Dubbed “Possibility City” a few years back, Louisville is a place that truly lives up to its name and only continues to improve. Despite certain preconceptions that outsiders may hold about Kentucky’s largest city, these 11 reasons will show you there’s far more than fried chicken and bluegrass music here (although there’s nothing wrong with either). Lovers of the finest cuisines and tastiest bourbons– pack your bags! Your new home awaits you.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Kentucky Derby Festival
This week-long festival of fun is an event that all Louisvillians look forward to each year. The Kentucky Derby Festival attracts people from around the globe and builds anticipation for the most exciting two minutes in sports. It begins extravagantly with Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks display in North America. Other activities include the Great Balloon Race, The Great Steamboat Race, the Pegasus parade and many more.
2. Our Expanding Culinary Scene
One of the best things about Louisville is that you’ll never run out of places to eat, as the restaurant industry here is flourishing. It seems like new restaurants pop up every other day, each offering a unique flavor and atmosphere to enjoy on an evening out. Although we’re not a huge city, we have a surprising number of chefs here in Louisville that have been recognized nationally, and the diversity of cuisines here is amazing.
3. There’s Always Something Free To Do
No money? No problem! Our awesome community hosts many free events for everyone to enjoy, such as Waterfront Wednesday, a concert series hosted at Waterfront Park, or Shakespeare in the Park, a series of multiple theatrical productions performed on an outdoor stage in Central Park.
4. We Have The Most Beautiful Parks
Take a quiet stroll through Kentucky’s natural wildlife on one of the many paths through Cherokee Park, or a jog across the glistening Ohio River on the walking bridge at Waterfront Park. Looking for something a little more exciting? Rip out your skateboard or BMX bike and head over to the David Armstrong Extreme Park. Whether you’re into soccer, running, cycling, or skateboarding, or anything else imaginable, Louisville has countless options to enjoy the great outdoors!
5. We Have Amazing Museums
Explore Louisville’s rich history at one of the many museums we have to offer. Let your kids learn science concepts with hands-on exhibits or check out the free art museum in the lobby of the 21c Museum Hotel. Some of the other must-see museums include The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Kentucky Derby Museum, Frazier History Museum, Speed Art Museum and more!
6. We Love Fairs and Festivals
Every year, people travel from across the state and beyond to visit the festivals we hold right here in Louisville. The Kentucky State Fair, Forecastle Festival, WorldFest, and the aforementioned Kentucky Derby Festival are just a few of the largest festivals held here. Of course, they’re all filled with delicious food, great music, beautiful art, and amazing performances.
7. Louisville Loves Art
Louisville is a big supporter of the performing arts and it is a wonderful place to live whether you’re an artist yourself, or simply an appreciator. Home to Kentucky Shakespeare, Kentucky Opera, CirqueLouis, Louisville Orchestra and Louisville Ballet, Louisville would be hard-pressed to run out of shows for you to to see here. Check out our Kentucky Center for the Arts, Actors Theater of Louisville, or the Iroquois Amphitheater for upcoming performances.
8. Incredible Architecture
Louisville is such a beautiful city to live in, and even just taking a stroll or bike ride through the streets is enjoyable due to the historical buildings that remain here. Old Louisville is an excellent area to explore as it is abundant with Victorian-era architecture– the tall, intricately designed brick buildings adorned with stone carvings and stained glass windows. In fact, the Old Louisville neighborhood is the largest Victorian Preservation District in the United States.
9. We Keep Louisville Weird
Louisville loves to support local businesses, and we have a very high concentration of independent restaurants and shops across the city. Shopping and eating here isn’t a cookie-cutter experience, and you’ll feel great knowing your money is going toward local businesses. Bardstown Road in the Highlands is a great place to check out local shops, restaurants, and boutiques.
10. Beer and Bourbon
Louisville not only has plenty of bars to enjoy in your free time, but also has a number of local breweries and distilleries. Our city is the best place for those who appreciate good bourbon and craft beers. Another plus?
11. Small-Town Feel
The great thing about Louisville is that, despite the excitement of city life and the amenities that come with it, it still retains its small-town charm. The people here are warm and friendly, our communities are close-knit, and we have plenty of quiet neighborhoods that seem far away from urban life. For those of us who call Louisville home, it’s the perfect balance of a peaceful small town and a thrilling city.
Everyone has their own reasons to love this city, and I’m sure there are far more out there than I could possibly list! Let us know what your favorite part of living in the city is in the comments below or on Facebook.