August saw the $207 million redevelopment and expansion of the Kentucky International Convention Center, transforming the existing structure into a larger, more flexible space that now offers more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a new 40,000-square-foot ballroom. But there's also plenty to do in this city outside the convention halls.DAY 1: BASEBALL AND BOURBON
Explore Downtown Louisville's Museum Row
using the Main Ticket, which includes admission to half a dozen attractions in the area, including the inspiring Muhammad Ali Center, eclectic Frazier History Museum and eyebrow-raising Kentucky Science Center. Don't forget to stop by the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, to learn the history of the famous baseball bat and watch how it's manufactured, from tree to the hands of your favorite Major League Baseball player. 4:00 PM
Sample what this city is famous for by picking up an Urban Bourbon Trail Passport
at the Louisville Visitor Center and start getting stamped. Stops include 44 bars and restaurants and seven distilleries. Drop by the Old Forester Distillery (which includes a pyrotechnical barrel-charring demo); take part in a Whiskey Round Table Tasting at Angel's Envy (sampling the distillery's signature bourbon finished in port barrels); or make a visit to the newest brand on the block, Rabbit Hole Distillery (which also offers a memorable event space upstairs). DAY 2: NULU AND NEW
Spend a day in NuLu
(New Louisville), the city's burgeoning East Market District of art galleries, antique shops and numerous bars and restaurants. 4:00 PM
The recently opened Omni Louisville
not only offers 612 guest rooms and 70,000 square feet of meeting space for events, it also includes attractions such as the elegant Library Bar, Falls City Market of specialty food and gift shops and a vast collection of original, local art in every space. Step through a neon-illuminated entrance into the speakeasy Pin + Proof -- complete with complex cocktail menu and a secret bowling alley. DAY 3: DAY OF SPEED
Take a Barn & Backside Tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack, home of the Kentucky Derby. Visitors will see how much goes into maintaining a racetrack that hosts 750 races a year (including the big one) and the constant attention, training and grooming demanded for the world's fastest horses. After the tour, stroll through the Kentucky Derby Museum
to learn more about the history of the race and racetrack, and watch the impressive 360-degree video "The Greatest Race." 1:00 PM
Stop for lunch at Proof on Main,
set in the 21c Museum Hotel and offering up a locally sourced menu and memorable cocktails. Then stroll through the 21c's stunning collection. 4:00 PM
See Kentucky's largest, oldest and most prominent museum of art by taking a visit to Speed Art Museum.
On the third Friday of the month, it hosts After Hours, staying open until 10 p.m. for an evening of live music, performances and food. This article appears in the October 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.