#LouisvilleLove | A New City Makes My Favorite Places List | Part 1: Thursday

I really didn’t know much about Louisville before a few weeks ago. After four short days in the charming city, I have to go back. There simply wasn’t enough time. I am smitten with Louisville.

We went to Louisville to watch our Tigers play – a Thursday night game against the University of Louisville Cardinals. I was excited just to see the way another campus “does football”. I love college campuses, and it’s always fun to see how other schools tailgate, get ready for games, cheer, chant and all that jazz.

After departing Anderson around 8:30 AM, we picked up 25 in Greenville, SC up through Asheville with just a smidge of color in the leaves where we switched over to I-40 until we got to Knoxville, TN. From Knoxville we took I-75 through the Daniel Boone National Forest all the way up to Lexington, KY when we picked up I-64 which goes straight to Louisville. A beautiful drive through less traveled parts of the country lead us past horse farms, beautiful treelines and through the Appalachian Mountains . One can only imagine the adventures and struggles of pioneers who had forged their way through Appalachia long before we had the luxury of taking the Interstate.

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We arrived in downtown Louisville around 2:30, just in time to check-in to the Embassy Suites downtown – GREAT LOCATION. The Embassy Suites downtown is located in the heart of Louisville, basically across the street from 4th street live, walking distance to the waterfront, the Louisville Slugger Museum and several distilleries.

{Embassy Suites Downtown; Photo Credit: Embassysuites.com}

A few weeks before the game, we got an email from the Clemson Alumni Association that Alumni and fans should gather at Churchill Downs in Louisville before the game….WHAT A WAY TO TAILGATE!! After getting checked in, freshening up, and meeting up with our friends Matt & Taylor, we were off to the races. The drive from our hotel to Churchill Downs took us straight down historic 4th Street which was our first glimpse into the architectural history of the city. I was in love…

{Residential 4th Street circa 1897 from OldLouisville.com}

At Churchill Downs, we paid a mere $3 each to enter to watch the races…which were about every 30-45 minutes from the time we got there until we left to walk the 1/2 mile to the University of Louisville Stadium. I’d been to the Carolina Cup and to horse races in West Virginia a LOOOONNNNNGGG time ago – so long ago that I can barely remember them… I was maybe 8 or 9? Will have to ask Mom & Dad… We found our way around, got a beverage, watched the jockies and the horses parade around, and picked our horses to get us in the competitive spirit. For $5, we got a drink, a hot dog, and a bag of chips. We picked our spot in the stands, and found other friends and family who were there for the game. Orange was everywhere. SO. MUCH. FUN. I couldn’t have planned a better tailgate for this trip!! It was a perfect start to our Louisville adventure!

IMG_7369{ In front of Churchill Downs with our friends and traveling buddies – Matt & Taylor }

IMG_7355{Overlooking the horse stalls}

About an hour before kickoff, we started our trek to the stadium, chatting with Clemson and Louisville fans along the way. We asked several people what the must-dos of Louisville were as we strode along with the masses. In just our little walk to the stadium, I was already impressed with the hospitality of Louisville fans and residents. Everyone was helpful, welcoming, and very friendly.

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{A small but loud beacon of orange in the Louisville “blackout”}

IMG_7377 {Looking up as we left the stadium}

It was a fun, albeit stressful, game, but the tigers pulled out a win on the road. A fabulous first day to our long weekend!

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Stay tuned for recaps of our Louisville adventures from Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Louisville Slugger Museum, The Silver Dollar, Comfy Cow Creamery, Evan Williams Experience, Stitzel – Weller Distillery….

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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