While everyone is familiar with the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs, Louisville has many other unique attractions for visitors to enjoy.
Stacy Arnett, an Erie Insurance Agent at Fox Insurance in Louisville, has lived in the area her entire life. She recently shared with us some of the things that make Louisville a ‘hidden gem’ that’s worth visiting.
Here is her take on what to do in Louisville.
Visit a museum…or 10
Museum Row spans four city blocks and includes 10 different museums. With museums like the Muhammad Ali Center, Glassworks, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the 21c Museum Hotel (a contemporary art museum and award- winning restaurant), this is definitely an area worth seeing.
Visitors can get a discount when they show a ticket stub from another row museum. For Kentucky natives, May is Hometown Tourist Celebration: Just show your Kentucky driver’s license to receive a discount.
Eat in one of Louisville’s up-and-coming neighborhoods
Good food in Kentucky isn’t hard to come by if you know where to look. Just turn to one of Louisville’s three hot new dining districts: Nu Lu District along East Market, Frankfort Avenue and Bardstown Road Highlands. These up-and-coming areas are known for their wide variety of ethnic restaurants.
“Whenever we want to take someone out for lunch, we head to one of those three areas,” says Stacy. “You can literally find anything.” Just a few tempting options include Vietnamese, steakhouses, Japanese, Latin-style tapas and specialty burger places.
Check out the waterfront
Park, that is. Previously considered one of the most unattractive spots in the city, Waterfront Park has been developed into an impressive green space that is home to many year-round events.
The 85-acre park, which is located along the Ohio River, is an excellent place to bike, jog or picnic. Stop and check out the impressive Big Four Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge; completed in early 2013, it connects Louisville to Southern Indiana.
Explore the Urban Bourbon Trail
If you don’t feel like traveling to the famed distilleries outside of the city, just head to downtown Louisville. Many local establishments carry anywhere from 50 to 150 varieties of Kentucky’s signature bourbon.
To add to the fun, stop by the Visitor’s Center beforehand to pick up a special bourbon “passport” (or download the app). You can collect stamps by making purchases at a variety of eateries and bars on the Urban Bourbon Trail. Once you collect six stamps, you receive a T-shirt and certificate proclaiming your status as an official Bourbon Country Citizen.
Take a ride on the Belle of Louisville
Take a step into the past and ride on the oldest operating steamboat in America. The Belle of Louisville recently turned 100 years old, but that hasn’t slowed her down a bit. In addition to sightseeing cruises, The Belle offers special holiday events and private group charters.
“I have taken a cruise on the Belle quite a few times,” Stacy says. “It is always such a memorable experience.”
If you’re feeling daring, you can even get tickets to ride on the Belle when she races the Belle of Cincinnati during the Great Steamboat Race held during the Kentucky Derby Festival.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of what to do in Louisville. So whether you’re looking for great sites, food or culture, consider the Bluegrass State’s largest city for your next vacation destination.