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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- The revamped streets of the Louisville's East Market District have once again drawn the national spotlight.
This time, Louisville's booming bourbon business and the kitchy shops and restaurants of Nulu are getting praise from lonelyplanet.com.
The online travel magazine named Louisville the #1 U.S. travel destination for 2013. Louisville tops the list beating out more scenic destinations in Arizona, Alaska and Montana. The River City even topped Philadelphia and Minneapolis-St. Paul on the list of places to go.
The article was welcomed news for shop owner Butch Sager, who opened the store Gifthorse exactly a year ago last month in the heart of Nulu or "New Louisville" on East Market Street.
"I think it's great for the city and I think it's recognition past due," Sager said. "It's interesting to get the feedback from local people that know this area and to see it decline and then see it come back again. We're glad to be a part of it."
Josh Merideth, knows a thing or two about what makes Louisville appealling. In fact, he practically wrote the book about it. He is the founder of the Orginal Maker's Club, a company that has photographed and promoted Louisville businesses. His book is now available in local coffee shops like Please and Thank You and inside 21C Museum hotel.
"I think it's deserved I think Louisville really in the past, year has emerged. I think 21c came and kind of happened -- luckily East Market has grown," said Merideth.
"It's very culturally alive and exciting," said Abby Ott, who works for the Original Maker's Club alongside Merideth.
"What we wanted to do was to get people to participate to rediscover downtown - our motto is to get people to be a cultural participant," said Josh Merideth.
The lonelyplanet.com article points to Louisville as the gateway to bourbon country, which is booming along Main Street with the additions of Heaven Hill's upcoming facility and the work undergoing near 8th and Main Streets for the future site of Michter's Distillery.
Josh says the city still has room for improvement, and it's current national attention came through hard work.
"It's not all glamorous a lot of hard work and energy and planning goes into every tile on the floor -- everything is done by hand," Merideth said.