The excitement – and fashion – of the Kentucky Derby on display
Sunset over the Ohio River, which flows alongside downtown
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, located downtown
Public art on display outside Main Street’s 21c Museum Hotel
Boutique shops in the NuLu Neighborhood, also known as the East Market District
Outside the Muhammad Ali Center, home to the museum celebrating the city’s legendary boxer
Touring the city from the water on the Belle of Louisville riverboat
The ornate lobby of the historic Brown Hotel, home of the famous “Hot Brown” sandwich
Learning about distilling history at The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center
Aerial view of the city’s waterfront
Bourbon, bluegrass and year-round fun in the home of the Kentucky Derby
Louisville’s Claims to Fame
Boxing great Muhammad Ali was a Louisville native. Visit the Muhammad Ali Center, his childhood home, the gym where his boxing career started, his burial site at Cave Hill Cemetery and much more on the self-guided “Footsteps of Greatness" tour. Another local native is the Louisville Slugger baseball bat. See how these iconic wooden bats are crafted at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. The Frazier History Museum is the starting point and welcome center for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a collection of distilleries that specialize in Kentucky’s best-known export, bourbon whiskey. Take a side trip to nearby Hodgenville, Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Of course, you can’t say you’ve been to Louisville until you tour Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum where the annual Kentucky Derby horse race is held.
Food and Drink of Louisville
With more than 2,500 restaurants, including several James Beard Award winners, Louisville’s dining scene showcases both international fare and upscale cuisine. But, there are a few regional specialties to try to get a true taste of Louisville. First is the Hot Brown sandwich. This open-faced sandwich is piled with sliced turkey and bacon, covered in a French Mornay sauce (a béchamel with cheese in it) and broiled. Try it at the Brown Hotel, where it was invented in 1926. Follow that up with Louisville’s official cocktail, the bourbon-based Old Fashioned, at one of the bars, restaurants or distilleries on the city’s Urban Bourbon Trail. Explore on your own, or join up with a guide. Mint Julep Experiences offers pre-planned tours of area distilleries and breweries, some of which are combined with visits to local horse farms.
Top Louisville Landmarks
The 45-block district of Old Louisville is the largest Victorian architecture district in the USA, replete with stately mansions dating from 1880 to 1910. It’s also home to the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cherokee Park. A walking tour is the perfect way to see it all (and fill up your camera roll). Take a step back in time to the age of river travel on the circa-1914 Belle of Louisville steamboat, the oldest of its kind still in operation. You’ll soak in the riverfront scenery on a two-hour tour of the Ohio River. At night, walk across the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge, which spans the river from Louisville Waterfront Park to Jeffersonville, Indiana. The bridge was originally constructed in 1895 and revitalized in 2013 with an array of colorful lights wrapped around its frame.
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Meet Sortedfood, a group of mates from London looking for exceptional food that will make you go WOW. Game Changers are about the stories, the people and the passion behind different American delicacies.
Old Louisville is the largest preserved Victorian-era neighborhood in the USA.
There are more bourbon barrels aging in Kentucky than there are Kentucky residents.
Over 120,000 mint juleps – a typical bourbon and mint cocktail – are made on Kentucky Derby Weekend.