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Louisville Travel Guide


Louisville Introduction


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Louisville, Kentucky, is a charming old river town. Rich with Victorian architecture and a legendary reputation for horses, bourbon and bluegrass music, Louisville also cherishes its extensive city park system.   Click here to see the full Louisville travel guide on Travel42 »

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Louisville Geography


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Centered along the northern border of Kentucky, Louisville sits on the southeast bank of the Ohio River in the Bluegrass Region. However, don't look for blue grass when visiting—the term applies to a variety of grass originally used in the area's pastures. The soil is limestone based, and therefore rich in calcium, the secret to strong bones in slender Thoroughbred legs. Louisville is bordered by the river to the north and west, and it is surrounded by a ring of hills called the Knobs in all oth...  Click here to see the full Louisville travel guide on Travel42 »

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Louisville History


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Founded in 1778 by Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark, Louisville was named for King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his assistance in the war. The city's river location has long been its key to growth. As the steamboat became a new mode of industrial transportation in the early 1800s, Louisville became a hive of industrial activity, and then an important supply and operations base for the Union army during the Civil War. Successive waves of immigrants from Ireland, Germany and Italy arrived in the city by riverboat, establishing a variety of businesses, including factories, breweries, restaurants and bars.  Click here to see the full Louisville travel guide on Travel42 »

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Louisville Sightseeing & Things to Do


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The landmark that most people associate with Louisville is Churchill Downs, the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby has been run since 1875. Even if you aren't in town for the race, you should still make a trip to the track and visit the beautiful Kentucky Derby Museum, which may actually be more fun than the race itself. You'll quickly come to grips with the race's mystique—as one commentator observed, in the Derby a horse has only two minutes out of its whole lifetime to prove itself. Because only 3-year-olds run in the race, a horse has only one shot at winning.   Click here to see the full Louisville travel guide on Travel42 »

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Louisville Nightlife


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Although many people have bluegrass music and bourbon associated with Louisville in their minds, the city offers a much more varied nightlife. Those yearning for a taste of Ireland will find it in one of the many pubs, a legacy left by the city's large Irish population. Meanwhile, revelers looking to dance the night away have several options. Music lovers can chill out with some blues at Stevie Ray's.  Click here to see the full Louisville travel guide on Travel42 »

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Louisville Restaurants & Dining


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The one local dish everyone will insist you sample is the Hot Brown, which was invented at Louisville's Brown Hotel: It's an open-faced sandwich of sliced turkey, cream gravy, melted cheese and bacon. Some locals refer to it as a "heart attack on a plate." Be sure to sample other traditional Kentucky favorites such as country ham, fried chicken, beaten biscuits, hickory-smoked barbecue and spoon bread. We're especially fond of burgoo—a stew of multiple meats (sometimes made with rabbit) and vegetables. Try it at the Kentucky Derby Museum's cafeteria.   Click here to see the full Louisville travel guide on Travel42 »

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