Louisville is full of unexpected combinations. Though not technically part of the South (depending on who you ask), it’s famed for its Southern hospitality and hearty cooking. And while it may be Kentucky’s largest and most entertaining city, it has a small-town feel. Spend your days wandering leafy parks, farmers’ markets, and the historic Victorian neighbourhood. Then head downtown for live music and bourbon – Kentucky’s most beloved beverage since 1776.
Art lovers can explore museums and galleries, while foodies take their pick from Louisville’s many award-winning restaurants. Credited with dishes like the Hot Brown sandwich and chicken fried steak, Louisville’s the place to be for tucking in. There’s derby pie made of walnuts and chocolate, crispy rolled oysters (deep-fried and as big as baseballs) and beer cheese, which is exactly what it sounds like. Louisville’s breakfast diners serve up showstoppers like biscuits with chorizo gravy or lemon soufflé pancakes, while orchard, vineyard and mint julep tours let you continue your culinary journey in the rolling hills of the Bluegrass Region.
When to go?
Autumn brings fresher temperatures, golden light, and crunchy red leaves. It’s also Halloween season, so Old Louisville is packed with haunted houses and spooky walking tours. Springtime is equally wonderful for a trip, as the hills turn green and blooming dogwood trees line country lanes.
Where to stay?
Hyatt Regency Louisville – Louisville, KY
This hotel is smack in the middle of downtown, meaning you’re within walking distance of the best shops and restaurants – and the start of the Urban Bourbon Trail. You can dine with convenience at the on-site restaurants, including Sway, which features a farm-to-table menu, while Einstein Bagels is a quick spot for breakfast.
Galt House Hotel – Louisville, KY
Galt House Hotel is right next to the Ohio River, so many of their bright, comfy rooms feature waterfront views. This place is all about ease, from its downtown location to its many restaurants and bars. Bourbon fans don’t even have to leave the hotel, with Jockey Silk’s Bourbon Bar and Lounge serving up over 150 brands.
Embassy Suites Louisville Downtown – Louisville, KY
Located right next to the Fourth St. Live! Entertainment district and Whiskey Row, this historic building is an ideal base for nights out on the town. And when you wake up the next morning, you can feast on your made-to-order breakfast.