- Where the Locals Go
Michelle’s Louisville, Kentucky
Hello city-lovers! We’re heading south for today’s city–Louisville, Kentucky. IT reader Michelle Ray is proud of her “mid-sized city with a small-town feel and big-city dreams.” Read on (and check out her blog) for her Louisville (pronounced Lou-a-vull) picks.
Louisville is My City
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to The Highlands for shopping, dining and nightlife.
When I crave delicious Asian cuisine, I always go to the all-vegetarian Zen Garden.
To escape stress and car exhaust fumes, I head to Bernheim Forest Bernheim Forest near Clermont, Kentucky.
If I want to go camping and hiking, Louisvillians go to the Red River Gorge.
For complete quiet, I can hide away in my apartment with a good book from one of our public libraries.
If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the “big bat” in front of Slugger Museum.
If you have to order one thing off the menu from The Bristol, it has to be the green chili wontons.
Swags is my one-stop shop for great running gear.
Locals know to skip franchise restaurants and check out “Louisville Originals” like Ramsi’s, Mayan Café and Café Lou Lou instead.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to Slugger Field for $1 beers and a Louisville Bats game on “Thirsty Thursdays.”
For a huge splurge I go to Mojito’s for tapas, good conversation…and, well, mojitos!
Photo ops in my city include a colorful panoramic shot of downtown after dusk, and the best vantage points are across the river at the Falls of Ohio.
If my city were a celebrity, it’d be Colonel Sanders.
Though no longer with us, he was a gentleman with a drive to succeed and an innovator with ample pride for Kentucky. Plus, he’s buried in Cave Hill Cemetery, which is located in Louisville.
The most random thing about my city is that, while we’re near the Bible Belt, our bars and nightclubs keep the liquor flowing until 4 a.m.
My city has the most Catholic, bourbon-drinking men.
My city has the most Catholic, bourbon-drinking women.
In my city, an active day outdoors involves a run through hilly, scenic Cherokee Park, followed by Frisbee with your dog on Dog Hill (and, of course, letting him romp and roll with other canines).
My city’s best museum is the 21c Museum Hotel.
My favorite jogging/walking route is Iroquois Park because it’s embraced by beautiful trees and less populated than the other city parks.
For a night of dancing, go to a salsa party or 4th Street Live if you’re looking for something more mainstream. Or, for live music, check out our vibrant music scene at venues like the Louisville Palace, Brown Theatre, Headliners, Uncle Pleasant’s. There’s always live music in this city from rock to bluegrass!
Spinelli’s is the spot for late-night eats with its delicious pizza and (after 4 a.m.) beer selection.
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer) or go online to the MetroMix.
You can tell a lot about my city from its Southern hospitality, where people with white hair or pink hair say “hello” to strangers.
You can tell if someone is from my city if one of their first questions asked is “What high school did you go to?” (It’s a Louisville thing, seriously.)
In the spring, you should experience the Humana Festival of New American Plays Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre in March.
In the summer, you should head down to 91.9 WFPK’s Waterfront Wednesdays and watch great local, regional and national acts for free.
In the fall you shouldn’t miss St. James Art Fair, which draws thousands of people to Louisville in October.
In the winter, you should warm up with the seasonal beers at Bluegrass Brewing Co. and Cumberland Brewing Co. (two fantastic local breweries!).
A hidden gem in my city is Vernon Lanes,Vernon Lanes, which was built in 1886, and offers bowling, beer, live music and a great atmosphere for a night out with your friends.
For a great breakfast joint, try Toast. They have amazing French toast…hence the name!
Don’t miss the Forecastle Festival in June, the annual Midwest symposium for musicians, artists and environmentalists.
Just outside my city, you can visit the Bourbon Trail — touring distilleries such as Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve (my personal favorite).
- Nat Geo Expeditions
The best way to see my city is by automobile since Louisvillians claim that they can drive anywhere within 20 minutes…but it’s best by foot when downtown or wandering around the Highlands or Crescent Hill.
If my city were a pet it would be an average-energy dog average-energy dog — playful and eager, but at times so predictable and languid.
If I didn’t live in Louisville, I’d live on the West Coast.
The best book about my city is Capture Kentuckiana, a coffee table book that encapsulates the essence of our city and area through local photographers’ lenses.
When I think about my city, the album “Louisville is for Lovers“
comes to mind since it’s a compilation disc featuring “love” songs by all local artists. Louisville has a great music scene, and My Morning Jacket are our current music ambassadors.
If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Great Balloon Glow, where children see the hot air balloons that will race the next morning (all part of the Kentucky Derby Festival).
The Kentucky Derby could only happen in my city.
My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s a mid-sized city with a small town feel and big-city dreams, as well as a thriving arts scene!
Photos: courtesy Kentucky Tourism