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Kentucky's largest city, Louisville (say it either Loo-uh-vul or Looey-ville) sits on the southeast bank of the Ohio River across from Indiana. It's about 100 miles west of Lexington.
Louisville is best known for hosting the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday in May every year. It's all but impossible to get tickets to the Derby, but Churchill Downs is open other times of the year when it's not nearly as crowded.
With American Airlines flights to Louisville, it's easy to experience the many fascinating sides of this famous Bluegrass State locale. For example, in addition to hosting the Kentucky Derby every May and being the home of the renowned Louisville Slugger baseball bat, it is also home to the nation's largest urban forest and has more than 120 parks. The list of things to do in Louisville is surprisingly rich, and you can plan a trip that suits your interests perfectly.
Of course, any list of activities in Louisville must include a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is located next to the hallowed Churchill Downs. A 360-degree high-definition multimedia show makes you feel as if you are there on the first Saturday in May, complete with thundering hooves. You'll also find exhibits capturing the history and pageantry of the racing tradition, and museum admission even includes a guided tour of Churchill Downs.
In addition to horse racing, Kentucky is known for its fine bourbon, and touring the Urban Bourbon Trail is another of the can't-miss things to do in Louisville. To fully experience the Trail, pick up a passport at the Visitor's Center in downtown Louisville. The Urban Bourbon Trail is primarily in downtown, and includes stops at the city's most revered bourbon bars and restaurants, where experts will educate you on the art of bourbon appreciation as well as fill you in on its history. Over a third of the world's supply of bourbon is crafted in Louisville, so the city certainly knows its stuff.
Add a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to your list of activities in Louisville. You'll see how the bats are made and even get to see the bats used by legends such as Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth. Louisville has been crafting bats since 1884, and even now the official bats of Major League Baseball are made here.
All of the above are things that one simply must include on a trip here, especially if it's your first. A few lesser known things to do in Louisville are, however, equally deserving of your time. For example, Museum Row (formerly known as Whiskey Row back in the day) is a stretch of historic Main Street that is home to not only the aforementioned Louisville Slugger Museum, but also the Muhammad Ali Center, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, the Frazier History Museum, the Glassworks and the Louisville Science Center. And that's just a partial list! It's well worth spending a day exploring here.
Other highlights of the city include the Louisville Mega Cavern, a former limestone quarry that covers 100 acres. It features an underground tram ride and the world's only underground zip line. You can also experience the city's outdoor beauty and enviable location on the Ohio River with a visit to Waterfront Park. It includes 85 acres for walking, hiking, picnicking or simply exploring -- and it's also where many of the city's year-round festivals take place.
There truly is something for everyone here to enjoy! Make plans to fly to Louisville with American Airlines today.
Prices shown are round-trip fares, including taxes and carrier-imposed fees. Advertised travel may be operated by an American Eagle or an American Connection carrier. American Eagle® service is operated by American Eagle Airlines, Inc., SkyWest Airlines, Inc., ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., or Republic Airline Inc. American Connection® service is operated by Chautauqua Airlines, Inc.
|Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow||Jan 2014 (annual)||Kentucky Exposition Center|
|Thunder Over Louisville||Apr 2014 (annual)||Louisville|
|Kentucky Derby Festival||Apr - May 2014 (annual)||Louisville|
|Kentucky Derby||May 2014 (annual)||Churchill Downs|
|The Great Steamboat Race||May 2014 (annual)||Ohio River|
|Pegasus Parade||May 2014 (annual)||Louisville|
|Blues-n-Jazz Bar BQ Festival||Jul 2014 (annual)||Water Tower|
|Lebowski Fest||Jul 2014 (annual)||Louisville|
|St James Court Art Show||Oct 2014 (annual)||Louisville|
|World's Largest Halloween Party||Oct 2014; Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sun only (annual)||Louisville Zoo|
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