Bright lights of the city reflected in the still water
Fireworks on the bridge at the Thunder Over Louisville air show
Fast-paced racing at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
Kentucky Rushmore mural on the side of a downtown shop
Rowing teams on the Ohio River
Belle of Louisville steamboat docked at Waterfront Park Wharf
Stone bridge spanning Beargrass Creek in Cherokee Park
Glowing neon signs of the popular Fourth Street Live entertainment district
Beyond the Derby, explore a city of old and new
A City of Good Sports
There’s no getting around it: Louisville’s Kentucky Derby is the quintessential thoroughbred race to see each May, but the horses run at Churchill Downs spring, summer and fall. Stop in to the Kentucky Derby Museum to get the full story on this historic 1875 racetrack. If baseball’s more your style, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory lets you pick up a personalized bat. Learn all about the famed boxer at the Muhammad Ali Center, a multicultural museum.
Signature Eats and Drinks
Have an Urban Bourbon Experience, a city-wide tour of bourbon attractions, and you will hit 35 stops – among them restaurants, hotels and distilleries – and be invited to sample from 50 bourbons. The tour is as essential an introduction to Louisville’s culinary scene as having a mint julep, the official Derby drink. Louisville’s fast becoming a foodie destination with a range of restaurants available, whether you want bourbon-inspired eats, such as bourbon balls, bread pudding and barbecue, farm-to-table fare or Louisville classics, like the Hot Brown sandwich at J. Graham’s restaurant.
Rounding Out Your Visit
Take a tour through the 48-block Old Louisville neighborhood for a vivid sense of what life was like in the 1850s. Fill in the rest at Frazier History Museum, which, along with several other institutions, forms Louisville’s Museum Row. Stroll over the Ohio River on the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge or enjoy it from the deck of the Belle of Louisville, the USA’s oldest operating steamboat. From shopping to performances to hitting the zoo with the children, the city is packed with things to do.
Old Louisville is the largest preserved Victorian-era neighborhood in the USA.