Louisville, Kentucky Gay City Guide - LGBTQ Events and Gayborhoods

Located on the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville is a city perhaps best known for being the home with the Kentucky Derby - and truly this city does offer the greatest three minutes of horse racing in the world each May. But beyond its storied horse racing history, Louisville is a city with a rich heritage and unique personality that offers so much to all who live here and visit. It is an artsy progressive city with an eclectic vibe, friendly people, and a growing and thriving LGBTQ community.

A Look at Louisville’s History

Established in 1778 by explorer George Rogers Clark, Louisville was named after King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his assistance during the Revolutionary War. Although its initial growth was somewhat slow, with the advent of the steamboat in the early 1800s, growth began booming thanks to the city’s location on the Ohio River. By 1830, Louisville was the largest city in Kentucky. The city continued to grow and today is home to several businesses including Humana, Yum Brands, and UPS among others. It's also home to the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University, and several other thriving businesses and an innovative healthcare industry. Truly there is something for everyone in Louisville, and it's a wonderful place to call home.

A Few Fun Facts About Louisville

  • Louisville is known as the “Disco Ball Capital of the World” – because the disco ball was first invented there.
  • Louisville is home to the oldest still-operating Mississippi-style steamboat in existence. The Belle of Louisville is over 100 years old!
  • The song, “Happy Birthday” was originally written in Louisville by two sisters, Patty and Mildred Hill.

Read more fun facts about Louisville here.

The LGBTQ Community in Louisville                                            

Louisville loves its LGBTQ community and helps to support the community with a variety of resources, including:

PFLAG Louisville

PFLAG Louisville is the city’s chapter of the national PFLAG organization. PFLAG is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the United States, and for many years, it has played an essential role in providing education, advocacy, support, networking opportunities, and resources to LGBTQ communities across the country. Monthly meetings and other community-building events and resources are regularly offered.

Civitas Louisville

Civitas Louisville is a regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce which is part of NGLCC’s national affiliate network. The group focuses on LGBTQ business certification, education, and providing networking opportunities to strengthen and encourage the growth of the LGBTQ community in the city and beyond.

What’s the Weather Like in Louisville?

Those who live in Louisville can count on experiencing four distinct seasons each year. Louisville’s location in the Ohio River Valley means that in the summer it gets plenty of heat and humidity. Temperatures can reach up to around 88°F on average in July. Winters are cold, with a relatively small amount of snow and lows in January dropping down to around 26°F. Spring and fall are very pleasant and beautiful seasons in Louisville, with spring bringing lots of beautiful blooms and warm breezes and fall bringing brightly colored leaves and pleasant cool weather. Louisville receives slightly more than the national average amount of rainfall at 46 inches of rain per year.

The Best Events in Louisville

The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is known across the world as “The Greatest Three Minutes in Racing” - and there’s no question about that. The Derby draws crowds in the thousands from and around the world each year, and it is considered the premier event in horseracing in the world. But it’s not just the Run for the Roses itself that provides the fun when you live in Louisville. In fact, the entire month is full of festive celebrations and events leading up to the Derby. Whether you enjoy watching hot air balloon races, participating in the Derby Festival Mini-Marathon or Marathon, watching the Pegasus Parade go through the streets of downtown, or watching the Great Steamboat Race, there are plenty of events to enjoy throughout April leading up to the first Saturday in May when the Derby is run.

Louisville Pride

Louisville Pride is Louisville’s annual LGBTQ pride celebration, and it’s the biggest pride event each year in the city. With parades, parties, and many other events, it’s truly a wonderful week in the city. Louisville loves its LGBTQ community and it shows during Pride, and throughout the year-round. Don't miss your chance to participate in the festivities!

Where to Live in Louisville

The Highlands

The Highlands is a hip, artsy area that is centered along Bardstown Road and is fairly close to downtown. This neighborhood is characterized by an eclectic and eccentric mix of shops, restaurants, and businesses, many of which are locally and LGBTQ-owned and friendly. It’s also characterized by plenty of parks, many of which were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s a very walkable friendly and welcoming neighborhood that is extremely popular with the LGBTQ community. The median sale price of homes in The Highlands over the last year was around $370,000.

Old Louisville

Old Louisville is an extremely unique part of town not only for Louisville but for the entire country. In fact, it has one of the largest collections of old Victorian homes in the country. Truly, these historic homes are stunning in every way, as are the beautiful gardens and tree-lined streets that characterize the area. This neighborhood is also very close to downtown, which is a popular spot for LGBTQ nightlife. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Old Louisville is $309,000.

Crescent Hill

Crescent Hill is an excellent choice for those LGBTQ families who are looking for a bit of a quieter neighborhood, but one that is still very friendly and close to downtown and many LGBTQ-owned bars, restaurants and shops. The Crescent Hill area is characterized by many old historic homes and beautiful tree-lined streets that are very pedestrian-friendly. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Crescent Hill is approximately $325,000.

Arts and Entertainment

The Humana Festival of New American Plays

For those who love the performing arts, Louisville is truly a wonderful place to live. It's a very artsy city in general and is home to the Humana Festival of New American Plays, which is a world-renowned festival that celebrates contemporary American playwrights and showcases some of the best new plays in the country each year. The festival is held at Actors Theatre, which also produces several other excellent productions throughout the year including much-celebrated yearly productions of Dracula at Halloween and A Christmas Carol at Christmastime. Throughout the year, and there is something here for everyone to enjoy.

Pandora Productions

Pandora Productions is at Louisville’s LGBTQ theatre group. The group dedicates itself exclusively to producing what it calls “powerful provocative theater” and it accomplishes this mission well. It is the only theater company in Louisville exclusively devoted to telling the stories of the LGBTQ community. You won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy a show - or several - for yourself.

Parks and Recreation

Louisville Slugger Museum

In addition to being the home of bourbon and horses, Louisville is also home to the famed Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Louisville Slugger has played an extraordinary role in the history of baseball, and its bats have been used by many of the most famous baseball players in the history of the sport. Those who visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory can see the bats being made and can also see bats used by many of those famous players over the years. It's truly a visit that celebrates the unique character and history of Louisville, and it is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Kentucky is very well-known for its horses but it’s also very well-known for its bourbon. In fact, Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon. 95% of the world's bourbon is aged in Kentucky. Actually, there are more bourbon barrels in Kentucky than people – 5 million! The Bourbon Trail is a unique experience that those who enjoy bourbon – or for those who simply want to find out more about it. There are over 16 bourbon distilleries in all on the trail, each with its own unique character and history. The trail begins in Louisville at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center and continues across the state. It’s truly a unique Kentucky experience to enjoy.

Louisville Nightlife


Tryangles is a long-standing and very popular dive bar located in downtown Louisville. Well known for its friendly crowds, lively karaoke nights, strong drinks, and laid-back atmosphere, it’s a great place to stop on a night out in Louisville.


For those who like a lively dance floor, loud music, friendly bartenders, strong drinks, and big crowds, Play will be perfect for you. Play regularly has theme nights, drag shows, karaoke, and more. It’s a great place to enjoy a night out with old friends – or make new ones.

Contact a Louisville Gay Realtor Today

If you’re ready to find your next home in the Derby City, don’t wait any longer to take the first step. An essential part of a successful homebuying experience is finding a realtor who knows and loves the community and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood that you’ll love. We’re here to help you do exactly that. Contact a Louisville gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!