Downtown Louisville


About three and a half miles north of Bellarmine, on the mile-wide Ohio River, lies Downtown Louisville, a bustling metropolis that was founded in 1781 and today is the largest business district in Kentucky. Home to the Belle of Louisville steamboat, the Big Four walking bridge and Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville’s Waterfront District is now a major attraction of greenspace, boat docks, concert venues and multiuse trails.


In downtown Louisville, you’ll find a museum-lover’s paradise. The waterfront is home to the world-famous Muhammad Ali Center, a fascinating interactive museum dedicated to The Champ’s vision of creating a more respectful world. Just west on Main Street, you’ll also find the Kentucky Science Center, the Frazier History Museum, 21c Museum and the  Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, where you can watch craftsmen create the Louisville Sluggers that Major League Baseball players use to knock ’em out of the park. Just around the corner, you’ll find Glassworks, a complex of glass studios and galleries dedicated to the art of glass.

 A few blocks east of those attractions, you’ll find outstanding performing arts at  Actors Theatre, on the Belvedere overlooking the river or at  Waterfront Park, which is home to rock, alt-rock, folk and indie concerts during the summer. Main and Market Streets—the Nulu district—are also home to dozens of clubs, boutiques and top notch dining. The Fourth Street Wharf is also home to the world-famous sternwheeler Belle of Louisville, which hosts Bellarmine’s Halloween dance, “Ball on the Belle.”

South of Main a few blocks, you’ll find  Fourth Street Live, a dining and entertaining complex that’s home to Hard Rock Cafe, Maker’s Mark Bourbon House and numerous other shops, restaurants and nightclubs. Travel east a few more blocks and you'll find Louisville Slugger Field, home to the Triple-A Louisville Bats and  Louisville City FC, Kentucky’s only fully professional soccer club.

Downtown Louisville is also home to many outstanding restaurants, featuring top chefs producing everything from meals prepared using locally grown produce and meats to ethnic cuisines from all over the world. Thanks to the burgeoning bourbon industry, there are also Whiskey Row distillery tours across downtown, where patrons can tour the distilleries and sample the wares of bourbon makers like Jim Beam, Old Forester, Bulleit, Evan Williams and Angel’s Envy.

Downtown Louisville has so much to offer, and, at just 3.5 miles from campus, couldn’t be easier to reach. For Bellarmine students, it’s the perfect mix of on-campus living and big-city life.