From bourbon and horses to boxing and baseball, Louisville has it all.
Enjoy culinary traditions, local history and bourbon culture in Louisville, a vibrant city with a unique vibe and a rich heritage. From restaurants serving elevated regional cuisine to the cultural landmark of the famous Kentucky Derby, Louisville offers a one-of-a-kind experience to taste Southern food, witness sports history and engage in colorful traditions.
Culinary Delights: Bourbon and Southern Bites
Bourbon, a barrel-aged whiskey distinct to the USA, is a must-try in Louisville. Ninety-five percent of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky, and most of Kentucky’s bourbon is produced in Louisville. You can taste the tradition for yourself in restaurants and lounges across the city. Pair fried chicken sliders and crispy potatoes with a wide selection of local bourbons at 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen’s rooftop bar overlooking the city. For a more modern take on classic Southern dishes, North of Bourbon offers chicken and sausage gumbo, stewed okra and tomatoes and stir-fried sticky quail. Choose a flight of three local bourbons to wash these scrumptious bites down while sitting in booths shaped like bourbon barrels. For dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen with bourbon caramel cookies and candied bourbon maple bacon.
Sampling craft beer at stylish lounge North of Bourbon
Equine Finery at Churchill Downs
Often referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” The Kentucky Derby is the longest continually held sporting event in the USA. Hosted the first Saturday in May at the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack, this equestrian event draws a festive celebration, with attendees dressed to impress in pastel colors and big hats. Stay cool and sip the Derby’s refreshing traditional beverage the mint julep—a cocktail made with Kentucky bourbon, fresh mint, simple syrup and crushed ice.
Neighboring Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby Museum, which features two floors of family-friendly interactive exhibits exploring Louisville’s tradition of equestrian excellence. Watch the 360-degree film “The Greatest Race,” which provides an immersive experience of the annual event. Walk through sports history as your tour guide takes you through the grandstands all the way to the rails of the legendary dirt track of Churchill Downs. You’re sure to gain a deep understanding of the early days of the Kentucky Derby and how it transformed into the legendary event it is today.
Exploring the exhibits and displays at the Kentucky Derby Museum
Pay Homage to Legends at the Muhammad Ali Center
Athlete, humanitarian and global icon Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville. The expansive Muhammad Ali Center honors his life and legacy by exploring his rise from amateur boxer to Olympic gold medalist. Learn more about his political activism and practice your own boxing techniques in a recreation of the Deer Lake training camp where Ali once trained. Learn about Ali’s six core principles at work throughout the museum, where artifacts, memorabilia and immersive audio-visual experiences tell the story of this multi-faceted athlete who inspired generations. Rotating art exhibits highlight the works of Louisville creatives and offer unique insight into local communities.
At the Muhammad Ali Center, archival photographs, newspaper clippings and more tell the story of the athlete’s life and career
Fly into Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) and rent a car to explore the area.
More experiences nearby