By Lorie Hailey
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2012) — Louisville was named the No. 1 U.S. travel destination for 2013 this week by a popular travel publisher and website.
Lonely Planet’s group of U.S. editors and authors agreed, without much debate, that Louisville is at the top of its list of the 2013 Top 10 U.S. Destinations. The world’s most successful travel publisher, Lonely Planet has printed more than 100 million travel books and has become a global brand.
“Best in Travel 2013 already covered two places we think the world should be looking at – San Francisco and the Gulf Coast – but here we wanted to dig deeper and shine a light on 10 places in the U.S. that travelers should add to their wish lists for the coming year,” Lonely Planet said.
Louisville is a “lively, offbeat cultural mecca on the Ohio River,” the editors said.
“New Louisville, also known as the East Market District or NuLu, features converted warehouses used as local breweries, antique shops and the city’s coolest restaurants,” Lonely Planet said. “On Bardstown Road in the Highlands, you’ll find a hipster strip of shops and bars, not to mention many ‘Keep Louisville Weird’ stickers.”
The editors also cited Louisville’s bourbon scene as a big attraction, saying “bourbon reigns in Louisville.” The city traditionally is the start of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
“Bourbon’s current wave of popularity, new upstart microdistilleries, including some in and around Louisville like the small-batch Angel’s Envy, are giving the old names in bourbon a run for their money,” the editors said.
The Kentucky Derby and 21c Museum Hotel also are big reasons to visit the biggest city in Kentucky.
“If you haven’t been to Louisville in sometime, now is the time for you to plan a visit,” said Jim Wood, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The city’s tourism product has seen incredible growth over the last several years and 2013 will be no exception with the return of bourbon distilleries to downtown’s Whiskey Row.”
The rest of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 destinations are: Fairbanks, Alaska; San Juan Islands, Washington; Philadelphia; American Samoa; Eastern Sierra, Calif.; northern Maine; Twin Cities, Minn.; Verde Valley, Ariz.; and Glacier National Park, Mont.
LonelyPlanet.com receives over 12 million unique visitors to its website each month with the “Top U.S. Destinations” list among its most read articles each year. It also has nearly 2 million fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter.