Top budget travel picks: Raleigh to Louisville

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You don't have to be a fan of the Kentucky Derby or baseball to enjoy a trip to Louisville, the state's largest city. Positioned on the banks of the Ohio River, along the Indiana border, Louisville Louisville, Kentucky's largest city, sits on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. Founded in 1778, the city is one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Today, it has annual festivals, museums, performing arts centers, sports happenings and plenty of food and drink offerings to appease residents and visitors alike.

It's more doable than you think. According to travel site Skyscanner, there are plenty of flights from Raleigh to Louisville in the next few months, and the prices aren't too shabby.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery, here are some deals to put on your to-do list.

(Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. Links included in the articles may earn Hoodline a commission on clicks and transactions. Prices and availability are subject to change.)

Flight deals to Louisville

The cheapest flights between Raleigh and Louisville are if you leave on November 26 and return from Kentucky on November 29. Frontier Airlines currently has tickets for $180, roundtrip.

There are also deals to be had in December. If you fly out of Raleigh on December 9 and return from Louisville on December 11, American Airlines can get you there and back for $192 roundtrip.

Top Louisville hotels

To plan your stay, here are some of Louisville's top-rated hotels, according to Skyscanner, that we selected based on price, proximity to things to do, and customer satisfaction.

The Brown Hotel (335 W. Broadway)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

For an all-around top recommendation, consider The Brown Hotel. The hotel has a 4.9-star rating on Skyscanner, and rooms are currently available for $129.

This hotel is located close to the airport. Attractions in the neighborhood include the Louisville Palace and Fourth Street Live. Other attractions include the Muhammed Ali Center.

The 21c Museum Hotel Louisville (700 W. Main St.)

Another 4.9-star option is The 21c Museum Hotel Louisville. Rooms are currently set at $159/night.

Attractions in the neighborhood include the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, the Muhammed Ali Center, and the Louisville Slugger Museum. Additional attractions include Riverfront Plaza Belvedere.

The Seelbach Hilton (500 Fourth Ave.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

If you're looking for an inexpensive place to stay, try The Seelbach Hilton. The 4.4-star hotel has rooms for $114/night.

Set in the heart of Louisville, this hotel is close to Fourth Street Live and the Muhammed Ali Center, as well as Riverfront Plaza Belvedere.

Featured Louisville food and drink

Louisville has plenty of topnotch dining options. Here are a few of the most popular, according to Skyscanner.

Proof on Main (702 W. Main St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Don't forget the essentials: where to get a drink. For a popular option, check out Proof on Main, with 4.8 stars from 17 reviews.

Proof on Main at the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel in Downtown Louisville offers a combination of inventive food and beverage. Proof is committed to supporting the region's sustainable farmers and producers. As a proud stop along the Urban Bourbon Trail, this commitment carries over to the bar where over 50 of Kentucky's finest bourbons are stocked and seasonal.

"The drinks are creative and tasty. Great starting point for a night out, even if it's just one drink," wrote reviewer Tyson.

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse (325 W. Main St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Also worth considering is Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse.

"This classic steakhouse is famous in Louisville, go here for a great view and one of the best steaks in town , " wrote Kelly. "It is a pricier option for dining in Louisville, but a romantic spot for a night out."

El Taco Luchador (938 Baxter Ave.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, there's El Taco Luchador.

"Great on Tuesdays, and with tequila. The menu is nicely crafted, and has options for the picky eaters," wrote Kelly.

Featured local attractions

Not sure what to do in Louisville, besides eat and drink? Here are a few recommendations, provided by Skyscanner.

Churchill Downs (700 Central Ave.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

First up is Churchill Downs.

Opened in 1875, Churchill Downs has hosted the Kentucky Derby for more than 130 years. A popular horse racing venue, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986, it can house up to 150,000 people during peak competitions. Additional attractions on premises include the Kentucky Derby Museum, featuring exhibits on the history of the race track and the Kentucky Derby.

The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (800 W. Main St.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is another popular destination.

The Louisville Slugger Museum is a museum primarily dedicated to showcasing the history of the Louisville Slugger brand of baseball bats, as well as of baseball in general.

"This is a great museum to take the whole family to, and watch how a bat is made from start to finish, and the history of baseball," wrote Kelly.

Kentucky Derby (700 Central Ave.)
Photo: Trip by Skyscanner

Finally, consider checking out Kentucky Derby.

"This world famous horse race that is held annually in Louisville is by far the most popular attraction this city has to offer, " wrote Kelly. "The Derby happens the first Saturday in May capping the two week long Kentucky Derby festival."
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