Louisville travel guide

Derby City

Louisville Tourism | Louisville Guide

You're Going to Love Louisville

You don't have to love horse racing, Bourbon or boxing to adore Louisville (but it helps). This fun-loving, freewheeling city in Kentucky is one of the friendliest around. Although it really comes into its own during Derby Week (in early May), Louisville entices and entertains visitors almost all year-round.

Few experiences can compare with the Kentucky Derby. Aside from the race itself and the festival crowds, it sees the streets of Louisville erupt into a carnival of color and sporting contests, from a marathon to steamboat races and balloon competitions.

If the festival isn't underway, don't worry. You can have just as much fun touring Louisville's distilleries, dining on Hot Brown sandwiches at the Bellevue Brewing Company or visiting great museums like the Muhammad Ali Center. In fact, you'll never be bored in Louisville, one of America's finest destinations for an urban getaway.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Louisville

What to do in Louisville

When to Visit Louisville

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If you intend to watch the Derby or the many festival attractions, Festival Week in early May is the time to go. For everyone else, it's a nightmare, with very little accommodation. If you just want to enjoy everything Louisville has to offer, travel in April or September and October. High summer can be a little oppressive, with high heat and humidity, but the shoulder seasons are a lovely time to visit.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Louisville

How to Get to Louisville

Airlines serving Louisville

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Where to Stay in Louisville

Generally, Louisville is an easy city in which to book high-class accommodation, and the rates are low. But if you aim to stay while the Kentucky Derby is in full swing, book months in advance to be sure of a room. Some of the best high-end hotels in town include the Hyatt Regency, the Brown Hotel and the spacious Seelbach Hotel. The Ramada Downtown provides comfortable rooms at the mid-range level, while suburban motels like the Motel 6 and Microtel Inn are a good budget choice.

Popular Neighborhoods in Louisville

Where to stay in popular areas of Louisville

Most booked hotels in Louisville

How to Get Around Louisville

The Cost of Living in Louisville

Shopping Streets

Several areas of Louisville are full of independent stores, including NuLu, Highlands and Clifton. NuLu is the place to head for boutiques, with popular outlets like the jewelry maker Gifthorse, the beauty products store Bays and the home design studio Mahonia. If you are looking for vinyl records, head to Underground Sounds in Highlands, while All Booked Up in Bardstown is the best bookstore in town. The Oxmoor Center is the largest conventional mall in the area, featuring big names like Apple, Macy's and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Groceries and Other

If you are self-catering and want to save money, the best place to head is probably your local Kroger's branch (there are 35 or so in Louisville so there should be one nearby). However, you might want to check out Bardstown Road Farmers Market as well, which is open all year-round, every Saturday. Grocery prices are reasonable by US standards. A gallon of milk will cost about $2.70, while a bottle of wine costs $10 or so.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
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A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
C$ 56.03
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket
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C$ 3.61

Where to Eat in Louisville

If you want to try an authentic Louisville speciality, go for a Hot Brown sandwich (open-faced with turkey, bacon and mornay sauce). The best in town are probably served by the Bellevue Brewing Company. Other than that, diners have plenty of choice in Louisville. Gourmet European dishes are served at Volare and Artemisia, Shalimar is an excellent Indian restaurant, while you can't go wrong with the price or quality of the simple meals at Juanita's Burger Boy Diner. Expect to pay $10 or less for a sandwich, $15 for a mid-range meal and more than $35 at high-end restaurants.

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