Category Archives: Gay Kentucky

Louisville and Lexington Gay Kentucky


For decades, Kentucky has battled the sort of image problem that, by comparison, would make Jesse James and Tiger Woods look like Disney princes. Think rednecks, hillbillies and all manner of people who treat family reunions like singles bars.  Did you watch JUSTIFIED on FX?

Every year in May, all eyes fall upon Kentucky’s pastoral Bluegrass region. During the first week of the month, the city of Louisville holds the Kentucky Derby, the most celebrated Thoroughbred racing event in the country. But from spring clear through late autumn, it’s a fine time for touring the hilly, verdant swatch of northern Kentucky that includes the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. Despite the region’s generally conservative demeanor, Louisville has a growing core of hip neighborhoods, an increasingly locavore-driven restaurant scene, first-rate arts and culture, and one of the world’s largest gay nightclubs. And collegiate Lexington – just 75 miles away – makes a charming base for exploring nearby horse farms and acclaimed small-batch bourbon distilleries.


LOUISVILLE is A large, modern metropolis (city-county population 721,000) on Kentucky’s Ohio River border with Indiana.


Louisville excels when it comes to the arts, with respected opera and ballet companies, the highly regarded Louisville Orchestra, and the Actors Theatre of Louisville, which hosts the acclaimed Humana Festival of New American Plays every spring. Many major musical and dramatic events are staged at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.


Due south of downtown, Old Louisville is an impressive neighborhood of Victorian mansions bordered by the sprawling campus of the University of Louisville, which enrolls around 20,000 students. The school’s Speed Art Museum has fine collections of American antiques and art by both European and American masters. Not far from here you’ll also find the world-famous Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby – a museum here traces the history of this renowned event.


Many of the city’s most gay-popular eateries are on Bardstown Road, including the community’s favorite java joint, Days Espresso (dayscoffee.com), a two-room space with local art and great coffee. Also along this stretch is Lilly’s (www.lillyslapeche.com), where you can sample such contemporary regional American specialties as catfish spring rolls with Asian dipping sauce, and locally farmed pork confit and braised shoulder.

Read more from travel expert Andrew Collins