Top 10 Louisville Stereotypes That Are 100% True

“Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them.” -Forest Whitaker

But what if they are true? Or, partially kinda sorta maybe true? Well, in order to know for yourself, you have to experience it.  For the past 48 years, I’ve experienced Louisville, Kentucky so I can attest, that the following 10 Louisville stereotypes are 100% true… or at least 99.9%.

#10 Shoes Are Optional

10 Louisville Stereotypes: bare feet

It’s not that we don’t own shoes, it’s that when it’s a beautiful May afternoon, the sun is shining and we’re out enjoying some fresh air at one of Louisville’s incredible parks, why would you wear shoes?

If someone from “up north” frowns on our carefree attitude towards footwear… that’s on them. There’s a time and place for everything under the sun and when you’re under the sun, barefoot at the park is all the better.

#9 Most of Us Aren’t Wealthy

10 Louisville Stereotypes: St James Art Fair

Year after year our state lands near the bottom of the income rankings. But the city of Louisville has the highest income in the state, in fact, we are ranked in the Top 100 of the U.S.. Take that!

Combine that with our low cost of living and we’re actually better off financially than most of the cities above us in the rankings. Not too shabby, huh?

#8 We’re Proud of our Derby

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Kentucky Derby

You’ve heard of the Kentucky Derby, right? The greatest 2 minutes in sports? Yeah, that’s us—Louisville.

What began in 1875 as a humble horse race has grown to the world’s most prestigious horse event. It’s also grown from a 2-minute sprint to a more than 2-week event called the Kentucky Derby Festival.

Now we have parades, steamboat races, balloon glows, all-star basketball games, and more. If you’re thinking about a visit, schedule it for the first week of May!

#7 Louisville Lacks Education

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Education

Forbes says that Ann Arbor is the most educated city in America, followed by a couple of cities in North Carolina.

This dovetails with the rankings published by Wallethub where Louisville didn’t rank in the Top 20 or Top 50 cities, but we did land in the Top 100!

Bet you didn’t know that 5 of the least educated cities in America are in California. At least we’re not Las Vegas, deemed the worst city for education by Parenting magazine.

#6 There’s Rural, Then There’s RURAL

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Horses

People who have never been to Louisville have that hillbilly stereotype in their mind. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Now, when you traipse across the county line and start moving into some of our neighboring towns, things do get more rural. So actually, it’s the best of both worlds in that you get to pick the lifestyle that you want: urban, suburban, or country. It’s your call!

#5 People Talk Differently Here

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Different ways to say Louisville

There’s no “right” way to say Louisville. You’ll hear them all!

  • LOO-uh-vuhl
  • LOO-ee-vil
  • LOO-ih-vuhl
  • LOO-iss-vil
  • LUH-vuhl

But I think we all know the first one is right. *wink*

#4 It’s Really as Beautiful Here as the Photos

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Beautiful parks

We live in a beautiful country. From the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters… You get the gist.

But here in Louisville, you get a taste of a lot of different scenic sights. We’ve got lakes galore, incredible forests, and even some smallish mountains. Mammoth Caves is just minutes away and I haven’t even mentioned the Ohio River! Did I say that Louisville is the City of Parks? Yeah, we’re pretty great.

#3 Fine Food Is Becoming Our “Thing”

You can find Fine Dining and Great Casual Food in Louisville

More than the famous Hot Brown, Louisville is building a foodie reputation. From Zagat to Travel + Leisure, critics who know food are calling Louisville a hidden gem for fine cuisine.

The surging NuLu district is adding to the bounty of amazing restaurants already speckled throughout the city. Just ask Steve Coomes, a National food critic who routinely raves about some of our city’s fine dining experiences.

#2 Louisville Loves Bourbon

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Bourbon is Big

What the world is learning, Louisville already knew. Bourbon is really, really good. Even better, Louisville is right in the heart of Bourbon Country!

Technically bourbon is a whiskey but true connoisseurs know better. There’s a reason that Pappy Van Winkle is now selling for $1,500 a bottle.

#1 Basketball Is King

10 Louisville Stereotypes: Louisville Cardinals basketball

While Louisville may be better known nationally for the Kentucky Derby and horse racing, we all know that college basketball is king. Why else would they schedule the Derby comfortably after March Madness?

Who knows if Louisville will ever get another NBA team? Sides are split as to whether pro basketball could co-exist with the fanatics that follow college basketball year round but an argument could be made that it would be a match made in heaven.

10 Louisville Stereotypes Wrap-Up

So now you know. Not all stereotypes are true, or are they? Maybe you should tell me? Here’s hoping you enjoy this piece!