Louisville from the Horse’s Mouth

Adventures in the Home of the Derby

This is the first in a 3-part series. Check out Video 2: Getting to the Bottom of Bourbon!

Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, is a good-time town. Even when race day is months away, visitors can partake in the fun, style, festive atmosphere, and camaraderie that are the hallmarks of the big event.

Brooklyn Derby went down to check out this special city, and we think you will want to as well.

This is part one of a three-part series. Stay tuned for more!

Our Sponsor

This video would not exist without the generous support of our sponsor, 21c Museum Hotel, home of modern Southern hospitality in Lousiville and beyond.

Locations We Visited

Activities & Sites

Aero Force Balloons - enjoy a one-hour balloon ride over Louisville and the beautiful Kentucky countryside
Belle of Louisville - sail back in time on America’s last true Mississippi River steamboat still in operation
Big Four Bridge - walk over the Ohio River on this former railroad truss bridge and wave to Indiana
David Schuster Creations - visit the studio of local artist whose paintings range from equine scenes to abstract art
Hermitage Horse Farm - check out this classic thoroughbred farm that has bred winners of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and a Breeders’ Cup
Kentucky Derby Museum - soak up all the Derby history and culture you can shake a crop at
KFC Yum! Center - catch a game, or a major musical act, here at the home of the Louisville Cardinals
Louisville Extreme Park - get your X-game on at this world-class, open-24-hours skatepark
Louisville Slugger Museum - tour the factory, hit some balls, and get your fill of baseball history
Maker’s Mark Distillery Tour & Tasting - get the lowdown on how bourbon is made and then sample the goodness, less than an hour outside Louisville in Loretto, KY
Muhammad Ali Center - be inspired by Muhammad Ali’s life and legacy
Wheel Fun Rentals - grab a bike and check out what Louisville has to offer

Style & Shopping

Acorn - find a colorful Derby outfit at this amazing vintage shop
Craft(s) - peruse some fine artisan craft by local, nationaly renown artisans
Market Street Barbers - gentleman, stop here for a sharp cut or a close shave
Nina Rosenberg Hats - this award-winning designer’s vintage-inspired hats are worn by celebrities and the highest of Louisville Society, currently on display at Craft(s)
Paul’s Hat Works - run by a group of stylish young women, you won’t be able to walk out without making one of these bespoke hats your own
Sarah Havens Millinery - make an appointment for a custom Derby or everyday hat that fits your personality
Why Louisville? - buy souvenirs and get the 411 on the 502 at this unofficial Louisville information center

Food & Drink

Bistro 301 - great for group gatherings before or after visiting downtown attractions
El Camino - sit outside at the firepit and enjoy delicious Mexican
F.A.B.D. Smoke House - savour Louisville’s best BBQ, smoked on the premises, and a cold beer
Garage Bar - feast on country ham and wood-fired pizzas at this auto service garage turned bar-restaurant
North End Cafe - wake up with hot coffee, cheese grits, and piles of eggs
Please & Thank You - relax with some coffee, records, smiles, and the best darn chocolate chip cookie around
Proof on Main - feast on the sophistacted food and drink made from the freshest local ingredients
Rye - don’t forget to buy the chefs a PBR when you finish your decadent meal
Wagner’s Pharmacy - bump into some horsemen and women while getting breakfast or lunch at this old-school horse pharmacy


Holy Grale - with 26 taps and a uniqe interior and back yard, this former church is heaven for a beer lover
Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium - named for one of the world’s tallest men, this massive place has a weekly line up of dancing, bands, and karaoke
Zanzabar - come for the music, stay for the pinball machines, homemade “don’t be a chicken strips,” and amazing beer selection

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Louisvillians are exceedingly hospitable. We thank everyone we interviewed for being so kind, generous, and gosh darn fun. Special thanks to Creighton Sr. and Claire Alagia; Melissa Mershon; Kathy Mershon and Todd Gardner; Matt Mershon of Bistro 301; Eric Miller; Ashley Smith of the Waterfront Development Corporation; Wendy Treinen of the Kentucky Derby Museum; Jay White of Market Street Barbers; Jay of WHY Louisville; Antz and Jon of Zanzabar; Monica Claerbout Guarnaschelli and everyone at 21c Museum Hotels, Hermitage Horse Farm and Garage Bar; and Chea Beckley for our exquisite drinks and Chef Levon for one of the best meals of our lives at Proof on Main!


This photo epitomizes the scrapiness and dedication of our video team. Jacob shoots steadycam out the moonroof as Jessi and Casson hold onto him from the backseat of Aunt Melissa’s car driven by Creighton, and all the while, Bekka documents the scene. Thank you to Edward for holding a boom longer than what should be humanly possible, and to Rachel and Thomas for turning all our footage into something not only coherent, but pretty darn fun.