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Introducing Louisville

A major shipping center during the days of Westward Expansion, Louisville (or Looeyville, or Louahvul, or Luhvul) is still the largest city in Kentucky.

Best known as home of the Kentucky Derby, which has been drawing aristocrats to Churchill Downs since 1875, Louisville is also a nice place to stop for a day or two, with some good museums, a pretty riverfront, and interesting blue-collar neighborhoods full of corner pool halls and drive-through chili restaurants. Located just south of downtown is Old Louisville (www.oldlouisville.com), with the largest collection of Victorian homes in the country. A series of pretty parks (laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1890s) encircle the city, along with an inner (I-264) and outer (I-265) ring road.

The visitor center (502-582-3732, 888-568-4784; www.gotolouisville.com; 221 S 4th St; 10am-6pm Mon-Sat, noon-5pm Sun) has a free exhibit about that great Kentucky icon, KFC founder Colonel Sanders. Surf the web free at the public library (301 York St) downtown.