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Vintage Vistas: Four Lookouts in Louisville You Just Can't Miss

Maybe it's the reframing of the familiar afforded by seeing one's city from on high, or maybe it's the quality of unspoiled air that can be savored from higher ground. Either way, people have always flocked to ridges, hilltops, and—lately—rooftops and penthouses in search of that “aha” moment that comes with gazing out at a stunning view. Visit these four Louisville lookout spots to experience your own moment of wonder as you take in the world you know from a fresh perspective.

The Overlook at Iroquois Park

Frederick Law Olmstead set aside Iroquois Park for public enjoyment and the preservation of nature. The 739-acre park has automobile access to fine overlooks at the top of Uppill Road from April until October each year. Visitors willing to go on foot or by bike can enjoy sweeping views from the top of Iroquois Park hill on romantic moonlit evenings, year round. The windy road that leads to the top is scenic in and of itself, though when you emerge from the trees, the panorama will reward your efforts with one of the best lookouts upon the city of Louisville.

Jefferson Memorial Forest

Big Rock in Cherokee Park

Another of Olmstead's legacy parks is the Cherokee Park. This park, which Beargrass Creek runs through, is known for rolling hills that extend uphill to afford views of the countryside and town below. The Big Rock area is situated on a bend in the river where a large rock chunk, broken off from the cliff above, stands on the edge of the water. Easy to climb, Big Rock may not give the panoramas of some of Cherokee Park's hiking trails and ridges, but sitting up on the large, flat top of Big Rock allows for contemplation of the meandering water below.

Jefferson Memorial Forest

The second highest spot in the county is found at Jefferson Memorial Forest, on the back porch of the Horine Conference Centre. Take in an unrivaled view of Louisville from the back deck during their famous Valentine's Day candlelit hiking event, or visit if you're lucky enough to attend a conference or wedding there. Known as the Manor House, this stone facility nestled in the woods is a breathtaking venue for the outlooks it affords.

Galt House Hotel: You Spin Me 'Round

Situated in the Galt House Hotel, RIVUE Restaurant offers a way for couples to enjoy a scenic view of the Ohio River without having to brave the wilderness. The twin revolving dining rooms give a three hundred and sixty degree panorama while you sit and enjoy gourmet dining, or sip a quintessentially Kentucky mint julep on the rooftop patio while watching the maritime traffic on the Ohio River. At 25 stories up in the air, the views are expansive not only over the river but also of the glittering city of Louisville.

Stunning country overlooks abound thanks to the foresight of Frederick Law Olmstead; night is an especially good time to have the magnificent vistas of Iroquois Park and the more recently appointed Jefferson Memorial Forest all to yourself, or, if on a romantic outing, yourselves. A view of a smaller, more intimate nature is yours if you scale Big Rock in Cherokee Park, or be king of the castle at the RIVUE revolving rooftop restaurant at the Galt House along with Ohio River. Taking in the city from a new angle is a sure way to refresh your perspective and expand your senses, not to mention impresses out-of-towners with the beauty of Louisville's surroundings.

To learn about other fun things to do in the Louisville area, please visit the website of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team.

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