Louisville is the home of the Kentucky Derby along with the two week Derby Festival, which incudes the Thunder Over Louisville air show including a day long party on the Belvedere, with a fireworks extravaganza at night, the Great Steamboat Race, the Pegasus Parade, hot-air balloon events, marathon races, and many more events not to be missed!
Louisville was originally settled on now disappeared Corn Island at the Falls of the Ohio River. That river, a mile wide downtown, provides an inland waterway for commercial barge traffic and great pleasure boating experiences. The fossil bed in the exposed rocks of the falls, located across the river, are thousands of years old.
Louisville is home for several universities and colleges. Louisville has a number of fabulous museums and historic sites for those interested in art, history, and science. There is the Children’s Museum and there is even a Bat Museum, where the Louisville Slugger baseball bats are manufactured. For art lovers, you will enjoy a visit to the Speed Art Museum. For boxing fans of “The Greatest”, there is the Muhmad Ali Museum. Of course there is also the Kentucky Derby Museum. Louisville and the surrounding area has over 20 museums and galleries. Louisville has its own ballet company and has a great symphony orchestra. Several music festivals are held here; and you can hear a mix of music from pop to jazz to bluegrass and all that is in between at different locations around town. Other performance venues include Actors Theater, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, the Iroquois Amphitheater, and Central Park’s Shakespeare in the Park summer festival.
If you enjoy other sports besides horse racing, come see the Louisville Bats play baseball. For basketball fans, the University of Louisville Cardinals basketball team is usually ranked at or near the top of the NCAA. A new soccer stadium is under construction to host the Louisville City Football Club. There is also fall horse racing at Churchill Downs.
Louisville is a central beginning point for cave tours, like Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and Squire Boone Cavern in southern Indiana. Near the Zoo, Louisville has its own Mega Cavern, the Louisville Underground Cavern with underground ziplines and a seasonal drive through at Christmas. Louisville is also a starting place for tours of bourbon distilleries. There are several large city parks, some designed by Frederick Olmstead. Near these parks are beautiful neighborhoods, each with unique in architectural style and community interests. A development of a series of linked together parks is being developed, which when completed will surround much of the city. There you can picnic, hike and bike; and there are playgrounds for the kids.
Louisville hosts the Kentucky State Fair each August. Ford and General Electric operate large manufacturing plants in the city, which offer interesting tours. There are historic and modern hotels, in which the architecture, décor and views of the city enhance the stay. A variety of restaurants offer distinct dishes to please anyone’s pallet. Happy travels!
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