Destinations Magazine - May/June 2018 - 18

Street Live! entertainment district, and
other attractions. It offers luxury amenities
such as a spa, fitness center, a speakeasy
and bowling alley, a rooftop pool, and personalized business and concierge services.
Group tour favorites have also gotten
upgrades since ABA last visited. The Mary
M. Miller steamboat, for example, has
entered service as the Belle of Louisville's
sister vessel. Named for the Louisville
native who became the first woman ever
to captain a steamboat in 1884, the Mary
M. Miller offers a range of sightseeing, stargazing, historical, and buffet cruises daily
for up to 350 passengers.
The iconic Churchill Downs and
Kentucky Derby Museum are also
undergoing renovations this year. Home
to the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,"
Churchill Downs is introducing visitorfriendly amenities such as a pedestrian
plaza and an enlarged paddock entrance
gate. The racetrack has expanded multiple
times since opening in 1875 and will host
up to 165,000 guests for the 144th running
of the Kentucky Derby in May 2018.
The adjacent Kentucky Derby Museum
will complete a $6.5 million expansion
and renovation this fall to deliver 16,000
square feet of new and upgraded exhibit
space. Galleries will house a collection

of racing artifacts and equine art from
legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas,
alongside select items from jockey Bill
Shoemaker's collection.
Groups can book a variety of tours at
the Kentucky Derby Museum year-round.
Included with entrance to the museum
is a 30-minute, guided historic tour of
Churchill Downs and a 360-degree showing of The Greatest Race. Additionally,
groups can arrange exclusive packages
that take travelers behind the scenes. "The
expansion and renovation will offer our
visitors even more one-of-a-kind opportunities to enjoy the thrills and traditions
of the legendary Kentucky Derby," says
Karen Williams, president and CEO of the
Louisville CVB.
Back downtown on Museum Row, the
Muhammad Ali Center just completed
a major renovation and redesign to
its lobby and group entrance to create
"The Greatest" visitor experience
possible. The Center has hosted nearly
1.2 million visitors in its 12-year history.
Groups can experience the life and
legacy of Louisville's native son through
state-of-the-art interactive exhibits
and curriculum.
The Speed Art Museum, Kentucky's
oldest and largest art museum, has recently

'Yule' Love Louisville
Considering a holiday stay in Louisville? The monthlong Holiday in the City
celebration launches with Light Up Louisville on the day after Thanksgiving,
and the Kentucky Derby Museum gets into the spirit by racing antlerbedecked thoroughbreds at its annual Reindeer Games. The Louisville Ballet
stages The Nutcracker, and the Mega Cavern presents the spectacular Lights
Under Louisville. Special Christmas in Louisville group packages include
accommodations, a welcome reception, a holiday-themed dinner, and
admission to area attractions.

18

DESTINATIONS

/MAY-JUNE 2018

completed its three-year renovation and
expansion and reopened for visitors. The
$50 million project increased the footprint
of the museum and added new galleries,
an indoor/outdoor café, a museum shop,
and a pavilion for performances, lectures,
and entertainment.

Hitting the Trail

The Bluegrass State is the epicenter of
bourbon distilling, and a new interactive
exhibit at the Frazier History Museum
will reveal why beginning this summer.
Under a collaboration with the Kentucky
Distillers Association, the Frazier
will become the official starting point
of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and
Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour,
celebrating the state's macro and micro
distillers, respectively. Other exhibits in
Frazier's collection include the Lewis &
Clark Experience.
The Urban Bourbon Trail is a culinary
and cocktail option that concentrates
on central Louisville locations with a
historical connection to bourbon or a
more modern, um, twist. From historic
restaurants to trendy cocktail lounges,
the 39-stop trail includes several of the
world's top whiskey bars, all of which
stock at least 50 bourbons and are staffed
by experts happy to offer tasting notes for
the various spirits.
Louisville's official cocktail is the Old
Fashioned, which was invented in the
1880s at the elegant (and still open)
Pendennis Club, but the Kentucky
Derby's signature drink, the Mint Julep,
is also well-represented along the trail.
Many stops incorporate bourbon into
their cuisine, creating dishes such as
chicken and waffles with bourbon-maple
syrup and bourbon barrel smoked salmon.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE LOUISVILLE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU.

Tours of Churchill
Downs are
popular with
groups.

The Frazier
History Museum
is the official
starting point
of the Kentucky
Bourbon Trail.



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