Downtown Louisville

The minute you pull into Louisville you can’t help but notice how the heritage of this Southern Belle, on the banks of the Ohio River, meshes beautifully with innovation, authenticity, and originality with a little quirkiness thrown in for good measure.

Located at the junction of Interstates 64 and 65; a visit to Louisville’s Downtown is a must for Foodies. For years chefs here have routinely pushed the boundaries of Southern Cuisine and that’s catapulted Louisville into becoming one of the “Top 10 Food Cities” according to National Geographic.

There are lots of culinary choices in Downtown Louisville for sure, but if there’s one can’t miss it’s the “The Hot Brown.” It’s an open-face sandwich on Texas Toast, with turkey, tomato, bacon and Mornay Sauce that’s baked to perfection. The legendary dish was invented at The Brown Hotel in 1926 and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times just to name a few.

An easy walk from The Brown Hotel is Downtown’s Historic Main Street District which is full of unique architecture and rich in American history. No one knows Main Street better than Louisville Historian Tom Owen: “We believe it’s the second largest collection of cast-iron commercial architecture in the United States,” Owen said. “These buildings have faces of cast iron that melted and poured into a mold and used in construction. You slap a magnet on these buildings and the magnet sticks.”

The Historic District is made up of East Main and West Main. The West Main Historic District has street furniture and unique one-of-a-kind tree guards. Each metal tree guard was formed from the original hand-carved wooden walking sticks. Stick handles feature the likenesses of famous Main Street visitors along with a different cast iron sculpture representing the history of a nearby building or something else in the area.

Indeed with its extraordinary collection of Victorian cast-iron historic facades combined with striking contemporary architecture, West Main has experienced a dramatic renaissance over the past decade. It’s become one of the most creative arts-inspired cultural districts in the nation; a place where old and new come together offering vitality and creative energy for both residents and visitors alike.

Quickly becoming known as “Museum Row,” West Main is also home to nearly ten walkable local attractions in this one historic neighborhood all located just a block south of the Ohio River.

These must-see attractions include the Louisville Slugger Museum & FactoryMuhammad Ali CenterFrazier History MuseumKentucky Science Center and more. Bourbon enthusiasts will enjoy the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience and Michter’s Distillery. Art lovers will enjoy GlassworksKMAC21c Museum Hotel and The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

Its unique streetscape program and a collection of museums and cultural institutions West Main Street has become a true destination unto itself.

Like we said Downtown Louisville has historic quirks and great food around every corner.


Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
One Riverfront Plaza
401 West Main Street, Suite 2300
Louisville, KY 40202
(888) LOUISVILLE (888) 568-4784

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