Best Things To Do in Louisville
Just about everybody recommends a visit to Churchill Downs, home of the famous Kentucky Derby. And if you're not going to a race, you can at least enjoy the comprehensive Kentucky Derby Museum that sits on the grounds and details horse racing's history and traditions. More of a baseball fan? You'll want to set aside a few hours to peruse the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum and maybe even catch a minor league game at the Louisville Slugger Field. When you're ready for a Derby City history lesson, head to the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum before admiring the grand Victorian homes of Old Louisville.
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Just its name inspires romantic images of spectators dressed in their Sunday best sipping on mint juleps as thoroughbreds race past them. Recent travelers agreed – Churchill Downs, the racing facility that hosts the annual Kentucky Derby, is just as idyllic as you might have imagined. In fact, visitors said that if there's only time for one stop in Louisville, this Central Avenue racing complex is the place to go.
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To learn more about the "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports," a visit to this museum is a must. Spanning two floors, the museum uses interactive, kid-friendly exhibits to educate visitors on the horses, jockeys, well-dressed spectators and traditions of the Kentucky Derby, showcasing history that dates back to the race's inaugural running in 1875.
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Even if you're not a boxing fan, recent visitors said you should make time to see this impressive facility dedicated to legendary athlete and activist Muhammad Ali, who called Louisville his hometown. Along with memorabilia displays, historical footage and art and photo galleries, the center's permanent and temporary exhibits also touch on broader issues that were important to Ali, including race, gender equity and global citizenship.
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One of the city's more unique attractions, the 100-acre Louisville Mega Cavern, which was created out of a 19th-century limestone quarry, now houses the world's only underground zip line course. But the zip line course isn't the only activity you'll find in this subterranean adventure park – there's also a bike park, an aerial ropes course and a tram tour for those interested in a more relaxed cavern experience.
- #5View all Photos#5 in LouisvilleMuseums, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Preferred by legends like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams, the Louisville Slugger is undeniably the most famous bat in baseball. And to learn about its production, history and about baseball in general, you come to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. Highlights include a factory tour and Bud's Batting Cage, where museum patrons can hit with replica bats once used by superstars like Ruth and Williams.
- #6View all Photos#6 in LouisvilleHistoric Homes/Mansions, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHistoric Homes/Mansions, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Part of the Old Louisville historic district – America's largest Victorian neighborhood – the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum stands as a preserved example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Known as "Conrad's Castle," the mansion features lavish interior design elements like stained glass windows, parquet floors and seven different types of hardwood. Once home to two of Louisville's most prominent businessmen, Theophile Conrad and William E. Caldwell, the house is now open for tours, allowing visitors to learn about the era, the neighborhood and the families who resided here.
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Named after the popular Louisville Slugger baseball bat, this field is home turf for the minor league baseball team the Louisville Bats. Even though you may not be a devoted follower of minor league ball, recent visitors assured you'll want to catch a game while in town, especially if you're traveling with kids: Aside from the clean facilities and reasonable prices, reviewers were particularly fond of the on-site carousel (which costs just $1 to ride) and playground.
- #8View all Photos#8 in LouisvilleMonuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
According to recent travelers, this cemetery isn't a must for everyone, for obvious reasons. But if you enjoy Victorian-era art, you'll probably find these monuments and mausoleums of east Louisville interesting to behold. Recent visitors described the cemetery's atmosphere as "beautiful" and "serene" and said it's a worthy addition to your itinerary no matter the season.
- #9View all Photos#9 in LouisvilleZoos and AquariumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDZoos and AquariumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Open since 1969, the Louisville Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals across its 134 acres. Among the highlights for recent visitors were the polar bear, tiger and giraffe sightings, as well as the camel rides.
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Yet another standout site in downtown's West Main District, the Frazier History Museum is a special treat for lovers of military trivia as well as arms collectors. It's known for having an extensive collection of shields, swords, armor and medieval weaponry, plus a rifle once owned by president George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt's "Big Stick."
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