Louisville is famous for baseball bats, the Kentucky Derby, and the greatest heavyweight champion of all time. But there’s a lot more to discover. Find out what this dynamic and historic city has to offer.
Life in Louisville
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, and the 29th largest city in the United States. Founded in 1778, it was one of the first cities built west of the Appalachian Mountains, and was a vital port for shipping along the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Today, the city is home to over 600,000 people (more than 1.2 million in the metro area) and remains a hub for transportation — at the Port of Louisville, the Louisville International Airport, and the intersection of three interstate highways (I-64, I-65, and I-71).
In addition, Louisville has a thriving economy, with three Fortune 500 companies (Humana Inc., Yum! Brands, and Kindred Healthcare) headquartered in the area. And, if that’s not enough, it’s also one of the 15 most affordable cities in the U.S.
From humble pieces of maple or white ash, Louisville’s artisans have created global icons since 1884. And they’re still making them, in a working factory connected to the museum. This one-of-a-kind location is not to be missed.
The premier event in horse racing, the Kentucky Derby, is held every spring at Churchill Downs. If you can’t make it to the Derby, there are plenty other races and events throughout the year.
Former Olympic gold medalist, heavyweight champion, and global humanitarian Muhammad Ali is Louisville’s favorite son. The multicultural center dedicated in his honor provides a lasting legacy that is open to visitors.
Bourbon, known as “America’s Native Spirit,” is a Kentucky original. Take a tasting tour along Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail. Maps are available at the Louisville Visitor Center.
After more than 230 years, the best way to see Louisville is still by riverboat. This historic vessel is “not just a boat, it’s a time machine,” available for group tours, charters, weddings, and events.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Cave Hill is the final resting place of historic figures from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, as well as local legends like Muhammad Ali and Colonel Sanders.
More to Explore
There’s much more to see and do. In fact, everyday life in Louisville is pretty exciting in its own right. So get out and explore.
If you are an international student considering Speed School, and are unfamiliar with the Louisville area, we can make arrangements to smooth your transition.
The University’s Office of Admissions has a designated person to assist international applicants; email Jeanne Guerrero or call her at (502) 852-8110 for additional information.