Most first-time visitors to historic downtown La Grange are astounded as they watch a freight train roll right down the center of Main Street! Up to 30 freight trains a day come through this historic shopping and dining district of La Grange! Although the CSX freight train is not a passenger train and doesn’t run on a schedule, La Grange draws many visitors from those watching us LIVE on the Virtual Railfan street cam!
A visit to our La Grange Railroad Museum on Main Street is a must if you’re interested train cars and historic train artifacts! Outdoors you’ll find a Steam Engine, 1929 Dining Car, L & N Caboose, and a train-yard jitney. The steam engine was constructed in England and was initially used to move coal for the Meaford Power Generating Station prior to its replacement by more modern diesel-driven engines.
If you are looking for a place to stay in your Oldham Trains Getaway, you’ll want to reserve your room at the Brakeman’s Cottage (right), Oldham’s newest cozy vacation home for 2 and ONLY vacation rental ON Main Street in historic downtown La Grange!
Also a very short drive from Main Street and train watching in La Grange is Pillow and Paddock B&B and Bluegrass Country Estate B&B, a gorgeous working Kentucky Horse Farm…right here in the Farm Tour Capital of Kentucky! You will also find 5 hotels at the La Grange exit, including a new one in 2019 – plenty of spots to rest your head and hooves!
Main Street is filled with unique boutiques, awesome restaurants, and museums & art galleries, so enjoy an afternoon being mesmerized by the train as it passes by each storefront! Visit our Trains page for more specific train information or for shopping and dining information, visit their website at La Grange Main Street. You can also visit our shop page for a complete list of shops throughout the county.
Newly renovated, our Oldham County History Museum is awesome! New interactive exhibits have been designed so as to include overhead speakers that sense your presence and start their story! The Kentucky State Reformatory designed an exhibit educating the public about the workings inside of a state prison. Learn about notable Oldham Countians such as DW Griffith, father of the motion picture; Annie Fellows Johnston, author of The Little Colonel book series that spawned the movie of the same name, The Little Colonel, starring Shirley Temple. Visit our Oldham’s Famous People page to learn more about these and others!
Rob Morris, founder of the Order of the Eastern Star (freemasons), and Henry Bibb – Underground Railroad slave – are featured in their own unique exhibits! Events are held weekly for adults and kids alike. Notably, we celebrate our two new Underground Railroad Designations by the National Park Service Network to Freedom – 2 designations of only 9 in the state! Our museum is within walking distance of our Trains on Main shopping & dining district. You can also learn more about the Underground Railroad here!
La Grange Main Street hosts several popular events each year, kicking off with the La Grange Chocolate Crawl in February, and ending the year with Light Up La Grange in December. They also host La Grange ArtsFest arts & crafts show the first weekend in June lining the streets of downtown La Grange. You certainly don’t have to be a train enthusiast to appreciate this unique destination that can only be found in one place in America – ONLY in Oldham, Kentucky!
Insider Tidbit: During your excursion through downtown La Grange, you will not want to miss the view from the Train Observation Tower located in front of the Main Street Bourbon & Ale House. While you’re there, you must try their locally-made garlic knots with beer cheese, and sit outside on the deck by the railroad tracks! They also have great daily specials such as Guinness fish and chips and gourmet flatbread pizzas! Main Street Bourbon & Ale opens for dinner only. All of the shops in the Main Street District are great, and visitors especially love these unique shops: Picked N’ Painted, Blooms, Friends & Fiber, and Mercantile on Main. Visitors also love our locally-owned coffee shop that roasts their own beans onsite, LaGrange Coffee Roasters! When you love their coffee, grab a bag of beans for your suitcase!
Lunch: I love the grilled Chicken Pancha Wrap and potato salad or oriental bow tie pasta at Red Pepper Deli and their loaded oatmeal or white chocolate cranberry cookies! I am not a vegetarian, but I also love their Valley Veggie Wrap (no olives for me) with a cup of homemade tomato artichoke or loaded potato soup! You honestly can’t go wrong with anything on their menu! Oh, and their Chef Joe’s Salad is also great (minus the olives for me!) – you don’t need dressing!
Dinner: We recommend the Kentucky Haute Brown at One Nineteen West Main restaurant or what our guests have called the BEST fish tacos they’ve ever had. I personally love their rueben wontons and have been known to order a double batch for lunch. If a fabulous BBQ dinner is more up your alley, I highly recommend the brisket nachos at Big R’s BBQ. I think you can tell how good a BBQ restaurant is by their side items. You can’t go wrong with any of them at Big R’s – try their loaded potato salad and sweet potato casserole…to die for!
For dessert you might even be able to catch Q&A Sweet Treats open next door to Big R’s, if they haven’t sold out of goodies. Q&A makes a fabulous nut bar, but I love her chewy molasses cookies! They specialize in freshly baked artisan breads, gourmet cookies, brownies and whoopie pies – delicious any time of day! One Nineteen West Main was recently featured on the Cooking Channel‘s show, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” showcasing their Kentucky Bacon Pie®!