Louisville Zoo picture
Sam Gray/Courtesy of the Louisville Zoo

Key Info

1100 Trevilian Way

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.6scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

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 giraffe sightings, as well as the camel rides.

Recent guests praised the zoo for its engaging guides and clean facilities and particularly note it's a good spot to take very young children (because Louisville Zoo is small, it's easily manageable for short legs to walk through). Travelers also described the zoo's atmosphere as relaxing and said that it never feels overly crowded thanks to its well-designed layout.

General admission (which does not include extras like camel or train rides) costs $16.25 for adults ages 12 to 59 and $11.75 for kids between the ages of 3 and 11 and seniors 60 and older. You can save a little coin by scheduling your visit during the zoo's summer "Twilight Hours" (Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m.): admission costs $9.95 for adults and $6.95 for children. You'll also need to budget for the parking fee, which costs $5 per vehicle. The zoo is open daily year-round from 10 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m., depending on the season. For more information, visit the zoo's official website.

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Time to Spend
#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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