Louisville Kentucky is the largest city in the state, and since its merger with the rest of Jefferson County is the 16th largest city in the United States. It is home to the 'most exciting 2 minutes in sports' a.k.a. the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Slugger baseball-bat factory, celebrities ranging from Mohammad Ali to the late Hunter S. Thompson and produces 1/3 of all the bourbon whiskey in Kentucky (90% of all bourbon comes from Kentucky). It is a lively, sophisticated city with a healthy dose of small-town southern charm and more than a hint of colonial blue-blood hauteur.
Visitors to Louisville can enjoy the city's proximity to the Ohio River by picnicking in or strolling along the lovely green spaces of Waterfront Park, and kids will love its seasonal water-play area. The riverboats Belle of Louisville and Spirit of Jefferson offer scenic sightseeing cruises. The Belle is a 1914-era Sternwheeler, and the Jefferson provides a tasty dinner.
Racing aficionados won't want to skip the action at the legendary Churchill Downs. Getting to see the Kentucky Derby itself is highly unlikely for most people, but the Kentucky Derby Museum offers fascinating displays on Jockeys, Horses and the track, along with the story of this time-honored event.
The Louisville Zoo is a treat for visitors of all ages. The Gorilla Forest exhibit features a 4-acre exhibit that allows visitors to interact with the 12 Western Lowland Gorillas that live there, separated only by a pane of glass. Gorilla Forest also features a tiny 9no pun intended) family of 5-foot long, 500-lb Pygmy Hippos. The Louisville Zoo is also home to Stellar Sea Eagles, birds whose 9-foot wingspans and hefty 20-lb frames make them the largest eagles in the world. When visiting the Louisville Zoo, don't forget to visit King Louis a rare white alligator; this 6-footer is one of only 40 known albino alligators in the world.
Baseball fans will want to check out the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville Kentucky to watch the famous bats being made and to tour the memorabilia there. The Actors Theater in Louisville Kentucky is a highly respected American dramatic institution that produces 1st class plays.