Tired of visiting the same old places? Why not try Louisville, Kentucky? There are plenty of good reasons to go there and, if you’re in the Birmingham, AL area, you’ve hopefully read this in time to get in on the incredible airfare deals Southwest is offering – $29 airfare each way between Birmingham and Louisville with dates extending all the way into January, 2011. No Sunday or Friday travel allowed; 21-day advance ticket purchase online required. This offer could end at any moment, so don’t delay booking your flights.
What can you see and do in Louisville? No baseball fan would want to miss the Louisville Slugger Museum at 800 W. Main Street where baseball bats have been produced since 1884. Museum displays include: an interactive area where visitors can actually hold bats used by baseball greats; Grandpa Bud’s Attic with actual player contracts and memorabilia; Babe Ruth’s hand-notched (for each home run) bat from his 1927 season; and the bat from Joe DiMaggio’s 1941 56-game hitting streak. Visitors tour the production area where bats are actually made and can even order a personalized bat upon arrival that will be ready for pickup at the end of the tour. Admission is $10, adults; $9, seniors; $5, kids 6-12; and 5 and under, FREE.
The Speed Art Museum at 2035 S. 3rd St. is featuring an Andy Warhol exhibit now thru September 30. On exhibit through August 29 is “50 Years of Contemporary Glass.” The Speed includes permanent collections of Ancient, American, European, Native American, African and Contemporary art. Admission is FREE, but donations are gladly accepted and greatly appreciated. Open Wed.-Sun.
Churchill Downs, the site of the world famous Kentucky Derby, is also home to the Kentucky Derby Museum where you can enjoy “The Greatest Race” 360-degree hi-def film and two levels of exhibits. The included guide-led walking tour allows you to visit to the resident thoroughbred racehorse and go out to the grandstand to see where the big race takes place and learn some amazing facts and stories about the Derby. Admission is $12, adults; $11, seniors; $10, ages 13-18; $5, ages 5-12; FREE, under 5. Open daily. Other tours are available at additional cost, including the “Behind the Scenes,” “Barn and Backside” and “Horses and Haunts.”
The steam-powered paddlewheeler the Belle of Louisville has been traveling the waters of the Ohio for the past 95 years, affording passengers a waterway view of the city and its surroundings. Cruise choices include sightseeing, lunch, dinner and dancing, with adult fares ranging from $18-$39 and children’s (ages 3-12) $9-$23. Children 2 and under are always FREE.
When you cross the Ohio River, you leave Louisville and the state of Kentucky and enter Indiana, where you can attend the longest running fair in Indiana, the 151st Annual Harrison County Fair 7/25-7/31 in Corydon, IN, about a half-hour west of Louisville. Admission is only $8 per person.
Over 100 eateries in the Louisville area are listed on www.Restaurant.com, where $25 gift certificates can be purchased for as little as $10 each. The website www.CurrentCodes.com often includes discount codes for www.Restaurant.com that allow as much as 80% off regular prices.
Louisville proudly boasts the U.S.’s largest collection of Victorian homes in a single Historic District, one of which is the Gallery House, a bed and breakfast overlooking Louisville’s Central Park. Amenities abound, including wi-fi and a full breakfast, plus impressively reasonable rates starting at $85.
Find out more about Louisville and/or the state of Kentucky by clicking the underlined attractions or by visiting www.KentuckyTourism.com and the Louisville CVB at www.GoToLouisvlle.com where you can request a Louisville Travel Guide to be s-mailed to you or download one directly from the site.