LOUtoday City Guide Live Banner

Louisville’s most iconic landmarks

Consider these our Hollywood signs.

Pedestrian bridge with rainbow lights.

Explore the Big Four Bridge after sundown to see this landmark illuminated.

Photo by Jacob Zimmer

We’ve all been there: Someone’s trying to give you directions by describing 10 lefts, 20 rights, and a jumble of cardinal directions. Isn’t it easier to just point out a landmark?

That’s exactly what we’re doing. We have 11 of the most recognizable landmarks in Derby City — from a burger stand to the facade of a 19th-century house. Not only are these local icons easy to remember, but they’ll also get you where you need to go in a jiffy.

water

Louisville Water Tower Park
Address: 3005 River Rd.

Nearby: River Road BBQ, Louisville Champions Park, Haymarket

Located on the banks of the Ohio River, this historic site features the 185-foot Louisville Water Tower, which is the oldest ornamental water tower in the world. The tower and its adjacent pumping station were designated National Landmarks in 1971. Visit the museum or book the Grand Hall for your next big event.

Big Four Bridge at night

It takes 1,472 LED lights to illuminate the bridge at night.

Photo by LOUtoday

Big Four Bridge
Address: 1101 River Rd.

Nearby: Waterfront Park, Lynn Family Stadium, Dave Armstrong Extreme Park, Against the Grain

Before visitors could walk across this half-mile pedestrian bridge connecting Waterfront Park to downtown Jeffersonville, IN, it was a functioning railroad bridge. In use from 1895, the bridge sat untouched from 1969 until it opened as the Big Four in 2013. Fun fact: The LED lighting system wrapped around the iron fretwork can be programmed for special events.

cave hill entrance

Cave Hill Cemetery & Arboretum
Address: 701 Baxter Ave.

Nearby: Goodfellas Pizza, Hi-Wire Brewing, Bardstown Road restaurant + shopping district

This 296-acre, Victorian-era cemetery near the Highlands is where many famous Louisvillians are buried, like Muhammad Ali, Enid Yandell, Colonel Harland Sanders, and George Rogers Clark.

BelleofLou_6_26_21_-48 copy

In 2017, the Louisville waterfront welcomed the Mary M. Miller. | Photo by Belle of Louisville Riverboats

Belle of Louisville
Address: 401 W. River Rd.

Nearby: KFC Yum! Center, The Galt House, Louisville River Walk, Joe’s Crab Shack

It’s hard to miss this red and white steamboat when crossing the Second Street Bridge. The Belle of Louisville is a waterfront icon and has been cruising the Ohio River since 1914.

Red and white train car with yellow detailing.

Olley’s Trolley has been around since TKTK.

Photo by LOUtoday

Ollie’s Trolley
Address: 978 S. 3rd St.

Nearby: Noble Funk Brewing Company, Spalding University, Memorial Park

What makes this small hamburger operation notable is that it’s located inside an old trolley car. It opened in Derby City in 1973 and grew to have nearly 100 other locations across the country, but the Ollie Burger never really caught on, leaving the landmark restaurant in Old Louisville one of three remaining locations.

Kaden Tower
Address: 6100 Dutchmans Ln.

Nearby: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Big Spring Country Club, Breckenridge Lane

The ornate latticework + Prairie-style architecture of this East End tower is often misattributedto Frank Llyod Wright. While Wright’s firm was responsible for the design of the building, it was his son-in-law, William Wesley Peters, who oversaw the project.

Colonial Gardens
Address: 818 W. Kenwood Dr.

Nearby: Iroquois Park, DeSales High School, Southern Parkway

Designated a local landmark in 2008, this 20th-century beacon across from Iroquois Park has seen life as a dining hall, Louisville’s first zoo, and a nightclub. Today, it’s home to several restaurants. Fun fact: According to local oral history, Elvis played there in the 1950s.

Crescent Hill Reservoir
Address: 3018 Frankfort Ave.

Nearby: Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center, Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe, FABD Smokehouse

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic Crescent Hill site features a Gothic architecture-style gatehouse and a reservoir capable of holding 110 million gallons of water. It’s flanked by a paved path, which makes it ideal for walkers and runners.

Brick building with red awning and glass windows. Large red letter spell out "Caufield's"

Caufield’s Novelty has been located on Main Street since 1987.

Photo by LOUtoday

Caufield’s Novelty
Address: 1006 W. Main St.

Nearby: Museum Row, Shippingport Brewing, Kentucky Peerless Distilling

For over 100 years, this West Louisville novelty shop has had a 36-foot-tall bat lurking on the side of the building.

Horses racing around a dirt track with crowds of people and two spires in the background.

Photo by Louisville Tourism

Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires
Address: 700 Central Ave.

Nearby: L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium, Wagner’s Pharmacy

The spires at Churchill Downs are one of the most iconic images of the Kentucky Derby. They were built in 1895 to give the racetrack a striking appearance.

Cathedral of Assumption
Address: 433 S. 5th St.

Nearby: The Seelbach Hilton hotel, Fourth Street Live!, Jefferson Square Park

Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, this Neo-Gothic-style Catholic church was completed in 1852. The steeple, which was the tallest in North America when it was constructed, is 287-ft above the city’s skyline.

What did we miss? If you know a landmark that’s not on the list, let us know.

Check out our other Guides
To help make your entire process at SDF as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 52 nonstop flights.
Make the most of the warm weather with this list of the best Derby City events happening this summer.
As Louisville continues to grow, we’re keeping an eye on upcoming developments and recently opened businesses.
From lifting weights, indoor rock climbing, personal training, dance fitness, boxing classes, and martial arts programs — we’ve rounded up 27 gyms and fitness offerings around Louisville.
From the Kentucky Derby Festival, to live music, Derby City blossoms this time of year.
Full of history and character in equal measure, Schnitzelburg is a small neighborhood with a big personality.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or the next Tiger Woods, these 24 golf courses in Louisville are sure to make for a good round.
You can thank us the next time you host a trivia night.
From brands to bands, LOU can be really inspiring.
In this guide, we’re diving into the city’s oldest streets and how they got their names.
LOUtoday phone
Good news for Louisville.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.