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Louisville recognized as a national tourism hotspot

By Louisville Tourism, gotolouisville.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Despite a lingering COVID-19 pandemic, travelers were eager to visit Bourbon City in 2021. Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport saw several summer days surpass 2019 levels while local attractions were steady with bourbon distillery tours regularly selling out and the seasonal Jack O’Lantern Spectacular event welcoming a record 95,471 visitors this fall.

Recognition came from several prominent national travel and tourism authorities including Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Southern Living, Condé Nast, Fodors and the New York Times.

Louisville closed out the year on a high note, landing on Travel + Leisure’s prestigious list of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2022.”

The magazine says after two years of pandemic-related cancelations and travel restrictions, travelers are hoping 2022 is the year for exploring favorite destinations and crossings new ones off their lists. Louisville was No. 28 on Travel + Leisure‘s list of best places to visit in 2022.

The magazine writes:

“Your cowboy boots were made for walking the streets of Louisville. Nicknamed “The Bourbon City,” an official gateway to Kentucky’s bourbon trail, the city is expanding its bourbon footprint in 2022. In October, the Urban Bourbon Trail welcomed the first and only African American–owned distillery in the state, Brough Brothers. Meanwhile, its trailmate, Angel’s Envy, will wrap its $8.2-million expansion project complete with a new event space and five tasting rooms in the spring. The city is most well known for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby every 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, attendees 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 stop by Condé Nast Traveler as a “Best Place to Travel in May,” Lonely Planet’s “Best Places to See Fall Colors in the U.S.,” and an additional nod from Travel + Leisure as “America’s Best Cities for Winter Travel.”

Louisville’s complete list of 2021 accolades:


  • “50 Best Places to Travel in 2022” – Travel + Leisure
  • “Best Places to See Fall Colors in the U.S.” – Lonely Planet
  • “America’s Best Cities for Winter Travel” – Travel + Leisure
  • “Best Places to Visit in the USA” – Country Living
  • “17 Amazing Vacation Ideas for Families with Teens” – TravelPulse
  • “5 of the Earth-Friendliest Cities Across the U.S.” – Parade.com
  • “10 Most Affordable U.S. Destinations” – CNBC
  • “10 Surprisingly Affordable Destinations for Fall Travel” – Real Simple
  • “Top-Rated ‘Up-and-Coming’ Cities” – Vacation Renter
  • “19 Family Vacation Ideas your Teenager will Love” – Today.com
  • “America’s Next Sports City” – Axios
  • “Best Places to Travel in May” – Condé Nast Traveler
  • “15 Best Destinations in the U.S. to Explore by Bike” – Tripsavvy.com
  • “2021’s Best Winter Holiday Destinations” – WalletHub


  • “2021’s Best Foodie Cities in America” – WalletHub
  • “The South’s Best Soul Food” (Lucretia’s Kitchen) – Southern Living
  • “Best BBQ Cities in America” – Eat This, Not That!
  • “Best Food Cities in the U.S.” – Escapism Toronto
  • “5 Best Food and Drink Trails In The Southern U.S.” – Travel Awaits
  • “Top 25 Bourbon Bars in the U.S. & Canada” (Steak & Bourbon and Trouble Bar) – Yelp
  • “Best Cocktail Bars of the South” (Silver Dollar and Meta) – Garden & Gun
  • “Top 100 LGBTQ+ Bars Across the U.S.” (Chill Bar and Big Bar) – Yelp
  • “Must-Try Black-Owned Restaurants in the U.S.” (Shirley Mae’s & SuperChefs) – Woman’s Day
  • “Top 100 Places to Eat in 2021” (Mayan Café) – Yelp


  • “The 25 Best Distilleries in the U.S.” (Angel’s Envy) – Travel + Leisure
  • “10 Best RiverWalks in the U.S.” – USA Today 10BEST
  • “Best Art Exhibitions 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
  • “The USA’s Most Spectacular Winter Lights Displays” (Lights Under Louisville) – Frommer’s
  • “10 Best Haunted Destinations in the U.S.” (Waverly Hills) – USA Today 10Best
  • “5 Fall Music Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss” (Louder Than Life) – Yahoo!
  • “Must-Visit Sports Venues in the South” (Churchill Downs) – Deep South Magazine
  • “10 Best Aerial Adventure Parks in the U.S.” (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 U.S.” (Copper & Kings) – USA Today 10Best


  • “Top 25 Hotels in the South” (Brown Hotel, 21c Louisville and the Galt House Hotel) – Condé Nast
  • “10 Midwestern Hotels with Stunning Architecture” (Brown Hotel) – Fodors
  • “10 Most Romantic Hotels in the U.S.” (Chateau Bourbon) – USA Today 10Best
  • “10 Best Pet Friendly Hotels” (21c Louisville) – USA Today 10Best
  • “2021’s Most Notable Hotel Openings” (Grady Hotel) – Flung Magazine

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