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Unless you live under a rock, you don’t need much to realize what a great city Louisville is. If you live here, you know what I’m talking about, if you don’t, I hope this post helps you to see how beautiful and interesting our town really is. I have put together a list of places/activities in Louisville that everyone should explore or show some appreciation for.

Cherokee Park

The 409 acre park is a favorite location in Louisville. It is situated in the Highlands and is surrounded by old victorian mansions. One popular area right on the outskirts of the park is Cherokee Triangle, where they hold the annual Cherokee Triangle Art Fair. The park is big enough and interesting enough to get lost in, and many do. Other than the sheer scenic beauty, Cherokee Park has a 2.5 mile loop for walkers, runners, and bicyclists, large hills for sledding in the winter, and a fenced dog park.

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Churchill Downs & The Kentucky Derby

The celebrity of both Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby go without saying. Churchill Downs opened in 1875 and housed the first KY Derby and Oaks in the same year. The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular grade 1 stakes races in the world. It brings in many high-profile personalities, and is known for its traditions, such as: the Mint Julep (a drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and sugar syrup), and burgoo (a stew of chicken, pork, beef, and veggies).

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21c Museum Hotel

21c is a 90-room hotel, museum, and also an award winning restaurant, known as: Proof. The museum hotel is known for being “outside of the box.” The rooms are unlike any hotel room you have seen, they are chic, artsy, and a perfect accent to the theme of the restaurant and museum. The exhibits feature local artists, as well as many outlandish and interesting pieces that are sometimes interactive. They are also popular for their restrooms, which have small screens within the walls that appear to be eyes watching you. The men’s bathroom has a huge window where they do their business, with an automated wall of water that is triggered when someone moves in front of it.

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This old favorite is mostly known for their live bands, and Sunday night trivia. They have recently been renovated, they serve dinner, and have rotating micro-brews. Zanzabar is located in Germantown and is considered one of the coolest music venues in the city.

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Nulu, which means New Louisville, is located in the East Market District. It is right between the downtown area and the Highlands making it the up and coming, hip place to be. This area is known for the monthly trolley hop, which takes place the first Friday of every month. It has also been called the gallery hop, where Louisvillians take the trolley for free until 11pm, and visit Nulu’s long strip of art galleries, restaurants, and antique shops. Most venues offer wine and beer, new exhibits, street vendors, and some will have belly dancers, magic shows, and tarot readers.

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Slugger Museum

The Slugger Museum is known for the 6-story bat that leans against the building, a popular photo spot for locals and tourists. The production of the famous slugger bats is seen inside as well as historical bats, such as: the bat Babe Ruth used to hit a home run when he played for the Yankees.

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Glassworks is home to three working glass studios, and two glass galleries. They offer tours and event space, including a popular rooftop area. They often have weddings on the roof, as well as, live music.

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Mellwood Art Center

Mellwood was once a meat packing company, and was turned into a large shopping area complete with galleries, restaurants, and eccentric shops. They also have a courtyard in the center of the space where visitors can enjoy lunch, dinner, and maybe a few drinks.

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Fourth Street Live!

The large entertainment and shopping complex is located in downtown Louisville, and home to many popular restaurant chains, pubs, and nightclubs. They often have lavish concerts in the center of the street, which is shut down during certain hours, acts have included: Kid Rock, 3 Doors Down, Shiny Toy Guns, Justin Bieber, and many more.

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Louisville Science Center

The science center was founded in 1871, it is located in downtown Louisville on Museum Row. The museum is known for it’s many exciting exhibits, most recently a Dinosaurs exhibit, and the Titanic exhibit. They are also known for their architecture, including a four-story IMAX theatre.

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The Highlands

This area is home to eclectic shops, small restaurants, Cherokee Park, and Diane Sawyer. The Highlands is one of the most consistently active areas in the city, and known for the detailed architecture of the historical mansions, as well as the interesting design of many of their condos.

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Waterfront Park

Louisville has taken especially good care of their waterfront. Here they offer free wireless internet, large concerts, and music festivals, such as: Forecastle. This is also the main area people stake out during Thunder Over Louisville, one of the largest annual firework shows in the world.

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There are so many more locations that we didn’t mention. What are your favorite spots in Louisville that we may have missed?