Home to the world’s only Urban Bourbon Experience
Yes, Bourbon is a spirit that comes in a glass, but it’s also the spirit that defines Louisville’s culture, its arts and parks, and its creative energy. It’s this kind of spirit that helped create Louisville itself - a Kentucky city that combines heritage with innovation, authenticity with originality, and quirkiness with friendliness in a way that’s unique to this region.
The largest city in the state is the home of Churchill Downs, which hosts The Kentucky Derby, the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,". The Derby is an event that defines Louisville's culture. Every year, visitors from all over the globe flock to Churchill Downs to witness this prestigious horse race. This one-of-a-kind place is an entirely different type of Southern. With a booming bourbon renaissance, iconic attractions, world-class hotels and venues, and a renowned culinary scene; Louisville offers an experience like no other city!
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Welcome to the Culinary Capital of Bourbon Country
One of the best ways to explore a city is through its food scene! Get to know Louisville through the most iconic, delicious, and beloved dishes, cocktails, and restaurants. Louisville has been named one of the “South’s Best Food Cities” by Southern Living, one of “America’s Favourite Cities for Food” by Travel + Leisure, and one of the “Top Local Food Scenes” by USA Today.
Sports and Outdoors
Hike, bike, and stroll in the great outdoors and local parks
Louisville is known as the city of parks – from Cherokee Park in the valley of Beargrass Creek and Iroquois Park at the heart of a 10,000-year-old forest to the riverside Shawnee Park with its Great Lawn. Pair cycling and walking along the 100-mile Louisville Loop with canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding on the Ohio River.
Golfers get to play a round at Cherokee, Iroquois, and Seneca Golf Courses and baseball enthusiasts can swing by the Louisville Slugger Museum. Horseracing fans get to watch thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs and boxing fanatics can find out all about "The Greatest" at the Muhammad Ali Center. Bargain hunters get to shop until they drop at Mall St Matthews, Oxmoor Center, and Logan Street Market.
Beer, Bourbon & Bites
Get a taste of Louisville’s unique food and drink scene!
A culinary adventure in Louisville takes you deep into the heart of the Bourbon Country lifestyle. Relish the Urban Bourbon Experience at ten distilleries that are open for public tours and tastings and the Urban Bourbon Trail boasts over 35 bars and restaurants with more than 60 bourbons and bourbon-inspired culinary delights.
But Bourbon isn’t the only star of the city’s menus. Its chefs are taking traditional regional Southern dishes and putting their unique twists on them, making Louisville the epicentre for “New Southern Cuisine”. Look forward to tempting treats like Benedictine, Burgoo, Modjeskas, Derby Pie, and the Hot Brown accompanied by a Mint Julep or an Old-Fashioned or Seelbach Cocktail.
Find family-friendly attractions and things to do with kids
Whether your family wants some adventure, education, or outdoor fun, Louisville has you covered. Enjoy all things baseball at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and watch the men’s and women’s basketball teams at KFC Yum! Center. Ride rollercoasters at the Kentucky Kingdom and whizz down water slides at Hurricane Bay.
Head underground to have a go ziplining at Louisville Mega Cavern and get up close to more than 1,500 exotic animals at Louisville Zoo. Experience the hands-on exhibits and four-storey film screen at the Kentucky Science Center and witness the unique art installations at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest.
History & Culture
Explore Louisville’s rich history and cultural experiences
Named for King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his assistance during the Revolutionary War, Louisville was founded by George Rogers Clark in 1778. The advent of the steamboat in the early 1800s sparked an industrial boom and by 1830 Louisville had secured its place as the largest city in Kentucky.
The city has been home to several men and women who changed the face of American history. President Zachary Taylor grew up in surrounding Jefferson County; artist and naturalist John James Audubon was a local shopkeeper early in his career; and Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, was born in Louisville.
Louisville also has nearly 500 locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including eight National Historic Landmarks like Belle of Louisville, Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires, and the Actor’s Theatre, and two National Cemeteries – Cave Hill National Cemetery and Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
Places to visit
Get familiar with everything Louisville has to offer
North, south, east, or west – Louisville offers a wealth of attractions and fantastic historic architecture in every direction. Much like the boroughs of New York City, Louisville's neighbourhoods each have their distinct personalities. Dive into the heart of downtown Louisville by visiting its “Times Square," Fourth Street Live!, the city's entertainment district.
Right up the road is Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row, an area full of history and character like NYC’s Greenwich Village. Appropriately named Whiskey Row, as it was home to the Bourbon industry in Louisville, this area of Main Street is returning to its roots with distilleries and bourbon-themed businesses and accommodations.
Nestled right on the edge of downtown is Louisville’s very own Meatpacking District, Butchertown. It isn’t just the name or industry that aligns these two; it’s also the exclusive nightlife and dining. The Highlands and NuLu will remind you of famous Brooklyn boroughs, offering a view of local culture with coffee shops, breweries, and laidback bars at every turn.