Louisville Travel FAQ’s

The best time of year to visit Louisville is Derby season, in late April and early May! The second best time of year is fall – the month of October is stunning, with fall color, perfect weather and tons of festive events. Summer is also wonderful, though it will be hot and humid.

The neighborhoods bordering downtown are your best bets! NuLu, the Highlands, Old Louisville, Butchertown, and Clifton are within a few minutes of downtown and each have their own special charm. Take a look at all of our Louisville neighborhood guides for more details.

Yes! There are several bourbon distilleries within the city of Louisville – and a brandy distillery, too! We’ve got a guide to the best distilleries in Louisville.

Like any city, Louisville does have some crime and you’ll want to be more careful after dark. However, if you compare Louisville to other large cities, it tends to feel much safer. It’s kind of a matter of perception, but for me personally, Louisville feels much safer than a lot of the other big cities I’ve visited or lived in.

It’s both! And it depends on what you’re talking about. Louisville’s food is Southern, but much of its culture tends to be more Midwestern. It doesn’t quite fit into either category neatly!

Bourbon, the Kentucky Derby, really amazing food, an incredible community theatre and arts scene, Muhammed Ali, and – if you’re from the Midwest – college basketball.

Yes! Louisville scores 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. We have an incredible drag scene, hosts two annual Prides, is home to multiple gay theatre production companies, and has a whole bunch of excellent gay bars.

We like to say that there’s Louisville, and then there’s Kentucky. Louisville is a blue island in a red state. We vote Democrat and on the whole, the city leans very liberal and progressive. Local tourism, and its economic impact, plays an important role in supporting marginalized communities in Louisville.

  1. Visit a bourbon distillery! There are several in town – here’s a guide.
  2. Take a food tour! Louisville Food Tours walking food and history tours tell the story of Louisville and Kentucky through its cuisine – and they’re a lot of fun!
  3. Visit Churchill Downs! The home of the Kentucky Derby actually hosts races throughout most of the year. And even when they’re closed, you can still visit the Kentucky Derby Museum.

We sure do! We’ve got a whole first-timers guide to the Derby chock full of tips. Psst – buy your tickets now! They only get more expensive the longer you wait.