Best Places to Live

Louisville, KY

Population: 608,732
LIV
SCORE
633
Thomas Kelley

There’s a lot you can say about Louisville. That it’s a bourbon lover’s paradise. Or that it’s home to “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” Or that it’s famous for its namesake baseball bats. Or that the food scene here is one-of-a-kind. Or that it’s a diverse and lively and inclusive city that is full of surprises.  

But honestly? Louisville is just cool.  

It’s cool because the people who live there are proud of where they live, and are constantly working to make the city the best it can be. Whether you’re visiting briefly or have lived there for years, this community spirit is palpable.

Louisville earned high scores in our amenities category thanks to an abundance of parks, museums, restaurants and community events that keep residents engaged and entertained. The city also did well in the housing category thanks to affordable prices and a wide variety of homes at different price points, for renters and buyers.  

Local Obsession: College football and basketball. There's a pretty even split between University of Kentucky and University of Louisville fans here, and the rivalry keeps things exciting (and slightly tense).  

Local Dream Job: Tour guide at Evan Williams bourbon distillery 

Quintessential Meal: Fried chicken is the easy answer, but the strength of today’s Louisville food scene is its diversity. Whether it's kimchi jjigae at Lee's, the vegetarian platter of mustard greens and lentils at Abyssinia, the falafel at Yafa Cafe or the empanadas at Havana Rumba, you can have lunch pretty much anywhere on the globe without leaving the city.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Hiking in the Bernheim Forest, just south of the city.

After-Work Meetup Spot: The Back Door. Strong drinks and fried food? Yes, please. 

Best Brewery/Local Beer: You can’t beat the wood-aged beers made by Goodwood Brewing Co. Their motto? What’s good for bourbon is better for beer.” We also love Against the Grain

Beloved Bookstore: Carmichael's

Free Way to Have Fun: Tuesday night karaoke at Nowhere Bar 

Hidden Gem: La Guanaquita, a Salvadoran restaurant on Taylor Blvd. They serve amazing pupusas, yes, but the real attraction is their curtido, a side dish of cabbage and jalapenos fermented in lime juice.

- Winona Dimeo-Ediger

Read More:

Southern Pride: A Guide to Louisville’s LGBTQ Scene

6 Reasons to Move to Louisville Right now

The Best Stops Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

"What I love most about Louisville is the people! Everyone is so friendly. It’s a decent size city, yet everyone seems to know everyone. Plus we have the DERBY!"

Kathy Edlin
Resident and Educator

Louisville, KY Ranking Data

Civic
52
Demographics
59
Economy
68
Education
49
Health
44
Housing
82
Infrastructure
77