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Louisville Gets Noticed for LGBTQ+ Scene

Louisville Gets Noticed for LGBTQ+ Scene

Louisville Kentucky skyline
Louisville Tourism

The Kentucky city was named to New York Times list of places to visit in 2023.

Louisville, Kentucky made the list of 52 Places to Travel in 2023, a global travel recommendation list curated by The New York Times, in part because of the city’s LGBTQ+ community, and queer scene, including several gay bars.

“We are proud to be recognized by The New York Times as a destination admired for its art, beauty, and inclusivity,” said Cleo Battle, president & CEO of Louisville Tourism in a press release. “This is a great way to kick off 2023, a year that we expect to be one of the best in Louisville Tourism’s history and the best we have had since the pandemic began.”

The New York Times wrote, “One of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains, and arguably among the most beautiful, Louisville somehow flies under the radar. This despite its graceful 19th-century park system, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and its bourbon-fueled convivial spirit."

Two men drink Old Fashions at The Porch bar in Louisville KentuckyCourtesy of Louisville Tourism

The Times also noted that Louisville's LGBTQ+ scene is "thriving, with hot spots like Chill Bar and Play Dance Bar, which hosts regular drag nights featuring touring artists." It points out that the city has been recognized by Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index with the highest score (100) for seven years in a row.

In 2021 Mike Slaton, executive director of Louisville Pride, told local Kentucky station, WDRB, “There was Gallup poll a couple years ago that had Louisville as being, I think, the 11th most LGBTQ population city so we definitely know that there is the population here to need this center and to support it.” Slaton was speaking at the time in regard to two new LGBTQ community centers: a former dentist office turned homeless youth center Sweet Evening Breeze and a larger, 7,500-square-foot space, The Louisville Pride Center, which will host community events and provide mental health and financial services.

In addition to highlighting the LGBTQ+ community and thriving bourbon distilleries, the Times referenced the new Hotel Genevieve, boutique accommodations opening this spring from the Texas-based Bunkhouse Group, "which offers Louisville-inspired touches like décor that pays homage to the city’s rich quilting heritage, an on-site market selling work from local artists and an art garden with rotating murals and bourbon selections from neighboring Rabbit Hole Distillery."

The Times piece concludes, "Make plans for 2023, because the city might not stay below the radar much longer: 2024 will draw the masses for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.”

Check outthecomplete list of 52 Places to Travel in 2023 from The New York Times

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