The 20 Worst Decisions You Can Make in Louisville

You usually make some pretty good decisions, starting with the fact that you live in Louisville (which does so many things better than the rest of the country). But, admit it, you make some terrible decisions once in a while too, and Derby season isn't exactly going to help with that. Here are the things you need to avoid...


1. Not “getting” basketball

Get. Out. And don’t expect snappy bar service on game nights either. And for that matter, don’t wear red OR blue unless you’re willing to have a conversation about that choice. 

2. Renting an Old Louisville Victorian apartment in the winter

The building is 100 years old? The heating system & insulation are also 100 years old. 

3. Renting a trendy apartment in Butchertown in the summer

That SMELL never goes away. You think you’d get used to it, but the scent just permeates everything. The stench of live and dead pigs is just waiting in the nooks and crannies of Butchertown for the first warm breeze to waft it directly into your nostrils.

Flickr/Shardayyy (edited)

4. Using up your monthly allocation of allergy medicine too fast

According to a law that took effect in 2012, you can only buy two packs of certain kinds of allergy medicines per month in Kentucky. Why does this matter, you ask? Because we have more allergies than anywhere else in the country.  

5. Drinking at Cahoots (or these other bad decision bars)

Seriously, Cahoots is so sketchy it’s not even ironically cool anymore. Its LITs are so big even the hardest drinker will raise an eyebrow as the quivering bartender pours ounce after ounce of kerosene-scented tap liquor in an oversize glass. 

6. Being rude to Rusty the jerky man

Okay, there’s this guy who goes around the Louisville bars on weekend nights. His name is Rusty. He has a beard and overalls and he sells the best damn jerky on the planet. Don’t ask too many questions, and don’t be rude, or tease him, because people in Louisville LOVE Rusty.

Flickr/William Alden

7. Swimming in the Ohio River

If you dip your toe in, there’s a significant possibility that toe will shrivel up and liquefy like that Nazi's face in Indiana Jones

8. Eating at a chain restaurant

Blah blah blah, Louisville food is the best. You’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it, just don’t let us catch you at a chain restaurant. Joe’s Crab Shack? Are you kidding me? 

9. Dating someone from Southern Indiana

Many Louisvillians make this mistake in the fall, when fun stuff like Harvest Homecoming and pumpkin picking at Huber's lures us to Southern Indiana. Then, you start dating a Hoosier and pretty soon you’re arguing about whose turn it is to cross the wretched bridge for date night. This just isn’t going to work out.

Flickr/Danielle Scott (edited)

10. Ordering a mint julep

Look, we’re tired of pretending. Mint juleps all taste like alcoholic mouthwash. They’re a tourist thing: why would you ruin perfectly good bourbon with mint and sugar? 

11. Choosing incorrect Derby Festival footwear

Specifically: do NOT wear flip-flops to Thunder Over Louisville or anything at Churchill Downs.

12. Going out to dance before 10pm

Nothing interesting happens at a bar in Louisville before 11pm unless there’s a basketball game going on. Forget about trying to start a dance floor, the major ragers don’t even kick off until after midnight.

Flickr/Wade Morgen

13. Never learning the names of the interstates and bridges

The Watterson? The Snyder? The Kennedy? The Sherman? Learn the names and learn the shortcuts and try to keep track of which ones are closed and which ones are under construction. Helpful hint: they’re ALL under construction.

Flickr/Dana McMahan

14. Taking a shortcut through Cherokee Park

Cherokee Park is so labyrinthine, Louisville should erect a statue of the Goblin King in the middle. Don’t try to take a shortcut through, you’ll end up terribly lost and somehow on the other side of town, or in a croquet game with the Red Queen. 

15. Driving anywhere near Southeast Christian on Sunday morning

The colloquial name for Southeast is “Six Flags Over Jesus,” so avoid that part of town at all costs on Sunday mornings, and Saturday nights, just to be safe.

Flickr/Mike McCune

16. Sleeping in too late to snag a maple bacon donut from Nord’s

The best hangover cure on the planet can slip right through your fingers if you hit snooze one too many times. 

17. Trying to park at U of L

Be prepared to spend an hour searching for a spot if you don’t have a permit. Be prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars for a spot a mile from campus if you’re actually a student.

Flickr/Ken Teegardin

18. Working at UPS for too long

Lots of Louisvillians start working at UPS to pay for college. After awhile, the money gets too good to leave; and then you’re 45 working a package belt at 3am thinking about how you’ve never used your liberal arts degree.

19. Hating on Jennifer Lawrence


20. Thinking you can leave Louisville

Louisville will find you. Louisville will lure you back. “I’m going to leave this town once I graduate!” Sure you are, Skippy. See you at Kroger.

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