Louisville: A Tourist’s Guide to the Best Food, Cultural Experiences, and Attractions

Published: April 20, 2023

Thousands of photographers from around the world will take over the Kentucky International Convention Center January 28-30, 2024 for the annual photography conference, Imaging USA. There’s so much to do in this historic city with great food, cultural experiences, and attractions around every corner. As you prepare for your trip, check out your options for activities to do outside of the conference. 


Dining & Drinks

Louisville is a city that takes its dining scene seriously. From southern classics like fried chicken and biscuits to innovative farm-to-table fare, there’s something for everyone. If you're wondering where to start, you can check out this list of downtown eateries. Customize your list depending on the kind of food, price range, and location you're looking for. Take some time to explore–you never know what delicious surprises you might find!

Just a mile walk from Imaging USA is Mayan Café, which offers traditional Mayan cuisine with a modern twist. The dishes are made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Explore the NuLu neighborhood in Louisville for a variety of cuisine options from Creole, Mediterranean, Italian, and Southern, and more. For the “best chocolate chip cookie” in town and a cozy café and bakery ambience, stop by Please & Thank You, located in the heart of NuLu. Sunergos Coffee is also another great locally owned coffee shop with multiple locations in Louisville. Their focus is on quality and sustainability, and they work directly with farmers to source their coffee beans. In addition to coffee, they also offer a variety of tea, pastries, and light bites.


Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Check out the chocolate shop in Louisville that's causing quite a stir with its delicious small-batch Bourbon Truffles. Kelly Ramsey, founder of Art Eatables, happens to be the world's first bourbon-certified chocolatier. The combination of the rich, velvety chocolate and the warm, woody notes of bourbon creates a truly unique and unforgettable taste. This shop is worth checking out!

Bourbon & Beyond

Louisville is home to many distilleries and bourbon bars. Visit the incredible Brough Brothers Distillery, the city’s first Black-owned bourbon distillery in Kentucky. For a great view of the Louisville Skyline, tasty bites, and mouthwatering mocktails, check out Copper & Kings Rooftop Bar & Restaurant.


Cultural Experiences

Louisville is a city that celebrates sports, with a rich tradition of baseball and horse racing. There’s also a vibrant art scene to explore with museums, galleries, and performance venues. 

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory 
The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is a must-visit attraction for baseball fans and history buffs. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of baseball and the manufacturing process of the famous Louisville Slugger bats that have been used by legends such as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and many others. Take a guided tour of the factory and see how the bats are made and explore interactive exhibits that showcase the history of the sport. Whether you're a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a unique and educational experience, this is sure to be a hit (pun intended). 


Muhammad Ali Center 
The Muhammad Ali Center is a world-class attraction located in along the Ohio waterfront in downtown Louisville, dedicated to the life and legacy of the famous boxer and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali. The center offers an interactive and immersive experience that explores Ali's life and career, as well as his impact on the world. Explore exhibits that showcase Ali’s boxing career, his activism, and philanthropy, as well as his influence on popular culture. For anyone interested in sports, history, or social justice, this is a must-visit destination. 


Speed Art Museum
The oldest and largest art museum in Kentucky. View the world class collection of over 17,000 objects spanning 6,00 years of art history, including works from Rembrandt, Botticelli, Monet, and Picasso. The museum's collection also includes a large collection of American art, including works by regional artists like Mary T. Huff and Julius Friedman. The museum is located on the University of Louisville campus in the historic neighborhood of Old Louisville, making it easy to combine a visit to the museum with other local attractions, such as Churchill Downs or the Kentucky Derby Museum.



Many of Louisville’s attractions and areas of interest are conveniently located close to the Kentucky International Conference Center. The city is home to a number of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, including downtown, the Highlands, and Old Louisville, where many of city’s attractions can be found. For places that require additional transport, Louisville offers buses and a light rail system called the “LouLift.”  


Waterfront Park 
The Waterfront Park is a great destination for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone looking to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Ohio River. The park covers over 85 acres and features walking paths, murals, fountains, and stunning views of the river and city skyline.


Kentucky Derby Museum
Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby, the world-famous horse race held at Churchill Downs every year in the month of May. For horse racing fans, the museum is located on the grounds of Churchill Downs racetrack, and features exhibits that highlight the history of the race and the horses, jockeys, and trainers who have competed over the years. The museum also features a collection of Derby-winning memorabilia, including jockey silks, trophies, and other artifacts. Visitors can also take a guided tour of Churchill Downs and get an up-close look at the track and its facilities.


The Conrad-Caldwell House Museum
This historic home is located in the heart of Old Louisville, Kentucky. Built in 1895, the home is a stunning example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, with its distinctive turret, stained glass windows, and ornate woodwork. The museum offers guided tours that take visitors through the home's 10,000 square feet, showcasing the elaborate details and furnishings of the Victorian era.

Travel Fever?

Any successful trip includes a little bit of planning. Stay tuned for more details on registration, classes, exciting new features, and other travel hacks coming in the upcoming months.