Louisville was home to the world’s largest distillery after prohibition.
Louisville, named for King Louis XVI of France, is known worldwide as the home of the Kentucky Derby, the first race of the Triple Crown in U.S. horse racing. Louisville is an exciting metropolis, with a waterfront playground on the Ohio River, a vital arts and entertainment scene and event venues such as the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts that attract top name artists and productions.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
This well-known company started out producing bed posts, tenpins, bowling balls and butter churns before trademarking the Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball, in 1894. Visitors can take guided tours of the museum and watch how the famous bats are made, test replica bats used by Babe Ruth and Ted Williams in a batting cage and see the bat used by Joe DiMaggio during his longest hitting streak. Tour participants will receive a miniature bat to take home.
Get up close and personal with a gorilla, separated only by glass, in the four-acre gorilla forest, talk to and feed nectar from your hand to a chatty Lorikeet or watch zookeepers engage Siberian tigers in a training session. The zoo also features a rotating island exhibit that creates a stimulating environment for animals such as orangutans, babirusas, siamangs and tigers. The zoo is open every day except Christmas, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving.
The Muhammad Ali Center
This center dedicated to Louisville’s native son allows visitors to practice their punches in a Train with Ali shadow-boxing exhibit, as well as discover their character strengths in the mindfulness exhibit, Walk with Ali. Media footage of Martin Luthur King, Robert F. Kennedy and Malcolm X provides a backdrop for the tumultuous sixties during which the Thrilla in Manilla victor’s career exploded. Watch Ali’s top 15 fights on video stations. The Champ has also been known to make surprise visits to the center.
The Speed Art Museum
A depository of a vast number of collections in style and period, the museum includes African, ancient, and Native-American art. Look for prized pieces in the European collection including works by Picasso, Rembrandt and Monet while well-known minimalist Frank Stella’s work is found in the contemporary collection. Kids five and under can touch anything they want in Planet Playschool or create their own masterpieces in the Hands-on Art Room. Free admission on the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.