Louisville (pronounced lou-ah-vul locally) is an industrial, shipping, and commercial center. It has a prosperous river-town character with a distinct Southern accent. Downtown contains a few modern buildings, but the skyline is indistinct overall. The shady historic districts east and south of town with gracious Southern-style Victorian era homes are far more interesting.
Areas farther south are more blue-collar, while the west side of town is a mixed bag. The first Saturday of every May, Louisville becomes the center of the sports world with the running of the Kentucky Derby, a major local event. The city is known for production of autos, appliances, baseball bats, and health care management. It is home to the University of Louisville and is a busy air cargo hub.
Nationally, the city’s air service and spectator sports have become more important in recent years. The Ohio River offers some recreational opportunities, and the city is known for its excellent park system. The historically and culturally interesting bourbon country lies 50 miles south in Bardstown, making a nice weekend trip. Downsides include a low enrollment in public schools, a high pollen/allergy score, congestion and fairly long commute times for the type of area. But negatives are fairly minor and overall Louisville offers a complete package.
The city is divided into two portions with different topographies. The east is rolling hillsides with mostly residential areas, while the west is a flat floodplain containing industry. The climate is continental and highly variable. Located near storm tracks, it is characterized by frequent shifts between warm moist Gulf air and cooler air from the north and west. Summers are usually warm and humid. Winters are moderately cold, though hills to the north in Indiana block polar air. Snow may be observed on those hills while absent in the city and river valley. Spring and summer thunderstorms are common, often producing heavy amounts. Fall is normally the driest season. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.