Kentucky Derby Museum

#2 in Best Things To Do in Louisville
Kentucky Derby Museum picture
Barry Winiker/Getty Images

Key Info

704 Central Avenue

Details

Museums, Sports Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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 educate visitors on the horses, jockeys, well-dressed spectators and traditions of the Kentucky Derby, showcasing history that dates back to the race's inaugural running in 1875.

Recent visitors loved the memorabilia and family-friendly exhibits at the museum and also offered praise for the 30-minute historic walking tour included with admission. Reviewers were also pleased with the museum's ability to appeal to non-racing fans.

Fees to visit are separate from general admission and race tickets at Churchill Downs. Museum tickets cost $15 for adults (ages 15 to 59), $14 for seniors (60 and older), $7 for children between the ages 5 and 14; entry is free for children younger than 5. Special tours, such as the "Around the Track Golf Cart Tour" and the behind-the-scenes tour cost extra and are not included in museum admission. The museum is open from 8 or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed on Kentucky Derby Day. There is ample parking at the museum, but if you'd rather take the bus, several TARC routes service the area. Visit the official website for more information.

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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 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.

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