- Type: Sports, Tours
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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Just its name inspires some romantic images: The Sunday-best finery, the mint juleps, the majestic thoroughbreds. And travelers agree that Churchill Downs, the racing facility that hosts the Kentucky Derby, is just as idyllic as you might have imagined. In fact, they say that if there's only time for one stop in Louisville, this Central Avenue racing complex is the place to go.
"The history of the Downs places it in a league with Fenway, Wrigley, Soldier Field, and other historic venues," says one TripAdvisor traveler. "If you plan to stay for the day, buy a ticket to 'millionaires' row' for the best view of the races and enjoy the fantastic buffet!"
Tickets start around $10 per person, and prices get higher the more prestigious your perch (in options like the Matt Winn Dining Room, Millionaires Row, Jockey Club Suites and the Stakes & Aristides Room). Racing occurs in the spring from the first Saturday in May to early July and in the fall from late October to late November. Look here for the schedule. If you're not into the pomp and circumstance, we suggest visiting Churchill Downs in summer so you can tour the stables. There's no dress code for general admission, but the Downs' official website includes detailed instructions on race-day attire and varying ticket prices. Also be sure to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum, housed inside the Downs.