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Louisville is the largest city in the state of Kentucky and has a rich history that spans hundreds of years. It has been greatly influenced by the area's geography; the rapids at the Falls of the Ohio River created a barrier to river travel, and as a result settlements grew up at this stopping point.

Kentucky horsesThe first European settlement in the vicinity of modern day Louisville was on Corn Island, founded in 1778 by Colonel George Rogers Clark, who is credited as the founder of the city. The city was named in honour of King Louis XVI of France, whose soldiers were then aiding Americans in the Revolutionary War.

Louisville hosts the famous Kentucky Derby horse race, which takes place annually on the first weekend in May. The race was first held in 1875 at the Louisville Jockey Club track, later renamed Churchill Downs.

The town also lies at the heart of Kentucky's famous Bourbon whisky distilleries and you’ll find bourbon distilleries and historic bourbon bars where you can sample this distinctive tipple.

Finally, Louisville is also home to the Muhammad Ali Centre, a museum dedicated to the life of one of boxing's greatest heroes, and the Slugger Museum and Factory which is dedicated to baseball bats.

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Suggested Louisville itinerary

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Louisville, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Louisville

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    Places near Louisville