You have to relax your lips and tongue a bit to say it like the locals. Go ahead, try.
Lewisville? Not even close.
Luhvul? You’re getting warmer.
Say it just like that and you’ll fit in just fine in the nation’s 16th-largest city, famous for its hospitality, bluegrass music, historic homes, museums, and of course, horse racing.
Located along the Ohio River, Louisville is regularly named one of America’s “most livable cities” by numerous publications.
Its arts and entertainment rival much larger cities. The acclaimed Actors Theatre, one of the nation’s oldest regional theatres, shares the spotlight with the Kentucky Opera, the Louisville Ballet, the orchestra, and the touring Broadway series.
Museums also dot the city’s colorful landscape—the Speed Art Museum, Frazier Historical Arms Museum, Kentucky Derby Museum, and the Louisville Science Museum are popular attractions.
Stroll along the streets of downtown long enough and eventually you’ll encounter a six-story baseball bat leaning against the Louisville Slugger Museum. This spectacle—the largest bat in the world—draws thousands of visitors into the museum dedicated to explaining how, since 1884, Louisville has put prime lumber in the hands of the greatest players of the game.
Louisville also is hometown to the “greatest boxer of all time,” Muhammad Ali. Learn about the heavyweight champion’s bouts and life at the Muhammad Ali Center which overlooks the Ohio River.
Rolling down that river is the Belle of Louisville, a national landmark and the oldest Mississippi-style stern-wheeler in the country.
Louisvillians also love their sports, and they have plenty to choose from. Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is home of University of Louisville’s football team. And, of course, the city is fanatical about basketball. There’s also AAA professional baseball; the Bats play at the new Louisville Slugger Field.
There are lots of attractions for families, including thrills and chills at Six Flags Kentucky Amusement Park and the Louisville Zoo—home to 1,600 animals.
Here are a few more Louisville claims to fame:
• It has more parkland per capita than any other U.S. city.
• The first cheeseburger was served here!
• The city is home of the world’s Braille printing center.
• Louisville is the hometown of actor Tom Cruise.
• TV journalist Diane Sawyer began her broadcasting career here.
• The city is named after King Louis XVI of France.
• President Andrew Jackson was born here.
• The Colgate Clock, the second-largest clock in the world, is technically Southern Indiana’s claim to fame—but it faces Louisville!
This article was prepared by writers on the staff of the Southeast Outlook.