Turns out my food-filled trip down to Louisville was full of a lot more than hot chicken, cheeseburgers and biscuits and gravy. In just two days, I felt like I had a second home, a new abundance of knowledge and profound pride in being an American. If you’ve ever considered taking a trip to Louisville, or even if you haven’t, here are five reason why it’s worth checking out ASAP.
- Home of the Hi-Five: Ever wonder where the hi-five started? Well, you guessed it. The hi-five was said to have originated in 1980 by Derek Smith and Wile Brown of the Louisville Cardinals Basketball team. The friendly gesture is symbolic of the incredibly warm Southern hospitality you’ll experience with everyone you meet in Louisville.
2. First City to Put Cheese on a Burger: If you like cheeseburgers (who doesn’t), you’ll be happy to learn that Louisville was the first place to make a cheeseburger, when Carl Kaelin’s of Kaelin’s restaurant decided to put some cheese on his beloved hamburger back in 1934. Make sure to check out some of these restaurants for great burgers during your trip: Jack Fry’s, Proof on Main, Butchertown Grocery, Harvest, Hammerheads and Mussels & Burger Bar.
3. Red, White & Bourbon: When it comes to spirits, Louisville is all about Bourbon. Home to world’s greatest bourbon and rye distilleries, you’ll find that nearly every restaurant offers a selection of bourbon flights along with the infamous Pappy Van Winkle which runs for around $65 a shot. During your visit, you may also want to check out the Urban Bourbon Trail, a physical or electronic passport that allows you to track your visit to distilleries centered along downtown Louisville. It also come as no surprise that Louisville has a great bar scene; bars are open until 4AM, which is much later than other major cities including Chicago, D.C. and Boston.
4. Nuts for NuLu: Much of our restaurant touring was based in NuLu, short for New Louisville, an up-and-coming town with a vibrant food-scene, great bars and art activations. Some of my favorite restaurants in the area included Decca, Royal’s Hot Chicken, Feast BBQ and Hi-Five Doughnuts. Needless to say, make sure to bring your appetite with you!
5. ‘Merica! Simply put, Louisville is a city full of rich history, culture and awesome people. Here are some other fun facts you should know:
- Louisville is the birthplace of Mohammad Ali, Jennifer Lawrence, Sean Young and Jennifer Carpenter
- Louisville hosts America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, during the first weekend in May every year. Mint Julep, anyone?
- Louisville has the world’s only underground zip line course
Huge thanks to the LCVB for all of their incredible hospitality!