Book a room at one of the best hotels in Louisville before leaving for The Kentucky Derby, the most famous horse race in the United States. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” offers visitors the chance to be part of a tradition stretching all the way back to the inaugural race in 1875. The first leg of the storied Triple Crown of racing, the Kentucky Derby is also the most famous. Reserve a room in one of the nearby Louisville hotels, and enjoy the sights and sounds of not only the race, but all the festivities surrounding it.
Best Hotels in Louisville
When perusing Louisville hotels, be sure to include the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Kentucky Expo Center. Its 4-star accommodations are close to Churchill Downs as well as the zoo and the local Six Flags. You may want to try the 5-star restaurant and 37-inch flatscreens in every room at The Seelbach Hilton. For a little more budget friendly stay, the Comfort Inn Southwest Louisville offers an indoor pool and free Wi-Fi. All of these hotels are conveniently close to Churchill Downs as well as many other Louisville-area attractions.
Held annually on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby marks the end of Louisville’s larger Kentucky Derby Festival. The larger festival includes Thunder Over Louisville, the largest fireworks display in North America, the Great Balloon Race, a massive hot air balloon race, the Pegasus Parade and the Derby Marathon. Finding the best hotels in Louisville during this time is not too difficult as long as those planning to attend book well in advance.
Before or after the race is run, visitors to Churchill Downs, the racetrack where the Derby is held, may want to check out The Kentucky Derby Museum. Visitors there can learn all about the long, storied past of the Kentucky Derby, from important attendees, like Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, to the story of legendary horses like Secretariat and what life is like for the thoroughbreds running in the race. For families, this is a great opportunity to introduce children to the long history of horse racing in America.
Every year on the night before the Derby, a black-tie affair called the Barnstable Brown Party is hosted in downtown Louisville. Full of celebrities, the party is the biggest one of the year in Louisville, providing access to a full bar and gourmet buffet dinner of which proceeds go to benefit diabetes research. If you have the chance to attend, it will be an event you’ll never forget.
On the day of the Kentucky Derby, an unlimited number of tickets are available to race-goers for entrance to the Derby’s infield. Thousands of people choose this option, so it can be very difficult to see the race, especially as there is no seating in this area. However, some visitors enjoy being around the thousands of horseracing fans and in close proximity to beer and snack booths. The best thing about this option is that you will never have to worry about tickets selling out.
Getting to and from the event is as convenient as can be. With over 130 years of experience, the organizers of the event and Louisville hotels have worked together to provide shuttles, taxis, and various other ways of getting around. Renting a car may also be a great option, as it allows you to get out of the city and explore some of the beautiful Kentucky countryside.
All in all, Louisville is a great choice for anyone wishing to take a nice trip to Kentucky before the southern summer heat sets in. Be you a gambler, a horseracing fan, or are simply there to witness the grand spectacle of the event, the Kentucky Derby is where you want to be at the end of next spring. When you reserve a stay at one of the best hotels in Louisville, you can ensure an amazing derby experience.