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The lure of Kentucky’s gentrified vices "sipping mint juleps while betting on the ponies at Churchill Downs" has always enticed visitors, but modern day Louisville is no longer just for The Kentucky Derby or Breeders’ Cup (get the inside skinny on insuring Breeders’ Cup racehorses and the lure of the sport in this issue). Signs of the city’s revitalization are everywhere. Fourth Street Live! is the happening new scene. Makers Mark Bourbon House and Hard Rock Cafe are just two of the establishments that line an urban block of restaurants, bars and shops. A short walk away, the Muhammad Ali Center and the Louisville Slugger Museum pay homage to two of the city’s icons. Facing the Ohio River is The Kentucky Center for the Arts and Actors Theater where you can catch some of the finest regional art performances in the country.

If Museum Plaza, the proposed multi-use skyscraper project comes to fruition, more than just the skyline of Louisville will be transformed by the futuristic architectural design.


If the 21c Museum were a cocktail instead of a hotel, it would be a cosmopolitan served in a sexy martini glass, albeit with a sprig of mint instead of a twist of lemon. This boutique hotel is housed in five 19th century, refurbished bourbon warehouses on historic Main Street. However, the ?Whiskey Row? location and the sterling julep cups in the guest rooms are where the nod to tradition ends. Contemporary art fills the public spaces and a 5,000 sq. ft. atrium. Guests receive an iPod upon check-in downloaded with their favorites. Rooms offer HDTV flat screen televisions, Egyptian cotton sheets and a work desk with an ergonomic chair and complimentary high-speed Internet. A fitness center with steam room, sauna and spa rounds out the luxury services.

21c Museum
700 West Main Street, Louisville -- 502.217.6300 -- www.21chotel.com

The Hot Brown, the classic dish of an open-faced turkey sandwich baked in a sublime Mornay sauce, was created at the historic hotel that bears its name. The Brown is indeed a classic?English Renaissance?and has been the hot place to stay for many legends, such as the Duke of Windsor and Elizabeth Taylor. This Georgian Revival structure offers the grandeur and graciousness of the traditional south without skimping on luxury amenities for the modern traveler. Best rooms: spacious Club Luxury rooms on the privately keyed floors where access to the private lounge provides the services of a dedicated concierge and a delectable array of complimentary goodies.

The Hot Brown
335 West Broadway, Louisville -- 502.583.1234 -- www.thebrownhotel.com

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Seelbach?s claim to fame is that F. Scott Fitzgerald used the hotel as the inspiration for Tom and Daisy Buchanan?s wedding in ?The Great Gatsby.? The lavish surroundings of this Beaux Art Baroque landmark?imported marble, gilted columns and hand painted murals?are certainly reminiscent of that decadent era. Stiffel lamps, colonial mahogany armoires and four-poster beds grace the guestrooms. Don?t miss the opportunity to sip one of Kentucky?s boutique bourbons at The Old Seelbach Bar presided over by long-time mixologist Janet South.

The Seelbach
500 Fourth Avenue, Louisville -- 502.585.3200 -- www.seelbachhilton.com

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