Who better than our two event planning experts to fill us in on experiencing our city’s special season to the fullest? Here is their short list of can’t-miss events and destinations.
While the race may only last two minutes, all locals know that Derby is a full-on season. However, many of us have gotten stuck in a rut. In fact, we sometimes hear jaded locals say they avoid the track at all cost. So, to help you embrace the Derby and all the festivities that swirl around it, we thought it might be fun to think about Derby like a tourist.
If only we could all just loosen up, get out of our comfort zone and rediscover the event that makes Louisville so darn special. No matter where you’re from, let’s all pretend to be a tourist and rediscover the magic of Derby Season from the food, to the parties, and all the track details in between.
Here, we share some of our personal favorite events and experiences that help us rediscover the magic of Derby year after year after year.
Whether you need a hotel room, or just want to be a hometown tourist, Louisville’s hotels are hotspots during Derby week. Hotel bars provide some of the best people watching and gathering places. We have picked our favorite three for you to try out this Derby Season.
Did you know Louisville was just named one of the best food cities in the South? Make the most of your Derby week with an as-seen-on-TV tour of the city’s best restaurants.
When you plan your time at the track, don’t just put all your eggs in one basket. There is more to Churchill Downs than Derby. While Saturday is the main event, Thursday and Friday are popular days to visit as well. Thursday, Thurby, belongs to the locals, and Friday, Oaks Day, is the day the track gives back by celebrating breast cancer survivors. Dress appropriately for each day; keep Thursday a little more casual, celebrate survivors and wear pink on Friday, but pull out the stops on Saturday.
To make the most of your Derby Day buy the tip sheets to learn from the pros, brush up on the lyrics to “My Old Kentucky Home” and buy the Mint Julep, we promise you will treasure the commemorative glass. And don’t forget to pack smart with food in clear containers, no glass of any kind, and leave the selfie sticks at home. For a full list of dos and don’ts, check out the official Kentucky Derby website (kentuckyderby.com).
The fun isn’t limited to the track. For the best celebrity sightings and opportunities to dust off your dancing shoes Derby Eve, Friday night, is the night to celebrate. There are no winners or losers yet, just dreams. Check them out, and if you can’t get tickets, the red carpet watching is just as lively. Here’s a short list:
Take your hometown tourist status to the next level and learn the history behind the best two minutes in sports and all that goes with it.