Louisville, Kentucky- A Great Getaway
I love Kentucky and especially Louisville. It is the perfect size town. Normally travel time to and from work is 30 minutes or less. It has the feel of a small town, but hosts cultural events that are found in a city twice the size. People in Louisville often think it is the best kept secret in this area of the country.
There are so many wonderful areas to explore in Kentucky, but Louisville is the largest city and a great place to begin. If you come for a convention, day trip, or for the Kentucky Derby Festival, the sites are fun, informative, and completely entertaining. Located on the scenic Ohio River down River from Cincinnati, Louisville has easy access to Southern Indiana. The opportunities in the downtown area will leave tourist with days of fun and a multitude of alternatives that will surpass even the most organized and energic tourist.
What a Bat!!
Within a Mile of Downtown Louisville
If you are lucky enough to stay downtown or close to the center of town, you will understand how vibrant Louisville truly is. Starting from Waterfront Park to the new Bats stadium, baseball lovers will be impressed and inspired at what Louisville has to offer. The Bats are a AAA minor league team. After a great game in a top minor league stadium, tourist only need to walk down the street for more baseball history.
The giant bat is the first remarkable thing you will see as you approach Hillerich and Bradsby, the premier bat manufacturer in the country. The daily tours are informative and fun for everyone. Even those who don't know the infield from third base will find that a day at that this manufacturer sends everyone home with a new appreciation of the game. The tour covers every step of the bat making process. There are bats and bat orders from players, past and present, representing the styles and preferences of the players. There is a wonderful display of hanging bats that is a modern work of art in inself. Brass bats adorn the sidewalks along Main Street marking the accomplishments of great players. If you take a moment to stop and read the plaques attached, you will have another lesson in baseball history.
Beautiful Historic Building
On Main Street, you will find the Frazier Museum which has static exhibits and traveling expositions. The Mona Lisa exhibit made a stop recently on its route across the country.
Then there is the Children’s Science Museum tucked close by. There are hands-on activities for the kids, and the adults who want to channel their inner child. This is a great place to learn and to work off excess energy while waiting to enjoy the IMAX Theater and other seasonal activities.
A trip down Main Street will lead to the World Renown 21 C Hotel which is famous for its art collection and is always rated as one the premier hotel experiences in the country.
Close by is the Muhammad Ali Museum for those fans of boxing or just the man. The building that houses the Museum is a work of art itself.
So now you will understand another term you will hear when visiting this area – Museum Row. Not that these are the only Museums in Louisville. There is the Speed Museum, Thomas Edison House, the historical home of Locust Grove and others.
Iron Front Buildings
For those lovers of all types of design and architecture of historic buildings, Main Street offers the largest group of Iron front building in this area of the country. The facades will keep your head and eyes turned upward up as you dine in one of the open air cafes that many restaurants offers on Main. Most of the buildings were built in the late 1800’s and were used to house whiskey. Thus, you will understand when someone mentions Whiskey Row.
About those Horses - Galloopalooza
Louisville’s public art. The Galloopalooza can be enjoyed on Main Street and around the town. The horses are all unique and colorful. These horses may represent an aspect of Louisville life or can be purchased and personalized for someone’s business – from the local dentist’s office that sports a horse with large exposed teeth to horses that match the logos and colors of the companies they represent. These horses are beautiful and are unique to the city while reminding everyone that this is the home of the Kentucky Derby, the fastest 3 minutes in sports.
Activities on the Riverfront
If you weren't already a fan of weekend walks, you will be when you stay downtown. Almost every weekend there is a Walk for a good cause from Cancer to Diabetes. Louisville also hosts a variety of triathlon events and bike events that begin or end at the Waterfront. This has included the Iron Man Contest in the last few years.
There are a variety of activities on the Belvedere by the Ohio River, including Forecastle, one of the best times, if you are a lover of music and new bands and is now draws visitors from all over the world. The Belvedere hosts everything from events that celebrate the diverse cultures of the area to watching Thunder over Louisville which is the kickoff celebration that marks the beginning of the Kentucky Derby Festival. This beautiful area has fountains, views of the Ohio, and offers a chance to see working barges and tug boats.
The Belle of Louisville docks a short walk away and hosts day cruises up and down the Ohio River. Or, an evening dinner tour allows the tourist to enjoy the lights of the city and homes along the river.
Cultural Activities and Entertainment
Actors’ Theater’s, a regional award winning theater, produces plays which range along the spectrum from Jane Austin to Charles Dickens. Actor's also hosts the Humana Festival of New Plays which draws new playwrights from around the country.
The Kentucky Center for the Preforming Arts is situated within minutes and hosts Broadway Productions and a large variety of entertainment.
Other attractions in Louisville include:
- 4th Street Live, a venue of clubs and restaurants.
- City Parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park in New York.
- Church Hill Downs hosts the best Horse Racing in the country, and has a museum that teaches visitors to understand the history and legacy of horse racing.
Start here and move out into the Bluegrass State. You will understand why once here you’ll have to come back.