of the falls by the way!
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Lisa!
I had no idea there were so many amazing museums in Louisville! I’d love to visit the Muhammed Ali Center! Thanks for the useful post, I’ll save it for when I eventually visit 🙂
You’ll have a great time, Greta! There are tons of things to do in Louisville! 🙂
I always love visiting museums wherever I travel. As a history and culture lover, I’d totally love to visit the African American History museum. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this list!
I love culture and history too, Lina! Museums are right up my alley. Thank you for reading! 🙂
A REALLY need to get back to Louisville! I’d love to visit the Roots 101 museum and the Kentucky Derby Museum.
There are so many neat spots in Louisville to check out, Amy! I was impressed! 🙂
The Kentucky Derby Museum sounds like SO much fun! Thanks for sharing these recs!
That’s what I thought too, Samantha! Thanks for reading!
My parents use to go to the Kentucky Derby every year, so we have a lot of literature/posters from that. I think it would be so cool to visit that museum and see the Derby throughout time!
What a fun tradition! That would be a fun thing to check out while you’re there! 🙂
Locust Grove would be on the top of the list, but I had no idea there are so many cool museums in Louisville. Thank you for sharing this 😍
Right? There are so many! I was amazed too!
I love checking out museums when visiting a new city. I had no idea that Louisville had the largest number of Victorian houses!
I had no idea either! It was such a fun thing to learn while we were there. It’s a beautiful city!
We had to cancel a trip to Kentucky last year unfortunately. Glad to have this resource for when we reschedule. The Louisvill Slugger museum and everything bourbon are top of the list!
I hope you’re able to reschedule soon. It’s such a fun city / state to explore!
Locust Grove looks absolutely stunning! Would defo inspire me to visit the city!
It’s a cool city!
I love the variety of different museums to visit in Louisville. Horse racing, boxing and bourbon would be unique experiences. Great options for the whole family.
There are really so many unique museums to check out!
I think the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience sounds like fun!
It’s really cool to learn more about the history of bourbon!