St. Matthews is approximately 8 miles east of downtown Louisville in Jefferson County. Located in the heart of the East End, St. Matthews is known as much for its charm and historical architecture as for its businesses, hospitals, city parks and shopping. It is a prominent Louisville suburb and one of the state's major shopping areas. The Mall of St. Matthews - Kentucky's first indoor shopping mall - and Oxmoor Center are two of the largest shopping malls in the state. There are also many smaller shops along the famous Shelbyville Road.
Growth in the area was accelerated by the 1937 Ohio River Flood which caused many families to move from low level grounds in Louisville to higher level grounds in St. Matthews. St. Matthews incorporated as a city in 1950.
The boundaries of St. Matthews are roughly Cannons Lane to the west, I-264 to the south and east and several subdivisions off Brownsboro Road to the north. These includes Bellewood, Brownsboro Village, Maryhill Estates and Windy Hills. The cities of Richlawn and Norbourne Estates are enclaves within St. Matthews. In 2001, the cities of Cherrywood Village, Broad Fields, Fairmeade, Springlee and Plymouth Village were also annexed by the City of St. Matthews.
Many of the local streets in St. Matthews bear the names of the area's original landowners, such Brown, Nanz, Rudy, Monohan and Oeschner.