Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, with about one and a half million people living in the metro area. Louisville is also the namesake of the Official Bat of Major League Baseball — the Louisville Slugger.
While it only borders on the region, tourists will probably find a bit of the famous Southern hospitality here, along with its varied cuisine and a relaxed attitude toward life. The city also boasts a vibrant arts and music scene and a world-class municipal parks system.
Louisville's biggest draw are the horse races at Churchill Downs (with the famous Kentucky Derby always the first Saturday in May), but the city is making a concerted effort to draw tourists year round. The architecture in Old Louisville and the Highlands is one-of-a-kind, and the people are very friendly.
The Downtown, Old Louisville, Highlands, and Frankfort Avenue areas are walkable and it is possible to take the city bus between one or all four without much difficulty, with a downtown hotel as base. Outside of this part of town though, you will almost certainly need a car.
Aside from Downtown, a must-see for many is the Highlands shopping district, on Bardstown Road roughly from Broadway to the Douglass Loop. Often described as "bohemian", it includes art galleries, bars, coffeehouses, midrange to upscale restaurants, and is ideally navigated by foot or bike. You can meet some locals on the sidewalks without much trouble, if you are interested. The street life here is particularly active on weekends when the weather is warm.
Louisville was the birthplace of boxer Cassius Clay, later known to the world as Muhammad Ali. He is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in the Highlands, a couple of miles southeast of downtown, which is also the resting place for many other Kentucky dignitaries.
ClimateWeather in the Ohio Valley is notoriously hard to predict, but this is a general guide.
Spring starts sometime in late March or early April, normally it is very brief and summer-like weather sets in before the trees have had time to grow back their leaves. Generally this leads to pleasant weather for the Kentucky Derby, although torrential rain and (once or twice) even snow, are not unknown.
Summer usually has a few vilely hot and humid weeks, where nobody goes outside much who doesn't have to, but is generally milder and more pleasant than some other parts of the South. Brief but fairly violent thunderstorms are common during the summer.
Fall starts around September, although an "Indian Summer" with warm and sunny days often occurs that month and it gets colder as it approaches November. Fall is widely considered the most pleasant season in Louisville, and many annual events are scheduled for those months.
Winter in Louisville can be just above 32°F (0°C) and drizzling for days on end, or just below with dustings of snow that manage to melt again quickly. Ice storms, where freezing rain builds up on trees and structures and causes damage, are rare but happen occasionally. There is the occasional cold snap where it will stay well below freezing for a week or so at a time, and any snow already on the ground will linger. The last time Louisville had a real blizzard was in 1993, but those are so rare that people still regularly talk about it. Then again, beautiful sunny days where the temperature gets above 65°F are also possible. You really never know what you're going to get.
By planeLouisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) is served by all the major American airlines though it is only a spoke for most. A single terminal holds two concourses. Concourse A serves Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, and United Airlines, while Concourse B serves Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. The terminal is small and easy to navigate.
With all of the airlines listed above, direct flights are available to most of their hubs, including Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, and popular tourist destinations such as Orlando and Las Vegas. Allegiant, which does not use the traditional hub-and-spoke model, offers nonstop flights, some seasonal, to popular vacation destinations in the Southeast. Southwest, which also does not use the hub-and-spoke model, offers nonstops to several of its own key cities. The airport is "International" in name only — there are no longer any non-stop passenger flights to any location outside the U.S. Too bad you can't fly with UPS whose huge all-points international "Worldport" cargo hub is in Louisville just south of the passenger terminal.
By carSeveral Interstates pass through Louisville: I-65, I-64 and I-71.
- I-71 (North-South) begins in Louisville and heads Northeast to Cincinnati and Cleveland.
- I-65 (North-South) will carry you from just outside Chicago, through Indianapolis North of Louisville and to the south through Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Alabama, all the way to the coast at Mobile. The Ohio River crossings in both directions are tolled; see § Get around
- I-64 (East-West) travels east through Lexington, West Virginia, on into Richmond, and ends near the Atlantic Ocean in Chesapeake, Virginia. To the west you'll find its beginning/end in St. Louis, the "Gateway to the West"
By bussee also: bus travel in North America
- Greyhound, +1-800-231-2222, services Louisville. Their depot is at 720 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. near the center of town. Service is frequent, but it is inadvisable to arrive at the bus station late at night unless someone is coming to pick you up or you are taking a taxi. There are many pickpockets and scammers here and nearby.
- Megabus. Service from Chicago, Indianapolis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. The bus stop is on the north side of Jefferson St in between Roy Wilkins Ave and S 8th St.
By busTARC (Transit Authority of River City) operates bus lines in all parts of Louisville Metro (Jefferson County). Cash Fares are $1.75 for adults (80 cents for children between 6 and 17), with the MyTARC Card fares are 1.50 and include a transfer good for two hours from initial boarding. Buses generally run from about 6AM-10PM, some later on weekends, but it is a good idea to check the schedule for each specific route. Timetables are only posted at major stops.
By carCar rental services are available at the airport. Louisville is encircled by two beltways, I-264 (officially the Henry Watterson Expressway and locally known as "the Watterson") and I-265 (the Gene Snyder Freeway, or unofficially "the Snyder"). Traffic is generally moderate except at peak hours on I-264, downtown, I-64 between the Snyder and Watterson, and the Snyder for about 2 miles in either direction from I-64. In particular, try to avoid "Spaghetti Junction", the downtown freeway interchange, between 7AM and 9AM and 4:30PM and 6:30PM on weekdays.
Three of the five bridges that cross the Ohio in Louisville are now tolled. The Abraham Lincoln Bridge, which opened in 2016, carries I-65 northbound into Indiana, while the older John F. Kennedy Bridge is now southbound only. The new Lewis and Clark Bridge, plus associated freeway segments, also opened in 2016 to connect I-265 between the two states. The I-65 and I-265 crossings are tolled in both directions. Rates depend on whether the vehicle carries a transponder issued by the local tolling authority (or the multi-state E-ZPass consortium), or if the vehicle's license plate has been registered with said authority. For cars, passenger trucks, and motorcycles, current rates per crossing are:
- $2.10 for vehicles with transponders.
- $3.16 for vehicles without transponders, but with plates registered with the tolling authority.
- $4.20 for vehicles that have neither transponders nor plates registered with the tolling authority.
Rates are higher for larger vehicles. Tolling is all-electronic; vehicles without transponders will have pictures of their license plates taken, with a bill sent to the registered owner. The downtown Clark Memorial Bridge (also known as the "Second Street Bridge") and the Sherman Minton Bridge that carries I-64 across the river remain toll-free for now.
The city streets are laid out in a grid pattern in downtown and a wheel-and-spoke system farther out. Frequently, the streets are named after outlying towns they eventually reach (Shelbyville Road, Bardstown Road, Taylorsville Road, etc.) Some of the urban neighborhoods, notably Germantown, Portland, and the neighborhoods surrounding Cherokee Park, can be confusing for non-locals. Fortunately most neighborhoods are quite safe and passers-by will be more than happy to give you directions.
By bikeBicycling is becoming an increasingly effective way to get around Louisville. Although Louisville's bike program is in its infancy (born at the 2005 Louisville Bike Summit), developments are occurring rapidly, and there are significant improvements on the immediate horizon. In fact, former long-time mayor and Kentucky lieutenant governor Jerry Abramson is an active cyclist. Bike lanes are being added on city streets, especially in and around Downtown which is already the most bike-friendly area of the city.
Every TARC bus in the city is equipped with bike racks, making bicycling a viable option for long-distance trips and trips along major arterial corridors. If you plan your transit route in advance, it is easy to get anywhere in the city using just your bicycle and public transit. Metro Government is also installing more bike racks every day, making it easy to park your bike at your destination.
OutsideLouisville's park system was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the "Father of American Landscape Architecture." Many consider it to be his greatest achievement. Cherokee Park, Iroquois Park, and Shawnee Park are the Flagship Parks, while more than a dozen smaller parks make up Louisville's own "Emerald Necklace." features a 2.3 mi (3.7 km) "Scenic Loop" with one lane of traffic reserved entirely for cyclists, pedestrians, and other recreational activities. contains what was the tallest hill in Louisville before the city merged with surrounding Jefferson County in 2003; the hill's location gives it a commanding view of downtown, especially on clear days. In addition to the major parks, dozens of smaller ones are spread throughout the city, such as Tyler Park in the Highlands, a favorite of locals, or George Rogers Clark Park in Germantown.
A newer addition, , is arguably one of the greatest things the city has done to improve its image in a decade. Stretching along over a mile of the Ohio River, Waterfront Park offers playgrounds, artistic landscaping, fountains, and open lawns, all with spectacular views of the city skyline and the river. It frequently plays host to concerts and other festivals. The is an old railroad bridge, now pedestrianized, that lets you walk between Waterfront Park and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Enjoy the view (day or night) of downtown Louisville from Ashland Park, on the Ohio River in neighboring Clarksville, Indiana. Park the car and walk across the street to Widow's Walk, an ice-cream parlor/garden statue shop constructed to look like an old Victorian mansion. Nearby is also the Falls of the Ohio, a state park containing a fossil bed that spans quite a bit of area when the river is low.
address: 805 N. 27th St.The Falls of the Ohio (which in their natural state were more a series of large rapids) were once a major barrier to navigation on the Ohio River. Louisville catered to steamboat passengers who spent the night before changing boats, and even more significantly earned considerable income from overland portaging of cargo to bypass the rapids. The construction of a bypass canal, including the first set of locks on the river, in 1830 changed all of that. The current structure dates to 1961. There's usually a lot of barge traffic on the Ohio (though it slows down in winter once the upper reaches of the river in Pennsylvania begin to freeze), so you normally won't have to wait long at the visitor center to see the locks in action.
address: 11311 Mitchell Hill RdSprawling, hilly woodland area that includes numerous hiking trails, lakes and streams, camping areas, and other attractions. It was initially created as a World War II memorial and has been gradually expanded on a somewhat ad-hoc basis ever since, as a result there are parcels of private property seemingly fairly deep into the forest. They are mostly well marked so don't cross fences or clearly marked boundary lines.
phone: +1 502 893-3852address: 4701 Brownsboro Road
Muhammad Ali Boyhood Homeaddress: 3302 Grand Ave, Louisville, KYBriefly open as a museum, it's now closed to the public. Serious fans may still enjoy stopping by and seeing the little pink house where The Greatest grew up. Do it in the daytime - it's not the greatest neighborhood after dark. For a serious, comprehensive museum of Ali's life and career, see the Ali Center downtown.
Old Louisville is an architectural treasure trove. Just south of downtown, it is the third largest National Preservation District in the country and the largest Victorian district in the United States. A particularly beautiful area is St. James Court and Belgravia Court, which plays host each fall to the St. James Court Art Show. Faced with possible demolition in the 1970s, the area is now considered to be one of Louisville's best-kept secrets. A good way to see the neighborhood is to follow a walking tour. It also has a number of locally-beloved bars and restaurants, and a heterogeneous population that gives the neighborhood a particularly eclectic feel.
Main and Market streets downtown contain the second largest collection of 1800s-era iron facade buildings in the United States. Some have been torn down or otherwise destroyed, but also many new developments leave the old facades intact.
Other notable areas include the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood in the Highlands and Butchertown, which is just east of Downtown.
Market Street has a number of art galleries. If you are in Louisville on the first Friday of the month, there is a free gallery hop around the downtown galleries, including a couple of glass studios. In March 2016, the Speed Art Museum, a more traditional art museum on the campus of the University of Louisville, reopened following a complete rebuilding. 21C Museum Hotel has several art installations open to the public and is, like all hotels, open to the public 24 hours a day. There are also a variety of art galleries within walking distance of each other in the Highlands/Bardstown Road area.
For performing arts, there is Actors Theatre, The Louisville Orchestra, The Louisville Ballet, The Kentucky Opera, and The Kentucky Center (in full, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts). The Kentucky Center also operates the newly opened Old Forester's Paristown Hall east of downtown (see "Music").
If you plan on visiting more than one downtown museum, consider buying The Main Ticket, a pass that provides one admission to the Frazier Museum, Art and Craft Museum, Kentucky Science Center, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Peerless Distilling, Slugger Museum, and Ali Center. $45.99 ages 13 and up, $29.99 children 6–12; pass valid for one year after purchase. Pass holders must purchase a separate admission to the Science Center for any children 2–5; ages 5 and under are admitted free at all other attractions.
If you have a car, definitely take River Road out of downtown, past Zorn Avenue into the River Road Historic District. Beautiful country estates on the bluffs overlooking the Ohio River are amazing to see, along with all the fields that stretch along the river and great vistas of all the boats going by. The district stops when River Road ends at US Highway 42.
address: 800 W. Main St.Home of the legendary Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Full tours include a visit to the factory where wooden bats are made (or a bat-making demonstration if production is not scheduled). The museum is easily recognizable by the six-story-tall steel baseball bat at the front entrance.
phone: +1 502 561-6100address: 727 West Main StreetHands on science museum. Great for kids. Also includes a theater that usually shows documentaries but occasionally screens Hollywood releases.
phone: +1 502 753-5663address: 829 W. Main St.
- The Frazier Museum now houses the official visitor center for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a tourism initiative of the state's distilling industry. Unlike the museum proper, the visitor center is free.
address: I-264 and I-65An amusement park and water park that reopened in May 2014 after having been closed since 2009.
phone: +1 502 574 2992address: 401 West River RoadOne of the few surviving original river steamboats in North America offers lunch and dinner cruises and special events. Or, if you can afford it, rent the whole boat! There's also a smaller boat called the Mary M. Miller that does cruises. Check the website for current schedules and rates.
Kentucky Derby FestivalOne of the nation's biggest civic events, the Kentucky Derby Festival takes place for the two weeks prior to the first Saturday in May when the Kentucky Derby (usually referred to locally simply as "Derby") is run at Churchill Downs. The biggest events include the following:
There are betting windows scattered throughout the track - when you come up to the window, state the number of the race you're betting on, the number (not the name) of the horse(s), and the bet you want to make. Once they take your money, you'll get a printed betting slip. KEEP YOUR LOSING SLIPS. If you happen to hit it big, the IRS will want a cut, but you can offset this by claiming gambling losses with your losing slips. If you've bet on a horse that is "scratched," i.e. withdrawn from the race at the last minute, you can present your slip at the window for a refund.
Single Bets These are bets on one horse. The published odds on any horse are its estimated odds to win.
- Win - 1st place
- Place - 1st or 2nd place
- Show - 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place
Combo Bets These are bets on multiple horses, finishing in a specified order. Harder to win, but the payout is significantly larger
- Exacta - 1st and 2nd place horses
- Trifecta - 1st, 2nd and 3rd place horses
- Superfecta - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place horses
Box Bets These are simply a shorthand way of making multiple combo bets where you're effectively betting on the horses to finish in any order. E.g. a $2 "exacta box" is really two $1 exacta bets with the order of the finishing horses switched.
Note that most of this applies to generally any US horse race, not just the Kentucky Derby.
Thunder Over LouisvilleQuite possibly the world's largest air show and fireworks display. Thunder draws as many as 800,000 people to the banks of the Ohio river for a day long event filled with food, music, skydivers and many types of aircraft (including active military and World War II warbirds). UPS even gets in on the act with one of their 757s. The evening is topped off with the world's largest fireworks display set to music, usually lasting 30 minutes.
The Great Balloon RaceThe start of the Balloon Race moved from the Kentucky Exposition Center to Bowman Field in 2011. Regardless of the starting point, the race ends a few miles away in whatever direction the wind is blowing and carrying the balloons. On the Friday night before the race, the balloons are inflated for the Balloon Glow, a very pretty sight at night. The latter event moved to the riverfront in 2012.
The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and MiniMarathonSince the 2011 edition, both start and finish in downtown Louisville. The two races follow the same route to the west side, back to downtown, and through Old Louisville and the University of Louisville campus to Churchill Downs, where they take a trip around the track in the infield before splitting after exiting the racetrack. The MiniMarathon (in fact a half-marathon) returns directly to downtown. The Marathon heads toward Iroquois Park in the south end, takes a loop around that park, and returns to downtown after taking a detour into the Highlands.}
Great Bed RacesCombine one bed, often over-the-top themed decorations, wheels and a steering system, five pushers, and one rider lying face-first on the bed, and what do you get? A spectacle called by one local sports blog "the most underrated Derby Festival event". Businesses around the state decorate beds to resemble parade floats, and then race them. Held at Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
The Great Steamboat RaceA traditional part of the Derby Festival, it returned in 2018 to its historic format of a straight race between riverboats, starting downtown at the Clark Memorial Bridge, going upriver for about 7 miles (11 km), and returning to the starting point. This followed several years in which the event included a skills competition for points before the race. The race matches the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati, the latter of which replaced the retired Delta Queen in 2009. A third boat has occasionally featured, most recently in 2018. The winner is awarded the Silver Antlers (replacing the Golden Antlers, retired along with the Delta Queen) for another year until the next race.
Pegasus ParadeHeld for several blocks along Broadway (on the south end of downtown), the parade is the scene for floats, marching bands, celebrities, and many other groups.
ThurbyA new Derby-week tradition—a day of racing at Churchill Downs set against a backdrop of local music, bourbon, and Kentucky culture. Traditionally, the Kentucky Oaks had been geared mainly toward Louisville locals, but in the 2010s, that race became a national event alongside the Derby (though on a slightly smaller scale). Churchill Downs responded in 2014 by creating the first Thurby. Although it's heavily marketed and geared toward a local crowd, visitors are obviously more than welcome. Thurby is far more casual than Derby or Oaks; dress codes that are customary (though not strictly enforced for the most part) during Derby or Oaks are not a factor during this event.
Kentucky OaksOne of the most important races for 3-year-old fillies (females). Like the Derby, it is the last race of a full day of racing, and features much of the same pageantry, but on a smaller scale.
Kentucky DerbyOften described as "the most exciting two minutes in sports," the first race of the Triple Crown is cause for a full day of celebrating, eating, and drinking. There is a full day of races on Derby Day, of which the Kentucky Derby is just one. Everything about the "Run for the Roses" (named for the blanket of roses draped over the winner) is steeped in tradition, from the food (derby pie) to the drinks (mint juleps, traditionally served in a pewter cup, but at Churchill Downs you get an annual souvenir glass) to the clothes (designer hats for women, and two- and three-piece summer suits for men). No dress code is actually enforced except in a few of the dining rooms, but dressing up is part of the fun. National TV stations have several hours of pre-race coverage as well as the post-race interview with a teary-eyed jockey. Although you can certainly attend in person, either in the stadium seats or the cheaper and boozier infield, it's probably more common to find one of the countless Derby parties, hosted by a bar or maybe just at a friend's house.
Other festivals and events
St. James Court Art ShowA free event, it has been running strong for more than 50 years. This is the 5th largest Art Show in the United States. The show hosts more than 650 artists from all over the Americas. The outdoor Art Show is open during the daylight hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the weekend of the first Saturday in October. Held in the heart of historic Old Louisville among the country's largest collection of Victorian homes. An easy drive or bus ride about 1 mile due south of downtown Louisville near Central Park. The heart of the fair is the fountain on St James Court and the lovely Belgravia Court where the artists have to compete for attention among the historic mansions that line the street under towering oaks. Tip: this is a beautiful neighborhood to explore even if it not an Art Show weekend.
Forecastle FestivalAnnual 3-day music festival that books national and regional acts.
Cherokee Triangle Art FairSimilar to, but smaller than, the St. James Court Art Show—a free event, held in a historic neighborhood (the Cherokee Triangle in this case), and featuring about 200 artists from throughout the area and well beyond. Open from 10AM–6PM on the Saturday and Sunday before the Derby, with live music on both days (extending to 8PM on Saturday, though the artists' booths close at 6PM). The artists take up two blocks of Cherokee Parkway near the westernmost entrance to Cherokee Park, with bands playing at the adjacent Willow Park. Food, beer, and wine are available for purchase at Willow Park as well. As with the St. James Court show, this neighborhood is also interesting to explore during the rest of the year.
address: at Waterfront Park, see aboveLocal public radio station WFPK hosts a free concert series on the last Wednesday of the month from April through September. Bands tend to be regional and alternative.
- Louisville Trifesta — A series of music festivals held on consecutive weekends in September, all organized by Danny Wimmer Presents and now held at the Kentucky Exposition Center. In order, they are:
address: 956 Phillips LnThe Trifesta kicks off on the second weekend of September with its newest festival, focusing on country music and bourbon. The inaugural 2019 edition was headlined by Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, and Keith Urban.
address: 956 Phillips LnFor the second week of Trifesta, the musical focus shifts to blues and rock with Bourbon and Beyond (launched in 2017), though country acts aren't unheard of here. The 2019 lineup included Foo Fighters, Robert Plant (for the second straight year), Zac Brown Band, and Daryl Hall and John Oates.
address: 956 Phillips LnTrifesta closes with the oldest of its three festivals, Louder than Life, which began in 2014. As the name implies, this festival is geared toward hard rock and metal. The headline acts in 2019 were Guns 'n Roses, Slipknot, and Disturbed.
phone: +1 502 212-2287address: Louisville Slugger Field, 401 E. Main St.The Louisville Bats are the AAA minor league baseball team affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Bats are members of the West Division of the International League. They play their home games at Louisville Slugger Field downtown, also home to Louisville City FC (below).
Louisville CardinalsThe city's most visible sports teams are those representing the University of Louisville, the newest member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (joined for 2014–15). The men's basketball team, a perennial contender for conference and national honors, is extremely popular; tickets for high-profile games are difficult to impossible to come by. Most of the school's athletic venues are on the main campus about 4 mi (6 km) from downtown near I-65, with the best-known being the football team's home, . However, the men's and women's basketball teams do not play on campus, but rather at the in downtown Louisville. Ticket information: +1 502 852-5151 or +1 800-633-7105.
phone: +1 502 384-6799address: Lynn Family Stadium, 350 Adams St.The newest addition to Louisville's sports scene, Louisville City began play in 2015 in the league now known as the USL Championship, the second tier of the American soccer pyramid. "Lou City", which won the league title in both 2017 and 2018, will open the new Lynn Family Stadium for its next season in March 2020. Until the new stadium opens, the team store is located in Fourth Street Live! (address: 418 S. 4th St.), and the team offices are at 110 W. Main St. The new stadium will also be home to Proof Louisville FC, a team set to start play in the National Women's Soccer League in 2021.
phone: +1 502 759-7655address: 4400 Shepherdsville Rd.Professional wrestling promotion that serves as the developmental promotion (think minor league) for Impact Wrestling. The outcomes may be predetermined, but pro wrestling fans will have a chance to say they saw a future star way back when. Most shows are run at Davis Arena, located within a warehouse building in an industrial district of southeast Louisville.
Recreational bikingIf you want to bike for recreation, consider biking "the parkways" to the three major parks (Eastern Parkway to Cherokee Park, Southern Parkway to Iroquois Park, and Algonquin/Northwestern/Southwestern Parkway to Shawnee Park). These were originally designed just for bikers (and other "pleasure craft"), although now, especially Eastern, will require urban cycling skills except perhaps on a Saturday or Sunday. But they still represent the absolute finest the city has to offer in terms of biking - the three parks are magnificent, all have dedicated biking lanes (as in, you get half of or all of the road). Probably about 25-35 miles to see all three, if you're in good shape this can make for the perfect day ride around town, with frequent stops since there's a lot to see. There are minor hills on the parkways, but some moderate hills in Iroquois and Cherokee parks.
A good starting place is Waterfront Park, which has free parking, and also gives you a chance to experience downtown and all three "sides" of Louisville. Beginning at the Waterfront, you can take the Riverwalk to Shawnee Park (in the process of being renovated with a Scenic Loop bike path similar to that in Cherokee Park), and connect via Southwestern and Algonquin Parkways to the Ohio River Levee Trail to the Farnsley-Moreman Landing in the southwest corner of the county; almost a 20-mile ride.
You can also go from the Waterfront along the Beargrass Creek Trail to Cherokee Park (see a Louisville bikeways map for details). Eventually you will be able to bike all the way from Prospect, in the northeast part of the county, to Farnsley-Moreman in the southwest — over 25 miles. Long-term plans will allow you to bike a full hundred miles around the entire city, but the completion date of that project has now been pushed back to around 2020.
The long-abandoned Big Four Bridge has been reopened as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Waterfront Park with downtown Jeffersonville on the Indiana side.
You can rent bikes at Waterfront Park.
Extreme sportsYounger or more adventurous types who are into skateboarding, aggressive skating, or BMX may want to check out David Armstrong Extreme Park, on the corner of Franklin and Clay Streets just east of I-65 downtown and open 24/7. Among its features are a 24-foot full pipe, seven bowls of different sizes, a street course, ledges and rails, and a 12-foot vert ramp with a 13-foot extension.
MusicLouisville has a large and thriving music scene catering to every possible taste in music. There are many bars that feature standard-issue cover bands but of greater interest to adventurous visitors are the venues featuring original local music and big-name out-of-town acts.
address: 1386 Lexington RoadAttracts medium-size national acts and top-drawing local acts.
address: 10619 W Manslick RoadPretty far out from the center of the city, but a good place to see local and national acts that tend towards heavy rock and metal.
phone: +1 502 584-7777address: 724 Brent StPart of the Kentucky Center, this venue, a standing-only facility that opened in 2019, can hold 2,000. Plans are for it to host local and national acts in just about every musical genre imaginable.
- University of Louisville
- Indiana University Southeast
- Bellarmine University
- Spalding University
- Sullivan University
- Jefferson Community College
- McKendree University
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
There are several malls and shopping areas in which to browse, including:
- Oxmoor Center and Mall St. Matthews, Shelbyville Rd at I-264. Oxmoor Center is immediately east of 264 (outside the loop) and Mall St. Matthews is immediately west of 264 (inside the loop).
Jefferson MallOuter Loop and Jefferson Blvd.
Paddock ShopsBrownsboro Rd at I-265. You may hear a few long-term residents call this center by its former name, "The Summit".
- Springhurst Towne Center, Westport Rd. at I-265
- Dixie Manor, Dixie Hwy near Lower Hunters Trace
- Shelbyville Road Plaza, Shelbyville Rd. west of I-264 and Mall St. Matthews.
- Stonybrook, Hurstbourne Pkwy & Taylorsville Rd.
Outlet shopping is available in nearby Simpsonville at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass (take I-64 east to Exit 28).
Groceries and other basics
The dominant supermarket chain in the Louisville area is Kroger, with over 20 locations in Jefferson County alone, plus many others scattered around the surrounding counties (a few Kroger-owned stores on the Indiana side of the river bear the legacy Jay C nameplate). Several of these are open 24/7. No other supermarket chain has anything close to Kroger's presence, though the local chain ValuMarket and the deep-discounters Aldi and Save-A-Lot have several locations.
In the organic/natural niche, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's each have one location in the area, both near Mall St. Matthews. A smaller national chain, The Fresh Market, has a location in northeast Louisville. Still another small national chain, Lucky's Market, has one location in eastern Jefferson County. Finally, the local chain Rainbow Blossom has four Louisville locations plus one across the river in New Albany.
The real competition for Kroger comes from two major discount chains. Walmart has nine stores in its "Supercenter" (discount store plus supermarket) format, plus three supermarket-only Walmart Neighborhood Markets, in Jefferson County alone. Two of the Supercenters and one Neighborhood Market close overnight; the rest stay open 24/7. Meijer, a Michigan-based chain that in many ways pioneered the concept that Walmart made a cliché, has four stores in Jefferson County, all of which are also open 24/7. Target also has several locations that all offer groceries, but without the specialized counters of a traditional supermarket or the 24/7 hours of Walmart and Meijer.
Both of the major national pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreens, are also ubiquitous throughout Louisville. Walgreens is absorbing several local locations of the former third major chain, Rite Aid. CVS and Walgreens have many 24/7 locations, though not necessarily in the areas you might expect. Note also that all pharmacies in Target stores throughout the U.S. are now operated by CVS, and include CVS signage.
Louisville has established itself as a major "foodie" destination. Part of the reason is the ready availability of fresh ingredients from around the country, and even the world, thanks to the location of UPS' main hub at Louisville International Airport.
Vegetarians and vegans have a lot of options in Louisville, particularly at the numerous Ethiopian, Indian and Mediterranean restaurants.
Locals usually prefer to dine at one of the local eating establishments below.
phone: +1 502 589 5464address: 639 E BroadwayFried chicken - also Jerk chicken, pulled pork, and fish.
Indi'saddress: 1033 W BroadwayLocal fried chicken chain, also serves ribs and fried fish. Local opinion is split as to whether Indi's or Chicken King makes the best fried chicken in town. Chicken is available hot or mild. 7 other locations besides the Broadway one (which is in a slightly seedy neighborhood)
address: 614 Baxter AveOne of the many popular local pizza chains in town, also with locations downtown and in St. Matthews (the latter newly remodeled). Late night (until 5AM every day at all locations) Philly pizza; also offers various sandwiches, including cheesesteaks. A luxury car is installed indoors at the Baxter Avenue location for seating.
address: 2109 Frankfort AveAnd two other Louisville locations. A regional chain that began in Louisville. Excellent Cajun food. Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etoufee, Creole, etc. Try the drunk chicken, it's excellent. Most meals $7.25; seafood meals $7.99.
address: 900 Dupont RdPlus a second location on the Outer Loop near Jefferson Mall. Dress your own hamburger and salad bar.
address: 2723 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy(Hurstbourne Parkway near Taylorsville Road, Shelbyville Road Plaza, Middletown in front of Walmart, and at U of L) Local chain offering made-to-order Black Angus burgers and hand-cut fries. Decor is mostly baseball-related, and the staff says "Batter up!" when customers come in. Hand-breaded cod, grilled chicken, hot dogs, veggie burgers, BLT, and (seasonally) rolled oysters (i.e., breaded and deep-fried) also available.
address: 4848 Shelbyville RdA local seafood chain with 12 locations in Jefferson County, plus single locations in nearby Shepherdsville, Taylorsville, and across the river in Jeffersonville. The location listed here was chosen for its proximity to the major shopping complexes in St. Matthews. Best known for its fried cod sandwiches and meals, though it also offers chicken tenders, shrimp, oysters, clams, and even fried bratwurst.
Burger Boyphone: +1 502 635-7410address: 1450 S. Brook StA few blocks away from the Magnolia Bar and Grill (see below) and across from Woody's, this diner is open 24/7, has decent food, and is one of the cheaper places in town... though since the current ownership took over in 2008, the menu has included a few more upscale options, most recently bison burgers.
Burger Girlphone: +1 502 709-5454address: 3334 Frankfort AveSister restaurant of Burger Boy, with identical menus and also open 24/7.
address: 2101 Frankfort AveThe best bagels in Louisville. Nancy's has two locations. The original in the Clifton neighborhood at 2101 Frankfort Ave. and a downtown location at 651 S. 4th St.
phone: +1 502 583-3828address: 217 W Saint Catherine StreetBurgers, shakes, & sandwiches since 1947. Drive-in curb service and a sit-down counter.
phone: +1 502 451-8944address: 2122 Bardstown RoadClassic American diner and a local tradition.
Check's Cafephone: +1 502 637-9515address: 1101 E Burnett AveCan't beat the price. The decor features a lot of local sports memorabilia. Doubles as a bar.
Cafe 360phone: +1 502 473-8694address: 1582 Bardstown RdOrder anything you want, 24-hours. Also has a bar. Food is okay but it's really more of a social place to go. Great hookah.
phone: +1 502 375-3800address: 3113 S 4th StreetTasty but unexceptional diner food, but it has a long and storied association with jockeys, trainers, etc., at Churchill Downs, and still packs 'em in during Derby week. Breakfast and lunch only.
phone: +1 502 213 0488address: 1396 S 2nd StGourmet artisan pizza. Open late.
Bandido Taqueria Mexicanaphone: +1 502 996-7788address: 423 University BlvdAuthentic burritos and tacos. Excellent salsa bar.
phone: +1 502 583-0440address: 938 Baxter AveVery popular local taco chain, part of a larger group of local restaurants. The original, listed here, has since been joined by locations in St. Matthews, downtown, Stony Brook (Jeffersontown, near the intersection of Taylorsville Road and Hurstbourne Parkway), and the South End (across from Iroquois Park). All locations feature quirky decor, most notably Mexican wrestling masks.
phone: +1 502 634-8990address: 575 Eastern ParkwayTraditional neighborhood walk-up spot, not far from U of L, specializing in soft-serve ice cream (plus milkshakes and sundaes) and chili dogs. Cash only, with posted prices including all taxes; open from mid-March through Columbus Day (second Monday in October).
phone: +1 502 637-4325address: 570 Eastern ParkwayDirectly across Eastern Parkway from Dairy Kastle is another neighborhood tradition, offering typical American diner food, much of it of the "Southern comfort food" variety.
phone: +1 502 245-9264address: 13301 Shelbyville Rd., Suite 101Fast-casual Asian stir-fry. There were once three locations, but one in the Highlands closed in 2017, and the original at Oxmoor Center closed in 2019. This one, however, is still going strong.
phone: +1 502 883-2874address: 7502 Preston HwySandwich shop offering burgers and wings as well as the signature cheesesteaks—which are about as authentic as one can find outside the Philly area, given that the owner is a Philly transplant who worked for several years at restaurants in that area before moving to Louisville. The listing here is for the original location; a second location is in Old Louisville, keeping the same hours. Bring your appetite—their 6-inch cheesesteak easily has more meat than a footlong from Subway.
address: 131 W. Market St
Ramsi's Cafe on the Worldaddress: 1293 Bardstown RdA local favorite. Very eclectic menu, but generally Mediterranean-influenced. A surprisingly large amount of the ingredients comes from the restaurant's own farm one county over.
Shalimar Indian Restaurantaddress: 1850 S Hurstbourne Pkwy, Suite 125Authentic Indian cuisine.
address: 2319 Frankfort Ave
The Granvilleaddress: 1601 S 3rd StConsidered by many to be the best burgers in town.
phone: +1 502 895-3223address: 3204 Frankfort AvenueA lot of locals will tell you this place has the best BBQ in Louisville. Follow your GPS or just follow your nose to the big smokers set up right next to the street. Occasional live country music.
phone: +1 502 938-MAMAaddress: 102 Bauer AveMany other locals will insist that this Kansas City-style establishment, owned by a Kansas native, has the city's best BBQ. Several publications have named it one of the best BBQ places in the whole U.S. While it now has a second location on Hurstbourne Parkway just south of Shelbyville Road, the original listed here is unique for its configuration. It's in a renovated older house and has two dining rooms with very different character—the lower level is similar to a sports bar, and the upper level is quieter and more family-oriented.
phone: +1 502 244-0140address: 11422 Shelbyville RdA local barbecue chain serving the Western Kentucky style; though it may not reach quite the heights of the other BBQ places listed here, it's still very popular in the area. The original location, listed here, is in a building in the far-eastern community of Middletown that housed a farm supply store for most of the 20th century, hence the restaurant's name. That location can get especially crowded after services at Southeast Christian Church, a well-known megachurch in the region whose main worship center is about a mile away (also bear in mind that Southeast holds a Saturday evening service as well as two on Sunday morning). Mark's has five other locations—the Highlands, Dixie Highway in southwest Louisville, Fern Creek in far southeast Louisville, across the river in New Albany, and finally in Elizabethtown.
phone: +1 502 587-1626address: 127 West Main StreetBBQ and Southern specialties, also an excellent and diverse selection of raw oysters. Popular with the downtown crowd.
phone: +1 502 749-9900address: 909 E. Market St. Suite 100A newer BBQ joint, very trendy and popular. The original Feast location across the river in New Albany proved too small from the get-go and closed in March 2018; a second location in Jeffersontown opened in summer 2018.
phone: +1 502 581-1011address: 109 S. 4th StreetMediterranean and Ethiopian food. Lots of vegetarian and vegan options. Somewhat spartan decor but they take the food very seriously.
phone: +1 502 459-1011address: 2804 Taylorsville RdEthiopian restaurant owned by an immigrant family and located across from Bowman Field (general aviation airport). As with Addis Grill, plenty of vegetarian and vegan options are available.
phone: +1 502 363-7535address: 5339 Mitscher AvenueExtremely popular south-side spot for pho, soup, and stir-fried dishes. Avoid the weekday noon lunch rush or be prepared to wait.
phone: +1 502 566-0651address: 813 E. Market StreetCreative, upscale versions of authentic Mayan food, from southern Mexico and Central America. Try the tok-sel lima beans, and you'll never take lima beans for granted again. This is unusual cuisine that you won't find in many other North American cities - similar to standard American Mexican food but with subtle differences in ingredients and spices. If you're in Louisville and want to try food that you probably can't get at home, this is a good choice. Also operates a food truck under the name Mayan Street Food, now exclusively at the nearby Gravely Brewing Co. (see the Microbreweries section).
phone: +1 502 458-1828address: 975 Baxter AvenueThick crust pizza layered with cheese and toppings. Don't let the sizes fool you - a 12" pie is a more than adequate lunch for 2 people. Also serves calzones, sandwiches, and salads. 2 other Louisville locations and 1 in New Albany.
Hiko A Monphone: +1 502 365-1651address: 1115 Herr Ln #130Probably the best Japanese restaurant in Louisville. High quality sushi, grilled dishes, and noodles. Excellent tonkotsu ramen, usually hard to find outside of specialized ramen restaurants. There's also a downtown location.
phone: +1 502 454-2711address: 1381 Bardstown RoadAnother contender in Louisville's pizza scene. Voted Best Pizza in Kentucky by Zagat. There's also a downtown and a Middletown location.
El Molcajetephone: +1 502 638-0300address: 2932 S 4th StAuthentic, reasonably priced Mexican food near Churchill Downs. Good variety of salsa and a surprising number of vegetarian options. The neighborhood is slightly sketchy but generally safe, at least during the day and early evening.
phone: +1 502 937-9888address: 9308 Cane Run RoadLocal favorite fish restaurant since 1925. Huge outdoor seating area near the banks of the Ohio River.
phone: +1 502 255-2590address: 4600 Chamberlain LaneIndian restaurant featuring chefs specially brought in from Delhi. Much of the produce comes from the owner's local farm. While most of the dishes are traditional, the "fusion" aspect refers to mixed Western/Indian dishes such as pasta with traditional Indian sauces, or their vindaloo shepherds' pie, where their screamingly spicy lamb vindaloo is topped with a crust of mashed potato and baked. There is an extensive vegetarian menu, with numerous vegan options.
phone: +1 502 200-8020address: 1801 Newburg Rd.A revival of one of Louisville's most famous eateries. The original Kaelin's, which operated at this location from 1934 to 2009, claimed to be the original home of the cheeseburger, and also served Kentucky Fried Chicken in the years immediately before Colonel Sanders began franchising his concept. While the menu is significantly different from that of the original Kaelin's, one thing remains the same—burgers seared on a cast-iron surface in much the same way the original restaurant did. Features extensive outdoor seating, plus a malt shop serving ice cream made in-house.
phone: +1 502 451-9020address: 2817 Taylorsville RdFine French food.
phone: +1 502 451-2749address: 1767 Bardstown RdFrench/Asian fusion.
phone: +1 502 894-4446address: 2300 Frankfort AveAuthentic Italian cuisine.
phone: +1 502 894-8686address: 2730 Frankfort AveAuthentic Northern Italian cuisine, with an extensive wine list.
phone: +1 502 217-6360address: 702 West Main StHigh-end New American cuisine. Craft cocktails. Can be fairly noisy for a high end restaurant. Associated with the 21c hotel.
phone: +1 502 384 9090address: 624 E Market StFarm-to-table New American local food.
address: 335 West BroadwayNot particularly English, but high quality traditional American. The Hot Brown (a traditional Kentucky dish consisting of roast turkey, mornay sauce, toast, tomatoes, and bacon) was invented here.
phone: +1 502 452-9244address: 1007 Bardstown Rd.A Highlands institution for over 30 years, and tracing its history to an earlier establishment at the same site that opened in 1933, it features high-quality traditional Southern-influenced American bistro fare.
phone: +1 502 584-0102address: 325 W. Main St.One of a handful of high-end restaurants owned by Cincinnati-based Jeff Ruby, who made headlines in 2007 by kicking O. J. Simpson out of this very restaurant, and again during the 2016 presidential campaign by temporarily barring Donald Trump. Ruby's penchant for publicity notwithstanding, the restaurant does enjoy a strong reputation for its steaks, plus quite a few seafood options. Live music is also regularly offered.
Smoking is not permitted in bars in the city of Louisville. While most bars in Kentucky are required to close at 2AM, some Louisville bars are licensed to stay open until 4AM.
PubsThere are many pubs around the city, with varying styles, prices and crowds. The Highlands, especially around the 900 block of Baxter Ave., is a great place to drink and meet new people.
Cahootsphone: +1 502 454-6687address: 1047 Bardstown RdBeer, pub grub and a younger crowd.
phone: +1 502 584-5222address: 1279 Bardstown RdNeighborhood pub with live music most nights.
phone: +1 502 473-1222address: 933 Baxter AveIrish-style staples with a decent beer selection and a good patio.
Nachbarphone: +1 502 637-4377address: 969 Charles StLarge beer selection with a focus on German and Belgian style beers. Also features jazz and film occasionally.
Outlook Innphone: +1 502 583-4661address: 916 Baxter AveA more dive-ish feel but with a no less impressive beer list.
The Tavernphone: +1 502 637-4200address: 1532 S. 4th StA longtime pub in Old Louisville. They serve breakfast at all hours and have a daily plate lunch special.
address: 1034 Bardstown RdIn a former church. Good quality food but best known for its large and eclectic selection of local and imported craft beers. No liquor or wine, but with the number and variety of beers on offer, even if you're not normally a beer drinker, you can probably find something you like. Charming Biegarten out back with giant hops plants in the summer time.
phone: +1 502 749-7100address: 700 E Market StGastropub that used to be a gas station, hence its name. Look for the beat-up Ford Mustang and Pontiac Trans Am permanently parked out front. Excellent wood-fired pizza, burgers, locally made charcuterie. Craft beers, wine, and cocktails. Large outdoor seating area. Dog friendly.
phone: +1 502 618-4829address: 150 W Washington St.Not exactly under the 2nd Street Bridge but right next to it and fairly subterranean. Popular spot with pub grub and drinks.
phone: +1 502 890-8676address: 1064 Bardstown Rd.
phone: +1 502 568-2224address: 300 W Main StLocal microbrewery with three locations around town. Live music some nights. The original location is in St. Matthews at 3929 Shelbyville Road (+1 502 899-7070). Also the Taproom, 636 E Main St; serves beer but no food. (+1 502 584-2739.)
Cumberland Brewsphone: +1 502 458-8727address: 1576 Bardstown RoadSmall pub that brews its own beer. The pale ale is recommended by reviewers.
phone: +1 502 822-3202address: 514 Baxter AveOpen since 2017, this brewpub defines itself as a "music brewery", offering live music along with its beer creations. Food available daily, specifically southern Mexican, from a truck operated by the above-mentioned Mayan Cafe. Must be 21 to enter the taproom bar, but the rest of the establishment (including the outdoor beer garden) is open to all ages.
address: 3312 Plaza Drive, New AlbanyPizzeria and pub.
phone: +1 502 409 8139address: 636 Barret Ave
BarsFourth Street Live! (On 4th St, downtown) has plenty of bars, ranging from an English pub to Maker's Mark own lounge and bar, but you'll pay a premium to drink there. Fourth Street is generally only busy on the weekends; it's dead on the weekdays except for 5-7PM or when the after work crowd grabs a drink. Many of the swankier clubs and bars (Red Cheetah, Maker's Mark, etc.) have a dress code, and some have a cover charge, usually about $5. Fourth Street is free to enter. Some other possibilities are below.
phone: +1 502 568-9009address: 446 S Fourth StUpscale bar with bourbons from each of Kentucky's distilleries.
address: 331 E. Market StHuge whiskey selection, including rare bottles and some of their own custom barrels. Live bands in the back. Also has an attached bottle shop. The owner and bartenders are for the most part highly knowledgeable about whiskey and will happily talk your ear off about it if the place isn't too busy. A good place to go if you're new to bourbon drinking as they'll often suggest something you haven't heard of, based on what you like.
The Magnoliaphone: +1 502 637-9052address: 1398 S Second StConsidered the quintessential Louisville dive bar. Doesn't serve food. However, Pizza Donisi (see under "Eat") is next door and is open late.
phone: +1 502 451-0466address: 1133 Bardstown RdEDM and hip-hop (not at the same time). Check the website or call to find out what's on. The Louisville club scene may lack the glitz of Vegas, LA or NYC, but if you're looking to bust a move, this is a fun spot. Has a restaurant next door, called Somewhere.
CoffeehousesThere are a plethora of good coffeehouses in Louisville. Local chains include Heine Brothers' Coffee & Java Brewing Company. There are three Heine stores in the Highlands area alone, with nine more scattered around town, one across the river in Jeffersonville, and a vintage Airstream trailer renovated into a mobile branch that travels to local events. Java has a Fourth Street Live! location, a Main St branch, and a store in Crescent Hill where it was founded. (Others are on the east reaches of town, Prospect, Middletown, etc.) Vint (four locations) merged with Heine Brothers in 2011, but remains a separate chain, and sources its coffee separately from its sister chain. Other selections include Highland Coffee at 1140 Bardstown Rd/627 S 4th St, Old Louisville Coffee House at 1489 S 4th St, Sunergos Coffee on 2122 S Preston St, and Ray's Monkey House at 1578 Bardstown Rd.
phone: +1 502 364-0082address: 5225 New Cut Road
Louisville has substantial gay, lesbian and transgender communities, most visibly concentrated in the Highlands neighborhood, in the East End and Downtown. There are numerous venues and events catering to them and those friendly to them.
phone: +1 502 456-1170address: 1420 Bardstown RdWhile not necessarily known for its exceptional coffee, Day's Coffee on Bardstown Road has enjoyed a loyal following among Louisville's gay and family-oriented populations for years, thanks to its very laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere.
Teddy Bearsphone: +1 502 589-2619address: 1148 Garvin PlTeddy Bears has been victim of some scary hype, though for those not afraid of men and transsexuals "of a certain age" or beyond, it can be great places to relax over a game of pool or unselfconscious karaoke.
Tryanglesphone: +1 502 583-6395address: 209 S Preston StTryangles is a Louisville gay standby that endears by possessing the contradictory qualities of both homeyness and sleaze in equal measure. Popular with the bear and Levi/leather crowd.
address: 1202 Bardstown RdDon't let the name fool you, it's actually quite small. Very popular and friendly mainstream gay bar in the highlands.
There are many other hotels around town and in downtown, but they are rather generic. If you're going to pay more for a hotel, you might as well get character as well. There are also some Bed and Breakfasts in Old Louisville, if you'd like to stay in a more than 120-year-old Victorian mansion, here's your chance.
phone: +1 812 283-7703address: 2016 Hospitality Way, Jeffersonville, Indiana
phone: +1 502 266-6590address: 1221 Kentucky Mills Drive
phone: +1 812 283-9696address: 1620 Leisure Way, Clarksville, Indiana
phone: +1 502 491-4830address: 9700 Bluegrass Pkwy
phone: +1 502 426-0119address: 701 South Hurstbourne Parkway
phone: +1 502 897-5101address: 1041 Zorn Avenue
phone: +1 502 637-6336address: 2912 Crittenden Dr
phone: +1 502 368-5678address: 819 Phillips LaneThe hotel provides complimentary airport shuttle service, free internet, and onsite parking. The Bistro serves breakfast, dinner, cocktails and Starbucks specialty coffee.
phone: +1 502 753-5555address: 2850 Crittenden DriveOffers complimentary Louisville airport shuttle during your stay.
phone: +1 502 217-6300address: 700 West Main StreetA boutique hotel in the historic West Main District, also including an art gallery.
phone: +1 502 585-3200address: 500 S 4th StHistoric and luxurious. Opened in 1905, it is Louisville's original Grand Hotel. The Seelbach has played host to many presidents, famous authors, and gangsters like Al Capone during its tenure. The hotel's fine dining spot, The Oakroom, is Kentucky's only AAA 5-Diamond rated restaurant.
phone: +1 502 583-1234address: 335 W BroadwayOne of the most historic hotels of the city. Not only it is an excellent hotel, but it is full of history and fun stories. For example, during a flood in 1937, Brown Hotel was partially submerged, and a worker caught a two-pound fish in the lobby.
phone: +1 502 589-5200address: 140 North Fourth St
phone: +1 502 581-1234address: 311 S 4th StConnected to Kentucky International Convention Center and 4th Street Live.
phone: +1 502 313-6664address: 400 S 2nd StA luxury lodging that opened in March 2018, in a 30-story building, of which 14 are occupied by the hotel. It includes all the guest amenities one would expect from a luxury hotel. Also includes several surprises open to the public—a speakeasy-styled restaurant/bar with a four-lane bowling alley, a lobby art gallery, and a small grocery store.
In addition, several attempted muggings have occurred directly outside of the terminal, (with station security being shockingly apathetic and unhelpful in these situations, at least until the Metro Police arrive) so be very cautious. However, a daytime drive through this part of town along Portland and then Northwestern Parkway is very interesting and not dangerous at all. Areas around Churchill Downs are also relatively sketchy, but again, simply driving through in the daytime is not a risk.
The crime risk is lower east of the Highlands. Within the Highlands, crime is still low, but use caution exiting bars on Baxter Avenue if you are alone. This same advice applies to Old Louisville, only more so. Other than this, just use common sense like you would anywhere else.
The west end of Louisville is commonly considered the most dangerous due to its gang activity (partly due to how impoverished it is). Just use common sense such as not leaving your car unlocked, not staring at others, etc., and it'll be much more enjoyable and less dangerous.
- The Courier-Journal. Local daily newspaper.
- LEO. The Louisville Eccentric Observer, the local alt-weekly. The founder, John Yarmuth, now represents Louisville in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his son runs the paper.
- Velocity. Weekly, local entertainment guide published by The Courier-Journal.
- The Voice-Tribune. East end weekly newspaper.
By phoneNo overlay area code has yet been imposed on the Kentucky side of the metropolitan area, so 7-digit local dialing from a landline phone is still allowed.
The same is not true on the Indiana side. In September 2014, an overlay code (+1 930) was established throughout the area that had been served by only area code 812. A local or in-state call on the Indiana side now requires all 10 digits of the local number be dialed (omitting just the leading +1 from a local landline call). If a sign on an established business in Indiana displays only a seven-digit number, dial 812 before it.
- phone: +1 502 584-8583address: 1009 S 4th St
- phone: +1 502 562-7296address: 500 W Jefferson St Ste 2800
To the east is the state capital at Frankfort, where you'll find some distilleries in the area. Lexington is the home of the Kentucky Horse Park. The Kentucky Speedway, since 2011 home to races in all three of NASCAR's national series (Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity Series, Gander Outdoors Truck Series), is off I-71.
To the north is the river town of Madison, Indiana, home of the Madison Regatta. Nashville, Indiana and Brown County are a haven for artists.
To the west, numerous caves are found, including Squire Boone, Wyandotte and Marengo. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus boasts the Raven, one of the most popular wooden roller coasters in America.
- New Albany
- Saint Matthews