1. Bring Some Extra Crispy To The Colonel’s Grave
Source: Flickr user fredsharples
Colonel Sanders has other memorials around town—including a bust at the state capitol—but the most remarkable is the memorial sculpted by his daughter that marks his grave in Cave Hill Cemetery. You can pay your respect with flowers, pebbles, or go the extra mile with a bucket of extra crispy.
2. Louisville Has The Largest Bat. No, Not That Kind
Source: Caufield’s Novelty via Facebook
You probably know that Louisville has the world’s largest bat, but did you know that it also has the world’s largest bat? Ah, homonyms.
Not only can Louisville boast the world’s biggest baseball bat (attached to the Louisville Slugger Museum), the city can also boast the world’s largest fledermaus, as the Germans call the leathery-winged flying rodents, hanging from the side of Caufield’s Novelty, a party and costume store.
3. Louisville Loves Regency-Era England More Than England Does
Source: Flickr user ozimanndias8
Louisville is one literary city. Every year, they host an annual Jane Austen Festival, where lovers of the British author get together for workshops, a four-course tea, a fashion event, and a duel.
In 2014, participants broke the Guinness Book of World Record for most people dressed in Regency attire and taking part of a promenade. Take that, England.
4. What’s Better Than The Statue Of Liberty? The Statue Of Liberty With Nixon’s Face, Obviously
Source: Flickr user Local Louisville
Jerry Lotz’s house is one of the best and strangest spots in all Louisville. Packed with everything from a train caboose to Bakelite trinkets to a gigantic tire to, yes, a reproduction of the Statue of Liberty with the face of Richard Nixon.
While this space may look like a junk shop, it’s not actually open to the public—but don’t worry, gawking from the street corner is perfectly acceptable.
5. Zombies Come Out To Watch The Ball Games
Source: Flickr user Carissa Rogers
Sure, you know all about the Louisville Bats baseball team, but did you know that they now host special theme nights like Star Wars and Zombie Night? Mmm, brains. Or hot dogs. Either way.
6. Tiny Horses Sometimes Trump Big Ones Here
Source: Flickr user Jean
While the town is home to the Kentucky Derby, regular-sized horses aren’t the only equines that Louisville takes seriously. The Miniature Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair is a three-day event featuring equestrian miniature horses that compete in over 60 classes based on age, gender, and size.
7. Your Birthday Party Owes Its Soundtrack to Louisville
Source: Flickr user ND Strupler
Ever heard of a lesser-known ditty entitled “Happy Birthday To You?” Oh, you have?
Surprisingly, the song does not date to time immemorial, but was actually written by sisters Mildred Jane Hill and Patty Smith Hill, of Louisville, Kentucky. There’s even a plaque on West Main Street to commemorate their contribution to birthday parties everywhere.
8. Puppets Of Hunter S. Thompson Pop Up All Around Town
Source: Facebook user Gonzofest Louisville
Have you always wanted to hang out with an eerie, enormous puppet of Hunter S. Thompson? Louisville has you covered. A massive likeness of the famous gonzo journalist has been spotted at both Gonzofest Louisville and Forecastle Festival.
9. “Zipping Into Hell” Has Never Been This Much Fun
Source: Louisville Mega Caverns via Facebook
Ever wanted to take a zipline into hell, or at least the seemingly bottomless depths of a man-made cave?
In the Louisville Mega Caverns, you can fearlessly leap from a 70 foot tall platform into the ether, then get your adrenaline pumping all over again when you experience the cave’s aerial ropes course, the only one of its kind that exists completely underground.
10. Speak Softly And Carry A Big…
Source: Flickr user Scott Kraft
Stick, it’s a stick. The phrase was coined by Teddy Roosevelt to describe his style of foreign policy, but in Louisville, you have a chance to see Roosevelt’s real “stick”—which was actually the enormous gun he always brought with him on safari.
The Frazier History Museum hosts this iconic piece of American history, as well as Geronimo’s bow, Daniel Boone’s bible, and Jesse James’ revolver.
11. The U of L Actually Has The Best Fans In America, According To Science
Source: Flickr user David Kidd
U of L fans are the best in the United States, and that’s not an unfounded opinion: Emory University’s Sports Marketing Analytics department released a 2014 study that ranks the best fan bases in the heavy-hitting conferences of college basketball.
So while every team claims to have the best fans, Louisvillians can actually claim that spot.
12. There’s A Haunted Sanatorium In Town, Because Of Course
Flickr user Aaron Vowels
You can tour the abandoned—and allegedly very haunted—Waverly Hills Sanatorium, an old tuberculosis clinic, or get your ghost hunting on with a spooky paranormal investigation.
13. Louisville May Be Known For The Derby, But That’s Not The Town’s Only Record-Breaking Event
Source: Flickr user Dale Goodwin
Every October, the Louisville Zoo hosts the "World's Largest Halloween Party.” Although factually, the party is probably only among the largest Halloween parties in the world, the zoo’s party is legitimately massive.
What’s your favorite secret spot in Louisville? Tell us in the comments below!