Located on the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville is Kentucky's largest city. The eyes of the world are on Louisville each year when the "fastest two minutes in sports", the Kentucky Derby, is run here. Tourism ads will tell you there are over 90 attractions and 2,500 restaurants. There are museums, galleries, concert halls and nightclubs in abundance. But there are also opportunities to experience nature in the big city and plenty of outdoor recreation as well.
See where the horses run at Churchill Downs, home of the derby and visit Kentucky Derby Museum to see exhibits on the famous race. Take a break and enjoy nature nearby at Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve, right in town, and Louisville Nature Center with 41 acres of flora and fauna. E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in town offers 500 acres with swimming, hiking and tennis.
Head over to the river to visit Waterfront Park for biking or jogging. Hop aboard the Belle of Louisville, oldest operating steam paddle wheeler in the country for a river cruise. The Spirit, docked at downtown Louisville Wharf, is a replica riverboat offering lunch and dinner cruises. Explore 200 years of the city's river history at Portland Museum.
Take a horse-drawn carriage tour along Main Street and visit Kentucky Museum of Arts & Craft with the works of over 500 artists on display; Louisville Science Center & IMAX Theatre, with three floors of hands-on exhibits; Louisville Slugger Museum, home of the world's biggest baseball bat and bat factory tour; and Frazier Historical Arms Museum, with an amazing display of arms and armor. Muhammad Ali Center opened in Fall 2005 and details the life of Louisville's most famous citizen.
Stop by Louisville Zoo to see pygmy hippos and lowland gorillas. Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium at the University of Louisville lets visitors see stars and enjoy laser shows. Louisville is also home to many historic houses including the ornate 1895 Conrad-Caldwell House Museum, Farmington Historic Home (designed by Thomas Jefferson) and Locust Grove, 1790 home of Revolutionary War hero General George Rogers Clark.
A sample of Louisville nightlife includes Actors Theatre of Louisville, presenting drama, comedy and musicals. Or try 4th Street Live!, an open air entertainment district featuring shops, restaurants and nightclubs. Kentucky Center for the Arts features opera, ballet and symphony orchestra. Comedy Caravan presents national touring professional comedians. Take in a Louisville Bats Pro Baseball game (AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds).
Dining options are many in Louisville and range from rolled oysters at Mazzoni's Oyster Cafe to fine Italian fare at Vincenzo's.
Louisville is located on the Ohio River in central Kentucky about 110 miles southwest of Cincinnati, OH. Take I-71 south to I-64 west.