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Hey friends, have you heard the news: Louisville, KY was named the Number 1 U.S. Travel Destination for 2013 by Lonely Planet. That’s my hometown they are talking about! I am filled with such homegrown pride!!! This news makes me want to throw my hands in the air, belt out My Old Kentucky Home and then shoot back some bourbon.

I copied this directly from the Lonely Planet site:

Could it be that the new Portland is in… Kentucky? Louisville has asserted itself as a lively, offbeat cultural mecca on the Ohio River. New Louisville, also known as the East Market District or NuLu, features converted warehouses used as local breweries, antique shops and the city’s coolest restaurants. On Bardstown Rd in the Highlands you’ll find a hipster strip of shops and bars, not to mention many ‘Keep Louisville Weird’ stickers. Bourbon reigns in Louisville. This is the traditional jump-off for the Bourbon Trail; with bourbon’s current wave of popularity, new upstart microdistilleries, including some in and around Louisville like the small-batch Angel’s Envy, are giving the old names in bourbon a run for their money. Try for the first Saturday in May to witness the ‘greatest two minutes in sports,’ the Kentucky Derby.

From the time I was a wee lass I always knew I wouldn’t stay in Louisville, and once I turned eighteen I moved to the Windy City and have never looked back. However my desire to leave my place of birth was no indication of how proud I am to be from the Bluegrass State. On the contrary I am so thankful to have been raised in Louisville, KY, and to see it be praised in such a big way thrills me to no end. The city has been exploding, particularly in the culinary arena, the past few years and it’s always exciting to return home and have my parents take me out to a new restaurant (I have a penchant for convincing them to buy me food). I heartily support Lonely Planet’s endorsement of my fair city and high recommend you pay it a visit to see for your self.

Louisville I raise my Mint Julep Glass to you, I couldn’t be prouder!

I call myself a Louisvillian by birth, a Chicagoan by choice. But you know what they say: You can take the girl outta Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky outta the girl.