1. It’s Home of the Louisville Slugger (Duh)
Source: Flickr user Lou Oms
The giants of baseball bat-ery are located right here in Lousville (in case you couldn’t tell by the name). Learning about the origins of the Louisville Slugger and their rise to prominence is a great way to spend the day for baseball fans young and old.
2. Louisville Has The Greatest Museum of All Time
Source: Flickr user Cliff
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, KY. You may have heard of him? No, he’s not the one who bit the other guy’s ear off. Show some respect--go to the Muhammad Ali Center.
3. To Go Or Not To Go To Bardstown? No Question!
Source: Flickr user Jason Meredity
Are you cool? Do you want to be cool? Do you want to be cool in your new hometown? Everything you need is right here on Bardstown, Louisville’s prominent hipster hive.
4. Also—Stay for the Street Performers
Source: Flickr user Timothy J Carroll
Hipsters love a good street performer, after all.
5. And See The Future Of American Theatre
Source: Humana Festival of New American Plays
On the other end of the performance spectrum is the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Quick, text your actor/playwright/director friend and ask if they know what the of the Humana Festival of New American Plays. If they haven’t, do them a favor and take them on a trip because it’s pretty much the place to be.
6. I Say, Look At Those Horses Run!
Source: Flickr user John Athayde
Pop on a summer hat, garb up in your fanciest Southern finery, sip on a mint julep and enjoy Derby day to the fullest!
7. Louisville’s Mega Cavern has an UNDERGROUND ZIPLINE
Source: Louisville Mega Cavern via Facebook
Um, yeah. GO.
8. Wednesday Is Waterfront Day In Louisville
Source: Flickr user Jason Meredity
The Louisville Waterfront comes alive in the spring, with musical guests rolling through—everyone from Skrillex to Willie Nelson stop by to give a performance.
9. Revel In Olmstead Beauty! REVEL!
Source: Flickr user Zepfanman.com
No matter how exhausted you are after biking, hiking, running, jogging, playing with the kids, playing with your dog, people watching, tree climbing, lake standing, Loop running, you’ll still be distracted by how darn beautiful Cherokee Park is. (Or any other park in Louisville, for that matter.)
10. Don’t Even Bother Asking If You Can Bike Anywhere
Source: Flickr user Chris
You can. To work, to play, to bike for the sake of biking. Go get on your ten speed and tear up the Louisville Loop!
11. The Best Viet-NOM-ese Food In KY
Source: Flickr user Navin75
I was going to make a crude joke about Vietnam veterans, but that would be missing the point that this is the most authentic, consistently recommended place to grab pho, spring rolls, bun buo he and flan. Ugh. So delicious.
12. Hammerheads Will Become Your New Favorite Restaurant
Source: Hammerheads via Facebook
Don’t let the semi-sub-par ambience fool you, you’re about to chow down like a professional. Elk burger, truffle fries, mac and cheese balls—it must be ravenously consumed to be believed.
13. Slap a Sandwich Together at Frank’s Meat & Produce
Source: Flickr user cookbookman17
Frank and his flunkies will get you your delicious sandwich, or fresh produce or special sauce together and in your hand in minutes. Plus, he’s a cheapskate in the best possible way— you can get select cuts like filet mignon without giving up your arm and leg.
14. Real Kentucky Fried Chicken Done Right
Source: Flickr user Edsel Little
All-you-can-eat fried chicken may be the source of the “fattest” state accolades Kentucky’s received, but, aw, who cares? Go get it at Elderdown, Chicken King, Equus and Jack’s Lounge. Honestly, anywhere but you-know-where.
15. Zanzabar Is The Place to Play
Source: Zanzabar via Facebook
Down a beer, see a band, hit that pinball again and again. Zbar is your new hangout spot with the buddies.
16. It’s A Kick in the Glass
Source: Louisville Glassworks via Facebook
If you’ve never wondered at the meticulous artisan craft of glassblowing, you haven’t lived. Fill that gaping hole in your life by taking a tour of Louisville Glassworks.
17. As If You Needed More Proof Louisville Wasn’t Your Typical Hick Town
Source: Proof on Main via Facebook
Get it? Because the amazing hotel restaurant’s name is Proof? Bring your classy Southern gents and ladies here for a fine wining and dining selection.
18. Two Words: Alcoholic Slushies
Source: Old Louisville SpringFest via Facebook
The New Old Louisville Spring Festival marks the end of the long cold winter for the booze-lovin’ kid in all of us.
19. Get A Good Buzz at Highland Coffee
Source: Highland Coffee Company via Facebook
One of the required things to know about a new town is where you’ll be enjoying a rich roast and pleasant café ambience. Step aside, any other coffee place, it’s all about Highland Coffee.
20. Actually, the Highland Area In General = A+
Source: Flickr user Seth Werkheiser
Your real estate prospects should be situated somewhere in this area.
21. Nothing Greater Than Graeter’s
Source: Flickr user stu_spivack
Yes, it's true that Graeter's is closely identified with Southern Ohio, but its enchantments extend well into Kentucky. So, let the magic of black raspberry ice cream become a part of your life. You know you want to. You will thank me and mighty ice cream deities for making it so.
22. Music-You’ve-Never-Heard-Be-Forecastle Festival
Source: Flickr user Turner Burns
A ‘Ville institution for the past few years, Forecastle Festival is three stages of surprisingly great music (like, folks you’d expect at Coachella). A bit pricey, but definitely worth a few days riding the sound waves.
23. A World of Beers to Discover
Source: Sergio’s World Beers via Facebook
Cerveza mas fina, gutes Bier, yoi biiru, goed bier... no matter how you say it, Sergio’s World Beer will have you prosting the night way.
24. Is It a Museum? Is It a Hotel? Baby, It’s Both
Source: Flickr user Scott McLeod
Imagine if the weird contemporary art bed installation at your local modern art museum allowed you to sleep in it. That’s what 21c Museum Hotel is all about—living amongst art.
25. The Impossible Exists In Louisville: A Relevant Video Rental Place
Source: Wild and Woolly Video via Facebook
They say people spend a lot more time surfing Netflix or Hulu for something to stream, which is fine, if you’re into eventually settling for something you weren’t really planning on watching in the first place. Why not let the amazing selection of Wild and Woolly Video do the legwork for you?
26. Authentic Ethnic Food In the American Heartland
Source: Ramsi’s Café on the World via Facebook
To list every fantastic ethnic restaurant in Louisville would be difficult undertaking. Well, here we go: Mt. Fuji, Al Watan, DaLat’s Gataeux and Café, La Rosita, Shah’s Mongolian Grill... *continues listing ad nauseam*
27. You Can Get Your Beatles Fix Here
Source: Abbey Road on the River via Facebook
Marking the dates in your calendar the annual Abbey Road on the River festival is a Louisville tradition. After a hard day’s night, grab a ticket to ride here, there and everywhere, twist and shout and let it be awesome. (See what I did there?)
28. Ever Had a Bourbon Ball?
Source: Flickr ser Anne Hornyak
Okay, alright, put down your suitcase, don’t bother getting things out of the truck. The first order of business is to go over to Muth’s Candy Shop. I don’t even want to see you start planting roots until you’ve experienced that.
29. Really, Though, Let’s Go Back to the Basics: Ever Had REALLY GOOD BOURBON?
Source: Flickr user Joseph Novak
While you’re at it, just go to the Maker’s Mark distillery. Or Evan Williams. Or both. If you haven’t drank there, you have no right to call yourself a whiskey aficionado.