Louisville, Ky. • When it’s Kentucky Derby season in Louisville, money seems to flow faster than the Ohio River. Hotels and restaurants fill up; bars serve mint juleps and fine Kentucky bourbon. Shopping includes a hunt for the colorful hats worn as a Derby tradition. Parties are thrown, and wagers are plunked down on can’t-miss colts and longshots alike as fans guess which horse will win the famous race at Churchill Downs.Yet there are other sure bets for relaxation and entertainment that don’t cost a thing as folks head to bluegrass country for the Derby, which takes place May 3. Kentucky’s largest city offers a mix of free contemporary and historic sites — along with blooming dogwood trees.Cave Hill CemeteryThe final resting place for many of Louisville’s most prominent citizens of the 19th and 20th centuries, the nearly 300-acre cemetery opened in 1848. It features ornate marble and granite monuments, shaded by trees seemingly as distinctive as the headstones dotting the landscape. Trees of many varieties loom over the rolling grounds situated east of downtown. Each spring and fall, the cemetery is ablaze in colors. It draws tours from groups of garden, Civil War and history buffs. About 5,500 soldiers are buried here, mostly from the Civil War.Luminaries buried in the cemetery include politicians, business leaders and bourbon barons. Two of the most notable are George Rogers Clark — an early frontiersman and soldier and the brother of William Clark, who co-led the Lewis and Clark expedition — and Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sanders’ granite memorial features a bust of the goateed entrepreneur, whose likeness is still synonymous with the chicken chain he started. Visitors sometimes place a bucket of chicken at his grave.Waterfront Park
Nancy Dearborn, a new Sun City resident, is forming the World Travelers Club.Dearborn said the club will offer a place to talk about travel and meet other people who would like to visit abroad.The first meeting will be 11 a.m. April 16 at 15456 N. 99th Ave., Sun City. For information, call 319-573-5877.Dearborn offers trips through Go Ahead Tours.“It’s a safe way to travel and it’s a way to make lasting friendships,” she said. “I really recommend the tour we offer. This club is for people who like to travel internationally. It’s to get like-minded people together who don’t want to go on their own.”Current tours include a 12-day trip to England, Scotland and Ireland from June 30-July 11.
Boston • The city of Boston is known for its “wicked” rich history, to use a term the locals love, going back to the Boston Tea Party and roots of the American Revolution. But pride is not limited to the past: The city is also home to the World Series champion Red Sox team.Historic landmarks are scattered across the downtown from 17th century churches and meetinghouses to some of the nation’s oldest schools. And taking in the sites won’t cost you a penny. Just remember that the cramped vintage streets are better tackled on foot than by car.This spring will mark the one-year anniversary of a tragic event in the resilient city’s recent history: the Boston Marathon bombing, which will be marked by a memorial service. The marathon takes place this year on April 21.Freedom TrailThe city’s most trekked tourist attraction is the 2.5-mile bricked pathway that takes visitors on a tour of Boston’s past. The route starts in the heart of the city at Boston Common and winds its way over the Charles River to Charlestown to the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Visitors can stop at any of the 16 designated sites from museums to graveyards to churches and meetinghouses dating back to the 17th century.One notable spot is the home of Paul Revere, famous for the ride he made on horseback to warn colonists that the British were coming. The 1680 wooden home is the oldest existing building downtown.