Louisville | Our City
Louisville is known as a city of originals, offering a balance of longstanding traditions and a progressive way of life. It is the largest city in the state and the 28th largest in the nation. Founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark and named after King Louis XVI, Louisville lies along the Ohio River, near the Indiana border. The city is best known for the Kentucky Derby, the most popular event in horse racing and known as the “most exciting two minutes in sports.”
Popular attractions include The Belle of Louisville, the oldest operational steamboat; Louisville Slugger Museum, which boasts the “world’s largest bat”; Glassworks, a space housing works from 50 glass artists; Frazier History Museum; Louisville Science Center, and the 134-acre Louisville Zoo. The downtown area is alive with performing arts venues, such as the Kentucky Center, which hosts local and national theater programming, the KFC YUM! Center, The Louisville Palace theater, and numerous other live performance venues. The annual Kentucky Derby Festival includes Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual pyrotechnics show in North America.
Noted as the world’s largest bourbon producer, Louisville is also known for culinary excellence. The city offers more than 2,500 restaurants, including a list of Louisville originals, and has been recognized by Saveur , Southern Living and Travel & Leisure .
While Louisville is famous for horse racing, the city offers a variety of other spectator sports. The 13,000-seat Slugger Field is home to the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds’ top minor league affiliate, and to Louisville City FC, the city’s professional soccer club. Valhalla Golf Club hosted the 1996, 2000 and 2014 PGA Championships. The city also is home to college athletics, at the University of Louisville, Bellarmine University and Spalding University, and boasts one of the best skate parks in the country, the Louisville Extreme Park.
Louisville has 122 parks that span more than 14,000 acres, including Waterfront Park on the banks of the Ohio River. The Louisville Loop will soon connect all the city’s parks by a paved walkway.