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LOUISVILLE...GET A DIFFERENT TASTE
Louisville is a city of transformation. It has grown exponentially in the last decade thanks to the effort and vision of many in the community. The city is now consistently recognized as one of the hottest (and coolest) places in the country to visit and live in. Louisville is a vibrant city on the move, investing millions of dollars to upgrade and renovate its attractions, hotels and convention facilities to make them all state-of-the-art and one-of-a-kind.
Louisville has not one, but two convention centers. The Kentucky International Convention Center, located downtown, is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion that is expected to be complete in 2018. The planned expansion will add a minimum of 200,000 square feet of exhibition space along with a 40,000 square-foot ballroom. Nearly 6,000 downtown hotel rooms will compliment the new convention space making downtown Louisville a prime meeting venue.
Located just five miles from downtown, is the Kentucky Exposition Center. It sits adjacent to the Louisville International Airport and offers over a million square feet of exhibit space. It holds the distinction of being the sixth largest convention center in the U.S. and hosts four of the nation’s top 20 tradeshows. It is also home to the Kentucky State Fair, held annually in August.
Louisville’s downtown arena, the 22,000-seat KFC! Yum Center, offers state-of-the art space for concerts and large gatherings in an emerging arena district with a growing number of unique restaurants and bars. Since it’s opening in 2010, the Yum Center has hosted such top-name entertainers such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, James Taylor and a myriad of others.
From major hotel flags to several independent names, Louisville boasts over 18,000 rooms in over 100 hotels. From one of the largest hotels in the Southeast, the Galt House Hotel, to two of the finest historic hotels in America, The Brown Hotel and the Seelbach Hilton, the city prides itself on having a room that will accommodate every taste and budget. Louisville is home to the flagship hotel of the 21c Hotel brand. 21c Louisville was the city’s first boutique hotel and is dedicated to 21st-century contemporary art. The brand now boasts four hotels, with over a dozen planned to open in the next five to 10 years. The first Omni Resorts property will open in Louisville in 2018. The hotel will add 600 rooms to the city’s inventory of accommodations.
Louisville is easy to get to. It is within a day’s drive of nearly half the U.S. population. Three major interstates converge in Louisville – I65, I64 and I71. Louisville International Airport is serviced by nearly every major airline with non-stop service to 23 destinations and convenient connections to cities worldwide. The airport ranks third in North American, and seventh in the world, in the total amount of cargo as home of the United Parcel Service (UPS) international air-sorting hub.
With more than 120 attractions, many of them one-of-a-kind, Louisville has something for every age and interest to see and do. The iconic Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby Museum both pay homage to the thoroughbred horse – a hallmark of what makes Kentucky so special. The bat of most major league baseball teams is made at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. The Belle of Louisville is the oldest operating steamboat sill in existence today. And, Louisville’s native son, Muhammad Ali, is now remembered with a self-guided tour of “Ali’s Footsteps of Greatness.” Stops include his boyhood home, the vibrant Muhammad Ali Center and his final resting place in Cave Hill Cemetery, to name a few.
Another hallmark of Kentucky – bourbon – has taken center stage as a “must do” when visiting the city. Six distilleries are currently opened for public tours and tastings in the city, with three more planned to open by the end of 2017. An American brandy distillery is also open to the public. The city’s Urban Bourbon Trail claims over 35 stops, all with over 50 bourbons available and tasty bourbon-inspired culinary delights. Kentucky produces 95% of the world’s supply of bourbon. Louisville proudly lays claim in being the “Gateway to Bourbon Country.”
If the arts are more to your liking, Louisville is one of only a handful of U.S. cities with a professional full-time orchestra, opera, ballet, children’s theatre, dinner theatre and Broadway Series. The Speed Art Museum and the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft both reopened this year after closing for expansions and renovations. All of these, plus a zoo, an amusement park, beer and wine trails, historic homes, confectionaries, ghost tours and the largest non-profit company that makes products for people who are blind and visually impaired.
Louisville’s growing food reputation is putting the city on the culinary map. And it’s not just the city’s eclectic, innovative and award-winning restaurant scene, but also locally made products that are setting the city apart (with and beyond the Bourbon!). The accolades continue to grow, from Saveur’s recognition as a Notable City in its Culinary Travel Awards to Southern Living magazine’s “Top 10 tastiest towns in the South,” to Zagat naming Louisville “one of the top eight ‘awesome foodie getaways in the world’” – the only US destination. The full story of Louisville’s culinary scene can be found at Culinary Louisville.
We invite you to come see for yourself what this city on the banks of the Ohio River has to offer. Along with all there is to see and do, Louisville also prides itself on the genuine warmth and hospitality of its people. Louisville is alive with potential and inspired with a true spirit of Southern hospitality. Come and “get a different taste.”
Pursuant to KRS 65A.080(2), the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau's adopted budgets, financials statements and audit reports can be viewed on our website at