KY Derby Visitor's Guide

If you're headed to Louisville for the KY Derby, you've made a fantastic decision. This article covers everything you'll need to know about Louisville and the KY Derby in order to make your KY Derby experience one you'll never forget.

01 of 06

The KY Derby

© Jamie Squire / Getty Images

The KY Derby is a 1.25 mile race for three year old thoroughbred horses. The event takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a celebration throughout the Louisville region and brings in visitors from around the world.

02 of 06

The KY Derby Festival

Photo © Flickr Member 7263255

The KY Derby Festival is a series of dozens of events that occur around the city of Louisville in the month prior to the KY Derby. If you're going to be in town for a few days or weeks before the running of the KY Derby, you'll definitely want to check out as many KY Derby Festival events as possible. The festival launches with Thunder Over Louisville, the largest pyrotechnic display in the country aside from Fourth of July fireworks shows.

03 of 06

Louisville Hotels

Photo © local louisville

It can be very difficult to find hotels in and around Louisville during the KY Derby, and it's even harder if you're not sure where to look. These articles will help you find Louisville hotels in the specific area of the city you want to stay in. Book your room as early as you can, and if you have the option of staying with family or friends, that could be a better bet.

  • Hotels Near the Louisville International Airport
  • Downtown Louisville Hotels
  • East Louisville Hotels
04 of 06

Louisville Transportation

Photo (c) Jessica Higgins

Are you unfamiliar with Louisville? One of the scariest things about visiting a city you've never been to before is wondering if you'll be able to find your way around the city without getting completely lost. The following articles should help you with all of your transportation needs while you are visiting Louisville for the KY Derby.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06

Things to Do in Louisville

(c) 2008 Michael Maupin

When you're not betting on horses at Churchill Downs, you'll want to know what other exciting things there are to see and do in Louisville. Luckily, Louisville is an awesome city with huge art, dining, and nightlife scenes.

06 of 06

Louisville Dining and Nightlife

(c) 2008 Michael Maupin

Many people are mistaken in thinking that Louisville is a small city with no real metropolitan feel or amenities. If you have heard this, know that this is completely wrong. Louisville's dining and nightlife scenes could rival those of any other major city in the United States.

Note: Jessica Elliott's article was edited by a current expert. October, 2016. 

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