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Top Rated Attractions in Louisville

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Louisville Palace Theatre

The historic Louisville Palace from 1928 is a remnant of yesteryear, where once there stood several theaters along 4th Street, this extant one still stands. After its initial opening as a vaudeville palace, the theater converted itself over the years as a spot for films. It was only in the late 1994 when the theater reconverted itself back into a full-fledged performance venue. With acts as varied as ballet and bluegrass to comedy and touring Broadway shows, it's Louisville's classic hub for performing arts once again.

Churchill Downs

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.

Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

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.

Kentucky Science Center

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.

Fourth Street Live

Fourth Street Live is one of the main attractions for nightlife and dinner in downtown Louisville. Its a mega-entertainment area that primarily features restaurants and bars all under one roof. The dining options run the gamut, from Brazilian BBQ at Brazeiros to American fare at Gordon Biersch Brewery, there is usually something for everyone. Club options are also varied, from the hip Marquee Bar to Country Western camaraderie at PBR Louisville, all crowds are welcome.

Zanzabar

Zanzabar is a local institution. Since its opening in 1938 it has changed templates many times, but it has always remained a local watering hole. The recent incarnation has it all, from old-school arcade games and pinball tournament nights to local farm-to-table food and live music, things have surely changed since those prewar days. The food and drinks are outstanding, but a lot of people come just to revert back to their childhood with games like Paperboy, Asteroids, Frogger and Donkey Kong. When you add the live music, this version of Zanzabar appears as if it is the best one in the last 80 years.

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