Hi, this is Part 2 of our Louisville Relocation Guide.
10 Things to know about Louisville BEFORE you make Louisville your home:
- Louisville does not conform to Kentucky stereotypes...(Disclaimer)...as much as other Kentucky towns do. No offense to the fine folks of Kentucky's more rural locales, but Louisville is different than the rest of the state. It just is, and our rural neighbors seem happy to agree. There are even Louisville folks that want to shed the Kentucky label all together. I recall getting in an elevator in Los Angeles as a senior in high school at a leadership convention with high school kids from all across the country. One of the elevator passengers actually was surprised to see that I was wearing shoes. This is the sort of stereotype I'm talking about. Louisville is more diverse than common caricatures of the state of Kentucky. Louisville is Kentucky's largest city with nearly 600,000 residents according to the 2010 census. With lots of people comes lots of differences, and Louisville reflects plenty of differences. Louisville residents may or may not talk with a bit of a "twang", but even those who do will claim they don't. Though Louisville often feels like a small town for those who have lived here for any significant time period, there's no question that it features the kinds of art, music, and mostly exciting eclectic "weirdness" one finds in the largest cities.
- Louisville is a GREAT restaurant town. A local restaurant uprising has been on quite a trajectory for at least the last decade. The traditional restaurant hotbed corridor, Bardstown Road, has been enhanced by wonderful additional restaurants on East Main Street, the Central Business District, Frankfort Avenue, and St Matthews. I suggest breakfast at Toast, lunch at Cafe Lou Lou, and dinner at Jack Fry's with a late whiskey at the Silver Dollar.
- Louisville is for Cards and Cats. One thing that can't be avoided is the rivalry between the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. This rivalry has no offseason. It takes a backseat to no other college rivaly, and it really does demand decisiveness. The unique thing about Jefferson County is that there are a lot of Kentucky Wildcat fans and alumni who live in Louisville. Some say it is a 50/50 split between Cardinal fans and Wildcat fans. While I tend to think the split is more like 60/40 Louisville fans, I fully submit that there are more than enough UK fans making noise. Should you move to Louisville, just know that this rivalry is feisty and never sleeps.
- Louisville natives live "inside the Watterson". This is becoming somewhat of a myth, however, I think many Louisville lifers believe this to be true. I see this sort of attitude from the outset when I begin working with a Louisville home buyer who grew up in Louisville. If nothing else, they start off their home search intending to live inside the Watterson Expressway or I-264. When I meet people who have relocated from outside of Louisville, they inevitably call the Watterson, "the inner ring." It's inside the Watterson where you will find popular neighborhoods like Crescent Hill, NuLu, Butchertown, St Matthews, the Highlands, and Germantown. Even in Louisville, where the typical work commute is only a fraction of what it is in many of America's larger cities, Louisville people like convenience and are willing to pay for it. Thus, real estate in some neighborhoods located inside the Watterson tends to command the highest price per square foot of living space in Jefferson County.
- Louisville has top notch museums. Again, bucking the stereotypes that are associated with our state, Louisville has made it a priority to feature unique and first-rate museums. West Main Street in downtown Louisville houses quite a few of them, also known as Museum Row. The Louisville Slugger Museum, Frazier History Museum, Kentucky Science Center, 21c Hotel, and the Muhammad Ali Center are several examples of our city's commitment to celebrating the culture.
- Louisville doesn't have major professional sports. The city has flirted with luring an NBA team to town several times, and there are still quite a few folks around pushing the idea. Otherwise, Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby and world famous Churchill Downs; Valhalla, site of two PGA Championships & a Ryder Cup; Slugger Field, home ballpark of the Louisville Bats AAA baseball team; and the University of Louisville Cardinals, defending NCAA Champions in Men's basketball and Sugar Bowl Championship football team.
- Louisville has a unique river culture. The River City is boater-friendly. The Ohio River flows to the edge of Downtown Louisville. Several smaller tributaries foster a unique subculture north of the city. Harrods Creek is located north of downtown and features a few hole in the wall establishments with dock access. During the warm weather months, the river is a popular place to relax.
- Take the Trolley. Louisville's monthly social calendar includes two Fridays per month of art gallery trolley hopping. On the first Friday of each month, take the trolley from East Market Street in the NuLu district all the way to 4th Street Live. On the last Friday of each month, partake in Fat Friday by trolley hopping through Crescent Hill down Frankfort Avenue. Both of these events showcase local art, shops, and restaurants in a fun way.
- Louisville has gorgeous public parks (as seen above). Whether you end up calling the Highlands your home or you buy in southern Jefferson County, the park system in Louisville is an outstanding asset for our city. Cherokee & Seneca Parks adjoin one another and form a picturesque link between St Matthews and the Highlands. They, along with sixteen other Louisville area parks, were designed over 120 years ago by the Father of Landscape Architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. As a kid I played basketball at the entrance to Cherokee Park at Willow Avenue in the Highlands and later played golf at Cherokee's municipal course. Some of Louisville's most sought after real estate borders Cherokee or Seneca Park due to their beauty and location within the city.
- The Louisville music scene is vibrant. Whether you enjoy classical music or Lady Gaga, Louisville has a music venue that will delight you. Waterfront Park features incredible independent concerts all summer long as part of WFPK's Waterfront Wednesdays. Alison Krauss & Union Station filmed a live DVD at 4th Street's grand Palace Theater based on its magnificence in sound and setting. The Kentucky Center for the Arts attracts an array of excellent and critically acclaimed acts for every season. The newly created Iroquois Amphitheater is an awesome addition to another of Olmsted's Louisville parks, Iroquois Park. And for those that must have the chart toppers, the KFC YUM! Center, home to the University of Louisville's basketball teams, has already hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and Lady Gaga during its short history.
So there you have it: 10 things you should know about Louisville, Kentucky. There are plenty more, but these 10 give the prospective home buyer relocating from outside of Louisville a snapshot of what he or she might expect by upon relocating to Louisville, Kentucky.
As a professional REALTOR who has lived and worked in Louisville in real estate for over 10 years, I value the chance to interview for the job of helping you buy or sell your Louisville home. Let's talk about it. Call me at 502-533-5894, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk further about this great city and the living options it offers.