Looavull, Luhvul, Looeyville, Lewisville...Trust me I have heard them all. As a local native I can tell you Louisvillians say it "Loo-a-ville". Many outsiders don't realize the size of the city (#16 city in US, 1.3+million people) mainly due to (I believe) the lack of professional sports teams.
Being that I am an active real estate agent in the community, I wanted to take the opportunity to show you everything this city has to offer. So whether you are moving into town or just visiting for a few days, here is the "TO-DO LIST" while in LOUISVILLE:
1. KENTUCKY DERBY(Churchill Downs) - not only the best sporting event the city has to offer, one of the greatest sporting events in the entire world! With 137 consecutive running's, the "Greatest Two-Minutes in Sports" is one of, if not the best, day of the year to be a Louisvillian. This one day event (Derby #137 = 165k+ attendees!!) encompasses an entire month of festivities leading up to the spectacular day including events such as: Thunder Over Louisville, The Great Steamboat Race, Balloon Glow, the Chow Wagon, & many other concerts and activities. Taking place at the historic CHURCHILL DOWNS makes this event a MUST-SEE while in Louisville!!
2.THUNDER OVER LOUISVILLE - this extravaganza of a fireworks show takes place every April and is the 2nd largest in the entire world only behind Japan. This event is the opening ceremony for the Derby Festivities and draws thousands upon thousands of tourists and locals to Louisville's Waterfront Park on the Ohio River early in the morning to watch the airshow, socialize, drink our famous bourbon & beer, and at nightfall witness a 30-minute spectacle of a firework show.
3. LOUISVILLE SLUGGER MUSEUM - if you have ever played baseball or watched baseball you know Louisville Slugger. Not matter what, odds are you have heard the name and they are made in the heart of downtown Louisville. Take a tour of this facility and witness the history of baseball along how they make their world famous bats for some of the greatest professional ball players in the world. Oh, and you wont miss the building...the worlds largest bat is out front!
4. MUHAMMAD ALI CENTER - not only the best Boxer of all time, arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. Ali, formerly known as" CASHIS CLAY" is one of the most recognized figures around the world and yep, he was born and raised right here in the heart of Louisville and were darn proud of it too. Come check out this center devoted specifically to him & his outstanding career.
5. LOUISVILLE CARDINALS - like I said we don't have professional teams so everyone here is a DIE-HARD college athletics fan. The best team in "Da Ville" would be our Louisville Cardinals that have reached an elite status. Since 2000 the Cardinals are the ONLY NCAA team to win a BCS bowl game; to appear in the men's basketball Final Four, the College Baseball World Series (4 times), and the women's basketball Final Four and finish runner's up in the Soccer College Cup. Oh yeah, don't forget we are #1 in basketball revenue, boast 2 basketball national championships ('80, '86), play at the new YUM! CENTER, & have 15 football bowl appearances. If you have a chance to catch a game (and visit our state-of-the-art facilities), I suggest you witness our die-hard love affair with a true staple in the city of Louisville.
6.FOURTH STREET LIVE! - Louisville’s premier dining, entertainment and retail destination located on Fourth Street in the heart of historic downtown Louisville, KY. During the day, you'll find people from ages 18 to 50 years young enjoying lunch and socializing but at night you can be sure to find free concerts from big-name bands and a bar scene like no other! With tons of bars and restaurants located under one open roof, you are surely going be able to unwind and have a great time.
7. BOURBON DISTILLERIES - if you have ever sipped on some bourbon -whiskey, odds are it came from Kentucky considering we are the home to world famous distilleries. Located about a 30 - 45 minute drive from the city you can find the most prestigious names in bourbon-whiskey; names such as Four Roses, Jim Beam, Early Times, Woodford Reserve, Buffalo-Trace & Maker's Mark. If you have the time, you can take a tour of the facility...oh, and don't forget to taste a sample of the world's best bourbons at the end of the tour!
8.WAVERLY HILLS SANATORIUM - voted one of the "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH" this two-story hospital was built in 1910 to accommodate 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients. It has been featured on featured on ABC Family Channel's Scariest Places On Earth, VH1's Celebrity Paranormal Project, & Syfy's Ghost Hunters. It has since been shutdown and used has a hunted house along with private tours. The ghosts of the dead that passed away at the sanatorium are said to walk to halls and go after any trespassers...trust me I have been there and its like nothing else!
9.VALHALLA GOLF COURSE - this private golf club designed by professional golfer JACK NICKLAUS was host to the 1996 & 2000 PGA Championship along with the 2008 Ryder Cup and the '04 & '11 Senior PGA Championships. If you're a true golf enthusiast and have the opportunity to visit the course or have the dough to play, then I urge you to come see this extravagant course.
10. OLD LOUISVILLE - home to the third largest historic preservation district in the U.S., Old Louisville features the highest number of buildings of Victorian architecture in ANY U.S. neighborhood. Take a Walking Tour of Old Louisville and see these mansions and their beautiful architecture from the 1800's. This area of town is a true treasure and features Louisville's Central Park & the famous annual St. James Court Art Show. Trust me, if you're an art enthusiast or just enjoy seeing marvelous sites, you'll fall in love with this part of the city.
So with all of that being said, whether you are just visiting for the weekend or are looking to make a move, I promise you that this city is very special and has something for everyone's unique interest. Ask any native or someone currently living here and they will tell you how proud they are to be connected to a city with such great roots and people. So, no matter how you say it...Looavull, Luhvul, Looeyville or Lewisville, I urge you to come see everything we have to offer and I assure you you'll fall in love with this place just as I have!