Churchilldowns Louisville plays host to the Ryder Cup golf event from September 16 to 21 at the Valhalla Golf Club. Here are a few tips on what to see and do on a Louisville vacation.

By Renee Juszczak

Louisville, Kentucky is a destination that exemplifies how time-tested community traditions are kept alive as it experiences new waves of contemporary exuberance. The city offers an intriguing balance to all visitors.

An interesting sight is seen when strolling downtown around Main Street and 7th — bright red penguins perched on the side of a building (not to mention an exquisite chandelier hanging on the corner). Certainly not a sight you would expect to see in a city known much more for horses. 21C Museum Hotel offers an exciting modern and trendy twist to downtown hotels.

The property also offers an upscale restaurant (Proof on Main) and a truly magnetic gallery of contemporary art that you cannot pass up. The hotel staff adds a whimsical mood by moving around the famous red penguins when you least expect it. You never know if you will find one next to your bed or staring you down when you exit your room for the day. A couple of blocks from 21C, visitors can find a collection of bars and restaurants at 4th Street Live. At the Maker’s Mark Lounge at 4th Street Live, you can enjoy a modern environment but also have the opportunity to taste a Kentucky tradition — locally made bourbon.

After immersing yourself in some of the new spaces Louisville has to offer, travel around town, and traditional aspects appear. Reminders that you are in the Derby city and surrounded by dedicated fans and owners of Kentucky thoroughbreds inevitably put you in the mood to visit Churchill Downs.

The fall meet (late October through November) offers a fantastic opportunity to explore Churchill Downs. It is easy to get trackside tickets, which makes it possible to be up close to the power and excitement of horse racing. History surrounds you as you admire the twin spires set high on the rooftop while watching horses trot in the paddock getting ready for the next race. To finish your day, make your way back downtown to catch a glimpse of the Belle of Louisville, a fantastic old steamboat that calls the Ohio River its home (note: make sure to keep your ears open for calliope music from the steamboat).

Louisville provides visitors an experience rooted in tradition as well as fresh and new perspectives on this beautiful river city.

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Renee Juszczak, who lives in Chicago, is part of the Internal
Systems team at Orbitz. Renee is an enthusiast when it comes to
traveling to Mexico and visits as much as possible.

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Tagged: Sports Travel


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