The cultural heart of the city beats with baseball, boxing and music, with sporting fields, live bands and a center for Muhammad Ali, the city’s most famous son.
Boxing and baseball are what downtown Louisville is all about. One of the city’s most famous sons is Muhammad Ali, a Louisville native. Tour a museum dedicated to the boxing star, visit art galleries and boutiques and catch a game of baseball at the Louisville Slugger Field, all in a 1-square mile (2.6-square kilometer) area.
Start your visit with a walk along West Main Street, one of Louisville’s first roads. During the early 1900s it was known as “Whiskey Row” for the number of distilleries that operated along its length. Today, its nickname is “Museum Row” after the collection of museums located within a few blocks of each other. They cover art, science, history, baseball and boxing.
Explore the Muhammad Ali Center, an interactive museum that traces the boxer’s life and focuses on his humanitarian ideals. Tour the factory and see how the Official Baseball Bat of Major League Baseball is made at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. View works of art and catch a dance, music or comedy show at the Kentucky Center. This major arts hub houses permanent exhibitions of local and internationally renowned artists and has three theaters.
There are more live performances over at 4th Street Live!, an entertainment, retail and dining complex. This is downtown Louisville’s party district. Some of the bars and clubs host live bands and there are free open-air concerts on the outdoor stage.
Explore downtown’s 85-acre (34-hectare) Waterfront Park on the banks of the Ohio River. Cruise the river on the Belle of Louisville, a paddlewheel-driven steamboat that was built in 1914.
Downtown Louisville is an easy district to get around on foot. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern and the main attractions are well signposted. The Louisville Downtown Management District (LDMD) Ambassadors, clad in bright yellow shirts provide visitors with maps and directions. They also offer vehicle assistance to drivers, such as repairing flat tires and dealing with dead batteries. The downtown area has more than two dozen information kiosks dotted around the streets.