Old Louisville – In college and lovin’ it!!
The beautiful and sometimes overlooked downtown area, Old Louisville is made up of mainly historic houses that have been converted to hold 2-4 apartments each. While there are a few apartment complexes, none of them are very large and they primarily house University of Louisville or Spalding University college students as Old Louisville is near both campuses. These houses are definitely unique, but renter beware that parking is mainly street side and the one-way street grid system might take you a while to get used to. Safety isn’t a huge issue in Old Louisville due to the abundance of college students bumming the streets, but of course it’s never wise to let your guard down. It would be safe to expect apartments in this area to rent for between $400-600, depending on your space needs.
The Highlands – I prefer my thriftiness to include home brewed beer, please.
The Highlands is a neighborhood in Louisville where they’re “Keeping Louisville Weird.” The majority of the area runs along Bardstown Road and is home to numerous homegrown bars and taverns, thrift and consignment stores and art and music in general. Preferred by the more “free spirited” crowds – this area is a nightmare to drive through at any time of the day, which is why most residents are on bike or foot. On every corner you can find tattoo shops (Tattoo Charley’s – tattoos while you wait!) and hometown coffee/tea houses (Heine Brothers has quite the cult following) along with a delicious palate of unique restaurants that cater towards a more adventurous style of eating. If you dig a good bar – or a bar challenge, then you’ll love the Bardstown Road Trolley Hop and other community bar hopping events held each year. Like Old Louisville, housing in The Highlands is composed more of converted homes than large apartment complexes, though there are some in this area. Because of the in demand offerings (homebrewed beer anyone?), rent is slightly higher – running you about $500 for a one bedroom up to $900 for a roomy two bedroom.
South and Southwest – I want my drive time to work to be quick, ya hear?
These areas of town are known more for affordable housing complexes and manufacturing districts than their touristy attractions or hip nightlife. This is an economic area to reduce drive time should your field revolve around warehouse/distribution center type work. Roughly a ten-minute drive from the Preston Highway neighborhood, the main UPS hub is a major employer in Louisville with more than 20,000 employees. There are also numerous car “junk yards” in the Oakolona area, which can be handy for both work and play (that Volkswagen steering wheel is MINE!). That being said, there has been much development in the Preston Highway/Outerloop area, with an abundance of chain restaurants and a mall for the consumer inclined. Apartments are easy to find & you can expect monthly rent for this area to run between $400-700.
Southeast – Cheap luxury, that’s where it’s AT!
The Southeast end of Louisville Metro has parks, shopping, eating, and abundant housing in the form of apartments and condos. The Fern Creek area is home to one of two Ford manufacturing plants in Louisville, and Jeffersontown (you’ll hear the locals calling it “J-town”) has a great gaslight district that is home to parades and events in the autumn. It’s this area of town where the apartments can range from simple and plain (read: cheap) to plush and luxurious. The Southeast boasts significantly more recently built complexes than the South/Southwest & even more that are so well maintained it makes you want to give that lawn crew a high five. In this end of town you can safely budget $700 for a one-bedroom basic unit & up to $900 for a place of the same in a newer building.
East and Northeast – Yea, I rock a minivan, what of it?
The East and Northeast parts of Louisville are home to large, luxury complexes that match the fine quality of the shopping and eateries around Shelbyville and Brownsboro Road. Designed with the modern consumer in mind, there are two malls in Lyndon alone – which you will want to learn back roads around come holiday shopping season. “Location, location, location” is the motto of most of these apartment complexes – and they’re not lying. With easy access to I 71, I 265 and I 64, the East and Northeast areas make the apartment decision, especially for families, an easy one. Multiple shopping centers in this area make it easy to run errands for the busy mom, and there are plenty of options for playtime with the kids. Be prepared to pay for the upscale amenities (I’ll take the one with the sauna and tanning bed please!) and the desired location…one bedroom apartments can start at close to $800.
Let’s talk spaghetti
Louisville is able to be a metro because of the intertwining, overlapping, easily accessed highways that run through and around the city. In true downtown right alongside the Ohio River is Spaghetti Junction, aptly named where Interstate 71, 64, and 65 all collaborate to end in a swirly mess that truly does look like spaghetti (check it on Google maps if you don’t believe us). Escaping slightly from the junction, there are two other highways that run East-West around the city, providing two loops for easier access to different parts of the metro area. Interstate 265 is referred to as just that, or simply 265, the Gene Snyder (its “official name”), or it even just the Snyder. Interstate 264 is sometimes called 264 (you’d think they could’ve thrown us a bone and made it more than one digit off), the Henry Watterson expressway (again, “official name”) or just the Watterson. Locals call these roads different names in order to throw off visitors while giving directions (partly kidding).