Louisville has been awash in accolades: Travel + Leisure named the city among the Top 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022, while Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler agreed it’s the perfect year-round destination — the travel outlets named Louisville as a top spot to visit in fall and May, respectively. And Louisville is ready to welcome all who visit, whenever they choose, with a wealth of new and upcoming hotel projects.
The Galt House, Louisville’s largest property, recently completed an $80-million renovation that reimagined guestrooms and public spaces. Meanwhile, The Cambria Louisville Downtown-Whiskey Row opened in December just a half-mile away from the Kentucky International Convention Center, and TownePlace Suites Louisville Downtown, an upscale, extended-stay location, recently added 120 rooms to the neighborhood when it opened in November 2021 just steps away from all Downtown Louisville has to offer. There are even more developments on the horizon, like Bunkhouse NuLu, a 122-room property set to open in May 2023 that will fit perfectly into “New Louisville,” a neighborhood overflowing with new restaurants and bars.
We Have Liftoff
Now, Louisville is more connected to the rest of the country than ever before. Breeze Airways recently announced the first-ever direct flight from Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting in May, while American Airlines will offer nonstop service from Louisville to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) beginning in June. Louisville offers 38 direct flights in total, a record high for the airport.
“We’re proud to serve as the gateway for our community and welcome visitors and guests who are coming here to experience all that we have to offer from area attractions to world-class restaurants to the region’s iconic bourbon scene,” said Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
Also taking flight at the airport are $400 million in exciting renovations, including the $21.7-million geothermal system project that will allow the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport to save energy by using the planet’s natural temperature to control heating and cooling in the Jerry E. Abramson Terminal.
Play in Bourbon City
When visitors touch down in Bourbon City, there are plenty of ways to see (and taste) how Louisville lives up to its moniker. Louisville’s own Hillerich & Bradsby sports brand, best known for creating the official bat of Major League Baseball, has opened Barrels & Billets, a bourbon experience that allows guests to taste, blend, create, and bottle their own spirits. Located beside the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Barrels & Billets allows guests to sample six different award-winning WoodCraft bourbons before blending their own recipes.
Louisville tourists can keep the spirits flowing by stopping in at The Garden & Gun Club at Stitzel-Weller Distillery, a bespoke cocktail bar that pairs fine spirits with an intimate atmosphere. The Stitzel-Weller Distillery is a crucial part of bourbon history, as the renowned distillery has been in operation since Derby Day 1935.
And no bourbon tour of Louisville would be complete without heading to Hermitage Farm, a farm-to-table culinary experience that features Kentucky’s most sought-after bourbons and so much more. Home to thoroughbred horses — some of which have raced their way to the Winner’s Circle — Hermitage Farm offers tours, bourbon tastings, and dining experiences in its barns.
Once their bourbon tour is complete, visitors may want to explore a diversion of a different kind: Derby City Gaming, an 85,000-square-foot, $65-million gamer’s paradise. And there are more ways to play on the horizon: The facility is expanding with a new location in the heart of Downtown Louisville, set to open in 2023.