We’re just three months away from the 2016 Kentucky Derby and getting very excited about attending this legendary event once more. Over here at Roadtrips we’re dusting off our fancy hats, and dreaming about all the fabulous things we will be eating and drinking when we get down to Louisville. Being at the Derby is an epic experience, and offers plenty of cool opportunities to explore the local area. Here are some of our favorite things to do there:
Sip bourbon. There are ten distilleries in Louisville itself, and many more to explore outside the city (such as famous brands like Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, Marker’s Mark, and Woodford Reserve). If you love whiskey, then Kentucky really is an excellent state to explore. From distillery tours to tasting rooms, and restaurants with excellent whiskey menus to work your way through, Louisville is a bourbon lover’s dream.
Eat really well. There are some amazing restaurants in Louisville. Truly amazing. Take for example 610 Magnolia, headed by inspired chef Edward Lee who melds the flavors of the south with those of his Korean-American upbringing (he was featured in an episode of the Anthony Bourdain narrated TV show Mind of a Chef). There’s only one sitting a night at 610 Magnolia, and if you can get a reservation you’ll be indulged with a six course tasting menu with wine pairings that you’ll never get over.
Explore the area’s history. When you’re in the city for the race, then the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs is a must. In downtown Louisville there’s a four block stretch known as Museum Row on Main where you’ll find the Louisville Slugger Museum, Muhammad Ali Center, and eight other art and history based attractions.
Shop. Forget kitschy souvenirs, there are some awesome locally made goods to take home with you after visiting Louisville. For a start, you can grab a personalized Louisville Slugger, and of course many varieties of wonderful bourbon, but there are lots of interesting and unique boutiques and stores at the various downtown markets and shopping districts. (Head to the East Market District for antiques and unique finds.)
Be entertained. Wandering around the Fourth Street Live! entertainment district is always fun, as there are plenty of bars and restaurants to check out. Worth noting – not every bar in Louisville is whiskey-centric. Holy Grale has a superb selection of craft beers, both bottled and on tap. There are lots of excellent cocktail bars too, and you’ll find some of the best Mint Juleps in the city at the historic Brown Hotel.
Ready to book your dream trip to the 2016 Kentucky Derby? Contact us and we’ll start planning an itinerary that will get you to everything you want to see and do while you’re there. Whatever you’re into, we can build that into your trip.