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Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby in Louisville (PHOTO: Dan Dry)

For anyone with even the faintest connection to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the first Saturday in May is sacred. And although Churchill Downs—home of the Kentucky Derby—is the main attraction this May 2, 2015, anyone visiting Louisville this weekend will find the city has plenty to offer outside of betting on ponies and sipping Mint Juleps. We’ve gathered up hotels, events and restaurants to guarantee your visit to the Run for the Roses will make you feel like a winner, no matter which horse finishes first.

Where to stay

It’s no surprise that hotel rooms in Louisville come at a premium this time of year, but the Derby experience is well worth it. The Hyatt Place, Louisville East (701 S Hurstbourne Pkwy, 502-426-0119) boasts free Internet and 42” high def televisions, in case you decide to forgo the racetrack for an in-room viewing party. For an exceptionallyauthentic experience at the Kentucky Derby 2015, The Brown Hotel (335 W Broadway, 502-583-1234) touts a 92-year history, ornate architecture and the popular Lobby Bar. For more accommodation ideas, visit our Kentucky Derby page.

What to do

In the weeks of festivities leading up to Derby Day, the Waterfront Jam concerts are wildly popular. For a non-Derby experience, redirect your attention to the city’s other sport’s pride and joy—Muhammad Ali. The world-famous boxer opened the Muhammad Ali Center (144 N 6th St, 502-584-9254) in2005, which largely consists of a museum depicting his life history with interactive exhibits like one that allows you to mimic Ali’s boxing training.

Where to eat

There’s more to Kentucky cuisine than Colonel Sander’s chicken. If you want to dine out in your Derby duds and be on the scene, head to Proof on Main (702 W Main St, 502-217-6360), inside the trendy 21C Museum Hotel downtown. With critical acclaim—Esquire named it one of the Best New Restaurants in 2006—and local love, this upscale, art-focused restaurant won’t disappoint a modern, knowledgeable foodie. For an authentic Louisville experience, though, head to Mike Linnig’s (9308 Cane Run Rd, 502-937-9888), an ultra-casual fried seafood restaurant next to the Ohio River. Don’t get fancy with the order—stick with the fish sandwich. The price is right, the portions are huge and the people-watching is unparalleled.

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Tagged: Destinations, Hotels

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Stephanie Gladney Queen

Stephanie Gladney Queen

Stephanie Gladney Queen

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