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Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, lies on the southern banks of the Ohio River across from Indiana. You can pronounce the city’s name any way you want to, but if you wish to sound like a native, remember, the “S” is silent! In fact, it’s probably best to just let your mouth go lazy and call it “LOO-vul.” Everyone will know exactly where you mean.
It’s crazy difficult to find an unappealing spot within the state of Kentucky. The views in the Bluegrass state of undulating hills, antebellum manors and emerald lawns can’t help but enchant. The people embody that southern hospitality we all yearn for. It’s really no wonder the tea is sweet by default – that’s how everyone is here! The totally fun stuff to do rocks as well.
The city’s primary claim to fame is its annual Kentucky Derby, a weeks-long excuse to party culminating in an all day celebration where everyone cleans up nicely over a two-minute horse race. Hey, this is the South – they’ll do glamour however they wish, thankyouverymuch! Visit the website for museum information along with the scoop on attendees’ fancy garb. Is it required that the ladies wear hats and the gents summer suits? Will they be required to clean out the horse stalls if they don’t?
The best way to drink in the sights of downtown Louisville means you’ll want to traipse just over the river to Clarksville, in Indiana. Take a picnic lunch to Ashland Park and then drink in some nature exploration at the Falls of the Ohio. With whatever time you have left, hoof it over to Widow’s Walk. You can enjoy some delicious ice cream at this picturesque Victorian gem, and then work those yummy calories off straightaway thanks to Widow’s Walk’s bicycle rentals!
No less than 17 miles of underground passageways in Louisville stand ripe for exploration at Louisville’s modestly-named Mega Cavern.
Feel free to ask the staff about the difference between stalactites and stalagmites, but if geology isn’t quite your bag, you’re still in luck here. At the Mega Cavern, you can tour the joint via zipline, bike (BMX and Cross Country included), aerial ropes challenge, or tram! This is a truly unique experience since you spend the entire time underground where it’s a comfortable 60 degrees F. This haunt is so HUGE, you’ll wonder how Louisville manages not to sink in on itself. But you’ll be having way too much fun to worry about it!
She’s over 100 years old, but this stately gal can take you places you ain’t never seen before. The Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating steamboat in the world, cruises pretty frequently and features a variety of cruises dedicated towards particular interests such as day and night, stargazing, historical, and musical. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of in the steamboat era, enjoying live entertainment, outdoor observation decks, dance floor, bandstand, wheelchair accessibility to portions of the vessel, easy passenger drop-off, and nearby parking. Visit their website for cruising times on the Belle or her sister ship, the Mary M. Miller.
Get exercise and thrill to a 2.4 mile scenic loop at the award-winning Cherokee Park, set amidst tranquil rolling hills, verdant meadows and the woodlands of the Beargrass Creek valley. Pedestrians and cyclists enjoy their own lane of hassle-free pavement here. Also available are horseshoe pits, dog runs, a sprayground, and a sledding slope. Click on the link for other great parks in the city, one of which may be closer to you.
I’m always game for an interactive, immersive art experience, and you should be too when you visit Art Sparks, at the Speed Art Museum near the University of Louisville. After taking in its three sections that focus on Noticing, Making, and Talking about art, do check out the Speed with its striking exhibitions, exclusive cinema delights and frequent concerts. What a cool thing to do any day but especially on Sundays, when admission is free!
Take a Stand in Louisville with a unique way to get your cardio in. Continuing with the paddle and water theme … try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)! You literally stand on a paddleboard, paddle, and experience a low-impact adventure on Louisville’s outstanding scenic waterways. (See what I did there?) Learn the basics and take ‘er for a spin during your 2-hour intro class. Afterwards, expand your work out horizons by seeing what’s what with the SUP + Yoga offering – hope you’ve got great balance!
Adventure never quits (except seasonally) at Louisville’s exciting destination theme and water park, Kentucky Kingdom. It has over 70 extraordinary thrill rides, coasters, and arcades, and so much more. 5-D cinema is a new concept featured here; in addition to the usual three dimensions, you are the “star” of the show as you ride, not just sit, while watching the flick. If you’re into horticulture as well as high rides, be sure to take special notice the showcase landscaping. The Kingdom keeps it real with a variety of plants, flowers and shrubs, specially chosen to visually coordinate with the rides!