This post is by Joe Stephens
I’ve been in Louisville, Kentucky since last Thursday doing the AP Reading. What that is, in a nutshell, is a couple thousand English teachers and professors from all over the country gather in one place to read and score 1.2 million essays that were written in May by high school students on the AP (Advanced Placement) English Literature and Composition Exam. The good news that the 1.2 million is the total, not how many we each had to read. We were divided into three rooms with each room responsible for reading one of the three essays. My room read the prose essay. I scored 1508 essays from Friday until today (yesterday when this goes live). I say I scored and not read, I mean that, well, not all the kids wrote all the essays. But that’s another story. Even the essays in general is another story. What I want to write about is all the stuff that you can do for fun in Louisville.
First of all, the part of Louisville I saw is mostly what’s called the Central Business District, or downtown. The city is huge, with a metro area totalling over 1 million people. So what I saw and did is miniscule compared to the entire city. But even in our little corner tucked against the Ohio River (which seems really WIDE compared to the part that flows past my town of Parkersburg, WV), there’s so much to do that you just can’t get to it all, especially when you only have a few evenings free to do stuff. So if you want to visit, plan for plenty of time. There are even theme parks here, but I won’t be talking about that.
First of all, anyone who’s been to one will tell you that AAA baseball games are the best entertainment bargain around. My friends and I went to a Louisville Bats game and the tickets were $10. Yes, drinks and refreshments were as expensive as at a movie theater, but if you plan your trip right, you can get there on a promotion night. We missed dollar hot dogs and soft drink night by one day, but they have them regularly. Almost every night there’s some kind of discount or giveaway. And even if you don’t like baseball, go. The park is amazing and there’s some sort of goofy entertainment between every inning. We had a blast and we barely even paid attention to the game.
If you’re not into sports, there are tons of other things to do, including museums, theater productions (Louisville is the unofficial Boston of the South, with many future Broadway hits having their final tune-up productions taking place here for a fraction of the cost as on the Great White Way.), big-name concerts, and even crazy activities like the world’s largest underground zip-line. While you’re here, you really need to see the Muhammad Ali Center. It was simply fascinating. We happened to be there the week of his funeral, so it was even busier than normal, but we had no trouble seeing everything.
Maybe the best part about Louisville is the food. Where we were, there seemed to be a great restaurant every fifty feet. One area, Fourth Street Live, in addition to being the location of many shows and events every week during the warm months, is completely lined with fantastic restaurants. If you can’t find something you like there, you don’t like food. And, if you’re into beverages of the adult type, Kentucky is the home of good ol’ Kentucky bourbon. But you can also find many varieties of craft-brewed beers and local wines if you’re looking for something a little milder.
So if you have some time on your hands and are looking for a fun place to go, Louisville, Kentucky should be on your short list.
Joe’s newest book, Dawn of Grace, just debuted on June 9. It’s available on Amazon.
Check out his third book, In The Shadow on Amazon
Take a look at his debut book, Harsh Prey on Amazon
Take a look at his second book, Kisses and Lies on Amazon