What To Do When You’re In Town For Derby

We asked, you answered.

When The Voice staff reached out to readers to find out your top tips for visitors who come to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, you gave us far more than we could use.
Here, we’ve printed some of our favorites.

Happy Derby!

  • Before you do anything, make plans to come back. Trust us, you’ll want to.
  • Brave the chaos in the infield of Churchill Downs.
  • Pose with a red penguin at 21c Museum Hotel.
  • Go backside of Churchill Downs before the sun comes up.
  • Buy a cookie from Elizabeth Namusoke Kizito.
  • Walk through one of the Louisville parks designed by famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City.
  • Try Benedictine.
  • Take a photo by the 120-foot-tall, 68,000 pound replica of Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger bat.
  • Try a Mint Julep at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.
  • Make a late-late night (or very early morning) stop at White Castle on Market Street.
  • Take in the moment when the crowd sings “My Old Kentucky Home” on Derby Day.
  • Wear pink to Kentucky Oaks 138 to show your support for female cancer survivors.
  • Tour the University of Louisville campus.
  • Buy some “Hot A$$ Jerky” from the Jerky Man.
  • Dance at Zanzabar.
  • Bar hop on Bardstown Road.
  • Drop in on a random family reunion or cook out. Hey it’s Derby: we’re all family.
  • Walk the Anchorage Trail, then have a tasty pastry or ice cream at the Anchorage Cafe or glass of wine at The Village Anchor.
  • Shop at one of the Carmichael’s Bookstores.
  • Catch the Louisville Leopard Percussionists playing at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe on Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m.
  • Eat at Vietnam Kitchen.
  • Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.
  • Go to the Speed Art Museum to see the terrific Impressionist exhibition. While there, you can also see the amazing new bronze horses by Deborah Butterfield.
  • Take a flight tour in an open cockpit biplane.
  • Stop by the KFC YUM! Center.
  • Eat breakfast at Wagner’s Pharmacy.
  • Visit the Louisville Zoo.
  • Check out the Kentucky Derby Museum.
  • Have a funnel cake at the Chow Wagon.
  • Take a ride down US Hwy 42 to see the beautiful horse farms.
  • Stroll through Cave Hill Cemetery.
  • Shop in the eclectic stores of the Highlands.
  • Take a history lesson at the Frazier Arms Museum.
  • Walk around the Waterfront.
  • Hop on the trolley for the First Friday Trolley Hop in downtown Louisville. (Yes, we’re still having one on Oaks Day.)
  • Have a late-night breakfast at Barbara Lee’s.
  • Belt out your favorite karaoke tunes at Akiko’s on Bardstown Road.
  • Attempt the “Bambi Walk” bar challenge.
  • Pay tribute to The Greatest at the Muhammad Ali Center.
  • Take a step back in time at the Filson Historical Society.
  • Visit The Connection on Floyd Street – Lady Gaga did.
  • Cruise the river on the Belle of Louisville.
  • Admire the Louisville skyline from the “Sunny Side.” (Added bonus if you ask a local what that means.)
  • Eat a modjeska. But first, find out what one is.
  • Satisfy your appetite with a Hot Brown from The Brown Hotel.
  • Have a drink at the Old Seelbach bar and learn about the secret passageways and history of the hotel.
  • Snap photos with the Gallopalooza horses posted in front of many businesses around town.
  • Visit the Water Tower, a Louisville landmark right on the river.
  • Ingest an Everything Muffin for brunch at Wild Eggs.
  • Marvel at the wonder of Louisville Glassworks.
  • Stop by the Pendennis Derby After-Party, a true Louisville tradition.
  • Check out Old Louisville and St. James Court.
  • Come back. Soon.