Round up the train lovers in your family and hit the road for the small town of La Grange, KY. Located only 20 minutes east of Louisville and roughly over an hour from Cincinnati this makes it the perfect place for families to explore. Stay the day or over night in one of their cute bed and breakfasts, either way you will enjoy visiting this historic town.
What makes La Grange so unique is that they have up to 30 trains per day roll right down the middle of the main street. Yes, main street. It is one of the few cities in the US that allows the train to street run or run along the public street. Therefore, park your cars accordingly or they will get hit by the train. There is plenty of street parking and parking areas, so you shouldn’t have any issues. After visiting this tiny town a few times I would allocate a minimum of two hours on the main street to try to catch a train. Usually one will roll through town by then. While you wait for train to make its grand appearance here are a few things that make this small town great.
But First Coffee
I recommend grabbing a cup of coffee at the La Grange Coffee Roasters to kick off your day. If you have kids you already know caffeine is life and therefore a mandatory stop on any road trip. This little shop offers amazing artisan coffee right in little old La Grange. They grind their own beans and offer delicious hand crafted coffee concoctions. They also have tempting homemade baked goods that may make you buy one of each. They do have live music throughout the week so depending on when you visit you might be in luck.
Afternoon Tea at Serendipity Café
If coffee isn’t you thing, no worries the Serendipity Café has the perfect set up for your afternoon tea. This cute little café is delightfully charming and has an astonishing amount of gifts, trinkets and goodies for you to take home. The cafe is known for their sweet delicacies and chocolates, so to get the full La Grange experience I highly recommend getting a few. You wouldn’t want to miss out! The café does serve lunch and dinner which comes with the locals stamp of approval.
Treasured Child Toy Store
The moment I stepped into this shop I took a step back into my childhood. This old-fashioned, nostalgic toy store is the one that you would envision walking into fifty years ago. The variety of newer toys and vintage makes it hard for you to leave empty-handed. The only reason we did is because the train was finally coming through and I busted out of there like the place was on fire! Did I mention that we had been there for an hour and half and still hadn’t seen a train, so I was real excited.
La Grange Railroad Museum
As you get to the end of main street you will find the La Grange Railroad Museum. This is a small museum, but has a great model train display. You will likely spend no more than an hour noodling around here, but it is worth checking out. They have a little gift shop so that your train enthusiast can take home a memento from the trip. Note that museum is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10-3pm, but it is still worth swinging by non operation hours to see the old train out front. They make for some great photo opts and are a highlight among the little ones.
Hop over to the Observation Tower
Adjacent from the train museum is a fun Observation Tower and catch a view of the town or if you are lucky a train. The observation town is a great spot for kids young and old to get the best view in the house.
Eat at the Mayan Latin Cuisine
We stumbled upon this gem based on all the fabulous reviews on Yelp and it did not disappoint. The food was excellent and very authentic. I ordered the fish enfrijoladas which were on point. I highly recommend a marg to wash it down with it. Service was excellent, friendly and quick. We wanted to get dessert, but knew we were getting chocolates at Serendipity. Looking back, I should have done both because the desserts looking amazing. YOLO.
The Historic Main Street
The historic main street is filled with independent little boutiques and shops just beckoning you to come in. Each store boasts tons of historic charm and character in addition to a variety of unique items. Browsing can be dangerous here, because you will likely leave with a few more items then you arrived with. Everyone in this small town is super friendly and is always willing to help if you need anything. They do have special events throughout the year that might be a good fit for you and your family. Ghost tours are a popular event offered in October, a chocolate crawl is offered in February, and other fun events around town. You can check out the schedule at: https://www.lagrangemainstreet.org/.
Can’t make it to La Grange but would love to see the train roll through town? Check out their live feed right here: https://www.lagrangemainstreet.org/
Traveling Without Kids?
Check out Falling Rock Park. It is an old rock quarry that is maintained solely through rainwater! Anyone over the age of 18 can bring a pool raft, noodle, kayak or paddle board and relax. We have yet to try this out, but it is on our bucket list!
La Grange is another great stop if you are hitting the Bourbon Trail. Check out our guide to the Bourbon Trail.