Just south of the Mason-Dixon line, Louisville, Kentucky welcomes guests with all of the gracious traits of a proper Southern city, especially when it comes to hotels in Louisville. As with most cities, the older, historic, more elegant hotels are centrally located in the downtown area, with a mix of larger, modern hotels and smaller boutique options. The perks of these finer hotels include proximity to the Louisville Riverwalk and Waterfront Park, the Louie Link, Kentucky International Convention Center, and all of the business and financial institutions located here.
Most Louisville-area hotels have pools, spas and salons, workout rooms, or connections to a gym, to keep guests fit and happy. And some have fantastic history, like the Hotel Seelbach. Featured by author F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby as the venue for Tom and Daisy’s wedding, this Beaux Arts-style landmark features a Baroque interior replete with rathskellar, Bavarian-style arched ceilings, Rockwood Pottery, and one of the city’s iconic restaurants, The Oakroom. Guests at the hotel can also dine like a mob kingpin in the Al Capone private dining room, discretely tucked into the restaurant.
Area hotels are also plentiful near the airport, clustered mainly around the north end. Newer, and a little less expensive, an airport-area stay puts guests close to Churchill Downs and the University of Louisville. This area is still just a 10-minute drive from downtown, with a range of price points.
For those with business or leisure leading them to the eastern part of Louisville, several chain hotels have nice branches located near the I-64 and Blankenbaker Parkway intersection, as well as the Forest Hills area. Nationally known brands with midrange rates offer a perfect overnight stay in the Louisville area.
Hotels in Louisville, KY
When someone says the word "Kentucky," the word that usually comes to mind next is "Derby." But there's a whole lot more to love about Louisville than just the Run for the Roses. From fun festivals to fascinating museums to beautiful parks, this city nestled on Kentucky's northwestern border is well worth a visit. And Travelocity can help you get there: We've got deals on hotels in Louisville, KY, that will save you a heap of money, and you can see even more savings when you take advantage of our vacation packages and book your airline tickets and car rental with us, too. With all of the money you'll save, perhaps you could put a bet on the ponies and strike it rich!
If you're into horse racing, you'll want to plan on being in Louisville during the first weekend in May, when the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown, is run at Churchill Downs. But the race is only the finale of two weeks' worth of fun during the Kentucky Derby Festival, which kicks off with the largest annual fireworks show in North America and also features events including a parade, a marathon race, and a steamboat race. Of course, spring isn't the only time to see thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs: The track has three meets throughout the year, so you might very well be able to catch the action even if you're vacationing later in the year. While you're there, be sure to check out the Kentucky Derby Museum.
The Kentucky Derby isn't the only draw in Louisville for sports fans, though. If you're looking at hotels in downtown Louisville, KY, make sure to book one near Museum Row if you're interested in boxing. That way, you'll be within an easy walk of the Muhammad Ali Center, which is devoted to the life and career of this sports legend. Just a few blocks away is a sight that's sure to be a home run with baseball fans: the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. Marvel at the world's biggest baseball bat outside, then enter to learn about the company's history and take a factory tour to see how the bats are made! As you leave, check out the Louisville Slugger Walk of Fame along Main Street to see plaques paying tribute to some of baseball's legends.
Sports enthusiasts aren't the only ones who might find themselves looking for Louisville hotels, though. The city hosts a variety of festivals all year long that draw crowds to visit. Music fans are sure to love Abbey Road on the River, the world's largest annual Beatles festival, held on Memorial Day weekend. If your musical tastes lean more toward modern sounds, check out the Forecastle Festival in July, a multi-day celebration of music and art. Performers have included The Black Keys, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, and Jack White. Other festivals that fill up Louisville, KY, hotels include the Humana Festival of New American Plays, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and the Bluegrass Balloon Festival, one of the largest hot-air balloon festivals in the country.
But if there aren't any festivals scheduled for when you're thinking of going to Louisville, don't fret: There's still a lot to see and do. For instance, you could step back in time by taking a ride on the Belle of Louisville, the nation's oldest river steamboat in operation. There's plenty to learn about this century-old ship's history as you enjoy a cruise along the Ohio River. History buffs should also make time to see the Frazier History Museum, which is the only facility outside of the United Kingdom to permanently house artifacts from the British Royal Armouries. The museum's focus, as one might guess, is on the history of weapons and armor, and the facility has many fascinating exhibits on the subject. Items on display include pistols that belonged to Gen. George Custer and a rifle owned by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Fans of the arts and sciences have reasons to seek out downtown Louisville hotels, too. The Kentucky Science Center offers a wealth of interesting exhibits and a hands-on area for kids. The center also has an IMAX theater. Also in the Museum Row section of the city is the Speed Art Museum, which is the state's oldest and largest art museum. The facility houses a diverse collection ranging from ancient works to modern pieces. And for a different take on art, check out the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, which showcases Kentucky's artistic heritage. If you'd rather see art unfold before your eyes, Louisville has something for you, too: Take in a performance of the Louisville Ballet, Kentucky Opera, or Louisville Orchestra.
Feeling cooped up from being indoors? Louisville has a plethora of parks that provide ideal places to rest and relax or to burn some calories walking, jogging, or bicycling. Check out the Louisville Waterfront Park or Cherokee Park, or if you're looking for something a bit different, take a walk or bike ride across the Big Four Bridge, a former railroad bridge that crosses the Ohio River to Indiana. If you're still feeling energetic, head south, where just outside the city you'll find the Jefferson Memorial Forest. It's the largest municipal urban forest in the U.S. and includes more than 30 miles of hiking trails.
When should you plan your trip to Louisville? Almost any time of year is good, though winter can be rather frigid. Spring is always popular, of course, especially because of the Kentucky Derby, but summer and fall can also be pleasant. The best thing to do is probably to plan your trip based on whether you want to attend any of the city's great festivals. Of course, big celebrations mean big crowds, so when major events are going on, you might have a tougher time finding Louisville, KY, hotels, especially in late April and early May; definitely book your trip as early as possible in this case. The good news is that with Travelocity, you never have to worry about spending too much on hotels in Louisville, KY. We can help you find cheap, comfortable accommodations online, and you can even take advantage of the Travelocity Price Guarantee: If you find a cheaper price on Louisville hotels within 24 hours of booking your stay with us, we'll refund the difference and give you a travel coupon as well. If you're thinking of visiting Louisville, Kentucky, there's no reason to sit there in the starting gate: Find great deals with Travelocity today!