Louisville Guide for Newcomers

Whether you’re visiting Kentucky for horse racing’s greatest day, the bourbon trail, or simply to soak in the city’s southern charm, Louisville has no shortage of excellent attractions. Tons to see, foods to try, and drinks to enjoy. While the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday in May each year, is undoubtedly the city’s largest day of the year, Louisville remains a popular tourist destination all year. Do you require some motivation? Here’s the Louisville guide for newcomers!

Photo of downtown Louisville Kentucky
This photo shows one of the oldest hotels in Louisville, The Seelbach. | Photo by Karthik R

What to do in Louisville?

There are a lot of things to do in Louisville, and these are our favorites!

The Bourbon Trails

No Louisville guide for newcomers would be complete without bourbon, right? For the uninitiated, in order to be called bourbon, it doesn’t have to be manufactured in Kentucky. But there’s no disputing that Kentucky is synonymous with this type of whiskey.

The Bourbon Trail, which includes more than a dozen well-known bourbon distilleries such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve, serves as a sort of whiskey choose-your-own-adventure: you choose when and where you visit to learn about the distilling process, sample samples, and learn about what makes Kentucky bourbon so special.

If you’re more interested in the dining and drinking aspects of bourbon exploration, you won’t have to travel far to sample some of the best the country has to offer. The Urban Bourbon Trail was created in 2008. It was designed to promote some of Louisville’s numerous pubs and restaurants that specialize in bourbon-based cuisine and drinks. The Louisville Visitor Center even sells a unique Urban Bourbon Trail passport. You can use it to earn stamps from the sites on the list. Fun!

The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

Louisville has long been a sports town, and its trademark baseball bats are one of their most famous symbols. The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, which currently produces over 1.8 million items, has been in business for 130 years. Learn everything about the role bats have played in baseball history, get a hands-on look at how bats are produced, see models used by Ted Williams and Babe Ruth, and see the 120-foot bat that stands guard at the factory entrance.

Drink Beer

While Kentucky is famed for its spirits (and there are numerous whiskey distilleries worth visiting right in Louisville), Derby City also boasts a booming beer culture. Against the Grain boasts a smokehouse as well as a tavern where you can sample their vast beer selection. They name their beers with very unusual names like There Goes the Neighborhood and Beerknuckle Bockser.

Alternatively, consider Gravely Brewing Co., which claims itself as the world’s first music brewery, or the female-led Apocalypse Brew Works for irreverent and experimental takes on traditional varieties. There are actually more than a dozen great breweries in Louisville that you can enjoy. Beer and ultimate game rooms are the things that guys usually desire, and you can get both in Louisville!

Muhammad Ali

We warned you that this was a sporting town! Muhammad Ali, the revered boxer, was one of the numerous celebrities who called Louisville home. The Ali Center, not only serves as a location to learn about Ali’s life but also as a center for giving back to the community in his memory via educational and personal development activities. This center is one of the city’s many tributes to Ali’s brilliance. The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum offers an inside look at the rise of a legend, complete with artifacts and guided tours of the athlete’s childhood home.

Big Four Bridge

Do you want to go cross-country? A new addition to the Louisville guide for newcomers is the Big Four Bridge. It connects Louisville, Kentucky with Jeffersonville, Indiana, by crossing the Ohio River and the state line.

Originally built as a railroad bridge in 1895, it was deactivated in the 1960s. Most recently, it was rebuilt in 2013 as a pedestrian bridge as part of Louisville Waterfront Park (one of the city’s many urban oases). It’s approximately a 2-mile round trip, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to take in some of the city’s natural splendor. For added fun, you can pay to have the bridge’s nighttime lights changed to your favorite colors. How cool is that?

Where to Stay

After doing some of those activities, you will have to rest, and luckily for you, there are some great places to stay in Louisville.

Moving to Louisville

Moving to Louisville is not a hard process if you do proper research. By using online databases like Best Cross Country Movers to find reputable movers the process will be much easier. Researching is always smart. That way you can avoid scams and losing your valuable items.

Before moving you should create an inventory list to help you track your items. It is crucial to make sure everything is there after you arrive to Louisville. On the other hand, if you don’t plan on moving to Louisville, there are many great hotels available for you.

21c Museum Hotel

Hotels are a great option as you plan your strategy. One great option is 21c Museum Hotel. Among artwork lovers, the 21c hotels (and their colorful penguins) have ended up well-known for their mixing of quirky-yet-highly-priced boutique lodge sensibilities with awe-inspiring artwork exhibition spaces, and the Louisville department is the original.

Easily noticed through the gold, multi-tale David statue out front, the lodge functions in a highly-priced, cutting-edge sense with upscale services like an on-assets spa in addition to an acclaimed restaurant. Plus there are playful touches scattered everywhere, like the well-known penguins, and artwork incorporated throughout, just like the rotating gallery area on the primary and decrease ranges with greater than 9,000 rectangular toes of the exhibition area. 

The Brown Hotel

This historic hotel, which first opened its doors in 1923, is a true Louisville icon. During its almost 100-year history, The Brown has hosted a slew of celebrities. With its Georgian-Revival façade and modern facilities (it has been awarded the finest hotel in Kentucky numerous times), it remains one of the most elegant places to stay in Louisville.

No vacation to Derby City is complete unless you stop by the location where the famous Hot Brown was invented. We’re talking about an open-face turkey sandwich topped with bacon and slathered in a creamy mornay sauce. that has become an iconic part of the city’s culinary history.

We hope you have enjoyed our Louisville guide for newcomers. Not interested in buying real estate? No worries. Feel free to contact me with other questions you might have.

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.