Home to the famous Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Louisville is renowned for its horse racing, bourbon, and a rich southern history. In a city located next to the Ohio River, where bluegrass pastures meet a revitalized downtown, Louisville has the best of both worlds. Combining a small-town charm with urban culture, many distinct features in Louisville include a relaxing riverfront with plenty of green spaces, and a thriving farm-to-table and food truck scene.
A visit to Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby, is a must-see in Louisville even if no races are happening. Be sure to peruse the Kentucky Derby Museum any time during the year for exhibitions featuring historical photos and films from past races, trophies, and the opportunity to mount a saddle at the actual starting gate of the race.
If baseball peaks your interest more than horse racing, set aside some time to check out how the most famous bat in history is made at Hillerich & Bradsby Co., or the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Easily spottable thanks to the towering 120-foot baseball bat leaning against the building out front, you can’t miss it while driving by. After a slice of baseball history, you may even want to catch a ball game if the Louisville Bats are playing on home field.
Another unique attraction worth checking out for adventurous visitors is the Mega Cavern, the world's only underground zip line course nestled within a former limestone mine. There’s an array of other activities at this subterranean playland including a bike park, aerial ropes, and a tram tour for a relaxed underground experience. Visitors may also wish to spend a leisurely day at the Louisville Zoo, which is home to over 1,500 animals ranging from polar bears, tigers, giraffes, camels, and more.
After all the sightseeing and exploring, Louisville has a growing culinary scene to satisfy all types of cravings and palettes. Try a classic hot brown sandwich with turkey, roma tomatoes, Romano cheese, bacon, and Mornay sauce at the Brown Hotel, where it was invented. Or head to Fourth Street Live, a premier dining and entertainment complex located in the heart of downtown. Other Louisville food traditions to try are the bourbon balls and the Modjeska (or caramel biscuit), a melt-in-your-mouth marshmallow smothered in caramel. A major portion of the world’s bourbon is also made in Louisville, so you’ll also want to get a taste of this homegrown spirit at a restaurant, bar, or distillery.
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