Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/traxlergirlOhio River. Louisville is a City of Bridges! Border of Indiana state line. Seen giant mural of MCherokee Park, Louisville Ky.Cherokee Park, Louisville Ky.LouisvilleHoliday Inn - Family Reunion 2013View from Big Four BridgeBig Four Bridge

Families will love:

  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
  • Underground zip lines at Louisville Mega Cavern
  • Qannik the polar bear cub at the Louisville Zoo

Sitting pretty on the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville lies in north-central Kentucky, peering right over the water into neighboring Indiana. Named for King Louie XVI of France, the largest city in Kentucky is often jokingly referred to as the nation's northernmost southern city or southernmost northern city. Either way you want to look at it, it's a mix of both ... more
Sitting pretty on the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville lies in north-central Kentucky, peering right over the water into neighboring Indiana. Named for King Louie XVI of France, the largest city in Kentucky is often jokingly referred to as the nation's northernmost southern city or southernmost northern city. Either way you want to look at it, it's a mix of both cultures that allows most any visitor to feel at home.

While there are no major league professional sports in town, baseball fans will appreciate the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, where the world's largest bat is propped right outside the entrance. It's no wonder that Louisville has a minor league baseball team called the Bats (who play, of course, at Louisville Slugger Field). Even so, the biggest sporting event in this town is undoubtedly horse racing. Each May, Louisville hosts the Kentucky Derby, "the most exciting two minutes in sports." (By the way, parents into the ponies will be pleased to know that during the spring and fall racing seasons, the Junior Jockey Club at Churchill Downs entertains kids 12 and under every weekend with crafts, games, and appearances by the Downs' cartoon mascot, Churchill Charlie.)

Louisville is lauded for its 120 parks, including the nation's largest urban forest (Jefferson Memorial Forest, at 6,000-plus acres) and the 85-acre Waterfront Park downtown. Downtown is also home to Museum Row on Main, a group of nine attractions within a four-block radius. Purchase a ticket at any one of these establishments (which include the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Louisville Science Center), and you'll save a dollar on your admission at the next one you visit. Also part of Museum Row is the Muhammad Ali Center, honoring the native son and heavyweight boxing champ. The spirit of another famous resident, Colonial Sanders of KFC fame, is fondly recalled in what is now a popular restaurant named for his wife, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House.

Speaking of historic eats, don't blow town without trying the two traditional dishes Louisville is most famous for. The hot brown (so named because it was first served at the Brown Hotel in 1926) is an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich with Mornay sauce, while Derby Pie is chock full of pecans and chocolate chips with a tame but tasty touch of Kentucky bourbon.

Written by Katy Koontz less

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