Headed to the races for first Saturday in May?
While you will undoubtedly by indulged by the mecca of horse racing at historic Churchill Downs, you will surely want to carve some time away from the Twin Spires to check out some of the attractions that make Louisville such a unique, dynamic city.
On the top of the list for a swift change of pace would have to be the Louisville Mega Cavern, a man-made cave that spans 17 miles along Louisville’s underground corridors. Boasting the title of the “World's Only All Underground Zip Lines and Adventure Tour,” the cavern features five zip Lines, three challenge bridges, and up to two hours of sure-fire adrenaline.
Feeling a little more low key? The Historic Tram Tour is just up your alley; you’ll learn about the geology, history, mining techniques, recycling, and green business technology that make the cavern so exceptional.
This is one attraction that is sure to please everyone in your Derby-going group!
Check out the zip-line action above, and here is the Tram Tour:
Follow up your adrenaline rush with a change of pace as you saunter toward the Frazier History Museum, a world-class museum that provides an unforgettable journey through more than 1,000 years of history.
You’ll take a step back in time to the Royal Armouries in Britain through interactive exhibits, daily performances by costumed interpreters and engaging special events. Frazier Museum is located on downtown Louisville’s Museum Row and will have a special “Spirits of the Passage” exhibit during your Derby stay, documenting the lives of slaves during an era of slave trade – complete with artifacts from a sunken slave ship.
Sure to please the entire crowd (and bring out the kid in all partaking) is Bluegrass Indoor Carting. Featuring 40 m.p.h. racing karts on a 1,000-foot long indoor track, this is carting like you surely have never seen. Experienced drivers can challenge themselves with the sensitive steering and responsive handling of the GT5 Adult karts, while the kiddos (ages 7 and up) can pilot FunKid Junior karts.
A trip to try your own racing skills is a sure fire way to round out a weekend of horse racing. Do you have what it takes?
After finishing up at the races, be sure to head to the Maker’s Mark Bourbon House and Lounge in the trendy 4th Street Live area, where you can pick your winner from a selection of more than 70 bourbons – how great are the odds on this bet?!
Treat yourself to a tasting flight, learn from the industry’s leaders in a bourbon class, or simply kick back and enjoy the end to an unforgettable, Kentucky-style weekend with a three-course, bourbon-and-food-paired dinner.
Wrap up and check out 4th Street Live, a local hotspot that is known for its shopping, dining, and upbeat nightlife - let’s leave the first Saturday (or weekend) in May with a bang, racegoers!
Last, but most definitely not least, a shout out to my fellow Bourbon lovers, advocates, and supporters! If you’re Bluegrass bound for the first Saturday in May, go ahead and carve yourself a few extra days for all things bourbon. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail boasts seven unique distilleries, all within roughly 100 miles of each other.
Sample and savor each distillery’s claim to fame, and choose your own personal bourbon champion. Not into the planning portion of things? Check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail’s site, where you can use companies such as the Mint Julep Tours or R &R Limousine Service to make sure you get to your location in style (and safely –something that’s always in fashion – keep in mind, bourbon is the name of the game today!).
At the Maker’s Mark distillery, visitors can even dip their own bottle….pretty cool:
Here’s a Map of destinations on the trail:
Fast Horses, Vivid Bluegrass, and Endless Bourbon. Welcome, racegoers, to the ultimate Kentucky Tradition (and presumably the reason many shed a tear during “My Old Kentucky Home”).
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