Have you ever wanted to live in a city that’s deeply rooted in history and fun traditions? Consider moving to Louisville! Not only is the largest city in Kentucky home to the famous Kentucky Derby, but it also has lush parks, family-friendly activities, and delicious meals you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Here are 16 things you should know before living in Louisville!
Home to Major Corporations
Moving to Louisville, KY to begin a new career path? You’ll find job opportunities everywhere! Not only is the unemployment rate under the national average at 3.9%, but there are also tons of employment options with major corporations throughout the entire city. Businesses like Brown-Forman, Papa John’s, Norton Healthcare, and Republic Bancorp are just a few of the top companies headquartered in Louisville.
Affordable Housing & Friendly Neighborhoods
Louisville has a median home price of $143,100 and a monthly median rent of $748, which means you’ll find your dream home within your budget in practically any Louisville neighborhood! If you’re planning to move with your family or start one in the near future, Rockcreek-Lexington Road is a great location for couples with young kids. Looking for an area with fantastic dining and nightlife? The Highlands is one of the best neighborhoods in Louisville for that! There’s also East Market District (also known as Nulu), which singles and young professionals love for its close proximity to downtown.
Terrific Schools to Choose From
There are more than 200 private and public schools scattered throughout Louisville with many ranking in the top for best schools in Kentucky. Your kids will receive a first-class private school education from institutes like Kentucky Country Day School and Louisville Collegiate School. If you’re searching for the number one high school in both Kentucky and Louisville, then you’ll want to check out duPont Manual High School! This facility excels in athletics and academics with an average ACT score of 29. Thinking about furthering your education and pursuing a degree? There are plenty of colleges that reside in this area, including University of Louisville, Bellarmine University, and Jefferson Community & Technical College.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Not sure what to do in Louisville on a beautiful, sunny day? Grab a blanket, a soccer ball, or your furry friend and enjoy one of the 120 parks that this great city has to offer! Considered to be one of the original parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (the landscape architect of Central Park), Cherokee Park is a green space loved by many for its 2.4-mile scenic loop. Waterfront Park is another local favorite, where you can align your chakras with some yoga in the morning and attend one of the many live concerts at night. Or if you want to get a nice hike in before some fishing, Iroquois Park is a perfect recreation spot!
Kentucky’s Largest Building
What was once an old mine shaft and limestone quarry has now become the largest building in Kentucky, as well as one of the best Louisville attractions. Stretching over 100 acres underneath the Louisville Zoo, the Louisville Mega Cavern is home to some of the greatest underground adventures! Soar high above the ground as you endure six, fun-filled zipline courses with Mega Zips. Or grab some friends and race through the aerial rope courses at Mega Quest. The Electric Bike Tour is perfect for those who want to explore all parts of the area while keeping their feet on the ground. If you’re looking for Louisville family fun during the Christmas season, the cavern is transformed into an underground light show with more than 850 light displays.
The Birthplace of Muhammad Ali
Born Cassius Clay Jr. and later one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali threw his very first uppercut when he was living in Louisville, KY. Today, you can visit several locations throughout the city that are devoted to carrying on this world-famous boxer’s legacy. Tour the single-story pink housethat Ali and his family lived in for 14 years. Or see where the gold-medal Olympian is laid to rest at Cave Hill Cemetery. There’s also Muhammad Ali Center, one of the most inspiring places to visit in Louisville. The museum is dedicated to the many philosophies and teachings that Ali shared throughout his life.
Explore the World of Art & History
Whether you’re an art connoisseur or have an affinity for history, there’s something for everyone at one of the many museums in Louisville! Explore interactive exhibits at Frazier History Museum, where you can learn about important Kentucky icons and see the largest miniature soldier collection. Locals and visitors rave about the 21c Museum Hotel for its installations dedicated solely to 21st century artwork. Of course, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is the place to be if you’re looking for fun things to do in Louisville with your kids. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at where the Louisville Slugger bat was created, as well as see notable artifacts from baseball history, such as one of the Louisville Sluggers Babe Ruth used.
Bring Out Your Inner Thespian at Humana
Fans of the theatre rejoice! Louisville is home to the largest internationally-renowned American playwright festival, Humana Festival of New American Plays. However, this Downtown Louisville event isn’t your typical three-day festival. For six weeks, more than 36,000 people from around the world join together to appreciate and celebrate their love for the performing arts. Throughout the course of the event, festival-goers have the chance to see one-of-a-kind plays, listen to panel conversations with famous writers and theatre trailblazers, and attend parties with great food and live music!
Roam the Corridors of a Haunted Hospital
If you’ve always been curious about the paranormal, you have to visit Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Not only is it considered to be one of the most haunted Louisville attractions, but it’s also one the of the most haunted places in the United States! This old tuberculosis hospital gained attention after appearing on shows like Ghost Hunters, Scariest Places on Earth, and Ghost Adventures. Many people claim to have felt a paranormal presence looming over them while visiting, as well as seeing apparitions and shadows of doctors that roam the tunnels. Just make sure to book a tour in advance if you’re brave to check it out for yourself!
The Place to Be for Sports
Going to a sporting event is one of the top things to do in Louisville! Watch the Louisville Cardinals men’s and women’s basketball teams shooting nothing but net at KFC Yum! Center. Or catch the Cardinals football team running into the end zone at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The Louisville Slugger Field is where you’ll find the Louisville Bats (MiLB) and Louisville City FC (USL) going head to head with their opponents. In addition, you can see the USA BMX Derby City Nationals every year at E.P Tom Sawyer Park, where Olympic athletes and professional BMX racers from all over the world come to compete. Louisville has also hosted the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, NCAA Field Hockey National Championship, and many WWE events in the past, too. So if you’re looking for college or pro sports, you’re in the right place!
It’s Called “Derby City” for a Reason
Wondering where everyone is going in those luxurious hats and pastel suits? The Kentucky Derby, of course! Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby as been the pride and joy of both Louisville and the South. People from all over the world travel to Churchill Downs for this fun-filled event to toast with mint juleps and be a part of the “greatest two minutes in sports!” You might even spot celebrities, former U.S. Presidents, and even members of the British royal family participating in the festivities for the Run of Roses. But you don’t have to wait until the spring to experience Louisville history. The Kentucky Derby Museum is open year-round!
Be Sure to Order Bourbon
If there’s one thing you need to know before moving to Louisville, it’s that Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon and has been crafting it for over 200 years. The state alone makes about 95% of the bourbon supply in the world with one-third of it being distilled right in Louisville! Not familiar with the world of bourbon? There are tons of bourbon tours for you to check out. Not to mention, they’re some of the best things to do in Louisville! You’ll find the most vibrant blends of bourbon when you travel the Urban Bourbon Trail, which is a pub crawl with more than 34 stops. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is also a favorite among locals. Whether Evan Williams on the rocks is your favorite or you prefer Pappy Van Winkle’s neat, make sure you order bourbon instead of whiskey!
Taste Test Iconic Dishes
Bourbon isn’t the only thing Louisville is known for! You might think that Kentucky Fried Chicken is a major food staple here, but this city is full of iconic dishes that you can’t get anywhere else. Order a famous Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel, which is an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich baked to a crisp and topped with tomatoes. Benedictine (made up of cream cheese, cucumber, and green food coloring) is a unique and prominent dish that many enjoy during the Kentucky Derby. For the ultimate Louisville comfort food, sink your spoon into a hearty bowl of Burgoo. You can find this pork or mutton stew at places like Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse, The Eagle, and Mark’s Feed Store. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth after trying all these savory dishes, cut yourself a big slice Derby Pie from Kern’s Kitchen.
Experience Fourth Street Live
Dine, drink, play, and more at the ultimate destination in Downtown Louisville: Fourth Street Live! This entertainment hub is one of the most exciting places in the city and offers some great places to eat. Bourbon Raw specializes in all things bourbon and southern-inspired shellfish. If you’re a fan of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, then you have to eat at Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse! Locals and visitors love to indulge in the Trash Can Nachos and Pit Smoked Pig Wings here! Looking to get those cowboy boots dancing? PBR Louisville is a weekend hot spot that’s perfect for two-stepping, bull riding, and sipping a cold beer. Or attend a free concert during the summer concert series. You’ll find everything from live Louisville entertainment to delicious eats when you hang out at Fourth Street Live!
Try a Different Bar Every Weekend
Trying to figure what to do in Louisville on a Friday night? Whether you’re in the mood to show off your vocals at karaoke or have a quiet evening with friends, there are tons of bars scattered throughout the city for you to experience! Located inside the 21c Museum Hotel, Proof on Main is one of the best Louisville bars. Taste over 100 different types of wine and bourbon as you travel through this bar-turned-art-exhibit. Zanzabar (also known as Z-bar) is a local favorite for their vintage arcade games, bourbon menu, and live music. If you’re looking to channel your inner Beyonce or indulge in freshly-made watermelon margaritas, then Big Bar is a must! There’s also Hell or Highwater, which is a speakeasy-styled bar ideal for a quiet night out.
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