Welcome to Louisville, Kentucky!
Louisville is an inexplicably underrated U.S. Southern gem. An attractive city with a seriously cool edge to it, Louisville is the home of the Kentucky Derby, the birthplace of Muhammad Ali, and one of the best cities to eat in the South. Travelers to this handsome, laidback city can expect history, culture, cuisine, and the finest of Southern hospitality.
Tourists might head for more well-known locations, but a worldwide local will find new experiences and discover hidden sights. This is an insider guide to the best of Louisville.
Don’t Miss One of the Top Things to Do in Louisville, KY
Sports are a huge part of life in Louisville, and one of its biggest attractions is the Kentucky Derby, part of the Triple Crown series and the longest running sporting event in the entire United States. Grab a traditional mint julep, stick on your most outrageous hat, and enjoy the thrill and adrenaline of one of America’s most exciting races. The main Derby events at Churchill Downs are on Friday and Saturday, but locals often prefer the more relaxed vibe of the ‘Thurby’ on a Thursday before. Don’t forget to visit the fascinating Kentucky Derby Museum, which is right next door to the racetrack.
Worldwide Local Tip: Beyond the Kentucky Derby or the Louisville basketball legacy, one of Louisville’s most famous and historic sporting exports is the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, made famous by stars like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. However, not everyone knows that the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is still a working operation, and offers a fascinating insight into the manufacture of this famous Louisville bat. The small museum explores the sporting history of the bat, while bat-making workshops offer the opportunity to get right up close and create your own slice of sporting memorabilia.
Architecture in Louisville
Louisville is a pretty stunning city, and its classic Victorian-era Southern architecture makes it a wonderful place to wander and wonder. Old Louisville is a National Historic Preservation Area, and has the largest collection of Victorian homes anywhere in the States, while Locust Grove is a gorgeous example of an earlier, Georgian style. Stroll through the streets, appreciating the incredible buildings, while soaking up the Louisville weather.
Worldwide Local Tip: While less of an architectural masterpiece, the 1850s Edison House is a fascinating place to visit. The home of a young Thomas Edison during the Civil War, the museum explores some of his most famous inventions and discoveries, as well as providing a wonderful exploration of the wider history of Louisville.
Eat Like a Local in the Louisville Restaurants
Louisville has a serious culture of eating, drinking and good times, and at times feels like it’s driven by bluegrass, bourbon, and BBQ. The Bourbon Trail takes you on a self-guided tour of Louisville’s best distilleries, while Mark’s Feed Store has been voted best BBQ and ribs in Louisville 9 times! For a spot of live music, head to the retro delights of Zanzabar, a genuine neighborhood gem.
Worldwide Local Tip: Garage Bar in Nulu is a weird and wonderful place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Housed in an old auto repair shop, their seasonal cocktails are to die for, and their wood-fired pizzas delicious, plus they have one of the most comprehensive lists of Kentucky bourbon in town!
Enjoy Your Stay!
Louisville effortlessly mixes old-fashioned Southern charm with a buzzing, hipster vibe, in a unique and delightful combination that will leave you planning a return trip. With a fantastic dining culture and a rich and varied historical and cultural scene, it is a superb place to visit. As a worldwide local, you’ll know the best spots like the back of your hand, and will have access to an even more rewarding experience.