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5 Reasons Why This Surprising U.S. City Is Surging In Popularity With Tourists

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Domestic travel is going through a resurgence right now, as more and more Americans are starting to re-discover the country’s beauty beyond the classic hotspots like New York, Miami, or Los Angeles.

In fact, right now there’s a criminally underrated Kentucky city that’s finally getting some well-deserved recognition among travelers, and thus, surging in popularity.

Street view of downtown Louisville

Home of the Kentucky Derby and the great Muhammad Ali, Louisville is emerging from the shadows of its better-known neighbors and establishing itself as one of the trendiest, most charming hubs in all of the U.S.

The local airport named after the legendary boxer welcomed a record-breaking 4.6 million passengers this past year, which begs the question – why are so many people flocking to Louisville right now?

Reasonable Prices

Avid travelers know that the price of discovering someplace new has climbed to unprecedented levels this past year, making that extra vacation you’ve been planning seem more out of reach than ever.

That’s why finding a budget-friendly destination has become of the utmost priority, which has led many people to flock to the reasonably-priced wonders of Lousiville.

aerial view of louisville, kentucky

The Kentuckian city, while by no means cheap, is still a more affordable travel destination than many comparable cities you could visit instead, including Nashville and Pittsburgh.

Accommodation in the city is not only varied but also reasonably priced, with average nightly fees hovering around $115, while airfare is nearing its annual low – return tickets in March will start at $40.

Unmissable Events

The very source that reported the newly set record also highlighted the fact that most of this tourist influx is owed to the unmissable events that take place in the city year-round.

crowd at kentucky derby, louisville

For example, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Kentucky Derby both saw an unprecedented number of visitors this past year, with guest numbers going well into the hundreds of thousands.

Other events that contributed to the city’s tourism achievement included performances in the KFC Yum! Center, the Urban Bourbon Experience, as well as the Louder Than Life festival.

Sign at Sway Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Louisville for the Urban Bourbon Trail.

Those traveling to Louisville in 2024, however, won’t want to miss out on the 150th Kentucky Derby (otherwise known as the most exciting two minutes in sports), the PGA Championship, the first showing of ALI The Musical, as well as the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.

A Treasure Trove Of Natural And Cultural Attractions

Even if you’re visiting Louisville for the sightseeing opportunities alone, your itinerary will still be jam-packed.

skyline of downtown louisville, kentucky

Some must-see attractions to explore (especially for those visiting the city for the first time) include the Big Four Bridge, the Louisville Mega Cavern, the Muhammad Ali Center which is well worth a tour, as well as the stunning Cherokee Park, best visited during spring or fall when the brightly-colored trees create the most gorgeous background.

Louisville Skyline with Bridge

Exciting New Places Opening This Year

Louisville manages to strike that tricky balance between a long, impressive history and a trendy, innovative atmosphere.

Thankfully for city trippers, this year promises the opening of many new exciting places in the area, including some delicious-sounding restaurants that you’ll want to review at least once – so foodies, this is the perfect time to finally make that trip to Kentucky.

chef plating food for fancy restaurant

Some of the best eateries set to open this year include Kiwami, Hokkaido, Jin Doshirak, and the returning local favorite, Hi-Five Donuts. 

Those in search of better accommodation options will also be surprised with a couple of new options, since Tempo by Hilton and Derby City Hotel are both welcoming tourists this spring and summer, respectively.

Getting In And Out Of The City Has Never Been Easier

There’s no arguing that flying someplace new is rarely a pleasant experience, which is why having the option to choose between different airlines while still keeping costs and travel time to a minimum is always a great incentive to choose one destination over others – and that’s the case with Louisville.

The Louisville, Kentucky skyline with pedestrian walkway in front

Direct flights to the Kentuckian city are available from virtually anywhere in the U.S., including New York, Denver, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Fort Myers, just to name a few.

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