Located right outside downtown Louisville, visiting the Churchill Downs is a must while in Kentucky. Churchill Downs is one of the most famous racetracks, known as the site of the annual horse race, the Kentucky Derby.
Even if you are not able to attend the Kentucky Derby you can visit the Kentucky Derby Museum and take a tour of the grounds where the event takes place. If you are a major fan of the sporting event then one of the more in-depth tours may be right for you. However if you are like me, someone who had heard of the Kentucky Derby but did not know too much about all of the effort and fanfare that goes into the event, then you might prefer a more basic tour. The museum has a variety of tour options (even tours I would not expect from a racetrack), including barn tours, tours of the members’ club, and even a “haunted” tour. General admission into the museum automatically includes a brief tour, which really just involves seeing the track.
The museum consist of two floors of memorabilia, from trophies to pictures to over the top hats. The museum also runs a mini movie every hour on the history of the Kentucky Derby, highlighting winners and thrilling races. The movie was my favorite part. Overall I was really impressed with the tour and museum as it introduced me to all of the money and work that goes into raising and training a thoroughbred horse for the race. The only regret is that I did not visit on a day when horses were racing, or even training. My tour guide suggested visiting earlier in the day, as it is more likely that horses and their trainers would be practicing on the racetrack.