Travel Spotlight on Louisville and Its 21 Best Attractions

Hopper's travel guide to Louisville features its top 21 attractions, restaurants and hotels, and has photos and travel tips from local bloggers.

Hopper Editors - Oct. 26, 2017

The populous and sprawling city of Louisville is hailed as the "Gateway to the South" for its place perched on great Mason-Dixon divide. It’s a city that displays a curious amalgamation of northern aristocracy and traditional American country character, all the while presenting itself as a truly remarkable, forward-thinking and exhilarating metropolis in its own right. Louisville is perhaps most famous as the home of the Kentucky Derby, a prestigious and long-running dirt track horse race that’s been attracting Central America’s high society since 1875. But away from the Churchill Downs, the city is also a capital for bourbon whiskey making, and visitors can come to taste the woody, earthy flavors of this much-loved national drink in one of the many breweries and bars that pepper its streets.

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Churchill Downs: The home of the Kentucky Derby!

Tier after tier of screaming fans and eager bet-placers flock to this grand horse track once a year for what’s considered the most tense two minutes in all of American sport. But, while tickets for the prestigious Kentucky Derby are a guaranteed to sell out each year, visitors are invited from early spring to late fall for weekly live racing sessions and other social events; the crème de la crème of Louisville’s social calendar.

Hit a home run with Babe Ruth’s Louisville slugger at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

There are a lot of wonderful attractions to check out in Louisville, and for baseball fans the top one is the the Louisville Slugger Museum. It’ll be easy to spot: just look for the giant replica of babe Ruth’s iconic Louisville Slugger propped up against the red-brick building downtown. This free-standing 230-foot long bat weighs 68,000 pounds and is the largest baseball bat in the world. Inside the museum, visitors will find a giant glove sculpture to match the bat outside, a 17-ton sculpture made from prehistoric Kentucky limestone. Baseball fans can hit the batting cages and test out replica bats of legends like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and the original Louisville Slugger Pete Browning’s bat from 1884.

From Africa to the Poles at the Louisville Zoo

Of the four major exhibits here, three have won national awards for excellence. These include the mock-up mining town "Glacier Run" display, where guests can spy out arctic mammals to boot, from majestic Polar bears to blubbery seals. The sprawling "Gorilla Forest"’ exhibition contains no less than 11 endangered lowland gorillas and two pygmy hippos.

Taste the American South at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse

Celebrating Kentucky’s undisputed title as the bourbon capital of the world, the Jim Beam American Stillhouse takes visitors on a journey through the history and processes behind one of the country’s most iconic whiskey brands. Guests are invited to explore the replica 1940s distilling house and gape into the well from where the first Jim Beam brewers pulled the glacial limestone water required to achieve the rich flavor that people love so much.

Weekly specials and an impression list of bourbon make Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge a drinker's destination

Bourbon abounds at this luxurious and stylish whiskey bar in the heart of Louisville. With more than 70 versions of brown liquor on offer, and a menu complete with all the Southern U.S classics, Maker’s Mark House and Lounge is perfect for bourbon enthusiasts and visiting foodies alike. What’s more, a healthy offering of weekly specials, from Thursday night ladies night, to regular happy hours, adds a twist of fun to every evening.

The Galt House Hotel And Suites offer everything under one roof

With around 1,300 rooms and suites located in Louisville’s stylish downtown waterfront area, it’s easy to see why the Galt House Hotel is such a popular choice for every type of traveler here. Inside the huge interior, guests will find a roster of amenities and perks such as an outdoor pool, a fully-fledged health club, hairdressers, beauty salon, spa and fine-dining options.

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