Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Kristin

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The largest city in Kentucky, Louisville sits just across from Indiana on the Ohio River. Known for baseball, bourbon and horse racing, Louisville offers unique attractions like the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and Churchill Downs. Other popular sites include the Speed Art Museum and stunning waterfront park. While there’s plenty to do in Louisville, it’s a short trip from some other great cities and natural sites. Here are the best road trips from Louisville.

Fabulous Road Trips from Louisville

Mammoth Cave National Park

89 miles / 1 hr. 20 mins

Head southwest on I-65 to Mammoth Cave National Park for some truly stunning surroundings. UNESCO says Mammoth Cave is the most extensive cave system in the world. Take a guided cave tour through otherworldly, underground rock formations. The park also offers activities like kayaking, hiking, fishing and horseback riding.

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Cincinnati, Ohio

100 miles / 1 hr. 34 mins

Head northeast on I-71 to check out Cincinnati, a cosmopolitan, riverside city bordering Kentucky. Explore the world-renowned Cincinnati Zoo or check out some art at the Contemporary Arts Center or Cincinnati Art Museum. Hop across the water to have lunch and visit the boutiques in Covington, Kentucky’s Licking Riverside historic district. And, finally, make a stop at Skyline Chili to try Cincinnati’s famous dish — chili made with a special blend of spices over spaghetti. 

Indianapolis, Indiana

113 miles  / 1 hr. 48 mins

Head up I-65 from Louisville to visit Indiana’s capital of Indianapolis, home to a wealth of diverse attractions for different tastes. Visit the penguins at the world-famous Indianapolis Zoo or pay homage to the world’s fastest cars at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The city also has a few great art museums: The Indianapolis Museum of Art and Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Want a longer trip? Make Indianapolis a stop on a drive to Chicago, which is about 3 hours further north on the same highway. >> Recommended hotels in Indianapolis

Nashville, Tennessee

175 miles  / 2 hr. 40 mins.

Known as the world’s country music capital, Nashville is an exceptional place to chow down on the city’s infamous hot chicken, browse art galleries and — of course – take in the neon lights and live music on Lower Broadway’s Honky Tonk Highway. To make the most of Music City, check out a show at the infamous Grand Ole Opry, stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and Johnny Cash Museum. For a unique Nashville experience, spend a night at one of the city’s unique “listening rooms” to listen to live music in an intimate setting. >> Recommended hotels in Nashville

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St Louis, Missouri

260 miles  / 4 hrs.

About four hours east of Louisville on I-64 is St. Louis, a city on the Mississippi River known for its blues music, local barbecue style and sports teams. By far the most iconic landmark in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, the 630-foot monument featuring a park dedicated to former president Thomas Jefferson and his role in helping expand the country westward. Another must-see attraction is Forest Park, a sprawling green space larger than New York City’s Central Park that houses the Missouri History Museum and Saint Louis Art Museum. >> Recommended hotels in St. Louis