Louisville recognized as a national tourist hotspot
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite a lingering COVID-19 pandemic, travelers were eager to visit Bourbon City in 2021. Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville saw several summer days exceed 2019 levels while local attractions were stable with bourbon distillery tours that regularly sell out and the seasonal Jack O’Lantern Spectacular Event welcoming a record 95,471 visitors this fall.
Recognition has come from several prominent national travel and tourism authorities, including Travel + Leisure, planet alone, southern life, Condé Nast, Fodors and the New York Times.
Louisville ended the year on a high note, landing on Travel + Leisureof the prestigious list of “50 best places to travel in 2022”.
The magazine says that after two years of pandemic-related travel restrictions and cancellations, travelers are hoping 2022 will be the year to explore their favorite destinations and cross new ones off their bucket lists. Louisville was No. 28 on Travel + LeisureThe list of the best places to visit in 2022.
The magazine writes:
“Your cowboy boots were made for walking the streets of Louisville. Dubbed “The Bourbon City,” the official gateway to Kentucky’s bourbon trail, the city expands its bourbon footprint in 2022. In October, the Urban Bourbon Trail was home to the state’s first and only African-American distillery, Brough Brothers, while fellow traveler Angel’s Envy will complete its $8.2 million expansion project with a new event space and five tasting rooms in the spring.The town is best known for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby each spring at the historic Churchill Downs racetrack, and the Downs will open the first installment of its multi-year expansion plan, the Homestretch Club, just in time for the 2022 Derby. There, participants will be able to enjoy the race with an all-new trackside lounge experience.
Over the past 12 months, Louisville has also been recognized as a seasonal stopover by Conde Nast Traveler as “best place to travel in May”, planet alone“The Best Places to See Fall Colors in the United States” and an additional nod from Travel + Leisure as “America’s Best Cities for Winter Travel”.
Full list of Louisville honors in 2021:
GENERAL CITY REWARDS
- “50 Best Places to Travel in 2022” – Travel + Leisure
- “The best places to see fall colors in the United States” – Lonely Planet
- “America’s Best Cities for Winter Travel” – Travel + Leisure
- “The Best Places to Visit in the United States” – Country Living
- “17 amazing vacation ideas for families with teens” – TravelPulse
- “5 of the most eco-friendly cities in the United States” – Parade.com
- “10 Most Affordable U.S. Destinations” – CNBC
- “10 Surprisingly Affordable Destinations for Fall Travel” – Real Simple
- “Top Rated ‘Booming’ Cities” – Vacation Rental
- “19 family vacation ideas your teen will love” – Today.com
- “America’s Next Sports City” – Axios
- “Best places to travel in May” – Condé Nast Traveler
- “15 Best Destinations in the United States to Explore by Bike” – Tripsavvy.com
- “Best Winter Vacation Destinations of 2021” – WalletHub
- “The Best Foodie Cities in America in 2021” – WalletHub
- “The Best Soul Food in the South” (Lucretia’s Kitchen) – Southern Living
- “Best BBQ Towns in America” - Eat This, Not That!
- “Best Food Cities in the United States” – Escapism Toronto
- “5 Best Food Trails in the Southern US” – Travel Awaits
- “Top 25 Bourbon Bars in the US & Canada” (Steak & Bourbon and Trouble Bar) – Yelp
- “Best Cocktail Bars in the South” (Silver Dollar and Meta) – Garden & Gun
- “Top 100 LGBTQ+ Bars Across the US” (Chill Bar & Big Bar) – Yelp
- “The Must-Try Black-Owned Restaurants in the U.S.” (Shirley Mae’s & SuperChefs) – Women’s Day
- “The 100 Best Places to Eat in 2021” (Mayan Café) – Yelp
- “The 25 Best Distilleries in the United States” (Angel’s Envy) – Travel + Leisure
- “10 Best River Rides in the United States” – USA Today 10BEST
- “Best Art Exhibits of 2021” (Promise, Witness, Remembrance/Speed Art Museum) – New York Times
- “5 Black-Owned Distilleries Worth Visiting for Bourbon, Gin & More” (Brough Brothers) – Condé Nast
- “30 Best Halloween Events Near You” (Boo at the Zoo, Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular) – Country Living
- “America’s Most Spectacular Winter Light Displays” (Lights Under Louisville) – Frommer’s
- “10 Best Haunted Destinations in the United States” (Waverly Hills) – USA Today 10Best
- “5 Fall Music Festivals You Can’t Miss” (Louder Than Life) – Yahoo!
- “The South’s Must-Do Sports Venues” (Churchill Downs) – Deep South Magazine
- “10 Best Aerial Adventure Parks in the United States” (Louisville Mega Cavern) – USA Today 10Best
- “Top Festivals & Culinary Events for Fall 2021” (Big Four Bridge Arts Festival) – Style Blueprint
- “10 Best Craft Brandy Distilleries in the United States” (Copper & Kings) – USA Today 10Best
- “Top 25 Hotels in the South” (Brown Hotel, 21c Louisville and Galt House Hotel) – Condé Nast
- “10 Midwestern Hotels With Stunning Architecture” (Brown Hotel) – Fodors
- “10 Most Romantic Hotels in the United States” (Chateau Bourbon) – USA Today 10Best
- “10 Best Pet-Friendly Hotels” (21c Louisville) – USA Today 10Best
- “The Most Notable Hotel Openings of 2021” (Grady Hotel) – Flung Magazine
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