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Whether you are a whiskey connoisseur or not, if you want to try a bit of one of Kentucky's main exports, then the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience is a must visit. This establishment is named after Kentucky's pioneering distiller and offers an insight into Williams' life and work. A guided tour of the distillery features an audio-visual interactive exhibition on the history of bourbon and its how distillers turn corn into this smooth swill loved all around the world. At the end of the tour, sample some different varieties as well as some small-batch versions, then take home unique souvenirs like bourbon mustard, maple syrup and toffee.
While the Kentucky Science Center is not as famous as the Museum of Natural History or the Smithsonian, it is a very educational and fun place to bring the kids. Adults will also enjoy the interactive exhibits, educational events and huge IMAX presentations, so it's not just a destination for children. The museum's exhibits focus on both general science and regional Kentucky attributes such as agriculture and coal.
Muhammad Ali is one of Louisville's most prodigious sons, and this stunning multipurpose facility devoted to the boxing great promotes his ethos and six core principles of "Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality." The building also provides event space and it offers guests an opportunity to relive the life and times of the man who was born as Cassius Clay. Some exhibits include a movie, a number of interactive video displays, and educational programs on how to become involved in social justice projects within the community.
Old Louisville is one of America's finest neighborhoods. It is known to have some of the best examples of Victorian architecture in the entire country and walking along its charming streets is always a delight. The area roughly encompasses the area between Broadway in the north to Cardinal Boulevard at the University of Louisville in the south. Along the parallel 2nd, 3rd and 4th Streets visitors will see many preserved Italianate, Romanesque and Queen Anne homes and buildings, one of note is the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. Other gems within the district are St. James Court, Belgravia Court and Central Park, where it literally feels as if you've traveled back to 1870.
The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage showcases the legacy and cultural contributions of African-Americans in the state. Notable and prominent Kentuckians include Muhammad Ali, jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, songwriter Wilson Pickett and many others that have left their indelible mark. Through exhibitions, programs and activities, the center creates programs that promote social justice, activism, art and awareness among the public at large. Additionally, the center celebrates the cultural legacy of the African-American community with nights that promote poetry readings, plays, dinners and concerts.
The historic part of West Main Street runs from 2nd Street to 9th Street and it's one of the oldest streets in Louisville. It has been here since the inception of the city in 1788 and it's quite possibly one of the most visited areas in town. Here visitors will find the Frazier International History Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, the Louisville Science Center and many other attractions. A walk between 6th and 9th Streets offers pedestrians architectural eye-candy with wonderful cast-iron facades on some buildings, reminiscent of those in New York City's Soho, the only difference is that parking is easier to find here.
The Kentucky Derby, held annually at the fabulous Churchill Downs, is often said to be 'The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.' The museum, which is located just outside the racecourse, elaborately presents the history of this racing tradition through more than 20,000 items that have been collected since its inception in 1875. Exhibits include trophies, sculptures, photographs and paintings along with Derby souvenirs and the private collections of former horse trainers and jockeys. Tours can be made with the museum to visit the hallowed grounds of Churchill Downs as well.
A world-renowned racecourse commemorating Henry Churchill, the Churchill Downs is the holy grail for aficionados of horse racing. Spread across more than 140 acres (56 hectares), the track rekindled Louisville's hope for horse racing after two of the city's favorite venues were shut down. Since its inception in 1875, the Kentucky Derby has prospered on this track garnering many raves from jockeys and equestrian sports lovers from across the globe. Featuring more than 70 luxury suites, the interior of the site is decorated with murals of Kentucky Derby winners thus celebrating the augustness and exclusivity of the sport. A museum, stables and a clubhouse are also a part of the Thoroughbred racetrack's extensive layout.
Frankfort Avenue is a thoroughfare that starts in the suburb of St. Matthews and ends at the conjunction with Brownsboro Road near the Ohio River. Along the way, visitors will find many hip restaurants, bookstores, boutiques, bakeries and much, much more. Most of the shops are locally owned and operated; in fact, there is nary a trace of a big-box store. The Avenue also traverses through the historic, charming neighborhoods of Crescent Hill and Clifton, which are treasures in themselves.
Explore Louisville Mega Cavern in a historic tram where you ride through 17 miles (27 km) of dark passageways beneath the city of Louisville. Learn about geology, history, mining techniques, recycling and green business technology as well as witness where 50,000 people would have sheltered during the Cold War Era. You can also go on 'Mega Zips', an adventure tour that features five underground zip-lines, three challenge bridges and over two hours of adrenaline. Another great tour only offered from November through December is 'Lights Under Louisville'. This underground holiday light show is perfect for the season, where guests drive through an underground passageway festooned with holiday lights.
The largest independent producer of bourbon in the United States, this distillery provides whiskey lovers an opportunity to explore the history of America's very own grain alcohol made almost exclusively from corn. In today's market, a larger conglomerate holding group owns nearly every distillery, yet Heaven Hill remains one of a few lone wolves in Kentucky that still run things according to 'ma and pa's' methodology. The distillers follow the same time-honored traditions just as they did when they filled their first barrel in 1935, albeit in more modern conditions. Moreover, the distillery is not only known for bourbon, here guests can also find vodka, rum, brandy and even tequila.