Louisville Tourist Information and Tourism

(Louisville, Kentucky - KY, USA)

Louisville, actually pronounced 'Lew-a-vul' rather than 'Looey-vill', stands on the banks of the scenic Ohio River, in the state of Kentucky (KY). Now merged with Jefferson County, Louisville is famous for its enormous Kentucky Derby horse racing event each year and was founded in 1778, being named after French King Louis XVI.

With an important river port, Louisville has long been a wealthy city and modern skyscrapers contrast with historic architecture in downtown Louisville. Home to many national parks, caves and caverns, free downtown trolleys and a waterfront riverwalk, other major tourist attractions in Louisville include theme parks, museums and steamboat river cruises.

Hotels in Louisville are in good supply and can be found throughout the city center, being concentrated around 4th Avenue, Blairwood Road, Embassy Square Boulevard, Shelbyville Road and along West Broadway. Further hotels are close to Louisville International Airport (SDF), which stands just 6 miles / 10 km from the city center. More information about Louisville Hotels.

Tourism in Louisville has become an important part of city life and the main tourist information center is the Louisville Visitor Center on South 4th Street. This outlet offers local Kentucky knowledge about regional attractions, opening times, where to stay and eat, and also events and festivals, indepth tourism is available for the main areas of the city, such as Louisville's Churchill Downs, the Highlands District and the Old Louisville Historic District.

Louisville has an array of popular tourist attractions, including the Kentucky Derby - Louisville's major horse racing event, dating back to 1875; Louisville Science Center - full of engaging interactive exhibits, educational displays and an IMAX theater; Louisville Zoo - containing more than 1,300 animals, including a Gorilla Forest and rare white alligator; and Louisville's Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium - hosting various events, including astronomy and laser shows.

Other major tourist attractions in Louisville include Brennan House Historic Home - an impressive Victorian mansion in downtown Louisville, built in 1868; Louisville Courthouse - a striking white building, with Greek-inspired columns and palace-like architecture; Little Loomhouse - with a large collection of historic log cabins and information about the local craft of weaving; Thomas Edison House - an import shrine to Thomas Edison, celebrating his many contributions to the world of science; Louisville's Whitehall - a grand, antebellum-style mansion built in the mid-19th century, with an equally impressive interior; and a number of notable parks and gardens, such as Louisville's Cherokee Park, Chickasaw Park and Waterfront Park. More information about Louisville Tourist Attractions and Louisville Landmarks.

Some of the best museums and art galleries in Louisville include Colonel Harland Sanders Museum - celebrating the history of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), with information and memorabilia about this fast-food empire; the Kentucky Derby Museum - full of information all about the great Kentucky Derby, which attracts thousands of visitors to Louisville each year; the Louisville Slugger Museum - a fascinating baseball museum, not just for sporting enthusiasts; the Portland Museum - with detailed information about the Ohio River and prominent architecture in Louisville; the Kentucky Center for the Arts - hosting many different exhibitions throughout the Louisville calendar; and the Kentucky Museum of Art Craft - showcasing some of the finest examples of Kentucky's impressive art heritage. More information about Louisville Museums and Louisville Art Galleries.

Tourist attractions near to Louisville include Bardstown - a picturesque Kentucky town, known for its bourbon distilleries and whiskey museum; the Farmington Historic House - an impressive, restored house, designed by Thomas Jefferson in the early 19th century; Fort Knox - around 30 miles / 48 km to the south of Louisville, housing America's nine-million pound gold reserve; the Mammoth Cave National Park - around two hours drive from Louisville, with an incredible 350 miles / 576 km of passages and caverns; and Zachary Taylor National Cemetery - now a popular tourist attraction, containing the final resting place of US President Zachary Taylor. More information about Louisville Attractions Nearby.

More Louisville Information / Fast Facts and Orientation