by Kari Lutes, Features Editor
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and only an hour-and-a-half drive from campus. Most Asburians make the trip to Louisville at least once in their college career, but the journey can be stressful, especially if you find yourself drawn to the tourist traps of the Louisville Slugger Bat or Fourth Street Live. Here are a few tips from a local Louisvillian to help you get a feel of the city and do what the locals do.
- Travel like a local
The first mistake anyone can make in Louisville is avoiding the freeways. While Nicholasville and Wilmore locals advise side roads to make it into Lexington faster, Louisvillians advise just the opposite. Interstates 265 and 64 can get you just about anywhere you want to go in Louisville in about 30 minutes and are the only ways I travel when at home. Hopping on the interstate gives you a straight shot at 65 mph to wherever it is you want to go.
- Go where the locals go
Most tourists head downtown when coming to Louisville—exploring Churchill Downs, the University of Louisville or one of several museums. The locals, however, know to head a little east of downtown to Bardstown Road and the Highlands. The Highlands is filled with local food, bookstores, shops and businesses—all within walking distance. Next time you head to Louisville, spend a day in the Highlands. Try Steel City Pops and take the 15 minute walk to Louisville’s independent bookshop, Carmichaels.
- Enjoy the local parks
One of the best things to happen to Louisville is the new park system, The Parklands of Floyds Fork. The Parklands is a system of four parks around Louisville, all of which are connected to one another. The Parklands have over 100 miles of hiking, walking and biking trails and have 19 miles of canoe trails through Floyd’s Fork Creek. My personal favorites of the parks are Beckley Creek Park, the largest within the system, and Turkey Run Park, which features a silo and an old time cabin, the Ben Stout House.
- Pay like a local
Louisvillians know a few tips to make the more well-known destinations cheaper. While tourists head for the Louisville Zoo or the J.B. Speed Art Museum on Saturday afternoons, Louisvillians know that the cost of entry for these crowd-pleasers changes depending on the day and time. Visiting the zoo in the fall or early spring can cut ticket prices in half, and if you choose to visit in the summer, going during the twilight hours will help lower prices. Visiting the J.B. Speed Art Museum on a Sunday will cut the $12 admissions price to zero thanks to the Brown-Forman donation.
- Eat like a local
Louisville is filled with local chains that add to the culture and personality of the city. Louisville boasts local coffee shops with Heine Bros and Quills duking it out for the title of the city’s favorite—though Please and Thank You has already won the title of the best chocolate chip cookies in the city. Give one of these three coffee shops a try and choose your side like a true Louisvillian. Mark’s Feed Store, a barbecue restaurant, and the Homemade Pie and Ice Cream Kitchen are other staples that can be found in any corner of Louisville. When in Louisville, eat like a local and you won’t regret it.