The Aleksander House: an 1882 historic inn in the heart of Old Louisville, Kentucky


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Louisville hosts a variety of interesting and fun events both in-door and out, from sports, to theater, to music, to nature. When the weather is pleasant, during all but the winter months, there are many out-door festivals to keep you occupied during your visit. Offering wonderful accommodations and restaurants, Louisville makes a great homebase, while you attend some of the local events and travel the countryside and tiny villages.


The St James Art Show is one of the largest art shows in the country. Booths and tents span over blocks and blocks of Old Louisville, displaying every kind of art object and craft imaginable. Our Inn will be filled with artists, two of whom are jewelry makers who have been returning to stay with us for the past five years.

Environmental awareness at the St. James Court Art Show

In an effort to raise environmental awareness, the St. James Court Art Show patrons will have a new way to enjoy the show without transportation and parking hassles. Bicycling for Louisville will offer secure valet bicycle parking throughout the event. Patrons may leave their bicycles at the valet bicycle parking corral at 6th Street and Magnolia Street, spend the day perusing the art, and pick up their bicycles for the ride home. No lock is necessary. Bicycling for Louisville will provide the parking service at no charge, and will welcome donations.

October schedule of Tours

"Lantern Ghost Walks" at 9:00 every night starting October 4, which will include a candlelight tour of the Conrad-Caldwell House. Cost: $25 + Tax

"Old Louisville Ghost Walks" on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. Cost: $20 + Tax

"Ghosts of Old Louisville Tours" at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings every weekend except the weekend of St. James Court Art Show. Cost: $25 + Tax

"History and Architecture Walks" at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays Cost $15 + Tax

"Mansions & Milestones Tours" on Friday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Cost $25 + Tax

All tours leave from the Old Louisville Visitor Center, 218 West Oak Street. For information or to make reservations (payment is required when reservations are made). (502) 637-2922
 let your spirits soar as you dance the night away
at the annual Spirit Ball.
Sample gourmet fare and expertly mixed cocktails  and costumed splendor
Location: at the heart of America's largest Victorian neighborhood in the 1890s masterpiece known as the Conrad-Caldwell House.
Keep the past alive and enjoy a one-of-a-kind masquerade ball that is sure to be the highlight of your Halloween season for years to come.
When the party's done walk over to the Aleksander House Bed and Breakfast and spend the night in one of our queen-bedded suites. 
We'll serve you a first rate breakfast the next morning.   Surely a weekend to remember! 
The package includes: 2 tickets to the Spirit Ball, overnight stay and breakfast for only $375 (plus tax; based on availability).  Add $75 for king-bedded room.

Friendly Louisville Spirits
Old Louisville, Kentucky

The Kentucky Derby

Alternatively referred to as “The Run for the Roses” or “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. The Kentucky Derby draws an average of 150,000 visitors each year, including residents, out-of-towners, celebrities, presidents, and even members of royal families.

The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875. Close to 10,000 people watched as 15 thoroughbred horses ran what was then a 1.5 mile course. In 1876, the length of the race was changed to 1.25 miles. By the early 1900s, owners of winning Kentucky Derby horses started sending their winners to run in the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in New York. In 1930, sportswriter Charles Hatton coined the term “Triple Crown” in reference to the same horses running the three races consecutively.

Unless you’re going to be in the infield, you’ll want to make sure you abide by the traditional Kentucky Derby fashion rules. Men at the Kentucky Derby generally wear solid color suits or tuxedos. Women are known for their Kentucky Derby hats, which are traditionally large and dramatic. Women usually pair their hats with simple dresses in spring colors, and white dress gloves are common as well.The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It is an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sweet syrup and is traditionally served in a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass.

Old Louisville Garden Tour

In 1993, two Old Louisville residents, and activists in the preservation of this Victorian treasure, presented to the Second Street Neighborhood Association the idea of a garden tour that would encompass and benefit all of Old Louisville. Ten years before the Central Park Centennial, the Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour was initiated.  Over the years, the tour has enjoyed the support and backing of the non-profit Second Street Neighborhood Association membership, as well as sponsors and volunteers from many parts of Old Louisville and the Metro community at large. The garden tour occurs on the second weekend in July. (call for information, 502-637-4985

Victorian House Tour

You can experience some of the magic of Old Louisville during their  Victorian Yuletide Holiday House Tour, which takes place every year on the first weekend in December. Old Louisville's finest mansions will be decked in holiday splendor.  What makes this all so special is that most of these houses are private homes and are rarely ever open to the public for tours. 

 In fact, most individual houses are open to the public only once in a lifetime.  So if you missed a house this year, you may not get a chance to see it ever again.  And you may return year after year, and the tour will never be quite the same!

According to visitors, the tour seems more like Christmas than Christmas itself.  Few have the opportunity to experience our magnificent Victorian interiors, much less with giant Christmas trees, hearths and doorways and staircases festooned with garlands.  It truly can be an old-fashioned picture-postcard Yuletide dream.

Visitors enjoy the scent of cedar and pine and spice get to meet some of the people who live in Old Louisville.  Each house is manned by volunteers from the neighborhood, and sometimes the owners themselves, who will explain some of the unique architectural features of thei home, and some fascinating history. 

Kentucky State Fair

The Kentucky State Fair takes place in Louisville, KY. In 2010 the fair will run from August 19 through August 29, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Kentucky's State Fair has been a popular agricultural event for over 100 years. Family oriented entertainment makes the fair a popular summertime festivity. The fair features livestock, horses, midway rides, festival food, concerts, exhibits, competitions and blue ribbons. Following is additional information about some of the special events, including the horse shows and concerts

Shakespeare Festival

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival is the longest-running Shakespeare Festival of its kind in North America. We use the works of Shakespeare to enrich our community through accessible, professional, theatre experiences that educate, inspire, and entertain people of all ages.
Kentucky Shakespeare is committed to the fundamental belief that the arts are for everyone, and to our ongoing “Free Will” campaign which allows us to bring the summer season of professional theatre to the public free of charge through the generous support of our funders, donors and community.
Under the leadership of new Producing Artistic Director Anthony Patton, the 49th Summer Festival of Free Shakespeare in Central Park will present two of William Shakespeare’s masterworks, Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet.

St James Art Show

The St. James Court Art Show® was founded on October 12, 1957 by St. James Court Association president, Malcolm Bird. Back in 1957, St James Court Association was faced with an empty treasury and the Art Show seemed to be a perfect means to pay the bills and bring residents together.

The Art Show started simply enough. “At first, it was to be an art exhibit only, although open to anyone wishing to enter an exhibit. The pictures were hung on a clothesline extending from tree to tree,” wrote Marguerite Gifford in her 1966 history, St. James Court in Retrospect.

The Art Show provided an opportunity to celebrate the history of St James Court, so plaques were placed on certain houses to honor their notable residents, who were poets, authors, and mayors.

Ann Higbie and Oscar Stremmel, who succeeded Malcolm Bird as Art Show organizers. volunteered countless time and energy managing the show for twenty-five years, until 1992. They led the Art Show to national recognition and, by this time, it had tripled in size from 200 to 600 exhibitors. 

Exhibitors expanded to Fountain Court and Fourth Street in 1975. Mel Young organized the early Fourth Street artists and, in 1979, Rudy Van Meter and Kitty Clark launched the 1400 Third Street section of the show. By 1994, the show expanded to include artists in the 1300 block of Third Street and at the West End Baptist Church. The show now remains one of the largest in the nation.

Humana Festival of Plays

Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival of New American Plays is an annual site of pilgrimage where theatre lovers from around the world gather to get the first look at the future of the American theatre. Over 350 plays have been produced in the internationally acclaimed Humana Festival, representing the work of over 200 playwrights.

the Humana Festival gained fame in its early years for introducing future Broadway and off-Broadway hits (The Gin Game, Crimes of the Heart and Agnes of God). Following the departure of its founding artistic director, Jon Jory, who was replaced by Marc Masterson in 2001, the festival lost a bit of buzzworthiness, but became a bit more open to work from the experimental fringes.

And it remains a must-attend event for theater professionals across the country. Even with a troubled economy, attendance this year was up over last year. And if the selection of new plays was creatively a mixed bag, for this first-timer it was a stimulating weekend. No breakout hits (like last year's festival favorite, Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw, which moved on to an acclaimed off-Broadway run), but plenty of signs of vitality, flashes of brilliance, displays of theatrical invention. The flaws and missteps are part of the experience: you want to get involved, tinker, help with the discovery process: it's theater under construction.