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The Swope Family of Dealerships is proud to serve the people of historic Louisville, Kentucky, one of the most vibrant cities in the South. Established in 1778 by revolutionary George Rogers Clark, Louisville is one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachians. Named after King Louis XVI of France, Louisville attracted settlers because river traffic had to stop there before continuing down the Ohio River. Then the city went from portage town to major railway hub after trains revolutionized the region. The rich history and thriving business life make Louisville a great place for living, working, and visiting.

What Makes Louisville Famous

In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was held at today’s Churchill Downs. Horse racing continues to be a strong tradition in Louisville and in Kentucky in general. The first weekend of May is full of pageantry and tradition as Kentucky residents and visitors enjoy the heritage that horse racing offers. Louisville is also famous for its bourbon, a legacy that began in the 18th century, and today, distillery tours are a popular tourist experience. And in 1884, Hilerich & Bradsby crafted the very first Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Now you can see the largest baseball bat in the world resting on one of its exterior walls of the Louisville Slugger Museum.

Main Attractions

The Gateway to the South has several tourist attractions, many of them rooted in Louisville’s rich historical traditions.

Kentucky Bourbon tours
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
Belle of Louisville, the oldest Mississippi-style steamboat in operation
Kentucky Science Center

Oxmoor Farm:

An estate with roots that pre-date the Declaration of Independence, the Oxmoor Farm (now Estate) is home to a historic home built in 1791, famously designed and manicured gardens, and the largest private library in the state of Kentucky. Now home to weddings and events, the Oxmoor Estate now sits on 1,000 acres, some of which is still farmed by locals. Though much larger in the past, the Oxmoor Estate is now protected from further development by a trust and is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Oxmoor Center:

The Oxmoor Center is Louisville’s destination for the best shopping in the area. You’ll find designer brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and lululemon as well as stores like Sears, Macy’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Restaurants also dot the Oxmoor Center, making it the perfect place to spend the day.

Louisville International Airport (SDF):

Originally built in 1941 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisville International Airport has more than 3.3 million passengers pass through it annually.

The Speed Art Museum:

The Speed Art Museum, once known as the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum but referred to as “the Speed” by locals, is the destination museum of art in the state of Kentucky, bringing over 180,000 visitors each year to its Neo-Classical doors. Inside, you’ll find ancient, classical, and modern art with a focus on Western artists, but the Speed hosts a series of other events each year, including a concert series, the Art Sparks Interactive Family Gallery, and the popular Art After Dark event.

Actors Theatre of Louisville:

Formed in the 1960s with the merge of two other acting studios, the Actors Theatre of Louisville is located on Main Street in downtown. Its building, which encompasses the Bank of Louisville and the Myers-Thompson Display Building, has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Actors Theatre offers the community more than 500 productions each year, with one of the largest percentage of season ticket holder audiences in the country.

The Louisville Zoo:

Opened in 1969, the Louisville Zoo is 134 acres that has earned the distinction of being the “State Zoo of Kentucky.” Annual visitors number nearly one million, who come to see six zones within the zoo: the Islands, Africa, Glacier Run, Australia, South America, and the HerpAquarium. One of the Louisville Zoo’s most popular attractions is its Halloween party, which allows visitors to come after hours.