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Louisville City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do

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Louisville is known for a lot of things, especially for horse lovers and boxing fans. Home to the Kentucky Derby – one of the nation’s longest standing horse races – Muhammed Ali, the University of Louisville and its Cardinals, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, mint juleps and more, Louisville is a thriving city with plenty to keep you busy. The city’s located along the Ohio River at the rapids known as the Falls of the Ohio and remains a central location for transport and destinations between the east and the Midwest. Louisville is also home to multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Humana, Yum! Brands and Kindred Healthcare.


Louisville city highlights

Louisville is filled with many intriguing opportunities for tourists and locals alike in the mood to explore, play, learn and dine. Some of the main attractions and highlights are incredibly well-known, like Churchill Downs, while others are more along the lines of “hidden gems.” They’re all worth checking out and enjoying repeatedly during your time here.


Kentucky Derby/Churchill Downs: Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, has become synonymous with Louisville. The Derby has been held annually since 1875 at this location and provides enthusiasts of all sorts with incredible cultural moments. Think mint juleps, a fashion show and, of course, one of the world’s most renowned horse races.

Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory: Ever heard of the Louisville Slugger? Well, this city is actually its home – and if you’re keen, you can visit the museum and factory for a close-up look at the process of making world famous athlete, Babe Ruth’s, favorite bat. An exact replica of his famous 34-inch bat rests here, along with opportunities for exploration into the world of sports memorabilia and manufacturing processes of said baseball bats. Don’t forget to hit up the souvenir store on your way out, where you can purchase your own mini Slugger to take home or gift to a fellow fan.

Louisville Zoo: With over 1,500 exotic animals spread out across 134 acres, the Louisville Zoo is a must-see in the area. You’ll catch a glimpse of gorillas, tigers, polar bears, penguins, lions and more as you make your way through the many habitats created to resemble the creatures’ natural homes. You can also experience some animal interactions with camel and pony rides and parakeet and giraffe feedings.

Louisville Mega Cavern: Formerly a huge limestone quarry in the mid-19th Century, the Louisville Mega Cavern is now a top attraction in the city. The cavern encompasses about 100 acres of underground space directly below the city and you’ll find six ziplines and various bridges incorporated into zipline courses, a ropes course and a guided historic tram tour for exploring the unique under-city world.

Cave Hill Cemetery: First used in 1848, the Cave Hill Cemetery has both a historic cemetery and arboretum with over 500 trees, shrubs and plants. Several of the trees are the largest of their species in the state. There are monuments, fountains, lakes, benches and even some walking tours throughout the space at various times throughout the year.

The Louisville Palace Theatre: A prominent architect named John Eberson designed the Palace, which opened in 1928 as a movie theater. The theater has since been restored to emphasize the stunning baroque décor and stunning plasterwork and functions as a performance space with 2,800 seats.

Louisville city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters

If you’re not sure what neighborhood might best suit your needs as you move into the city or relocate within city boundaries, our Louisville city guide will help. Check out some of the most popular neighborhoods below and find out which might be the perfect choice for you.



A large meat packer still anchors the neighborhood, but Butchertown is no longer a meatpacking neighborhood. The area is now home to a wide variety of chic boutiques, the city’s first brandy distillery, tons of shopping, dining and entertainment. You’ll find cuisine of all sorts, from casual American to classic Italian and everything in between. The neighborhood is also home to the Louisville Extreme Park for skateboarding with 40,000 square feet of outdoor, concrete skating surface, wooden vert ramp and 24-foot full pipe. You’ll also find the Thomas Edison House, Hadley Pottery and other unique attractions you’ll enjoy over and over or when visitors come to town.


The Highlands

The Highlands is home to the city’s original “Restaurant Row” on Bardstown Road. The dining area is surrounded by a unique collection of quirky shops, amazing spots for local nightlife and charming Victorian architecture. The whole neighborhood has an eclectic, charming, homey feel with plenty of shipping, hiking and the Louisville Zoo around for keeping the whole family entertained and happy.


Old Louisville

One of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Louisville, Old Louisville has the largest collection of restored Victorian houses in the nation. The area was built up as a suburb in the 1870s and has nearly 48 city block’s worth of Victorian-era homes. It also happens to be the third largest Historical Preservation District in the country. Quaint bed and breakfasts are scattered throughout the neighborhood (great places to recommend to visiting friends!), beautiful old magnolias dot the streets and loads of top-notch dining fill street corners and roads with decadent delights. The neighborhood is highly walkable and charmingly welcoming.

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