Louisville, KY downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 26
Demographics 61
Economy 63
Education 60
Health 60
Housing 62
Infrastructure 41

#46. Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY is known for being the hometown of Jennifer Lawrence and Muhammed Ali, the Kentucky Derby and Bourbon. Lots of Bourbon. The city, which was once known as the “Wall Street of Whiskey,” now is home to 10 different distillers and an Urban Bourbon Trail that takes folks through the city’s best Bourbon bars and restaurants like hip Garage Bar, artsy Proof on Main and 21st in Germantown, the oldest continuously operating tavern in Louisville since 1887. While there’s always some sort of party going on, there are plenty of things to do in Louisville that don’t include Bourbon, such as visiting its museums, watching live theater or walking one of the many nearby parks and green spaces.

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Louisville & Bellarmine University

Top Industries & Employers: Health care and aging innovation, business services, logistics and e-commerce, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage

Weekend Plans: Attend a soccer game at the new Lynn Family Stadium, home of Louisville City FC. The 15,000-capacity stadium regularly hosts games spring through fall.

Favorite Place to Feast: Brooklyn-born chef and current Louisville resident Edward Lee’s 610 Magnolia has become an Old Louisville staple for its progressive and diverse approach to Southern Cooking.

Beloved Beverage: Anyone and everyone who likes cocktails should try the Old Fashioned at Bourbons Bistro, which has earned a Gold Medal from Whisky Magazine’s “Whisky Bars of the World.”

Outdoorsy Activity: Take a quick drive to Kentucky’s official state arboretum, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, to explore 16,000 acres of wildlife sanctuary and a landscaped arboretum. It features impressive outdoor exhibits such as the Forest Giants, canopy tree walk and many new trails and walkways.

Rooftop Bar: 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen offers good food and great cocktails on its cozy fire pit-dotted rooftop bar that looks out at stunning views of the city and river.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Bring Fido out for a night out in Germantown at 21st Amendment Tavern. Dogs are welcome back in its Goddess Garden, which has a walk-up service window, so he doesn’t have to get sad when you walk away to order food and drinks.

Remote Work Perk: Want just-roasted coffee while you work? Head to one of several Sunergos Coffee locations to sip fresh drip in what essentially serves as a free coworking space for locals.

One More Thing … The city’s historic Seelbach Hotel inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby.” 

– Brittany Anas

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