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Kentucky Derby picture in Louisville
Louisville Images / Flickr

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  • Sports, Tours Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
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    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Just its name inspires romantic images of spectators dressed in their Sunday best sipping on mint juleps as thoroughbreds race past them. Recent travelers agreed  Churchill Downs, the racing facility that hosts the annual Kentucky Derby, is just as idyllic as you might have imagined. In fact, visitors said that if there's only time for one stop in Louisville, this Central Avenue racing complex is the place to go.

General admission costs $3 per person (except on Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days), and reserved seating costs $10 per person. Keep in mind: Ticket prices climb higher the more prestigious your perch (in spots like the Matt Winn Dining Room, Millionaires Row, Jockey Club Suites and the Stakes Room). Racing occurs in the spring, from the first Saturday in May to early July, and in the fall from late September to late November. Look here for the schedule. If you're interested in attending the famed Kentucky Derby, prepare to fork over some serious coin. Tickets are sold in two-day packages, with prices that range from $300 to $3,400 per ticket.

If you're not into the pomp and circumstance, visit Churchill Downs in the 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) to learn more about the history of the race and its famous traditions.

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#1 Churchill Downs Just its name inspires romantic images of spectators dressed in their Sunday best sipping on mint juleps as thoroughbreds race past them. Recent travelers agreed  Churchill Downs, the racing facility that ... Read more » Louisville Images / Flickr

#2 Kentucky Derby Museum To learn more about the "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports," a visit to this museum is a must. Spanning two floors, the museum uses interactive, kid-friendly exhibits to ... Read more » Barry Winiker / Getty Images

#3 Muhammad Ali Center Even if you're not a boxing fan, recent visitors said you should make time to see this impressive facility dedicated to legendary athlete and activist Muhammad Ali, who called ... Read more » Courtesy the Muhammad Ali Center

#4 Louisville Mega Cavern One of the city's more unique attractions, the 100-acre Louisville Mega Cavern, which was created out of a 19th-century limestone quarry, now houses the world's only underground zip ... Read more » Courtesy Louisville Mega Cavern

#5 Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Preferred by legends like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams, the Louisville Slugger is undeniably the most famous bat in baseball. And to learn about its production, history and ... Read more » Barry Winiker / Getty Images

#6 Conrad-Caldwell House Museum Part of the Old Louisville historic district – America's largest Victorian neighborhood – the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum stands as a preserved example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Known as "Conrad's Castle ... Read more » Courtesy the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum

#7 Louisville Slugger Field Named after the popular Louisville Slugger baseball bat, this field is home turf for the minor league baseball team the Louisville Bats. Even though you may not be a devoted ... Read more » Jason Meredith / Flickr

#8 Cave Hill Cemetery According to recent travelers, this cemetery isn't a must for everyone, for obvious reasons. But if you enjoy Victorian-era art, you'll probably find these monuments and mausoleums of ... Read more » Louisville Images / Flickr

#9 Louisville Zoo Open since 1969, the Louisville Zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals across its 134 acres. Among the highlights for recent visitors were the polar bear, tiger and ... Read more » Sam Gray / Courtesy of the Louisville Zoo

#10 Frazier History Museum Yet another standout site in downtown's West Main District, the Frazier History Museum is a special treat for lovers of military trivia as well as arms collectors. It's ... Read more » ross6606 / Flickr

Kentucky Derby picture in Louisville
Kentucky Derby Museum picture in Louisville
Muhammad Ali Center picture in Louisville
Louisville Mega Cavern picture in Louisville
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory picture in Louisville
Conrad-Caldwell House Museum picture in Louisville
Louisville Slugger Field picture in Louisville
Cave Hill Cemetery picture in Louisville
Louisville Zoo picture in Louisville
Frazier History Museum picture in Louisville
Kentucky Derby picture in Louisville
Kentucky Derby Museum picture in Louisville
Muhammad Ali Center picture in Louisville
Louisville Mega Cavern picture in Louisville
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory picture in Louisville
Conrad-Caldwell House Museum picture in Louisville
Louisville Slugger Field picture in Louisville
Cave Hill Cemetery picture in Louisville
Louisville Zoo picture in Louisville
Frazier History Museum picture in Louisville

Churchill Downs is the home of the renowned Kentucky Derby. Louisville Images / Flickr

To learn more about the "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports," a visit to this museum is a must. Barry Winiker / Getty Images

A peek inside the Muhammad Ali Center, which features artifacts, exhibits, films and more from the legend's life before, during and after boxing. Courtesy the Muhammad Ali Center

Courtesy Louisville Mega Cavern

You'll be able to spot the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory by this massive, 68,000-pound bat that leans outside the facility. It's an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth's 34-inch Louisville Slugger bat. Barry Winiker / Getty Images

Recent visitors said that if you love historic homes, you'll enjoy taking a tour of the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum, an estate in the picturesque Old Louisville neighborhood.  Courtesy the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum

Jason Meredith / Flickr

Louisville Images / Flickr

A Siberian Tiber. Sam Gray / Courtesy of the Louisville Zoo

The Frazier History Museum's permanent collection includes artifacts that once belonged to politicians and celebrities, Native American warriors, soldiers and frontiersmen. ross6606 / Flickr

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