Whether you come for the bourbon, the bluegrass, the amazing dining scene, or something a little more active, Louisville has what you're looking for. This cosmopolitan city has plenty of attractions for all ages and interests. Louisville is a bourbon connoisseurs dreamland, and a great place to kick off the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a sampling extravaganza with nine stops (two of which are in the city). Don't want to leave Louisville? Tackle the Urban Bourbon Trail instead, which traces its way through Louisville's finest bars and restaurants. Sports more your thing than liquor? There's the Louisville Slugger Museum, where you can design your own bat or wander along the Walk of Fame. Or, visit the Muhammad Ali Center to learn more about the legendary boxer. Of course, you can't talk about sports in Kentucky without mentioning horse racing, so don't forget to stop at Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum. If you're planning on an active vacation, the Big Four Bridge is a must-do. This converted railroad truss bridge connects Louisville to Jeffersonville, Indiana, and is only open to pedestrians or bicyclists. Then, head to the Louisville Mega Cavern, a massive (more than 4,000,000 square foot) man-made area that houses zip lines, an aerial ropes course, and an underground bike park. For something a little less adrenaline-fueled, walk around Louisville's Central Park and admire the stately homes, especially the gorgeous Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. To visit, fly in to Louisville International Airport. You'll only need to rent a car if you're heading out of the city center, as Louisville is very walkable.
Louisville's restaurants are the perfect pairing to the state's bourbon theme. You'll find a wide variety of cuisine here, many mixing southern and modern influences. Bourbons Bistro Looking for a hard-to-find bourbon? You'll find it at Bourbons Bistro, which serves up 130 different types, alongside bourbon-inspired food. Can't decide on a drink? Flights are available, which will allow you to sample small doses of whatever strikes your fancy. The food is locally sourced, seasonal, and a truly delicious taste of Louisville. 8UP Dine while enjoying the best views of Louisville from eight floors up at 8UP Elevated Drinkery&Kitchen. If the weather's nice, enjoy your meal from the rooftop bar (with fire pits to keep you warm) or admire the sunset from the indoor space with panoramic glass windows. The seasonal food gives you a great taste of Kentucky, whether you're visiting for breakfast, dinner, or just dessert.
Where you should stay in Louisville depends on whether you're a modern or classic type of traveler. 21c Museum Hotel You can't get more modern than the cutting edge 21c Museum Hotel. This 91-room boutique hotel is also a modern art museum (you can take guided tours even if you're not a guest here). Contemporary art from living artists decorates the lobby and all of the rooms, and the hotel is also home to one of Louisville's best bars, Proof on Main. Seelbach Hilton Fans of The Great Gatsby should definitely stay at the Seelbach Hilton, as a speakeasy located inside this hotel was one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's favorite hangouts. He loved it so much that the hotel serves as the setting for Tom and Daisy's wedding in the novel. Now, the Seelbach is a lovingly preserved landmark that brings classic Louisville to life.