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Get a Taste of Bourbon City, Louisville Kentucky

by Our Editors
Louisville, KY Pride

Welcome to Louisville, KY, where you can drink your Bourbon straight, but you don’t have to be.

Louisville CVB • Aerial view of the annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival

Welcome to Louisville, KY, where you can drink your Bourbon straight, but you don’t have to be. We invite you to explore the sips, sounds and sights of our Urban Bourbon Experience, nationally recognized culinary scene, one-of-a-kind attractions, unique festivals, award-winning arts scene, and eclectic neighborhoods, all while being yourself in a place touted for its friendly and welcoming Southern hospitality.

So while you’re packing your bags, here’s a sneak peek of what awaits you:

Gay Couple at the Kentucky Derby, Louisville, KY

Sipping Mint Juleps at historic Churchill Downs

One-of-a-Kind Attractions
Louisville is home to more than 120 unique attractions, many of which you can only experience right here in Bourbon City. Head to the Muhammad Ali Center to learn about the Louisville native and self-proclaimed Greatest of All Time, take a tour of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory where over a 1.5 million baseball bats are made annually, or take a lap around the Kentucky Derby Museum where you can experience “the most exciting two minutes in sports” all year long.

While Downtown Louisville is known for its plethora of museums along Main Street as well as the high concentration of Bourbon distilleries along Whiskey Row, there are plenty of neighborhoods that are worth exploring while in town.  Check out NuLu to traverse East Market Street for some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. Head south of Downtown to explore Old Louisville which features the country’s largest collection of Victorian era mansions, and offers daily architecture and nightly ghost tours. Don’t miss the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, Louisville Extreme Park, Big Four Bridge and TEN20 Craft Brewery, which are all must-dos when visiting the historic Butchertown neighborhood.

Entertainment & Nightlife

Kick back at one of the city’s several LGBT bars, including Play, where you can enjoy a night of drag shows and dancing on the city’s largest dance floor. Bar hop in the popular Highlands neighborhood between Big Bar, Chill Bar and Nowhere Bar all which offer lively music and inviting outdoor patios. Did we mention many Louisville bars stay open until 4am? If you’re looking to start a little earlier in the day, check out Le Moo, Board & You Bistro or The Hub for some of our regularly scheduled Drag brunches.

Chill Bar in Louisville, KY

Chill Bar Louisville – named one of the top 100 LGBTQ Bars in the U.S.

Award-winning Culinary Scene
Louisville’s growing food reputation has put the city on the culinary map. National media has taken notice and named Louisville a “Best Up-and-Coming Food City” (Thrillist), one of “America’s Best Cities for Foodies” (Travel + Leisure), and one of “America’s Next Hot Food Cities” (Zagat). BBQ, fried chicken, and the city’s signature sandwich, the Kentucky Hot Brown, should all be on the menu during your next visit.

Couple Drinking Bourbon in Louisville, KY

Toast with the city’s official cocktail, the Old Fashioned

Kentucky is home to 95 percent of the world’s Bourbon, and Louisville is the perfect place to kick off your ultimate Urban Bourbon Experience. Tour one of the eight distilleries open for public tour (Old Forester Evan Williams, Angel’s Envy, Stitzel-Weller, Peerless, Rabbit Hole, Copper & Kings and Michters). Or visit one (or a few!) of the dozens of stops on the Urban Bourbon Trail®- a mouthwatering cocktail and culinary experience highlighting some of the city’s best Bourbon bars and restaurants. Visit six locations and you’ll have earned yourself an official Urban Bourbon Trailblazer t-shirt.

Eclectic Arts
Louisville is known for having one of the best live theater scenes in the Midwest. There’s the internationally acclaimed Actors Theatre of Louisville, home of the prestigious Humana Festival of New American Plays.  Pandora Productions, a local theater company whose mission is to present theatrical pieces that speak to the LGBTQ community, has its home in the city. PNC Broadway Across America brings the best of Broadway to town every season with popular Broadway productions. The Louisville Ballet, Louisville Orchestra, and Kentucky Opera add to Louisville’s performing arts scene along with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, an annual summer production and one of the oldest free Shakespeare festivals in the country.

Louisville, KY Pride

The Kentuckiana Pride parade makes its way to Louisville’s Waterfront Park

We’ve Got Pride
Louisville is home to two annual Pride festivals, along with other smaller events taking place throughout the year. Held at Louisville’s Waterfront Park, the Kentuckiana Pride Festival and Parade has been a tradition for more than 20 years. Typically taking place in June, the festival has been rescheduled for 2021 to October 8 & 9. Making its debut in 2015, the Louisville Pride Festival is a street fest held annually in September in the heart of the city’s Highlands neighborhood. Modeled after Chicago’s Market Days, the day long event hosts performers, street vendors and allows you to explore some of Louisville’s top LGBTQ bars all within a few short blocks.

Louisville, KY Couple having drinks

Completing a stop of the city’s Urban Bourbon Trail ®

Plan Your Trip
Looking to visit Louisville soon? Luckily, the city is within a day’s drive of over half the U.S. population and the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport offers over 30 direct flights in and out of the city. For more information on Louisville’s LGBTQ community and things to do click here for events, resources, nightlife info and more.

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