As the 150,000-strong crowd falls eerily silent, all focus shifts to the starting gates. Then, in an instant, 20 of the most powerful horses in the world burst free in a tidal wave of straining muscle and thrashing hooves, and the crowd awakens with a deafening roar.
Welcome to the Kentucky Derby. You’ll arrive at America’s most famous horse racing carnival in style with VIP entry to the annual welcome reception where you’ll sip Champagne alongside star jockeys, horse racing identities and celebrities as Louisville unrolls its old-world southern hospitality. Trackside, you’ll watch all the action from your elevated seat with views of the starting line and final stretch where you’ll see the horses storm home and witness the elaborate fashions of fellow race-goers, all with an icy mint julep in your hand. You’ll also venture further afield through the heart and soul of Kentucky’s Bluegrass horse country where you’ll visit the stables that are home to champions past, present and future.
The Kentucky Derby draws international media attention as hundreds of thousands descend on Louisville for a taste of the glamor and excitement that comes with the greatest race of all. Trip directors will ensure you don’t get lost in the crowd, and convenient transport to the race from your elegant hotel means you can happily avoid crowded public transportation. You’ll also be treated to exclusive insights into the race industry with meet-and-greets with leading jockeys and behind-the-scenes tours of successful stud farms.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for a private transfer.
Kick off this Kentucky Derby weekend by attending the annual Taste of Derby. Presented by Yum! Brands, this celebration combines cuisine, racing and tons of style. The evening highlights dishes from popular horse racing destinations across the country. Chefs local to these cities prepare tastes of their signature dishes and pair them with delectable wines allowing guests to sample an array of flavors. While sampling these delicacies, guest can mingle with horseracing celebrities. Live entertainment will top off the extraordinary evening! Partial proceeds of this event will also go to benefit hunger relief organizations.
Transfers to and from the Taste of derby are on your own. Contact your sales advisor if you'd like to add the transfers in your package.
Meet your driver for a shared transfer to and from Churchill Downs Track.
Across from the eight pole, you’ll have an elevated view of the starting line and final stretch! Your experience continues with access to an in-track Hospitality venue featuring a complimentary Derby fare lunch, snacks for purchase, a cash-basis bar, a meet & greet with a celebrity jockey on Derby day, an Official gift bag, transportation, VIP entrances and more!
The Kentucky Oaks event is as old as the “Run for the Roses” but features fillies and lilies and lots of things women love. The Kentucky Oaks is famous for Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies staged annually in Louisville. Known as the “Lilies for the Fillies”, the winner receives a large garland of lilies and silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy. With a chilled mint julep in your hand, you will bask in the unforgettable atmosphere with beautiful ladies wearing fancy hats juxaposed by horses charging towards their stake to victory.
Return transfer to hotel
With access to the Affirmed Lounge and an elevated view of the starting line and final stretch, this package is a coveted Derby experience!
The Affirmed Lounge Party Venue includes live wagering tellers, complimentary beer, wine, & soft drinks, cocktails available for purchase, complimentary all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, private restrooms, live entertainment, simulcast TV coverage, a meet & greet with a celebrity Jockey and more.
We will arrive early to allow for plenty of time to enjoy the parade of hats on display. From the fantastic to the sublime the quirky to the extravagant, there are no rules or limits. The more refined and elegant ladies sport classy, fashionable styles in the clubhouse and paddock, while the eccentric and downright outrageous headgear is reserved for the infield. Sit back and watch the action from the your seats until the moment of the race, when an audience of over 150,000 suddenly falls silent in hushed anticipation of the starting bell. After the adrenaline-rush of watching the winner cross the finish line right before your eyes, take some time to enjoy the post-race scene before returning to your hotel by transfer.
For more than 200 years, Kentucky’s legendary distilleries have crafted the world’s finest Bourbons, using secret recipes and a time-honored process passed down from generation to generation. Discover the art and science of the Master Distiller…savor the distinct, mellow flavor…and see how Kentucky’s perfect natural mix of weather and pure limestone water produces the classic taste and deep amber color. Visit some distilleries like...
Maker’s Mark Distillery: Maker's Mark is aged for around 6 to 7 1/2 years, being bottled and marketed when expert tasters agree that it is ready. Maker's Mark is one of the few distillers to rotate the barrels from the upper to the lower levels of the aging warehouses during the aging process to benefit from the differences in temperature during the process. A tasting of bourbons will be served.
Heaven Hill Distillery: Shortly after Prohibition ended in the United States, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., was founded in Bardstown, Kentucky by the Shapira family to produce and market Bourbon and premium American whiskeys. According to industry analysts, Heaven Hill is now the seventh largest spirits supplier in the United States and is the second largest holder of aging Bourbon whiskey in the world with an inventory in excess of 800,000 barrels. Actual distillery locations subject to change.
The Hampton Inn Louisville East hotel is located near both Churchill Downs® and the Muhammed Ali Center. Explore the local history by taking a ride on a riverboat, visiting a glass-making factory, or having dinner in one of the 2,500 restaurants in town. The Hampton Inn Louisville East hotel features 77 beautifully appointed guestrooms, a business center, exercise room and indoor pool. The property also offers guests a complimentary beverage and breakfast area as well as an on -site convenience store for anything you may have forgotten at home.
The recently renovated Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Louisville is a top choice among travelers to the East Louisville area. The hotel's location is near the Louisville International Airport, the University of Louisville and Churchill Downs, and puts guests just minutes from the area's most popular destinations. Guests rooms are furnished with warm, modern decor including cozy triple -sheeted beds, four firm and soft pillows and Simply Smart bath amenities. Other amenities include complimentary high-speed Internet access, free local calls and a TV with free HBO.
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