The Louisville locals dispute whether this river city is part of the South or the Midwest, but most anyone can agree that this Kentucky metropolis is a worthwhile destination. Here, you can learn about some of the world’s finest spirits, experience the city’s enriching cultural offerings, and sample the local fare that’s made up of much more than Kentucky Hot Brown. Louisville (or Loo-a-vul, as the locals say) is an undeniably cool city that offers any visitor plenty to do.
Make the most of your visit by exploring the city’s dynamic and trendy neighborhoods. In the heart of downtown is Whiskey Row, an area that is the historic home to Louisville’s bourbon industry. In the late 19th century, numerous distilleries would transport whiskey barrels to the Louisville market by train or wagon. Today, visitors can still find distilleries along the city’s Main Street where you can learn about Louisville’s bourbon heritage, ranging from historic brands to local brews. The city’s West Main Street has experienced a dramatic renaissance over the past decade. With its unique streetscape program and collection of museums and cultural institutions, this district is a must visit.
If you want to see the more modern side of Louisville, check out NuLu (New Louisville), a district known for unique art galleries, specialty stores, antique shops, and laidback bars. The main strip of NuLu, East Market Street, is peppered with upscale boutiques and local shops with Kentucky-themed gifts. Once you’ve filled your shopping bags, head over to The Highlands neighborhood, a dining mecca known for a number of eateries offering virtually every kind of culinary delight. This district, nicknamed Restaurant Row, is where chefs take traditional Southern dishes and elevate them with their own twists. At night, the streets come alive as people pack neighborhood bars to hear live music or to watch their favorite drag queens perform to today’s hits.
When you’re not exploring Louisville’s neighborhoods, spend some downtime at one of the city’s parks. Locals love Iroquois Park, an extensive plot of land that includes a network of pedestrian paths and bridle trails. Another park worth visiting is the Louisville Waterfront Park, a greenspace that offers a grand view of the Ohio River and serves as a gathering place for people to enjoy a picnic or attend a local concert or festival.
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Things to do in Louisville.
- Old Louisville
- Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
- Mammoth Cave National Park
- Red River Gorge
- Frazier History Museum
- Muhammad Ali Center
- The Speed Art Museum