Louisville, Kentucky One of the greatest events in American sports past and present is the Kentucky Derby. The green of Churchill Downs and the surrounding atmosphere is more than worth the trip to Louisville; however, the city is much more than just the Derby. Louisville has a rich history just waiting to be explored. Plan your trip today! 5 Must-See Attractions: Churchill Downs- The hallowed racing ground of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is a must visit whether watching the derby or just touring the track and fanfare. It’s an iconic fixture in the history of American sport. The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum- Originally constructed in 1893, the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum preserves the houses history with excellent tours of the Victorian home and surrounding neighborhood. Kentucky Derby Museum- The museum details the history of Derby winners, fashion, and changes to the Kentucky Derby over time. Louisville Waterfront Park- A beautiful park along the Ohio River with plenty of space for leisure and a tremendous view of The Big Four Bridge. Old Louisville- A historic section of Louisville highlighted by old red houses and well-manicured streets and sidewalks. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Louisville Slugger Museum- A tour of the bat-making factory and museum, full of history from all the greats, is well worth the trip with the kids. Muhammad Ali Center-A detailed museum covering the life, boxing career, and impact of perhaps the greatest boxer ever, Muhammad Ali. Louisville Zoo- The zoo and exhibits are incredibly well kept with a plethora of kid favorite animals like lions, tigers, and bears (Oh My! I’m sorry I couldn’t resist). Kentucky Science Center- A fun interactive museum for kids to explore, have fun, and learn without knowing it. Renaissance Fun Park- Go karts are always fun with kids no matter how old they are, so make sure to stop by Renaissance Fun Park to take a spin. 5 Free Attractions: Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind-An interactive museum detailing the history of printing for the sight impaired, complete with interactive exhibits. Cherokee Park- Essentially operating as a lung inside the city, Cherokee Park provides travelers and locals alike an escape from the city atmosphere, within city limits. Iroquois Park- A nice park to spend the day in with the family, enjoying the air, trails, and surrounding greens. Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse- While it’s not totally free, it’s pretty inexpensive and makes for a fun couple of hours on tour. West Main Historic District- Take a walk through the West Main Historic District to admire the interesting architecture and people watch. 5 Great Restaurants: Hammerheads- A bar atmosphere with top quality food including elk burgers, mac and cheese balls, and plenty of beer, Hammerheads is the place for a hearty helping of unbelievable pub food. The Café-A restaurant with a massive menu, plenty of fantastic breakfast items, and cakes that are to die for! Against the Grain- A menu featuring eclectic brew options and a host of delectable pub dishes awaits travelers venturing to Against the Grain. The food and atmosphere make the trip more than worth it. El Taco Luchador- A little place with a lot of flavor! El Taco Luchador has insane tacos and original sauces that draw travelers in like a magnet. Plehn’s Bakery- If you can’t find something you like at Plehn’s Bakery, then you might need to re-evaluate your taste buds. Plehn’s has donuts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and much, much more. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: Haymarket Whiskey Bar- A huge bar menu with plenty of beer, liquor, and a relaxed atmosphere to immerse yourself for the night. Apocalypse Brewery- Apocalypse features a ton of original beer concoctions and an eclectic menu, perfect to visit on a warm night. Garage Bar- The term garage bar is more literal than it seems. The bar is actually a re-modeled garage with a cool ambience and a great menu. Zanzabar- An older bar in Louisville, Zanzabar offers a fun nighttime atmosphere complete with an arcade for people to drink and get some classic gaming in. Sergio’s World Beers- Another name to take literally, Sergio’s World Beers offers a large selection of beers from every country in a relaxed setting. Make sure to bring cash! 5 Romantic Getaways: The Big Four Bridge- One of the best lookout points in all of Kentucky, the Big Four Bridge’s walking path makes for the perfect afternoon date. Louisville Water Company- A picturesque tour of the old fashioned water company sitting on the water. It’s a beautiful spot for a romantic afternoon out. Central Park- It may share a name with the famous park in New York City, but Central Park in Louisville is a little more intimate, perfect for a date location. Corbett’s- A cozy restaurant with high class flair and wonderful presentation, Corbett’s is sure to set the mood for your next date. The Comfy Cow- Ice cream is always a fan favorite for both men and women. It’s simple, sweet, something to share together, and the quaint interior of the Comfy Cow sets a great mood. 5 Must-Try Foods: Hot Brown- Available throughout Louisville, the Hot Brown is a Kentucky classic consisting of turkey, Mornay sauce, and various additives like bacon and others, all in an open-faced sandwich. Derby Pie- A pie mixture whose original recipe remains top secret, this chocolate nut pie is available in variations, but the original can only be found in Kern’s Kitchen. Bourbon- You can’t take a trip to Louisville, Kentucky and not sample a little Bourbon. Mint Julep- The staple drink of the Kentucky Derby, the mint julep is a mix of mint, bourbon, and sugar, sure to take the edge off. Burgoo- A stew mixture of meats and vegetables that has evolved over time into a Kentucky staple. Climate: Louisville experiences a broad range of temperatures throughout the year. The summers are warm, with temperatures consistently broaching into the 80’s (Fahrenheit), while the winters are cold with temperatures constantly sinking to at or below freezing. The nights are particularly cold in Louisville year round. The city experiences slightly more rain than the average U.S. city, with over forty inches annually. The volume of rain is highest in the spring, but stays at a relatively consistent level throughout the year. Transportation: The easiest way to travel around the city remains the roadways. Louisville sits at the intersection of many major highways including I-65 and I-71, and the town is easiest to travel around via car. For those looking for intra-city travel, the city offers buses to carry travelers around the city. The downtown areas are easy to walk around as well. Safety Precautions: Louisville, like any other destination city, should be approached with common sense. The city is safe, but some areas are more accessible to travelers than others, and visitors should always research the city and destinations before departing. Keep all itineraries in order perhaps in a travel organizer. Souvenirs: This one seems a little obvious. You have to bring back some authentic Kentucky bourbon to share with the family or friends. A small keepsake from a trip to Churchill Downs remains a classic souvenir. Trip Highlights: The visit to Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, remains the ultimate highlight of a trip to Louisville. The Louisville Slugger Museum is also fantastic, but the Derby grounds and museum will stick in your mind more than anything else. Documentation: U.S. residents do not need any special documentation to visit Louisville, but it’s always a good idea to keep personal identification on your person at all times to avoid future inconvenience. Air Travel Information: Louisville International Airport (SDF) primarily services Louisville and the surrounding area. Many major airlines service the airport, including United, American Airlines, Southwest, Delta, and more. Transportation to the airport is available via bus, taxi, limousine, shuttle, and buses for passengers.